October 16, 2020

"In states that have raised the age when children can stop riding in car seats, the chance that parents have a third child decreases."

"The reason? Since most sedans don’t fit three car seats in the back seat, buying a minivan or SUV could be a deterrent, researchers suggest." From "The Three-Child American Family, Under Siege/Car-seat woes, the cost of day care and now the pandemic. Yet a rising number of parents still want more than two children" (NYT).

51 comments:

Kate said...

Minivans are ugly, embarrassing, and cruel dream-killers.

Suck it up, buttercup. All of us with more than 2 kids survived driving the Car of Evil. For over a decade. I'm calling bs on this "car seat" excuse.

I now drive a Dodge Challenger, thank God.

Howard said...

I smell a Soros rat

BarrySanders20 said...

Seems absurd. There are a lot of good used minivans and SUV's that are relatively affordable and last a long time.

daskol said...

Oh, so that's why.

Nonapod said...

It seems odd that the list of reasons not to have that third kid would include the inconvenience of not having a vehicle that could accommodate 3 child car seats simultaneously. At the very least it would probably be pretty far down the list I would think.

tshanks78 said...

As one with three children I recognize that the world has been built for families of four. It is not just car seats. Hotels often require two rooms for parties larger then four. Restaurants generally only have tables for parties of two or four. It's numerical discrimination I tell ya.

Achilles said...

One of the reasons we didn’t.

Another was how expensive it is to raise kids without the government. If you want you can have government people raise your kids for you pretty cheap.

If costs us about 2k per a month to raise our own kids.

Having to buy an SUV to fit all the car seats sucks.

gilbar said...

Yet a rising number of parents still want more than two children

hmmm ...
"rising" means increasing, right? so a rising number means MORE THAN BEFORE?
"still" means continuing, or staying the the same? so still want means haven't changed their minds?

So,
Yet, an increasing number; is continuing to stay the same?
????

how about;
In spite of our best efforts, some parents continue to not want to commit genetic suicide???

Dan in Philly said...

Of all the costs of children, vans are the least. maybe $10k per year for 18 years. Trading in a sedan for a minivan shouldn't make or break a third

MIke said...

I've always thought there was a market for opportunity for someone to make narrow car seats. Given the size (width) of small children, one would think car seats could be made more narrow than they are without sacrificing safety.

Chennaul said...

n states that have raised the age when children can stop riding in car seats, the chance that parents have a third child decreases. The reason? Since most sedans don’t fit three car seats in the back seat, buying a minivan or SUV could be a deterrent, researchers suggest.

If this is the major premise—and title of the article, why not simply state what the new age requirements are?

This just seems like bad logic, there are so many variables but they want to hinge an important hypothesis on this?

Is it mathematically possible to have three kids all under the car seat age requirement? What portion of the population would achieve that feat? Would it be a significant portion of the population hindered by this hurdle to cause an important decline in population?

Jonathan Graehl said...

Hard to believe. You can buy a four-child carseat system that latches into a sedan backseat, even.
More likely: the places that have such policies are liberal and worship anti-fertility as a form of eco-religion (or are expensive housing far in excess of the added carseat related costs)

Jonathan Graehl said...

The dual career paid daycare trap is certainly a plausible explanation for fewer 3+-child families, but the carseat thing is not.

I'm Full of Soup said...

That sentence is confusing because it written half ass.

gbarto said...

Hmm, yet another place where an upper middle class - which can afford SUVs - has implemented rules for public health and safety without realizing not everyone lives like them.

Expat(ish) said...

Three kids and four minivans opinion: the third kid is a LOT less disruptive than the second and minivans are awesome. Three kids have room, they cost a LOT less than a SUV and hold more (counterintuitive).

I once put 40 sheets of 4x8 plywood in the back of a T&C. No worries.

Car seats are great, FYI, much easier than using duct tape.

-C

Freeman Hunt said...

I like the minivan. Lots of room. Can transport large things. Not all that upsetting when a neighbor kid scratches it with a bike. No one wants to steal it.

Sarah from VA said...

It's not even just about the minivan. It's just that car seats ARE THE WORST. They are honestly number 2 or 3 on the list of things I would change about modern parenting if I were omnipotent. And every year, it seems, the rules get more and more restrictive -- even if not the legal rules, the mommmy-shaming rules. You have to tighten your buckle just so! Rear facing until age four! No, you can't put the buckles OVER their coats; you must remove the coats and then buckle! It doesn't matter if it's 30 degrees! And now the damn things EXPIRE and you have to get a new, ever-larger chunk of plastic every four years!

