…as my dad would say 🙂

I researched the safest place to install an infant car seat using my favorite source: the BabyCenter forums. Luckily for me, there is a forum of certified installers who answer questions about installations. I read through all their recommendations. While reading through them, I realized, technically, I was supposed to install the car seat and then take it in to get checked. I thought I was just going to bring in the seat and the installer would do all the work. I understand why I should do it myself…but it was pretty hard at 35 weeks pregnant! I’ve never even clicked an infant seat into a base before, much less install the base myself.

Bailey isn't sure about this!

Bailey isn't sure either!

So, I drag my pregnant self down to the garage and start to read the directions. According to the BabyCenter folks, I should install the seat in the center of the backseat. My car does have the LATCH system, but the center seat requires the seatbelt. So, I huff and I puff and I get a pretty good install, if I do say so myself!

That's one good lookin' car seat!

Proudly, I drive over to the fire station in Leesburg for my 11:30 appointment. It was raining a little, so I got to drive my car into the bay! Seriously, when he told me to pull around, I was pretty excited! He got in, jiggled the seat a little, then told me the crushing news: because I have a center armrest that folds down, it is safer to have the seat on the “outboard” side of the car. I had read people on BabyCenter debating this issue. On one hand, it makes sense. In an accident, the arm rest could come down and bonk the kid in the head. On the other hand, it would seem that the seat is high enough that the armrest really couldn’t move.

Then I though, GREAT! I was worried about lifting the seat and a kid into the center of the backseat. I thought it might be harder for my short self. I asked him to install it behind the driver. This would be so convenient! Walk up to one side of the car, drop the kid in, get in the car. NOPE. I would have to move my seat up closer to the steering wheel to give the seat enough room to fit. I’m short, but I can’t move my seat any closer.

So, alas, the car seat is now installed behind the passenger. The good thing is that in this position, I can use the LATCH system to install the seat. That’s super easy! The bad news I think I like it better in the center.

So, what do you think? [Hoping my brother-in-law will weigh in here with his fireman’s expertise.] Is it safer in the center with the armrest issue, or is it safer behind the passenger?