Shopping On Black Friday? Car Seats, Take 2

There we were: 7am, heading out the door to go shopping on Black Friday, stopping at Starbucks, wearing our North Face jacket, going to Babies-R-Us. Wow. What the heck happened to us? We had become representative of the people that we protested sometime in our previous lives. 

But there was an explanation for all of it. First of all, we have always tried to avoid the Black Friday consumption-based world – mostly as a protest of all of the things that we are told that we need. But perhaps there is some merit in it all: like sales on things that you actually need (car seats) in a tough economic time. Perhaps we can take advantage of the early store openings – especially since Ezra woke up at 5 on his own. The Starbucks? Well, simply Ahna’s favorite chai. The North Face? I dunno, I’ve had it for almost 10 years now. Babies-R-Us? I suppose that’s obvious. It’s interesting where life takes you….places that you could never have imagined years ago. 

ed note: so after I wrote the posting, I found this story which seems to trump any of the good that can come from the shopping events of today: a Wal-Mart worker was trampled to death in Long Island attempting to hold back the crowds during the opening of the store. It makes me want to say lots of bad things about consumerism.

If there is one lesson that is continuously beaten into us it’s this: the growth curve is dramatic, and so is it’s influence on the pocketbook. Call it ignorance or nievety, but I had no idea that things would change this fast – not even his cloths…and while I got over the clothes by the end of his first month, the larger things are starting to rear their heads. 

Take the car seat situation. He has outgrown his infant carrier seat….due to height. There is still plenty of room to maneuver in the weight limitations, but he is too tall for the straps (they are curling over his shoulders). Turns out that the big secret in the car seat/stroller world is that the kids rarely ever make the weight limitations before they outgrow the height limitations (for the 50+ percentiles). Even as we researched the seats that we purchased today, there were some that were advertising weight limits that would put the average child at 10 years old….and well past the need for a combination seat. I suppose that it only reinforces the need to do a little reading of your own before hitting the stores. 

We enjoyed the relative emptiness of the store in the early morning hours, and the chance to look, feel, test, and ask lost of questions without the pressure of 15 other people waiting to do the same. We used the Baby Bargins book as our guide, and settled on a new convertible seat and a new stroller for Ezra. It’s sort of daunting to think of all of the changes that will happen with these new items (no more in and out with the infant seat, more trips to load the car, what happens when he is sleeping?, no more clipping the seat in the stroller, etc, etc, etc.). Who would have thought that it would be somewhat scary? 

The convertible seat that we ended up purchasing was the Even-Flo Triumph Advance. It’s gotten great crash ratings, good product design reviews, and generally fits within the budget. The bonus to us is that the weight limitations for rear and forward facing are more than comparable others, and since Ezra is in the 75th percentile, we think it will work nicely. We had to get one per car since both of us are primary care providers during the day, and we can’t switch cars (that whole manual transmission thing). 

Since we can’t take it out of the car and clip it into a stroller base, we got a stroller as well. We went back and forth on this one for a while, but purchased the Combi Cosmo stroller for it’s size, weight, and portability (it’s actually designed for air travel constrictions: slightly narrower base, compacts like an umbrella stroller, and it is designed to be compliant with overhead storage requirements). We figured that those were good reasons for travel, but also for taking it around generally: lighter, smaller, and portability can’t be all bad. 

If anyone has any idea on what is next on the replacement schedule, please let us know. It seems like we should have been able to anticipate this change sooner, but we didn’t…the learning curve for us appears slower than Ezra’s growth curve. Hmm, perhaps we should start saving for his first car. Oh boy.



  1. Congrats on the new car seat, I too avoid black Friday like the plague, but sometimes it’s necessary to bend the rules. My boys were both big and hit the weight limits about 4 – 5 months. The good news is if you have another boy baby the clothes get recycled and the fire department seems to be a productive place to recycle the clothes to the next go round of babies as well. As for your next purchases, the good news is the clothing thing slowed down around age 2 years old, and now is more manageable. (that is not to say grandparents won’t dote, but the need slows down. My mom loves to dress the boys!) Good luck on this grand adventure of parenting! Great blog, I’m jealous of your stats!

  2. well the secret is what you are feeding that kid..mine were fed the same and resulted in the same issue ..many more changes to come
    have you started an educational account yet….wait until you see all that info

  3. Rebecca Coyle says:

    The Evenflo Triumph was the same one we went with once Brady outgrew his other seat. It’s worked very well. And I totally agree with the feelings you had as you changed from one seat to another. It’s a bit daunting as you remember the ease in which you can keep a baby asleep with the infant seats…we just don’t have that luck with Brady in his large seat. Good luck!!!! 😉

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