And forget about ever carpooling with your friends' kids -- even if you had space for that, NOBODY wants to deal with the damnable latch system. Installing and removing car seats is so frustrating.

I had a friend long ago in the 90s who had a minivan that had 5-point harnesses built into the seats themselves. That would be the kind of thing I could get behind. Families with children tend to be the ones buying minivans, after all.

I follow the rules, begrudgingly. But you can be sure that I am counting the days (ugh, years) until I can throw all five of our car seats in the garbage where they belong.

Freeman Hunt said...

The biggest new cost with raising kids is having to pay for private school or homeschooling.

Unknown said...

When we bought our Toyota Sienna in 2006 we measured to make sure we could fit 3 car seats in the back row. The Honda Odyssey, which I liked better, was 4 inches narrower. We were expecting our sixth child at the time...

Achilles said...

Jonathan Graehl said...

Hard to believe. You can buy a four-child carseat system that latches into a sedan backseat, even.
More likely: the places that have such policies are liberal and worship anti-fertility as a form of eco-religion (or are expensive housing far in excess of the added carseat related costs)


This is probably accurate.

We wanted a third.

You just can't do it in our income bracket here. It is mostly childcare/school. There are so many costs and the time involved just isn't going to happen.

But we would have to get a family car. It is a cost we considered.

TexMex said...

Interesting, that’s popped up as deterrent. I have a 2 yr old and another on the way, and that’ll be it for us. Mostly because of age, but I also wanted the ratio of parent to kiddo to match up. That’s what I have the bandwidth for. I have a good friend who has four girls and she has the household running like a well oiled machine. I don’t have that capability, alas. My dad and mom came from big families and they’ve commented to me how sometimes they felt overlooked a lot. I just want my kids to have one parent to at least run to if the other is occupied either w the other sibling or work.

Hat tip to y’all who can manage bigger households. You’re operating on a different level than the rest of us. If you’re doing it w o the aid of coffee though you’re a freak of nature, lol.

I'm Not Sure said...

"Is it mathematically possible to have three kids all under the car seat age requirement?"

I have a brother and a sister. Oldest to youngest, 3 1/2 years apart. So- yes.

Maillard Reactionary said...

Expat(ish): My son in law told me that when he was a kid, his father screwed aluminum lawn chairs into a sheet of 1/2" plywood in the back of his pickup truck, to make seats for his two brothers and him when they went on excursions. (I assume the wife got the interior passenger seat.)

This would have been in the late '70s and '80s. Apparently he never got busted for it, and all of the brothers survived the experience, probably more successfully than they are surviving their marriages, so far. But that is off-topic, and I must not digress.

n.n said...

I once put 40 sheets of 4x8 plywood in the back of a T&C

Leaf spring suspension. 3.8 L engine. Leather interior. Captain chairs. Premium sound. Towing package. AWD. The very model of a sport utility luxury vehicle.

Rabel said...

The study found a contraceptive effect caused by safety seat laws that applied to a particular subgroup of women with two children. That effect was the probability that the women in that subgroup would have .73% fewer third children.

That's a decimal point in front of the 73. Not a very reliable contraceptive, but if you write it up and headline it in a way that will lead people to think that women don't generally have a third child because of safety seats you can get clicks.

Ralph L said...

When they're older, few sedans will fit them. They're all shaped and padded for two people these days.

Ryan said...

As a parent of three children, I can attest that nearly everything is geared towards a "family of four." Quite annoying.

gbarto said...

I don't know about now. When I visited my sister last year, my 9 year-old niece was still in a car seat because of height requirements. Having three kids who needed car seats sounds incredible to those of us who were in them till we were maybe 5. But today, the requirements are nuts, both for how long they have to be in car seats and for the cost of buying state-approved car seats at regular intervals.

Michael K said...

I drove from California to Boston in 1965 with my 6 month old son in a playpen wedged between front and middle seat in a VW bus. He did fine but years later he became a lawyer so maybe it was a mistake.

Skeptical Voter said...

I'm a grandparent; my two grandchildren live in London so I see them once,simetimes twice a year here in the States and once a year in Englans. I watch daughter and son in law wrestle with those goldange car seats. And I thank the Lord that I'm from an earlier generation who didn't have to fool with hoo hah. I think when the kids turn eight those silly rules and seats go away.

