Thursday, September 13, 2007

Babies and Car Seats and Strollers, oh my!

I have to say, I am feeling quite grateful to Baby Bargains at the moment. There's so much stuff to buy when preparing for a baby, it's pretty overwhelming, and this book is helping make sense of it all. Today I read the whole section on car seats. Now, I've been in a bit of a conundrum about what to do as far as a car seat and stroller for a while. Any time I've browsed through the baby sections of stores here to check out prices, I've had a hard time finding strollers or car seats for less than $500chf, and many ranging up to $900chf (on the flip side, a perusal of reveals lots of great options for about $100-$400, including some travel systems-- stroller and car seat combined). So, there seems to be a pretty major price difference. I have also yet to find stores with a great selection of either product. Perhaps I haven't found the right place yet, since Geneva is inundated by mothers and young children... you'd think there'd be a huge market for this. Then again, I just found out that despite having several yoga studios Geneva appears to not have a single store that sells yoga clothes, so who the heck knows.

So, is it worth it to buy a car seat and stroller in the US and have it brought over by a visiting relative? What about safety standards? I just found out that in the US it's illegal to use a car seat from another country, I have no idea if Switzerland has similar restrictions or how they'd compare to the US's standards.

Well, for now at least, we have settled on waiting on a stroller. I figure that, certainly for the first few months, I'll feel much more comfortable having baby up on my body in a sling anyway (which some studies show may be beneficial for babies anyway) and the thought of trying to use a stroller on the buses and in town just scares me, honestly. So we'll wait till baby's born to see how we feel about a stroller. Heck, if we make it till he's 6 months we can just buy a cheapy umbrella stroller and have that be that.

But, a car seat you can't skimp on. That's something we have to have before he's born. So as I read up on the various brands and safety concerns, etc, a long to-do list began to form in my head as to what I need to do here:
  1. Check if our car has a LATCH or ISOFIX system, for attaching a car seat.
  2. Research online to see what car seat models work best (or don't work at all) for our car.
  3. Figure out what brands of car seats are available in stores here, and then check which ones are in Baby Bargains to read their reviews (or try to find other reviews online).
  4. Find out if instructions for installing the car seat will come in English, if purchased here. This is actually a huge point for me. Car seat installation can be baffling as it is, and is not something I'm willing to try to do while translating from French. Especially not when apparently up to 80% of car seats in the US are installed improperly (without any sort of language barrier getting in the way).
  5. If I cannot find a car seat that will have English instructions (or can't find them online, if it's an international/american brand) then I'll have to see about getting a car seat from the US. This decision needs to be made probably by early December, so I could send the seat to my parents' house and have Jen and Daddy bring it out with them when they come here for Christmas. If we resort to this option, I'll have to hope that there's no restrictions about this, or that the Swiss version of CPS won't come after me.
See, this is why Mother Nature gives you a good 9 months before baby's born, so you can figure all this crap out first!

In other news, speaking of babies and birthing, today is my birthday. =) I got a call from Daddy this morning, and got to talk to Mom, Philip, and Jen on a simultaneous conference call this afternoon. And, of course, Zach called early this morning to wish me a happy birthday, and sent me a very cute e-card, "from Charlie." =P No big plans today, I'd thought about heading up to IKEA and looking at potential baby furniture and stuff, but then it got to be afternoon and I started feeling tired (been having major afternoon slumps this week) and decided to be lazy at home instead, going for a short walk outside in the sun to say hello to the horses, and then sat with Sierra and read for a while. Simple, but I'm happy. Besides, we'll go on a fun birthday celebration trip next weekend. =)


  1. sweet!!! Happy Birthday!!!! That all sounds very relaxing.

  2. happy birthday! hope you have a great day!

  3. CDNSarah12:33 AM

    Happy belated Birthday! There's a baby store on Rue de Lyon right accross from Planete Charmilles. And another one directly in Planete Charmilles on the -1 floor called Aubert. Take the number 19 or 6 bus (probably best from the big Church by the train station) in the "Vernier" direction. Get off at the stop "Guye". You can't miss the store, it's called "Autour de Bébé". This store is also located in Etoy by Hornbach/Ikea. Check out Conforama for furniture as well.

  4. CDNSarah12:35 AM

    oh, you may want to hold off on the big purchases until end of December/January when the big season sales start.

  5. melanienyc1:27 AM

    There is a new charity shop on Rue de Carouge in Plainpalais with only baby and children products.

  6. Happpppy Birthday! And Happy Baby stuff shopping!

  7. Funny you ask that question. Because I LOVE THE EUROPEANS Strollers. Though not cheap, that is what everyone WANTS HERE! When I was in CH and didn't have Maya yet, I brought home a QUINNY! I loved the Infant/craddle one, and I got it in ORange, My favorite colour! I never got to use the Craddle (sorry I forget what it is called. It is when they are tiny and they lay flat)...But I use my QUINNY every day and I LOVE IT! It is high, it maneuvers well..etc..
    The other one that everyone is attracted to is the STOKKE one. It is a high one!
    Of course here they are all more money!
    WEll that is MY point of view. I know nothing on the car seats! Probably NOT worth it to have someone bring it all from USA
    Shop in France!

  8. As for instructions in English, I am ALMOST 100% sure it will be. They always make them in French/German/ English/ Italian, etc.. especially a European product that is sold all over Europe! You won't have a problem.
    Ask to see the instructions. For the Quinny, I had gone to a baby store and the lady was SUPER helpful. That was in MARIN, right off the Fwy. A bit far for you!

  9. Marcy-
    I know about Nalgene. I have about 10! Believe it or not. AND YOU ARE 100% right! I am making the change. The problem is my sparkling water consumption...which most of these arrowhead bottles are!!!
    I wrote this comment already but too far down on your blog! (mistake. sorry)



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