Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Car Seat Saga

Until you have a kid, you really don't think much about car seats. Why would you? If you did, I would think there was something seriously wrong with you. Anyway, it becomes a big deal very quickly when you are thinking about the safety of your little bundle of joy.

The first one was easy. Consumer Reports had just done their big expose' on car seat safety, urging a recall on seats they considered unsafe. Then they recalled their own article. However, one of the car seats that passed their "too-stringent" testing was one we chose. We have really liked it, and it has been comforting knowing we had a safe seat for our little guy.

It got more complicated, however, when we started looking for our next car seat. There are SO many to choose from. There's a wide range of sizes, shapes, colors, and of course, prices. Some are cheap - so cheap I have to wonder if they will disentigrate when Chickster inevitably dumps his juice all over it. Others are so expensive I feel as though we might have to take out a loan to afford it.

My criteria: Something cushy and comfy is important. We all know the boy will be spending a lot of time in the car over the next few years. And something that doesn't look totally hideous would be good. But most of all, I want something safe. As safe as you can possibly get. I mean, we'll be hurtling ourselves down the road at 70 miles per hour in a large metal box with wheels. If something were to hit us, I want my boy to be in a plush coccoon of safety and comfort. I thought it would be pretty simple. Clearly I was mistaken.

I started by asking my friends about their car seats. Then I got on the internet.

Oh, Internet. How I love reading strangers' opinions about random things on thee.

But it got a bit ridiculous, I have to admit. Being the research freak I am (and not wanting to spend a lot of money on something and not like it), I have driven Husband crazy while trying to choose a car seat. Every time he would look over from his MMORPG to check out what I was doing, he would exclaim, "Are you still looking at car seats? Just buy one already!" He wanted a seat that was safe, comfy, and not ugly. But as I had discovered, there were so many other nuances to be decided! Clearly we don't have the same shopping strategies.

So I narrowed it down to a single brand. But that wasn't good enough. Oh no. Because while this brand appears to be a favorite of many and among the safest money can buy (a lot of money), there are several models to choose from. So I spent probably hours reviewing the different models, shopping online to find the best deals, trying to decide if I wanted the kind with the extra body positioning pillow or not. And checking out the fabric. They don't all come in the same fabric, ya'll. And that's important.

All the while, Husband wanted to know why I didn't "just pick one already."

So I decided to get some real help. I wanted to talk to someone who is serious about safety. I wanted someone who has seen the worst of the worst. I wanted someone who would shoot straight with me. I went to Deputy Guy. Someone who has seen brains smeared across the highway is just the person you want advising you on your car seat purchase.

So, Deputy Guy helped me choose the right seat for Chickster. And here it is, in all its glory.

I actually ordered it yesterday. And all of my obsessive shopping paid off. I was able to find it on sale for $20 less than the best price I'd previously found, no tax, no shipping. My order was placed after lunch yesterday afternoon, and I've already received notice that it's been shipped. Woo hoo!

Husband is glad the car seat saga is over.

Just wait until we get ready to install it. Pin It

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