Dress your baby in clothes that aren’t too heavy or restrictive. Anything too thick will prevent you from effectively tightening the straps. Anything too light will invite older ladies to comment about your baby “catching a chill” in the dairy section of the grocery store. In winter months, your best bet is a fuzzy sleeper with bear ears on the hood.
Take a moment to emotionally prep yourself for when older ladies in the soup aisle tell you the baby looks too warm in that fuzzy bear suit.
Place your baby in the car seat.
Make sure the straps aren’t twisted before you place your baby in the car seat. Yes, Step 3 should have come before Step 4.
Reach underneath the baby and untwist the straps. Not like that, that’s just making it worse. Turn it clockwise. No, counterclockwise. No… they’re somehow both wrong? That doesn’t even make sense.
Once the straps are straight, buckle the harness clip. Be careful not to catch the baby’s precious little fingers!
Tighten the straps and adjust the harness clip so it’s sitting correctly against the baby’s chest. Not too high because it could choke the baby during impact. Not too low because it could damage the baby’s organs during impact. Congratulations! You’ve successfully buckled your infant into a car seat.
Slowly die inside as the baby’s butt audibly explodes in a fifteen-second squelch of liquid poop.
Unbuckle the harness and remove the baby from the seat. Work quickly before the poop seeps through the inner layer of clothing and soils the fuzzy bear suit.
Undress the baby and throw the unsalvageable clothes in the trash. Realize the blowout was catastrophic and requires a bath.
Draw a bath for the baby. No, that’s too hot. Add some cold water. That’s too cold. A little more hot water. A little more cold. OK, good enough. I guess.
Bathe the baby, then dress him in a fresh diaper and clothes. Gently wrestle him back into the fuzzy bear suit.
Place the baby in the car seat.
Make sure the straps aren’t twisted before you place the baby in the car seat. Yes, Step 13 should have come before Step 14, but you really will never learn, will you??
Don’t flip out.
Reach underneath the baby and untwist the straps. Clockwise, idiot.
Great, you’ve disturbed the baby. Now he’s crying. Might as well take him out and feed him at this point.
Attempt to feed the baby, then remove the fuzzy bear suit when he inevitably refuses to eat while wearing the stupid thing.
Feed the baby. While he eats, mindlessly scroll through Instagram. Wow, everyone else is so much better at this parenting thing than you are.
Shove the baby back in the bear suit.
STRAIGHTEN OUT THE STUPID STRAPS BEFORE YOU PUT THE BABY IN THE CAR SEAT.
Place the baby in the car seat.
Buckle the harness clip. Be careful not to catch the baby’s precious little fingers.
Catch your own precious little finger in the buckle. Son of a bitch.
Take off your sweatshirt because you’re getting frustrated and sweaty.
Tighten the straps. Hey, that’s perfect!
Nope. The little bastard was arching his back, and now that he’s relaxed, the straps are too loose. Try again.
Still too loose. Try again.
Slide the harness clip up or down to make sure it’s sitting correctly against the baby’s chest. Not too high because it could choke the baby during impact. Not too low because it could damage the baby’s organs during impact.
Second guess everything you know and google an image of a correctly placed harness.
Adjust the harness clip accordingly. That should be fine. Probably? I don’t know. Just… drive carefully, please.
Slowly die inside as baby spits up all over his fuzzy bear suit.
Wipe away the spit up with a used napkin you found in your pocket because you cannot start this process all over again, and no, my voice isn’t taking on a manic tone — YOUR voice is taking on a manic tone.
Congratulations! You successfully buckled your infant into a car seat. Take a picture of your perfect little cherub and post it on Instagram.
Check your Instagram later. Read comments passive-aggressively shaming you and educating you on proper car seat safety, because honestly? Those straps look a little too tight.