Buying your first sports car is an amazing moment in any auto enthusiast's life. The thrill you get from the extra horsepower, the way the car takes to bends on a curvy country road, or the engine's purr while waiting for that light to turn green are some of the wondrous experiences any sports car owner will know.
Another amazing moment in anyone’s life is welcoming their first child into the world. Watching your newborn look at you for the first time, or when they use their tiny hands to hold onto your finger, are heartwarming moments every parent will cherish from those first few days. But can these two life-changing moments coexist?
In preparation for your little one to arrive, many sports car owners will feel they need to get a more family-friendly car. Most sports car owners will question their ability to even find a car seat that will fit inside their car. Thankfully, car seat technology has come a long way, and there are many options available to make it work. Please note that it is important to make sure you have a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician install your car seat. Most local police or fire departments have someone available to help you.
The first space hurdle you’ll deal with is the infant car seat. Infant car seats are rear-facing and space constraining. On a positive note, most infant car seats are two parts, a base and carrier. The carrier will click into the base allowing you to easily get your baby into and out of your car without too much hassle. The ideal position for the infant car seat is in the middle which is the safest when there is only one child in the car. In some cars, however, this might not be a possibility due to space constraints or seat design. Putting the car seat behind the passenger’s seat will allow you to give the car seat the space that it needs while giving you the space you need to drive. Most infant car seats can handle your infant until they are about 30 lbs or 28” tall (6 to 12 months), but be sure to check your specific car seat's maximum weight and height limits. Once they outgrow their infant car seat, it’s time to look at convertible car seats.
Convertible car seats are car seats that can convert from rear-facing to forward-facing and can typically carry children from birth to between 40 and 80 lbs or 40” and 57” tall. Rear-facing convertible car seats will be the biggest challenge you’ll face, on a patience-front and from a space-constraining standpoint, but once you make it to forward-facing it will be smoother sailing. It is recommended that children are in rear-facing car seats as long as possible in order to protect your child’s head and neck. Most convertible car seats have been designed to keep children rear-facing up to at least 40 lbs, some even to 50 lbs. The most difficult aspect of the rear-facing convertible car seat is getting your child in and out.
If you have the car seat behind the passenger seat, you might find using the driver’s side gives you the most space and maneuverability to get them in and out of the car. There is no secret trick to making this process less stressful or uncomfortable. It will take hard work and determination to consistently get your child in and out of the rear-facing car seat, especially on the days that they are not cooperating going in or out of the car. Hopefully, once it becomes routine, it will become a little bit easier and you’ll be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Once your child reaches the upper height and/or weight limits allowed for rear-facing, it’s time to change to forward-facing. Forward-facing car seats don’t take up nearly as much room as rear-facing seats do and most kids by this point can get themselves in and out of the car seat. Make sure you tether your forward-facing car seat. The biggest key is making sure your child has some legroom. At this stage, you’ll truly be able to share the excitement and enjoyment of your sports car with your kid as they’ll be able to see out the front and side windows like any other passenger in your car.
The 2018 Mustang GT can do 0-60 mph in less than 4 seconds and also solidly fit two car seats in its second row. A review from cars.com gave B grades for infant car seats, rear-facing convertible seats, and forward-facing convertible seats. All three of these seats left enough room for a passenger to enjoy reasonable comfort while cruising the streets.
Sources:Car Seats and Booster Seats, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration | Child Passenger Safety, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention |Ultimate Car Seat Guide, Safe Kids |