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A Desperate Plea to the Design Community: BABIES NEED YOU

Dear designers,

Thank you for the awesome wooden high chair we bought for Owen. It’s slim and lovely and it’ll grow with him into his childhood and hopefully beyond. We spent a fortune on it, but its cost-per-meal will approach zero as the years pass.

Thank you for clean-lined cribs and outfits sans pastel colours.

Thank you, also, for not-cheesy baby books and the illustrations that elevate them beyond clever stories and into the realm of obsession.

But here’s the thing. Despite these wonderful product-design successes, you have failed all babies and their parents and caregivers. And you have failed us profoundly.

This failure is called the car seat. Do you know why the car seat is a failure? I’ll tell you why.

The car seat is a failure because it’s a fucking side-splitting pain in the ass to use. It’s a pain in the ass to install car seats into cars and it’s a pain in the ass to strap a baby into the car seat. The buckets younger babies fit into – the ones you can remove from the base in the car so you can walk around half bent over to the side with your strapped-in kid bouncing against your leg – weigh more than the baby does.

Listen. Our world is full of brilliantly concocted metals and plastics that can provide all the structural and safety needs of this very important device. The engineers have done that job well.

Now please get on with making a car seat that doesn’t utterly suck to use. Here are some ideas:

  • Some parents drive small cars. Car seats should fit well into small cars. This means no front-seat leg room should need to be sacrificed. Sustainability – you use that word all the time in your projects. Know what would make parents stop thinking they need to drive a Suburban when they have a baby? Making car seats smaller.
  • The straps should be placed so as to avoid squeezing the sides of the baby’s neck, without the aid of cushions bought separately. As is, car seats are like torture devices, and I kind of hate you for it.
  • The car seat should not weigh so much. For real.
  • The car seat should not confuse people who have never used one. This is a safety factor, goddammit.

Call me if you want to discuss this further.

Thank you.

Kim

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ncavillones

I really hated the bucket seats and got both my kids out of them as soon as I could. Alice was in a convertible seat by the time she was 5 months old and Stella might’ve been 6 months old? Not that the convertible seats are that much better but they are easier to get the babes in and out of. 

diandra jurkic-walls

I hear you! I hate carseats (the design and clunkiness). I hear in Europe they have awesome carseats. XO

Kathy Elkins

I had hopes that by now things would have improved in the world of carseats.  When my guys got big enough to no longer need a carseat I was so happy – like I had won the lottery.  Of course now I practically need to arrange a schedule on Google calendar for who gets to ride in the front seat.

Wendy Houston

Hilarious! I thought it was just me! When my kids were babies, I could barely lift that ‘bucket’ with my baby in it. I would see other women walking around carrying theirs with (apparent) ease! Glad to see it wasn’t just me, after all!

DragonessD

AMEN! I see my stepdaughter wrestling my granddaughter’s car seat, and they really do need to do SOMETHING to fix them … they work, but they’re so wrong … and so heavy! And even in a 4-door car, they’re difficult to fasten in.

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