Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Works-For-Me-Wednesday: Car Seat Tips

Ok, so being fairly new at the whole car seat thing, I have come up with a few tricks. Maybe these are forehead slappers for some of the more seasoned Moms, but since I had to figure them out on my own, maybe I can spare someone else the trouble.

Because obviously I haven't agonized over Chickster's carseat enough.

I meant to take photos of these things, but as we had a last-minute showing on our house last night, it didn't happen. That's also my excuse for such a late posting. And Husband has the Xterra today, so it would be a little difficult to take those pictures.

And for clarity's sake, when I'm referring to Chickster's infant/convertible seat, I am using "carseat," and when referring to the actual seat built into the car, I am using "car seat." Clear as mud?

First, our vehicle seats are set at a weird angle. So the carseat doesn't sit level. We used a rolled-up towel to level the carseat. Others have said you can use a pool noodle and cut it to a custom size. But always start with the easiest thing first, right?

Second, when we switched to the rear-facing convertible carseat, it changed a few things for Chickster. He sits up taller, and loves it. But his feet also hit the back of the car seat now. Not that his feet get that dirty at present, but I really don't want little footprints on my upholstery. There won't always be a kid's carseat there (hopefully). So I bought a towel that coordinates with my interior and have draped it over the back of the seat, tucked it down below the carseat, in on the sides, and fixed the back so it won't come off until I am ready for it to. It will come off easily to wash and will protect the seat from dirty little toes. And it cost about $5 instead of whatever the special seat cover things cost, which I'm sure is a lot more.

Third, it's summer, in case you hadn't noticed. And it takes approximately 7.3 seconds for a parked vehicle's interior to reach about a million degrees. And because Chickster's carseat sits on the passenger side instead of the center (no LATCH connections in the center), sometimes the sun shines directly on it, even with the little roll-down shade on the window. And that makes it even hotter for him. He keeps sweating after the car has cooled off because his carseat practically radiates heat after it's been in the sun.

So, I bought an extra accordion-like windshield shade. You know, those reflective, annoying things you can put in your windshield to keep the sun out. Except this one I use on his carseat. When we're parked where the sun will remotely come close to shining into that side of the car, I just drape the silvery accordion shade over his carseat. Sure, the car still gets hot, but it keeps the sun from shining directly on his carseat, turning it into his own little oven. And it actually stores nicely. It has a velcro strap that wraps around it when not in use, and it fits perfectly in the floorboard next to the diaper bag.

So while none of this stuff is profound, it works for us. Check out Rocks In My Dryer for more Works-For-Me-Wednesday. Pin It


  1. Great idea using the fold up windshield shade! I will have to get one, because my daughter's carseat is on the passenger side as well.
    We used a pool noodle to level the infant seat - if you go to the fire station, they will custom fit pool noodles to your car for free if it needs it. They will also check to make sure you installed the seat correctly, which is also nice.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I have heard great reviews about Yogi tea, I will have to check it out.
    Take care,

  2. Anonymous4:35 PM

    I highly recommend going to a fire station and having them check your set-up. My dad is a certified car seat expert, and he caught me doing that towel thing and told me it's actually very bad. I thought the seat needed to be level and not wiggle around or anything, but he said using towels and such actually create a more hazardous situation. I don't remember WHY just that he was adamant about it. So you may want to look into it.

  3. It's strange that Memarie Lane's Dad said that about the towel thing.

    Everything I've read has said to use a rolled up towel. And Deputy Guy didn't have an issue with it when he helped us install Chickster's infant seat.

    I will, however, ask him to check out our new seat configuration and ask about the towel thing again. I certainly want the little guy to be safe!