Bored Housewives Network

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Ask a Bored Housewife: The Dreaded SUV

Another letter!
Dear Bored Housewives,

I really love my two-door 2005 Honda Accord, that has leather seats and sport-stylin' good looks. It is the only car my wife and I use (we live downtown and parking spaces alone cost $20,000 to buy, let alone the cost of insurance for another car) and I made my final payment on it last month. I love my car. So, here is the rub: my wife and I are planning on procreating soon, and she is full convinced that we'll need to rid ourselves of my first baby (um, the car) and get some kind of four-door suburban blandmobile. I say that people all over the world drive two-door cars and have babies, and we can make do.

In 2006, is it possible to have a baby and transport it in a two-door car? Is my wife going to win this and make me buy a Ford?


Take it away, BHNers!


  • At 9:50 PM, Blogger Cataclysm said…

    Honda Accords have good re-sale value!

    Yes, yes, yes... if you haven't gone 4-door by the time your wife is in her 3rd trimester (big heavy door, having to twist ever so much to close the door), then you won't be allowed to bring your baby home. Hospitals check the car-seat installation and any dufus who is going to try to pass a newborn into a rear-facing car seat in the back seat is going have their parenting license suspended.

    Now cars! We have a 4-door Honda Civic and its WAY TOO low! Even getting Rian into his seat is trouble and hurts my back. Wasn't a problem when he was 9 pounds but 22 pounds is v heavy.

    But I have the answer! Its the Mazda 5 Microvan!

    Space for 6 people comfortably, nice sliding doors in the backseat and good fuel economy, as, lets face it, gas prices aren't going down now are they and baby kit is expensive.

    While we're on a related subject - its false economy to get a carseat that isn't a Britax. Twisted straps are a bugger and you need to be able to secure the baby quickly and get on the road or you will suffer. And I love the "Cowmooflage" print.

    Thanks for writing in!

  • At 5:39 AM, Blogger landismom said…

    I'm going to disagree with Cataclysm on this one--we had a two-door Honda Civic when the Bee was born, and it is possible to put a rear-facing car seat in it.

    You might decide on your own to upgrade, though, after one too many twisted back muscles. Also, my daughter had a pretty severe car sickness problem when she was an infant/toddler, and the leather seats would be easier to clean than cloth.

  • At 8:13 AM, Blogger Tammy said…

    We have a full-size 1990 Chevy Blazer, and despite the fact that it easily fits our Britax in the back seat, it only has two doors. I don't drive, so when Sam and I ride, my husband drives. And since he's driving, I always figure, hey, he can schlep the carseat, too. Right?

    So I asked him your question, and if he regrets having a vehicle with two doors. And he said, "GAWD, YES." And this is a man who looooooves his Blazer so much that he has stated he wants to be buried in it. But I guess what everyone else here is saying is right: getting an infant seat in and out of a two-door is a bit taxing. But we did it, so it IS possible!

    I pose, however, a new problem you may not have thought of: the fact that your baby could HATE HATE HATE riding in the car, period. Until he was about 4-5 months old (and coincidentally when we replaced our reclining infant seat with the more upright Britax, which allowed him to look out the windows), Sam was extremely vocal about the fact that he loathed car rides. So we only took him in the car when absolutely necessary. So there's that.

    If you fear that you're going to lose the car battle, you could always coax your wife into letting you pick out the consolation prize: the stroller. My husband, who is a gear freak, loved test-driving strollers.

  • At 10:23 AM, Blogger Melissa said…

    First of all, landismom, I'm sorry to see you were up so early.

    Now for the question. I have a 4-door Passat that is quite roomy, so I can't tell you what it's like with a 2-door car.

    What I can tell you is that there are different kinds of carseats. The infant bucket carseats are the ones that click into a base that remains in the car. The point of these is that you can leave the baby in the carseat if she's sleeping. I would imagine that getting this in and out of a 2-door car would be a massive PITA, not to mention that you'd probably lose the "not waking the baby" benefit. But! After the baby outgrows this seat, you can get a convertible carseat (it can face front or rear), which remains in the car. So you might be in for 4 to 6 months of pain, but after that it would probably be okay. Some people do without the infant seats entirely, so that might also be an option for you.

    Leather sounds like a good bet though. I have cloth upholstery, and I'm not looking forward to the day I have to try to clean puke out of it.

  • At 10:24 AM, Blogger Molly said…

    Why Britax...

    Back when I researched this all before Kale was born it seemed that Britax didn't rate as well for safety (or at least not any better) that several of the cheaper car seats. Went for the Consumer Reports top pick EvenFlo.

    What am I missing?

    While we're on a related subject - its false economy to get a carseat that isn't a Britax. Twisted straps are a bugger and you need to be able to secure the baby quickly and get on the road or you will suffer. And I love the "Cowmooflage" print.

  • At 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    As the creator of this feature I object to its being used by people who intend to stop being childless.

  • At 12:13 PM, Blogger Joanne said…

    The Britax carseat that we started with was number one for safety last year, I think according to Consumer Reports? We were given that one, but my husband insisted on getting a Britax for our second one, the Marathon or some such, it goes up to 40 pounds and costs roughly one billion dollars, but once my husband saw the safety thing, we were SOLD.

    I think there is a step between a gigantor gas guzzling SUV and a 2 door Accord. I had a 4 door Honda Civic until the month before I had my babe, it was leased. We waited until the baby was a few months old and then got a Suzuki Reno, it's a four door with a hatchback and the car seat fits just swell in it. Heck, we could even fit TWO (God help us) if we needed to. It was cheaper than the Vibe or the Matrix, which was what we also considered.

