Saturday, June 25, 2005

Please don't hit my car. Seriously, my kid will DIE

Bryan and I decided to install the car seat Friday night. I didn't really have any doubts we could pull it off, I mean thousands of flakey mom's do this every day (not saying all mom's are flakey...obviously). So I'm reading the little instructions that come with the car seat, comparing them with my car's manual. Ok we got, we got it. Ok we don't got it. We put the base in, first of all we had it in the center, (rear facing of course!) and we used my car's seatbelt. The fucking thing would not tighten nearly enough. Oh wait, the LATCH system, that's riiiight. OK undo the seatbelt, find the little corresponding LATCH symbols on my car and hook it in. Tighten up the belt. Hmmmmm, still not tight. Maybe we need to use my car seat belt AND the LATCH thing. Nope, didn't help. Meanwhile the evil lady from the birthing class is playing over and over in my head "If your car seat can move even a hair your KID WILL DIE." This isn't good.

Something just isn't right with this whole LATCH thing, it's like the straps go all the way across the other 2 seats in the back which would totally interfere with anyone else riding back there. I don't remember anyone else's car having this problem. Oh looky, here are two more LATCH hooks closer to the center, this MUST be it. Re-hook everything and it is still too loose. Wait, what about this little lock clip thing in the picture...ours didn't come with one! Oh my god, we need one of these!! I'm looking all over the car seat and whaddya know, it's like built in to the infant seat carrier, how convenient. We take it off and are thinking this won't help a fucking bit. Looking at the clip, looking at the car seat instructions, looking at my car manual, shaking the car seat every now and then, watching it easily shake side to side, forward and back. NOT GOOD. That's it, we aren't leaving the house, problem solved. OK, OK, not realistic.

So we concluded the clip thing isn't applicable in our case with the belt we were using, it was for the outside seats. Maybe we should move it to the outside. But no, it clearly says to use the center if possible. But wait, it says the center isn't compliant with most LATCH systems. So why are these LATCH hooks here for the center. Oooooooohhhh, they aren't for the center, they are for the outside. Well now fucking what?

Bryan: Maybe we should put it on the outside seat
Me: Are you insane?? We could easily get hit in the side and bam, dead baby
Bryan: Well we might be able to actually install the seat then
Me: Great, install the seat knowing the baby is dead. Why even use a car seat at all.

Back to square one, using my car seat belt, seat in the center, fuck the LATCH. If only the seat belt would go tighter, this doesn't make any sense. There are only so many ways to install this thing and we've tried them all. It's just impossible, maybe they are meant to sway from side to side. No that can't be right. I'm now convinced that Xterras are not designed for car seat installation. That's it, I give up we have to get someone to do this for us and we'll never take it out again.

We come in, I'm calling the Fire Stations since every where I read says that your local friendly firemen will gladly install your car seat. Well not ours! Great. Now we have plenty of friends that have used many a car seat that could help us but I wanted it done THEN. And at this point I don't trust that anyone's are installed correctly because it's apparently completely 100% impossible to install a car seat. We're looking online, we're racking our brains. I'm trying to find the next car seat installation training class at the Maryland Kids in Safety Seats (KISS) and freaked out because they aren't answering their phone. Maybe because it's a Friday evening, ass!

Finally, Bryan comes across a very helpful site and showing a nice little image of someone's knee in the car seat base as they are pulling up on the seat belt. Well we pulled and pulled on that thing so I didn't see how it would help. Sure enough, Bryan got that thing damn tight. All about LEVERAGE BABY! No movement side to side or forward and back. THANK GOD WE WILL BE ALLOWED TO BRING OUR KID HOME FROM THE HOSPITAL. I think I'll still be getting it double checked but I like to think that we are semi-competent in this whole baby care thing now.


Blogger dakotablueeyes said...

Yeah, nothing can drive a mother nuttier than a car seat!

10:09 PM  
Blogger michaela said...' took us a month to get the carseat installed correctly in the altima. no wonder she was so late - she knew what idiots we were way back when!

10:09 PM  
Blogger Daph said...

I'm telling you, once you get that seat in don't ever take it out again, it's such a PAIN in the bootay!

P.S. Thanks for the shout out about the water sling, BTW! But it was naughty of you to post about the gymboree sale. VERY naughty, missy!

11:27 PM  
Anonymous Carol said...

Ugh, carseat installation. It's a PITA, that's for sure. And Christa's right -- once you get it installed correctly you won't ever want to remove it. We have like 3 carseats for each kid -- 1 for each vehicle plus an "extra" if a family member needs to transport them. Geesh.

Check w/ - they have inspection stations, especially during the summer months. Also, I found that w/ the infant seat, they weren't reclined enough and my baby's heads would flop around because the seat was sitting too upright. Get yourself a pool noodle (get it now since it's summer & they're readily available - it's a bitch to find one in the winter) and put it under the front of the seat base (the part that is nearest the back of your car's seat), then tighten the seat in w/ the belt or LATCH. It'll help w/ the recline of the seat (and they use them at those car seat inspection clinics - that's where I got the idea) and it often helps you to get a better fit.

Sorry so long-winded...just one of those nights. Again, I'm impressed with how thorough you are! I never would've thought to consider proper carseat installation when I was pregnant with #1!

11:43 PM  
Anonymous Carol said...

