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  1. #1
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    Red face Vehicle Suggestion? First Time Parents. Bad Lower Backs

    Hi Both myself and my spouse have bad lower back (surgeries etc).

    We are expecting and I am wondering what type of vehicle (SUV/MiniVan/Wagon etc) would make the infant carrier/baby seats most accessible. Where we could easily pickup the carrier without straining our backs?

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  3. #2
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Vehicle Suggestion? First Time Parents. Bad Lower Backs

    Honestly, a small car, wagon, or sedan is easiest for loading, in my experience. SUVs and vans (especially SUVs) are by nature higher. I'd look at cars instead if you don't already have one.
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 13, Bridget, 11, Maggie, 9, Katie Sue, 4
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

  4. #3
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    Re: Vehicle Suggestion? First Time Parents. Bad Lower Backs

    I have lower back problems. I found a minivan to be the easiest by far. Because it was higher, I didn't have to stoop like with a sedan/wagon. Unlike a SUV, with regular (ie small) car door openings, I didn't have to contort as much. When the kid was a newborn and only weighed 10 lb ish, it wasn't a big deal. As they hit the limit of the infant car seat (20-30 lbs), that's when my back started feeling it. If your back is healthy, I'm sure it's much less noticeable, but I sure noticed.

  5. #4
    CPS Fanatic
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    Re: Vehicle Suggestion? First Time Parents. Bad Lower Backs

    On the other hand, you might want to consider skipping the infant bucket and going straight to a rear facing convertible. Wearing infants is generally easier on the back than dealing with infant seats. Minivans and SUVs make it easier to get them in and out then.

  6. #5
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Vehicle Suggestion? First Time Parents. Bad Lower Backs

    I disagree- even with a convertible, I think it's generally easier to load into a sedan than an SUV.
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 13, Bridget, 11, Maggie, 9, Katie Sue, 4
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

  7. #6
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    Re: Vehicle Suggestion? First Time Parents. Bad Lower Backs

    Hm. Maybe it depends on your height? I'm tall.

  8. #7
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Vehicle Suggestion? First Time Parents. Bad Lower Backs

    Ah, maybe. I'm 5'5" with a bad back and relatively short arms.
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 13, Bridget, 11, Maggie, 9, Katie Sue, 4
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

  9. #8
    CPS Fanatic
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    Dec 2012
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    Re: Vehicle Suggestion? First Time Parents. Bad Lower Backs

    Ok, OP, take that into account.

  10. #9
    CPS Technician featherhead's Avatar
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    Manitoba, Canada
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    Re: Vehicle Suggestion? First Time Parents. Bad Lower Backs

    I'm almost 5'8" and loading in a car hurts my back because of the bending over. With a van I just lean in a bit if I need to.

    Heather ~ CRST ~ mom to...
    S ~ Harmony nbb, K ~ Parkway SG
    M ~ Radian XTSL, S ~ Fllo
    T ~ June 4, 2016 ~ Boulevard G4.1

  11. #10
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    Re: Vehicle Suggestion? First Time Parents. Bad Lower Backs

    Quote Originally Posted by featherhead View Post
    I'm almost 5'8" and loading in a car hurts my back because of the bending over. With a van I just lean in a bit if I need to.
    FWIW, I'm 5'7" with at least average arms and I have to bend with a car and it hurts. The van was worlds improvement for me.

  12. #11
    Carseat Crazy Persimmon's Avatar
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    Re: Vehicle Suggestion? First Time Parents. Bad Lower Backs

    Hope you find something that works for your backs. Maybe you could do a test run with different vehicles and a sack of potatoes or something with weight. That aught to entertain the car salesperson. Thinking ahead, one thing that helped my bad upper back was to have DS climb into the car himself even when he needed help--like around 18 months. He would need help climbing into my forester and then help climbing up onto the vehicle seat, but it was easier on my back than bending over and loading him in. Not sure if that is the same with lower back issues, but it did cut down on the resistance to getting into the car seat that can happen as they get older.
    DS1&2: Driving, DS3: 5 Stepping, DS4: 12/09 Parkway SGL

  13. #12
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Vehicle Suggestion? First Time Parents. Bad Lower Backs

    Yep mine start climbing in by 15 months.
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 13, Bridget, 11, Maggie, 9, Katie Sue, 4
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

  14. #13
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    302

    Re: Vehicle Suggestion? First Time Parents. Bad Lower Backs

    You can also look for a seat with lower sides, like the radian. Then you don't have to go up and over so far.

  15. #14
    Carseat Crazy
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    Jul 2014
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    Hartford County, CT
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    Re: Vehicle Suggestion? First Time Parents. Bad Lower Backs

    I found having the infant seat or convertible in the center very helpful with a sedan or other lower car. That way I could put the infant seat on the outboard seat, rearrange myself, then move the seat in the base. For a convertible, it is even easier. Just sit down with the child on your lap then transfer to the convertible. Having low sides like a Radian or Graco Milestone would be helpful there too.
    -Reta
    Former CPST
    Mom of V, born 6/2014, RF in a 4Ever and a Scenera Next
    G dog, rescued 6/2016, in a belted SturdiBag

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