I remember when I was first pregnant with Liam. Shock and awe aside, I vividly remember the combination of excitement and total confusion as I wandered up and down the store aisles with the beat up yellow scanner, covered in the fingerprints from the past of other new mamas in the same position. Ten million baby items available to buy, although the secret that first time moms are sometimes left in the dark on is that of those ten million items, only a handful are necessary, or even make any sense.
One of those items is the car seat.
For those of us not swimming in the thick seas of car seat safety, buying a car seat is overwhelming. Infant or convertible? What brand? What weight limit? Does the canopy actually function? Is it heavy? Will it fit in my car? Is it cute? Can I install it without a base or will I have to buy a second one? How long will it last? Will it fit in the stroller I want? What stroller do I want anyway? Oh my god, I’m going to sell my car and become a nomad in the wilderness where I won’t need a car seat!!!
The good news is you don’t need to become a wandering nomad. Unless you want to of course. But for those of us who enjoy using motorized wheels to get from location to location, it’s easier than you think.
First, decide if you want a convertible or an infant seat. An infant seat is obviously outgrown sooner than a convertible, but you get the benefit of being able to move a baby still strapped in from location to location without taking them out of the car seat, which is a blessing when they have FINALLY fallen asleep and you just need ten seconds to run in and get that jug of milk! A convertible is nice because it saves you money by skipping the infant seat altogether. There are numerous pros and cons for choosing either option, but once you’ve made this decision, logging on to CarSeatBlog and checking out the Recommended Car Seat List will make your life so much easier. It has recommendations for both infant and convertible seats, as well as measurements and information on fit for newborns in the convertible seat recommendation.
The car seat is one of those bigger yet necessary expenses; therefore, it is common to register for the one you have chosen. As a first time mom, and I’m sure many others felt the same, my automatic choice was Target or BabiesRUs. The excitement of going to the store and picking out what you like and pushing that trigger is exhilarating. But is it the best option available to you? And as a mom expecting her second or subsequent child, are you scoffing at the idea of creating a registry or finding it pointless if you aren’t having a baby shower?
I found the Amazon Baby Registry to fit my needs the best now that I’m expecting v2.0, and probably would have been much easier the first time around. No, I’m not browsing the store picking up every little thing but heck, I’m sitting on my couch with a box of cookies while my toddler careens through the house naked except for some sunglasses. Plus, you know, it’s Amazon. It’s like the endless black hole of items. You can find just about anything on there, many items that you wouldn’t be able to find in a brick and mortar store. It has the same benefit of any other registry with the 10% off discount of items on your registry right before you are due. It also offers free returns, so you can’t use the ease of returns excuse for brick and mortar stores. Plus, the cool thing is, you aren’t limited simply to Amazon. You can add items to your registry from other websites simply by downloading an add-on program for free. So that infant seat that you are just dying to have that can’t be found in the color you want at the store? Amazon! All Great Aunt Betty has to do is search your name, click, and buy, even if she doesn’t even know what in tarnation that thing is. Darn newfangled things.
So, in short, when you pee on that stick, your adventure begins. Choosing your kid’s first ride doesn’t have to be hard. And us second (or third, or fourth. Or ninth) time moms? Don’t sell yourself short. There’s a lot out of new stuff out there! In the world of babies and car seats, nothing is stagnant. Or easy. But it’s always a lot of fun.