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Ditching the bucket seat

Ditching the bucket seat

I’ve been fighting the idea for a few weeks now, but I can’t pretend for much longer. The truth is, our 7-month-old is almost out of her bucket seat. And that’s so great! It’s also not so great. First, the obviously great reason to kick that thing to the curb—it’s heavy. She’s 15 pounds or so...

IMG_2004_JTI’ve been fighting the idea for a few weeks now, but I can’t pretend for much longer. The truth is, our 7-month-old is almost out of her bucket seat. And that’s so great! It’s also not so great.
First, the obviously great reason to kick that thing to the curb—it’s heavy. She’s 15 pounds or so now, and her seat alone is a little more than 10 pounds. Twenty-five-ish pounds isn’t a lot, but when you have to drag it around all day, it gets heavy quick. So saying adios to the ol’ bucket seat means I’ll be sparing my arms and upper back every time I drive the kids to or from school and have to hike in from the parking lot with the car seat on one arm. Or anytime we go to the store, and she’s fast asleep—so I end up pushing two carts or actually, pushing one and pulling another because her seat takes up almost the entire basket. Or when we go out to eat and we want somewhere to put her, so we bring the bucket seat in with us. But that’s good and bad, actually, because yeah, it’s another place to stash her, but she never wants to sit in there. So, we end up holding her anyway and shoving the seat under the table.
Also, we won’t have to store it on top of the washing machine anymore, or by the door, or on the table. Basically, the good reasons can all be summed up as: no more cumbersome car seat to lug around or stash anywhere.
But the sentimental side of me is wailing, “Make. It. Stop!” This little baby bucket seat—the one that we brought her home in from the hospital—is symbolic of her infancy. How can she possibly be big enough for a car seat that actually stays in the car? Where did the last seven and a half months go?
I’m also finding myself weighing the inconvenience of hauling this seat around now that she’s getting so much heavier with how awesome it is when she falls asleep in it, and I don’t have to break the cardinal rule of sleeping babies (which is, obviously, never, ever wake them up). The infant seat is a beautiful thing when you can cart a snoozing baby to the gym or out to lunch.
She has a really great bucket seat that adjusts for babies of different sizes, and we’ve pulled the little tab that extends it out as far as it’ll go. She still fits, for now, but another few weeks—a month or two, tops—and it’s going to be all over. Logistically, it all makes sense. The baby has grown and is ready for a bigger car seat. But emotionally, well, this is inarguable evidence that time is marching along. And I’m finding it particularly heart wrenching.
We have a convertible car seat all ready to go. We just need to throw it in the car, and we’re set. I’m sure she’ll get a kick out of the new view; she’ll be up higher than she was before, propped up like a big kid instead of reclining so much. And since she’ll still be rear-facing, she’ll still have siblings on both sides and in the row in front of her to keep her entertained. She’s ready for it—I know. But I’m not.