Skeptical Voter said...

I'm a grandparent; my two grandchildren live in London so I see them once,simetimes twice a year here in the States and once a year in Englans. I watch daughter and son in law wrestle with those goldange car seats. And I thank the Lord that I'm from an earlier generation who didn't have to fool with hoo hah. I think when the kids turn eight those silly rules and seats go away.

Temujin said...

The unintended consequences of central planners overseeing every end of your life.

Karen of Texas said...

I never even considered the transportation issue when I had my two - starting 31 years ago and spaced not quite 3 years apart. We went with a mini van (two in fact) and then a small SUV that could accommodate 7 people once the kids were out of car seats. I just like a bigger vehicle. Plus trips to Home Depot work out better with the tanks.

I considered two hands and two sides of a lap.

Ralph L said...

My dad bought a '68 Buick Electra sedan because it had the biggest back seat he could afford. (only Lincoln had more legroom). The five of us drove from Charleston SC to the OC that summer and then back the next November with a howling Siamese added. I can't imagine doing that strapped in. We all would have howled.

Karen of Texas said...

Daughter has provided me with 3 grandsons, ages 5, 3, and almost 1. They just traded a mini van for a big SUV - that will pull their travel trailer. Daughter is betting pandemic will change the travel/hotel landscape semi-permanently for many years to come, but she intends to give the grandkids the joy of seeing our country. (And being able to bug out if necessary.) They are considering number 4 on the off chance a girl might slip in there; and if not, 4 boys wouldn't be much different from 3.

stevew said...

Not my children who are parents; they each have two and are done, done, done. Don't believe me? Ask them, mrs. stevew has...

Ralph L said...

I spent some of the trip with my head on the cat-carrier in the footwell and my feet in the back window. The only places the cat would calm down were on top of the driver's seatback and behind the brake pedal.

The Godfather said...

There are lots of financial reasons not to have a third child, particularly if hand-me-downs are limited because the first two are not of the same sex (or "gender expression" if you prefer). Car-seat requirements have got to be pretty far down on that list. That said, when my three grandchildren were all of car-seat age I hated the damn' devices. They (the seats, not the kids) were really a pain in the ass to install. I'm sure that modern technology could do better. (I did come to like my mini-van, though.)

Birches said...

What Sarah from VA said.

When I had my first, five year olds could go without a booster. My youngest is 4 and I was supposed to keep her rear facing for two years and in a booster until 8. It's unnecessary.

Maillard Reactionary said...

Ralph L: Under those conditions, it would have been ethical to tie the cat to the roof for the duration of the journey.

Joe Smith said...

"The biggest new cost with raising kids is having to pay for private school or homeschooling."

Tell me about it...for my two boys it was roughly $750k through 4 years of college.

All cash on top of hefty property taxes for public schools we never used.

Worth it (even thought the private schools are getting too liberal) to keep them out of the public school indoctrination camps...

Francisco D said...

We shopped for SUVs twice this year.

The depressing thing (besides the price) is that the SUVs look like minivans. I wound up with a 4runner mostly because it is an old school truck and doesn't look like a minivan or hearse. My wife will be making a deal for a CR-V which looks almost exactly like every other SUV in its class.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

No one who genuinely wants a third child doesn’t refrain because of carseats.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

* no one refrains because of carseats

boatbuilder said...

If it was about the $$ cost, nobody would ever have children.

What the hell is wrong with these people?

Big Mike said...

Rules based on the age of the child and not his or her size are asinine. Our first-born was a very large child and by age four it was impossible to find a car seat that he fit into.

Brian McKim and/or Traci Skene said...

The forward-thinking types have made child-rearing more expensive (or less secure, less healthy, less fulfilling, if you look at it without the dollar signs) over the last three decades.

And some zoning or HOA laws or bylaws have made raising a family in a home more expensive by requiring each child to have his own room.

They've also made owning a dog or cat much more expensive.

What's that saying, "Tax that which you want less of ?"

Jeff said...

Minivans are useful for more than just kids. I bought my Sienna just before I retired because I wanted to renovate the basement. Internet research informed me that it could fit 4' by 8' sheets of plywood or drywall lying flat and out of the rain. It's proven it's worth several times in the five years I've had it.

eddie willers said...

My parents would just toss us up on the package tray.

Ambrose said...

A little off topic, but I remember growing up my parents were friends with two other neighborhood couples and they would eat out most Fridays. All six of them would go in one car.