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.


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