By the time I put together all the gear for my new baby, I probably read at least 300 instruction manuals. OK, so maybe that's an exaggeration, but it sure felt that way. So when it came time for those last-minute tasks closer to my due date, I wondered if I could pay someone to install my car seat. If it would save me time and energy, I would be happy to cut the check. But you may be surprised to find that you might not have to pay someone after all, since there are tons of dedicated individuals who believe keeping kids safe is way more important than cash.
Sure, you can find many video tutorials and step-by step articles about how to install a car seat. But if you want to make certain it's done right, you're going to want to call in the pros. This can be done one of two ways: having your work checked by a certified inspector or getting the car seat installed by someone who has been trained to do so.
If you go the DIY route, you can have your work looked over by a Child Car Seat Inspector, which you can find through the database on the Parents Central website. Just enter your location and see how to contact the inspector closest to you. This way, you'll know if you did it right (or wrong) so you can feel confident in your skills should you need to transfer the car seat to a different vehicle.
However, if you want to let a professional do all the work while you sit back and observe, that's a possibility as well. To get started scheduling this appointment, you can search for an individual who has their National Child Passenger Safety Certification, and has completed the appropriate training to install car seats. These people are dedicated to proper and safe installation, and most are willing to provide this service free of charge. But if that baby comes a little early and the car seat was still in the box when you motored off to the hospital, some providers such as Pro Car Seat Safety in Los Angeles will meet you and install the carseat just about anywhere (even the hospital) for a fee.
If you can't find someone nearby who is certified, you still have one other option. The National Highway and Safety Association has an easy to use online form to help you find a fire station to install your car seat. Fire fighters are also happy to inspect your work if you choose to give it a go yourself. When entering my zip code, 30 different stations within a two hour driving distance popped up as results. This may be a good choice if you live in a remote location where it may be difficult to find someone who will come to you.
When it comes to your baby's safety, having a secure and properly installed car seat is extremely high on the priority list. Checking this off your to do list before baby comes will give you peace of mind and one less thing to think about after delivery. Having a professional install or inspect your car seat will give you a sense of security as your'e driving your little one around town.