Holy crap, I just did the math. I have *9* carseats! God, I have too many kids!

1:00 AM  
Blogger Brandi said...

HAHAHA! I had the same problem when I first tried to install the seat in my car. Good lord it was terrible. Glad it finally worked out LOL :)

8:28 AM  
Blogger Stefania Pomponi Butler aka CityMama said...

Hey there! Found your blog through comments you left on mine...i love it.

I dont get soap-boxy about many things, but I notice that your reading list includes the Baby Wise books. You should know that the AAP frowns on those books as they have lead to many problems with babies incl dehydration and failure to thrive. I firmly the believe that the author is eeeeevil. Please do not try and put your babe on a schedule. If there is one thing I know it is that babies should eat whenever they want. As often as they want. Watch your baby, not the clock. If s/he wants to eat again and you just finished feeding and think that s/he can't possibly be hungry, feed him/her. Just think about all the growing they are doing the first year--imagine if you tripled your weight in a year! Please please please toss the Babywise!! If you dont believe me look here:

11:13 AM  
Blogger Elaine said...

I got scolded by my midwife's assistant for using those cute little strap pads. They made it impossible for the chest latch part to actually go across the chest. And me, in post partum haze, hadn't realized that the chest part was across her freaking belly. Bad mommy (bad daddy, too. He didn't notice either). See, we're all idiots when it comes to those things.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Rachael said...

Woo-Hoo! I love a good ending. Glad to hear that tha little guy will be a-okay while driving.
My seat belt has the oppisite probelm. We can never get it long enoguh to fit accross. It's a struggle and when it is attached it is so damn tight that kid isn't going anywhere.

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Darlene said...

Yeah, the car seat is such a pain. The Base never fit properly in my backseat, so we ended up just hooking the carrier itself seemed more secure that way for some reason.

When we upgraded to a big car seat it was such a PITA...once dh got that sucker in and hooked it the straps in the ceiling (don't know why), I will NOT take it out!!

4:50 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

I don't think I've psoted before so congrats on the upcoming arrival!
We too had serious trouble with the car seats. Turned out mine needed padding underneath it to make it fit. We had them installed at the car dealers - you can call the place you bought your car - there is usually a certified installer on staff

8:36 AM  
Anonymous Carol said...

Oh, the opportunity to leave yet another comment! Woohoo! LMAO! Sorry, I'm a comment whore *blush* BUT I just wanted to 2nd citymama's comment. I also noticed that you have the Babywise books on your list of reading. I didn't say anything because I think that you've got your head screwed on properly and will probably realize that those books are crap. Don't put your baby on a schedule. Some parents who've followed those books have ended up with babies who've had "failure to thrive". Plus Ezzo's methods can quickly and easily sabotage your breastfeeding relationship. That said, I have a friend who apparently uses such methods with success. She does not breastfeed though.

*ducking out of the way now*

9:30 AM  
Blogger Mama C-ta said...

Kidding...but those of you who have been reading know I'm a big time "researcher" to the point it's annoying. So b/c of this I research EVERYTHING. The good, the bad and the Baby Wise.

I hear a lot of bad things about it but usually from sources that haven't read it and no offense I need to make my own decisions on something and not take someones word or one article. So I have to read it in order to make my own opinion while taking other opinions into consideration. And as you can see the book has yet to be crossed off and I've been "reading" it for months. Not even half way through and haven't had a desire to pick it up again.

But that's how I'm so damn smart (ha!) I have to research all sides of something, that's the only way I feel I can make the best possible choices for me. And even though I said I like AP, I'm not one to say "I practice this type of parenting." I do what I do which will be bits and pieces from everything. I do feel a schedule will be beneficial DOWN THE ROAD but don't have any plans of trying to get a newborn on a schedule nor clock-watch. Nor will I jepordize the health of my baby in order to have a schedule as much as I'd love one.

But do appreciate everyones concern :)

And glad to hear we aren't the only stooges in the act of car seat installation!

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Carol said...

Cara ~ I apologize for opening my big mouth. FWIW, I have read the books. But of course, you do have to make your own decisions. Just thought you should know that some babies who've been "BabyWised" have suffered. After being a part of 3 online expecting clubs, I've noticed that a lot of mom's to be weren't aware of the harm that Babywise can do. I apologize for presuming that maybe you didn't either. I was only trying to help & give citymama some support too!

Best of luck to you.

11:32 AM  
Blogger Mama C-ta said...

Carol - it's totally OK, I was mainly being a sarcastic ass anyway :) I know everyone just cares about the well-being of a little helpless babe in the hands of a clueless new mom!!

I'm sorry if what I said came out totally bitchy and I don't want anyone to feel they can't comment! I appreciate ALL comments so don't shy away, EVAH!

11:48 AM  
Blogger Stefania Pomponi Butler aka CityMama said...

Just wanted to add that routines are beneficial. Babies crave routine--there is safety and security in knowing what comes next. You can follow a routine (we most certainly do) without being "Baby Wise." And FWIW, I have not read the book, but I do have two kids. Books and research are great, but also don't forget that your instinct and intuition are powerful, too. ;-)

1:13 PM  
Blogger Kira said...

I'm sure you did a perfectly fine job but i think you can call in baltimore 370 SEAT to get it professionally installed, for free. and for when you switch from the infant to the regular car seat as well.
oh well, boring but useful comments.

10:25 PM  

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