Self-adjusting car seat safely puts baby in the corner

Won't somebody think of the children? It seems that 4Moms has, with the launch of a self-adjusting Infant Car Seat that takes the guess-work out kitting out your baby-mobile.


The 4Moms Infant Car Seat makes for a well-adjusted child.

Sarah Tew/CNET

If there's one thing the baby accessories industry has taught us, it's that our precious children need to be protected at all times. After all, it's a dangerous world.

So 4Moms is giving parents one less thing to worry about, with its self-adjusting Infant Car Seat -- a $499 accessory that will take a weight off your mind (and a certain weight off your wallet too).

I won't lie, I had initially hoped this baby carriage would have automatic straps to fasten Bub into the seat, just like Marty McFly's self-adjusting outfit in "Back to the Future II". This is CES after all. But the seat is not totally self-installing -- you'll still need to put it in the car and latch the straps to your car seat.

But from there, you can use the accompanying app to calibrate the seat to perfectly suit your car.

Your phone acts as a spirit level to gauge the angle of your car's seats, while the app will also scan your car's vehicle identification number (VIN) to tell you exactly where to install the seat for your make and model. Once the seat is in place, the baby carriage will run diagnostics to make sure you installed it correctly, tightening straps and adjusting the suspension (of course there's suspension -- this is the future).

There's a little screen on the base to show you this info (the seat takes eight standard D-Cell batteries that 4Moms says will last 9-12 months) and you can check the data in real time on your phone.

While you'll still need to lug the separate baby carrier around (it had a certain amount of heft when we picked it up on the show floor) there are cool features here too. There's a self-retracting harness to prevent your baby from sitting on the straps mid buckle-up, and the back of the seat slides up and down to grow with your child.

At just shy of $500, it's certainly on the pricey side. But the 4Moms says it's better than the alternative -- having a baby store fit your seat and then "the next 100 times you drive, it's wrong."

We can think of a worse alternative: spending those sleep-addled early months fiddling with a car seat that just won't cooperate.

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