    My kid still sort of hates the car seat, he's 9 months old. I'm hoping maybe after he's a year, or whenever I turn his seat around, he'll start liking it better but right now? HATE.

  • At 12:22 PM, Blogger Tammy said…

    Ha! Wing, it's like a cult. Resistance is futile.

    Molly, to answer your question, safety was only one of the reasons we went for the Britax (specifically the Marathon, if you're wondering). In Canada, I think all car seats have to meet pretty rigorous safety standards, so we weren't that worried about choosing an unsafe seat.

    What the Britax offers, that we like, is the fact that it goes up to 40 lbs and some crazy height. Sam's been in the 90th percentile for height and weight since he was born, so we wanted a car seat that we can use as long as possible. Also, the Britax seems more rugged and durable than many other seats, which was important to us when thinking about baby #2 (NOT that we're planning on that any time soon, I swear). I didn't want a seat that would look like total crap in three or four years.

    There was another reason we chose the Britax, but I'll be durned if I can remember it.

  • At 12:41 PM, Blogger Melissa said…

    we had a 4 door civic, which konked out just before our baby was we went out & bought a station wagon & we love it (i never thought i'd hear myself say hose words!). but we have 2 dogs as well as our baby, so there's alot of us & a wagon is ideal.

    but anyway, my best pal has an 18 month old, a Britax carseat & a 2 door accord & they seem to manage fine with that arrangement. i know she does not love it, but it is certainly do-able.

    as for the Q on WHY BRITAX? i got mine based on research i did prior to my baby's birth. the 2 main things were:

    1. it has steel construction as opposed to some others that are made of plastic, which is obviously not as sturdy or safe.

    2. Britax Marathon can be used from birth to 60lbs. it can be both rear & fwd facing. so, you only have to buy 1 car seat that your child can use from day 1, as opposed to getting one rear-facing seat that will only last you a year or so & then having to buy another one. by the time you've bought 2 evenflos or 2 gracos you've pretty much spent enough to buy 1 Britax.

    It's just a great product & many parents swear by them, i got mine (new) on ebay for a pretty good deal. it comes in many nice colors & prints. i love it!

  • At 12:45 PM, Blogger Melissa said…

    oops, i said the Britax Marathon could go up to 60lbs in my above comment when i actually meant 40lbs. sorry!

  • At 6:51 PM, Blogger Melissa said…

    Another Britax fan here. I got it because the safety ratings were similar to the Evenflo Triumph, but I heard it was a LOT easier to use. It's hard enough wrangling a child in and out of her carseat without dealing with troublesome straps. I got the Roundabout for $150, which wasn't that much more than the Triumph.

  • At 9:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The 2 door car and a baby can be done, as you said people all over the world have kids and drive 2 door cars (most people in the world have kids and don't have a car). You won't need to be a contortionist or anything to get the baby in and out of the car seat but it won't be as easy as a 4 door. But, like all things baby related, you can get used to it and it isn't the most inconvenient thing in the world. Once the baby is there you car won't be your biggest worry or concern.

  • At 10:48 PM, Blogger Cataclysm said…

    And I'm speaking from experience with those twisted straps - we have a Graco ComfortSport convertable seat in the plushest 'britax-like' foam called the Metropolitan which was $130 less than the Britax.

    But seriously, as a new Dad, how much grief do you want? Twice so far my husband has had to wrangle the Graco out of the car and re-thread the whole thing so we could adjust it safely around our offspring. Picture a pissed-off new mother dripping with pissed-off hormones holding a pissed-off baby and waiting for the straps to be untangled... Safety aside, what is your happiness worth?

    And for the record, I'm actually buying a Britax for my mother's car and lobbying hard for her to upgrade to the Mazda 5 Microvan - we've done a few too many car trips with Nanna, me and baby packed in the back with Nova (the dog) in the passenger seat and husband as chauffeur. Cosy!

  • At 7:57 AM, Blogger Tallis Ford said…

    I know i'm late on this one but i wanted to say that from experience having a baby and a 2-door car can be done. We live in the city and have a tiny Toyota Tercel--2 door. It's the most basic model-- not even a clock but it's been paid off for years and still works just fine thank you very much. It's was a pain getting the infant carseat in there and it's a pain getting H in there now that he's in the Britax (convertible) carseat as well. It's particularly hard for my tall husband. I just have to be really careful getting in the car-- duck my head and then basically sit in the backseat with him while i get him all adjusted.

    We're planning a second child in awhile and unless the car konks out, we're also planning to keep the tercel. That said, 4 doors would be WAY easier and when we do buy a new car it will have 4 doors. If your wife isn't in to the 2-door you're going to have a sales job every time she struggles to get the baby in and out of the car. But, it can completely and totally be done.

    I second Doppelganger's comment that it's always the things that you don't think of that actually become an issue-- like the baby screaming at full-force while in the car. I always thought babies loved cars because they would just fall asleep. You hear untold tales of parents driving their babes around when they can't sleep. Not our H. He would scream and scream and scream-- for hours. At home in the city we drive very little and preferred to use the stroller or sling to carry him around while we walked or took public transport. We found out the hard-way that he wouldn't capitulate to the sleep-inducing motion of the car when we were on a 3-hour drive to a vacation spot. No sleeping, just screaming. So just keep in mind that the best laid plans...

    Also, aside from what type of car you have or decide to get, you'll want to make sure that the carseat you purchase will fit in your car. There is an online database (of course) at that lets you search for your type of car to see which carseats fit and which don't, and if users have any comments.


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