Recently my daughter puked in the car. On herself, on the car seat and a little bit on the car itself. Was it a mild case of H1N1 flu? Too much Halloween candy? Who knows? And it doesn’t really matter – bottom line is that it smelled as foul as you could possibly imagine. This was no little milk spitup which only smells slightly off – this was absolutely horrible.
Luckily, I was safe at work while this nonsense was going on, but when I got home I got put in charge of cleaning up the car seat. My plan was to just take off the car seat cover (ie the padding they sit on) and wash it. I was hoping that all of the puke had landed on the car seat which would make it easier to clean since I wouldn’t have to take the seat out.
I’ll just take the cover off and wash it
Unfortunately, when I tried to remove the cloth cover I realized that it was attached so that you couldn’t easily remove it for washing. Given that it’s just cloth I would have thought you could just make it so it could be removed/added while the seat was installed – maybe with a few velcro snaps here or there. Well guess what? That cover was carefully engineered so that it was tightly integrated into the seat and harness straps. In order to take it off you not only had to remove the car seat which is a small pain – you also had to remove all the harness straps and buckles etc. This was a huge pain since I had never done it before – the seat came assembled when we bought it.
I was pretty annoyed when I realized it was going to take more than 1 minute to get the cover off – enraged is a more accurate word. If you are wondering the car seat in question is called the Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite Convertible Car Seat.
It was so difficult that I had to get the instruction book just to figure out how to take it apart. Total time to get cover off – 45 minutes.
Putting it back in
Once the cover was washed then I used my handy instruction book to put it back together. It took a while but that was partly because I kept forgetting parts and having to redo everything. Even once I got the seat back in the car I realized I forgot to put the base on. I will say one thing – once I did it then I realized it wasn’t that hard so the following weekend I took the other car seat apart for washing, and it wasn’t a big deal (since I knew what I was doing). His seat had been installed for about 2 years so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to clean it.
Are all car seats this poorly designed?