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Merging Into Life: Baby’s First Ride


Choosing the best car seat for your child.

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Bringing a new baby home is exciting and nerve-racking, especially when ensuring their safety during those first car rides. When it comes to car seats, you need to get it right.

Which is the best car seat? How much should you spend? Can you buy a used one? How do you install it? Which side of the vehicle does it go in? There are nuances galore.

Adelle Zocher, AAA Northeast safety specialist, will guide you through everything you need to know.


[7:06] – How to find a certified technician in your area?
[10:26] – The do’s and don’ts of car seats
[11:52] – How to buy a used car seat, and precautions to take
[14:43] – How do you know when it’s time to move your child to a different car seat?



Amanda’s Daughter: Mom, when can I get a new car seat?

Amanda Greene: I don’t think you’re big enough to move into a booster seat yet.

Amanda’s Daughter: But my friend has one. She’s five. I’m five. Why can’t I have one? And my sister has one.

Amanda Greene: So I’ve looked a bunch of times and I don’t think you’re tall enough yet or something. I don’t know. I guess I can look again.

Amanda’s Daughter: Please. I love you, mommy, please.

Amanda Greene: I’ll check again.

Amanda’s Daughter: Yay.

Amanda Greene: Welcome to Merging into Life where we navigate life’s milestones, one episode at a time. Brought to you by AAA Northeast. I’m your host, Amanda Green. So, as you heard, I’ve been having this conversation a lot with my daughter. At the tender age of five she thinks she’s ready for the free and easy life of a kid in a booster seat.

I’m not against it, but I am for safety. And when I look online, there are different ranges for different seats and weights and heights. This is an important one to get right, but I’m finding it really hard to get straight answers.

I think back to the early days when I was pregnant, somewhere between those two phases of quiet contemplation and panic and fear. There are so many things to think of and plan for, but even at that time I knew there was only so much I could do to prepare.

Buying stuff was one of the few ways. There was the crib, a changing table, diapers, clothes, toys, so much stuff. But I can vividly remember strolling through the car seat section, picking out the biggest and best toddler car seat I could afford because I wanted my baby to be safe and secure like all parents do.

But just like I’m finding out now, there’s more to it than I thought. Even in those early days. There are things to consider past buying the “good” seat, like installation.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost half, 46% of all car seats have been installed incorrectly. That’s a lot. And according to the same organization in one year, 325 children under five are saved by car seats. That’s music to the ears of us parents and guardians and probably just about everyone.

We know they work. So join me while we get answers to all the questions around how to use them properly, including the big one at my house.


National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Find a certified technician

Car Seat Safety Tips for Expecting and New Parents

Car Seat Safety

Car Seat Guide

Car Seat FAQs

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*The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are not necessarily the views of AAA Northeast, AAA and/or its affiliates.

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