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Why Are Car Seats So Poorly Designed?

Some simple innovations could make traveling with kids a lot easier on parents—and the environment.

My husband and I are good at putting things together. IKEA, no problem. LEGO, just for fun. (This is not to brag, as we have almost a decade of combined architectural education.) So when we had a baby, it was a shock to find that we couldn’t install the car seat. The base for the Graco Snugride swung ominously from side to side, even after one parent sat on it and the other buckled the belt. The counter on the underside, meant to show you when the seat was flat (and terribly hard to see in a car with a dark interior) wouldn’t cooperate, no matter how hard we tried. Fifteen minutes, a half an hour, more, we struggled, buckling and unbuckling, and still we weren’t sure if it was in right.

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