awareness: car seat safety.

The day I turned 36 weeks pregnant with Madeline, Andrew and I set out to install her infant car seat. It was 10,000 degrees outside, I weighed 10,000 pounds and we were both sweating even with the car A/C on full blast as we tried to get the seat in place. After pouring over the manual, looking up installation tips on our phones and having the required new-parent fight over this impossible task, we got it in. We practiced popping the car seat in and out of the base, linking it up with the stroller and even strapped a doll into it once or twice and jostled it around a bit for funsies. We were ready to bring home our baby.

She didn’t arrive for another 5+ weeks, but you can never be too prepared when it comes to car seat safety, if you ask me. Your child’s car seat is the only thing strapping them down to prevent them running a total muck keeping them safe on your very brave outings to the grocery store, Babies R’ Us and the pediatrician’s office. It is up to us, as keepers of these tiny tots, to make sure our children are properly secured at all times.  As I mentioned above, this isn’t always an intuitive or easy process. What’s with all the buckles? Where does this clip go? How can I fit my swaddled burrito into this thing? And, most importantly, what if she cries?

I found most of the answers to my questions in this (lengthy and kinda dull, but very informative) video from The Car Seat Lady (the most important recap for strapping the baby in can be found at 5:12, for those who want to skip ahead):

At first, we were not pulling the straps tight enough and had the clip too low across Maddie’s stomach rather than up at her chest:

Madeline strapped incorrectly into car seat

Once educated, we fixed our mistakes and rested easier knowing our baby was properly secured, even if her blood curdling screaming in the seat persisted. At four months old, we switched her to a rear-facing convertible car seat, the screaming miraculously stopped and we’ve been safe and sound ever since!

PS- Turns out, there is such a thing as a child car seat inspection station, and if you live in the US there is probably one near you.Why did we not know this on that sweltering June day in Georgia??

PPS- Also this.


  1. The police here do a monthly free install and check for us and they handed out a pamphlet of dos and donts. The donts where things like don’t put your baby in the trunk..and I thought really.. people put their babies in the trunk!


  1. […] 7. Carters Hooded Bunting – Babies in polar bear suits are also the best. Anytime I see a baby outside of a polar bear suit in the winter I think, “Why isn’t that baby in a polar bear suit?” Think about it. It makes sense. Plus, polar bears are plenty warm in the winter months, without being so bulky that I worry about car seat safety. […]

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