Beep Beep! Car Shopping for and with a Toddler

Posted 01-30-2012 at 11:13 AM by brewanothercup

My car is falling apart at the seams and we’ve embarked on a new car hunt.  The last time we bought a car I was 6 months pregnant and I used my pregnancy hormones to the max;  car sales people just don’t mess with hungry pregnant woman. They are pretty accommodating, in fact.

This go ’round, though, we have a toddler with us, a toddler who is active and talkative. I made the mistake of letting him play in the first car we looked at (at the urging of the sales woman).  He now sees showrooms of cars as giant playgrounds. Next time the weather is bad I’ll have to peel all the toddler goo out of my car, put the backseats down and let him explore. It’s amazing fun, it seems.

But anyway, because of that first time I’ve ruined all future car shopping trips. He expects to play in cars. It’s hard to focus when you’re worried your sweet kiddo will ruin a brand new $30,000 car that’s not even yours. Or, when he’s flashing the high beams and honking the horn with the ferocity of a big rig trucker.

Not only do we need to entertain him while car shopping but we need to shop for a car for him. We need more space. We need carseat tethers in the middle seat. We need seats that clean off easily, space for a rearfacing seat, and room for lots of baby wraps and a stroller in back.  There are so many new family friendly features now too – several companies have keyless start, and I just imagine how amazing that could be in those moments I’ve logged down my arms with groceries and am carrying a sleeping babe in my arms.

Then again, I also envision said keyless key being hidden in the depth of a laundry basket, going through the wash, and me paying several hundreds of dollars replacing a fancy key…

We haven’t even picked out a car yet, so I’m not sure what we’ll do when we have and need to sit down to negotiate.  Then again, car shopping with a toddler has allowed us to breeze in and out of dealerships so maybe it’ll speed up the negotiation process.  Or get us another free keychain…or drive me super crazy. Probably a little bit of all three!

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Comments

4 Responses to “Beep Beep! Car Shopping for and with a Toddler”

  1. Sarabot0509 on January 30th, 2012 3:55 pm


    I would love to know how that goes and actually which car you decide to go with. Good luck!

  2. kristinco on January 30th, 2012 4:14 pm


    Ha, ha! We went through this recently and it was a challenge. But, on the other hand you have a great “out” if you need it. Good luck!

  3. DY1816 on January 31st, 2012 12:45 am


    I cannot even imagine. I do all I can to run 5-minute errands alone, let alone at a car dealership!

    I love that having a toddler leaves you with an option to leave quickly–it can get really difficult when you don’t want to be rude to the salespeople. Maybe you can do the preliminary shopping WITH Mr. Flasher Honker so as to easily get out of there in good time, then get a sitter and head out for a date night to negotiate on the one you really want. (Romantic, no?) It’s a thought.

  4. lauren_brooke on February 1st, 2012 8:46 am


    Good luck! I think we’re going to have to start this process soon as we’re planning on trying for #2 soon! I can only imagine what it’s like with a toddler! Maybe I’ll be in your shoes in the next few months. Hope you find something perfect (and then come tell us what it is!).

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