Wednesday, June 27, 2007

WFMW! Getting Kids into the Car

Hello ParentDish readers! Leave a comment!

Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer hosts Works for me Wednesday, and this tip is in response to this article on Parent Dish.

One of my biggest questions when I found out I was pregnant with my second child, and my first child was only 10 months old, was, "How am I ever going to leave the house???" Now, I will admit that it usually takes at least 15 minutes for us to get out of the house, but I've made my own life a lot easier with the simple addition of a plastic storage tote.

I have a Honda Odyssey with the automatic sliding rear doors, and (currently) a 22 month old, and a 3 month old. When we're at home, I open both sets of doors, and my big girl climbs in to her seat by herself. How? Because I put a flat plastic tote (the sort that you could store under the bed, if you didn't already have 40 tons of stuff under the bed) in front of the seat for her, so that she has a "step." She first climbs into the van, then steps up onto the tote, then she gets in her seat.

Bonus - I also keep supplies in the tote - extra diapers and wipes, etc., for refilling the diaper bag. That way I don't need to carry every little thing with me every time we go inside the store. It's right in the car if I need it. This has lightened the diaper bag considerably.

So, I put the infant in her seat, then I walk around the car and I buckle my toddler in her seat, and I don't have to kill my back doing either. If my kiddo can climb into a van, surely Nolan can climb into a car, if he has a little step.

Here's the demo video we made this morning:

Of course, when we're not in our own driveway, I stand right next to her, holding the baby, while she gets into the car. Then I put the baby in her seat, and then I return to MG's side of the car to buckle her in (or I put the baby in the sling so that I have arms to buckle MG with).

As for getting her to go willingly into the car - I usually tell her that we'll stop and see the trains (which are on the way to virtually everywhere we go) or tell her where we're going. If it's no fun, I tell her that she can have a root beer if she's good. Bribes are a part of life. I don't mind using them to maintain my sanity.


Sarah @ Ordinary Days said...

What a great idea. I am going to get a storage bin for the car tonight! Stop over by my blog for a chance at a $25 Target card. :)

Cara said...

Great idea! My sis in law is having her second soon, and I think I'll teach her 2yo to get in the car herself next time she's here- as a new baby gift of sorts :)

K said...

Oh this is fantastic! My kid isn't yet big enough to get herself in the seat, but this is great advice for when she's ready. And the multi-use tote idea is brilliant!

Tara said...

I've done this with a little stepstool in my van for years. Love the idea of a storage bin. Since we live in the country at least 15 minutes from anything, it would be great to have extra clothes for all the kids in a bin and let it be used for a stepstool. Thanks for the great idea!

Jen said...

As the cop in me speaks, make sure you secure that container and all the other stuff you have floating around the car. I have personally seen a tissue box on the rear deck of a vehicle become a deadly projectile in a high speed crash. You wouldn't believe how stuff gets thrown around in the event of a crash or rollover.

Unknown said...

Jen -

Excellent suggestion, and something I've never thought of. The lids are loosely on both of the back seat totes, but the one in the back is stuffed too full to put the lid on. How do you secure things in your vehicle?

My car is such a traveling circus, we are surely doomed if I wreck it. I think half the stuff I own lives in my car. Maybe we should all wear helmets, instead! :)


Jen said...

I keep most of my stuff in my trunk... major problem for you though. Two words. Bungee cords. And lots of them. Even with containers closed, that junk will give new meaning to the word scatter if you were to wreck. Then secure the container to something solid in the car, like seat brackets or something else that bolts to the frame. I've literally seen peoples junk spread for about 1/4 mile down the road. Not good, especially as it bounces off your kids before it exits the car...
Stay safe.

Dee said...

she looks so happy climbing up onto that little car seat. So precious and adorable.

just dropping by from rocks in my dryer and couldn't not leave a comment.

Jen said...

This is a fabulous idea! My toddler can get out of the seat on his own but getting in is a bit much. I am definitely trying this one as I have a 2 1/2 year old, a 9 month old, and am 5 months pregnant. :D