The Evolution of The Baby Car Seat From a Dad’s Perspective

Remember having your first child and going to Babies R Us to shop for the first baby car seat?  Remember the rows and rows and huge variety from super masculine Jeep ones to dainty pink flowered ones and then the wide range in quality, the five point harness systems and all?

You buy the car seat and then take it down to the police station for the safety check and instructions on how to install it properly, not wanting to take any chances with the safety of your about to be born baby.

And then your wife gives birth and you have to take this baby home for the first time.  They actually trust you to sustain life for this little peanut that is tiny and weak and soft and you have to strap the baby into the car seat for the first time.

You’re sweating bullets hoping to god you don’t smoosh the baby.  Your body contorted in unnatural ways reaching over the seat and trying to be as gentle as you can while in a position that when you do it for the first time seems like some mean ass yoga instructor is trying to punishing you for being a bad student.

And every day for years you put yourself in that weird position to buckle your children into their car seats cursing the placement of the belts and the hooks that secure the straps and contorting your body, saying to yourself “I can’t wait til they can buckle themselves in.”

The baby car seats become receptacles for every spilled juice box, dried up and crusted on yogurt stick, cracker, cookie and pretzel crumb.  Stained, abused and no matter how much you think when you paid ALLL THE MONEY for the best one you could afford, the thing is inevitably going to look like its been through war torn Iraq and back as seating for a pack of wild monkeys.

And then your babies start to grow and the baby car seat gets nastier and nastier.

And then one day you look back after cursing at the car seat for all those times you were uncomfortable buckling in your kids in the rain and the snow it hits you…

Pretty soon they’re not gonna need car seats.

And that’s gonna be a really sad day.

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  • This is beautifully written!


  • see joey you are sensative! can’t wait to see your post when their 13!


  • next, they’ll be buckling themselves in behind the wheel..and you’ll be in the back seat.
    “And that’s gonna be a really sad day.” :`(


  • That is way too true!!!


  • Almost perfect post. Brought a tear to my eye as I think back to driving no more than 20 mph taking my peanut home for the first time. But that part about the sad day of ridding you car of the car seat??? I thought you threw your back out just a few weeks ago?

    When my eldest ran out of the house, jumped in the car and put her own seatbelt on I almost cried. “This is the happiest day of my life!” Ask Sue, I was doing high fives.

    You want a sad day? Wait until they go on a date. Bwahahahaha, I cannot wait for that post. The GMG server is going to crash on that one.


  • Great post, remember buckling the babies in and the sun was in there eyes and I was sweating, learned that day to just put a fleece on them and cover with a blanket rather them sitting in their car seats looking like the Michelin Man. Then you teach them to drive and realize that if there was another coat of paint on your car they would be hitting all the mailboxes on the side of the road. Remember getting in the car with them to take them driving and the first thing I would say is ” I am sorry” for what the kids would say, I stated for all the swearing I maybe to doing during your lesson. Now teaching them to drive a manual… can remember Ericka asking me what the smell in the car was, it was my clutch burning out. Fun times and the best of times.


  • Wow! So true! Great post, you sensitive family man!


  • Well written Joey. I remember taking you home from the hospital the nurse passed you to me and I was in the front seat. Then came car seats there you were placed in the car seat (in the front seat) between dad and I you were face the front windshield rear view mirror directly in front of your head . Now how safe was that? NOT!!!!!


  • Old gheezer post here;
    Our family car growing up was a ’52 Chevy panel van. Dad had made up some wooden bench seats for the older kids.
    Me? Being the infant, I wound up in mom’s arms in the front passenger seat. Good thing we never got in a wreck or I would’ve crashed right through the windshield.
    I can still remember getting old enough to go sit in the back with my brother and sisters….
    How times have changed……


  • Well written and brings back many memories. We always made sure our kids were buckled in and as safe as they could be. Hard to believe, but as children my sister and I were free in the back seat in the fifties, sometimes laying on the floor and all over the place before there were seat belts. When our oldest daughter was sixteen and learning to drive we allowed her, against our better judgement to ride in a car with a new driver who she claimed was very responsible. We had our reservations, but she convinced us he was a safe driver. However we did not know there would be more kids in the car than seat belts. She was one of them that was not buckled in when the car took the pleasure island exit off of route 128 going way too fast. She died the next day at mass general. I only write this in hopes that no other children will be lost because they were not buckled in.


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