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Training for Baby: Infant shoe horn

Posted July 10, 2012

We are well into our last trimester and it is starting to sink in that the baby is coming soon.

Being first time parents, we have tried to learn as much as we can about this tiny person and how to take care of him. We even enrolled in a free infant car seat class at our delivery hospital. It was a two or three hour course, taught by a man I will affectionately refer to as “Mr. Car Seat.”

I lost track of how long it was because of the sheer amount of information coming at us. We had brochures and booklets to follow along. There were car seats there for demonstration and we had to pick out what was wrong with the seat. The only thing I kept seeing wrong was that the plastic baby’s head was on backwards.

Mr. Car Seat pointed out that baby headrests were hazards and that we shouldn’t be putting toys along the handle of the carrier.

I had no idea car seats were this complicated. We learned a lot of information, but the experience made us panic a little.

See, we already have our car seats. We registered for two – one Chicco Keyfit and a Britax Boulevard 70 – and wonderful family members bought them for us!

We went to the class feeling great because we had already gotten the seats. We even brought the Britax seat, still in the box, with us to the class. We left it in the car because we didn’t know if we needed it.

At one point in the class, Mr. Car Seat mentioned that before he will inspect your car seat you must have attempted to put it into the vehicle yourself. “Don’t bring it in the box,” he said.

We slowly sunk into our seats.

Then, we noticed that both of our car seats were being used as examples in the class. At first, we were terrified that he was going to point out the problems with these seats, but apparently we did an OK job selecting them. They are rather popular models and the installation didn’t look too tough.

Mr. Car Seat was amazing. The man can install hundreds of car seats into just about any vehicle. Some people were born to do things in life. This man was born to make sure your infant is safely traveling! The idea that he will make sure our seat is safe gives me so much peace of mind.

After the class, we talked with Mr. Car Seat about our Britax seat. It is one of those seats that can carry a child until he is ready to drive or up to 40 pounds, whichever comes first. Mr. Car Seat suggested we order the Britax infant positioning insert, which will help our small infant fit better into the seat.

We went home and looked this thing up. The first thing my husband said was that it looked like “an infant shoe horn.” At $14.99, it was a cheap investment in our baby’s comfort.

We are now the proud owners of an infant shoe horn that we have no idea how to use.

I am putting Mr. Car Seat on speed dial.

Kathy is editor of WRAL.com's Out & About section. Learn more about Kathy on her website. Last year, here on Go Ask Mom, Kathy chronicled her efforts to lose weight before she and her husband started a family. Now, due with her first baby this fall, she's writing about her pregnancy. Find her here on Wednesdays twice a month on Go Ask Mom.

4 Comments

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  • JAT Jul 11, 2012

    We got Mr. Highway Patrol man to install our first ones. There was no way my baby was getting out and even when he called my sweet girl a "cute little boy", I didn't dare correct him.

    It's great you got a long-term carseat but you'll find that you and the child will be getting tired of the "baby" one and you'll want another one. And the cost of the seats mean NOTHING about the safety. Some of the fanciest brands have alot of recalls.

  • OIBKat Jul 11, 2012

    We have the exact same two car seats for our now 5 month old. You will likely use the Chicco for your child as an infant so you probably don't actually need the shoe horn. You'd be better off to just get a second base for the Chicco in your second car and save the Britax for when he outgrows the Chicco. That's our plan and that's what most people I know have done. If you read the book Baby Bargains it'll tell you that using an infant car seat for an infant is far better than using a convertible one for safety reasons. So even though the Britax can technically be used at birth, most people I know use an infant car seat and then convert to the Britax when their little one outgrows the infant seat. Just thought I'd put that out there for you to consider!!

  • snowl Jul 11, 2012

    Edited version: The Newborn Shoehorn :-)

    Yes, car seats and proper installation are a MUST have, but some of the "stuff" that parents are asked to purchase today is really not necessary to raise a child.

    p.s. You look so healthy, congrats!

  • righthere1234 Jul 10, 2012

    Car seat safety is so very important, and many parents don't take the time to learn how to properly install AND use their carseat. We used the Chicco KeyFit for both of our kids when they were babies. It was a great seat. Very easy to install, but our kids outgrew it long before their first birthdays. We also used the Britax Boulevard as their convertible seat because we could rear face them until 35 pounds (although we didn't go that long). We bought the Britax in 2007 for our son, and we're now using it for our daugther.

    I highly recommend putting a bib on your baby until he is past the spitting up phase because you cannot soak the straps in the carseat. You can wipe them with a damp cloth and some mild soap, but you can't put them in the washing machine or dishwasher because it will ruin the integrity of the strap making it weaker in a potential accident. The bib will save your car from having a constant spit up smell. :)