Carseats and Cardboard Boxes

This past weekend, Mel and I were out to see what was up at Babies’R’Us (how do you type a backwards ‘R’?). We found ourselves totally stupefied by all the car seats and strollers. Some strollers are car seats, some car seats are strollers, some are only one or the other. I’m not sure if there’s a difference between carriers and car seats. So I decided to turn to a source I trust for some info.


Turns out, her info might be a little bit outdated.

Here’s how my mom did it when I was young:

Yes, that’s a cooler box, and that’s me slumped over what appears to be a couch cushion.

I asked my mom about this photo. She insists that she did have a carrier for me.

“Well why aren’t I in the carrier?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” she said. “We probably just didn’t have it with us. That photo is at your grandma Louise’s house in Missouri, you know.”

“How did I get halfway across the country in a car without a carrier?”

“Well I don’t know. Car seats weren’t required back then, you know” she said.

“Mom, I’m a little suspicious about your story. That cooler box looks a lot like the cooler we had throughout my childhood. I think the cooler that came out of that box is in your garage right now. I think you might have carried me halfway across the country in that box.”

“oh, Poo! Everyone and their dog had that that cooler 30 years ago. I think your Grandma Louise put you in that box and I wasn’t too fond of it. But she was my mother-in-law so I didn’t say anything.”

“Well maybe it would be fun social experiment to recreate the situation. After Kung Pao (Fetus Daughter) is born, you can put her in a cardboard box and drive around with her for a while. Mel won’t like it, but she’ll put up with it because you’re her mother-in-law.”

“No. Stop it. You’re making me feel bad. I loved you and you know it,” she said.

“Sure,” I said. “I think it’s pretty clear from the photo what you thought of me.”

15 comments to Carseats and Cardboard Boxes

  • Kim and I got a great chuckle out of this photo.

  • My mother in law tells us we don't need a crib/pack n' play because they have plenty of boxes. Turns out that is where they kept the babies at the lakes when they went fishing for family reunions. Seems quite economical. Besides, you look adorable. and at least you have a couch cushion. Kung Pao will probably love the box better then any other thing you can spend money on. 😀

  • I like how your mom said, "I loved you and you know it." Past tense. Like you might not even get the box these days….

  • Congrats on the pregnancy Reuben and Mel!!!!

    Good story and to be honest, you look incredibly comfy in your little cooler box…

  • Love it! Closest thing I remember to a seatbelt while growing up was my mom's or dad's arm reached out in front of me as they slammed on the brakes.

    You won't need a car seat until the kid's a toddler, for now you'll need a carrier. They usually have a base that is attached to the car either with LATCH or the seatbelt, with a quick-release type clip to let the carrier out easily. Do yourself a favor and buy one online, we saved a TON by window shopping at Babies 'R' Us and then buying from random interweb sources online.

  • Liz

    Like!!! Hilarious story… It is a wonder any of us survived infant and todlerhood.

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  • marla

    ha ha ha!! your parents could be on that show raising hope! i love it!!!

  • Hilarious. Just hilarious.

  • Awesome. Everything about this is awesome. Especially the couch cushion, like that makes up for the fact that you're still in a cooler box.

  • Does your mom really say "oh, poo"?

  • Dez

    She probably didn't tell you that you preferred cardboard boxes anyways. Besides, it looks like you're pretty comfy in that box.

  • I have a few extra boxes from moving if you need them; they're all perfect for infants. I have a bunch of bubble wrap too.

    But seriously, I would strongly recommend buying a jogger-stroller-infant carrier-car seat base all-in-one deal like this – . It's great being able to un-click the infant carrier from the car and click it right in to the stroller. We've had the same one for 3 1/2 years, and the stroller still hasn't fallen apart.

  • Another money-saving tip!

    Bed Bath and Beyond sells strollers online – many of the same ones available at BRU and other stores. But those 20% off coupons don't work on online purchases. Well, my sister-in-law went to BRU and tested all the strollers, did her research and so forth, picked the one she wanted, and then brought her coupon into a BBB to have them order it with the discount. We're doing the same thing and saving 50 bucks.

  • That very cooler is most definitely still in the garage.

  • Sarah

    Very cute picture and story! Makes me want to curl up and take a nap. I don't think I can find a box big enough though!