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Entries in car seat (8)


About Face

Happy with his new view.

After much anguished internal debate, I’ve turned Z’s car seat to be forward-facing. It’s well-documented that it’s safest to keep kids rear-facing as long as possible, so I wanted to keep him backward until he was three. However, I’ve been having significant shoulder pain for more than six months and lifting my 30+ pound boy in and out of the car is counter-productive to all of the effort I’m putting into physical therapy.  

Z is SO happy to be seeing the world in a new way (“Mommy, I can see you! Mommy, the light is green!). And I’m happy that he’s able to climb in and out of the car seat on his own (at an excruciatingly slow pace). But I’m still nervous. I know that he’s a big strong kid, but I just feel like he’s so vulnerable back there. It’s like that feeling of driving your newborn around for the first time.

I bet I would have felt this way when I turned him at his third birthday, but I’m still second-guessing my decision. I suppose I’ll just do some extra-defensive driving! 


Podcast #49: Break a Leg

The mommies discuss playground and aircraft safety, more potty training and the increase in measles in the US. They also give a shout out to fan “eskeymo” for her super sweet iTunes review and reveal the winner of the PotteryBarnKids Anywhere Chair!

Products/Ideas mentioned:

Sit n Stroll

Potette Travel Potty

Potty Chair with Ladder

3-Day Potty Training

Listen to the podcast here.


Car Seats on a Plane

It never even occurred to me that I could take my ginormous Britax Boulevard on the plane until I panicked the night before our last flight, worried that United might not gate check Nic’s seat. I’ve always read that checking a car seat is risky—it could get lost or damaged in transit—so we’ve always gate-checked the seat to minimize these risks. In my frantic Googling, I came across a post asking a simple question, “If you carry your car seat all the way to the gate, why not just use it on the plane?” Maybe next time we fly Nic will actually sleep on the plane!

Genius. Since Nic is over two now, we had purchased a seat for him and would have place to secure the car seat. Friends had told me that the most difficult part about flying with a toddler is keeping them in their seat, and I figured that using the car seat on board would really help with this. I was right.

Nic knows that when he’s in his car seat, he’s in, and there’s no wandering around the car. So, when we strapped him in on the airplane, I don’t think it even occurred to him that he could get out. He happily ate snacks, played puzzle games on the iPhone and looked out the window for the short 1.5 hour flight.

Thanks to the car seat (and a lot of snacks!) the flight was a breeze for me. There was plenty of room on the small plane (two seats per side) for the big car seat and it was very easy to install. The hardest part was getting all of our carry-ons (we didn’t check bags), Nic and the seat onto the plane. I went first with the smallest carry-on and the car seat, secured the seat (rear-facing), and Shaun followed with Nic and the rest of our bags.

If you will need your car seat at your final destination, I HIGHLY recommend taking it with you on board. It's a super safe way for your little one to fly, and you might even get to read a magazine!   

UPDATE: I forgot to include that we attached the car seat to our UPPAbaby G-Luxe lightweight stroller using the latch system.  Nic rode in the car seat that was attached to the stroller. The attachment was really secure, but it seemed a bit top-heavy, so I stayed close to the stroller just in case. It worked really well!


Stroller Time! 

I'm 23 weeks along and haven't purchased one item for Baby #2 yet. I'm feeling a little guilty about that so I'm starting tonight by doing stroller research. 

My sister received the B-Agile stroller from Britax and that thing is AWESOME! It is a lot like the City Mini we used for Baby Mo, only the straps are more comfortable and it has more of a durable feel overall. 

But about those carseat adapters, why are those things so darn complicated? It took me an entire afternoon to install the adapter on the City Mini that would mount my car seat carrier on the stroller. My sister didn't have much more luck with the Britax but at least she had instructional videos from Britax to help her along. She ended up having to order a separate attachment that would allow her to mount the Chaperone car seat to the B-Agile stroller. Britax was really helpful when she called the support line for this. 

I also really like the shading on this system. The shading from the stroller meets the shading from the carseat to keep the sun out of your little one's brand new eyes. My system did not have this so I had to drape swaddle blankets over top of his carseat when strolling in Central Park. A hack but it worked. 

The B-Agile retails for around $249 but I found it on Amazon for much cheaper - around $198 - about as much as my City Mini. You can also buy the entire travel system - stroller and car seat together - for around $399, which is a pretty good deal.

Why, you may ask, can't I use the City Mini for Baby #2? Well you'll have to ask my husband Clayton that question. Let me just say that it has been to the bottom of the ocean and back and the gears lock up repeatedly due to the salt water. Sigh. It was good while it lasted. We had good times. But the stroller did have its drawbacks and having used my sister's travel system, I think I'm going to invest in the Britax. 

I've looked into double strollers but decided I just don't have the energy to deal with humongous contraptions like the Bugaboo Donkey. Plus I don't stroll that often now that I don't live in Manhattan. I may change my mind but I figure that $1,700 is just too much of investment in strolling - especially since Baby Mo walks now. 

So the Britax is the current frontrunner in my search for Baby #2's wheels! It's a great stroller that any new parent would be happy with! I'll just have to keep it far from the ocean! 


New Car Seat Laws


In March 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement advising parents to keep their toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat. They also advised that older children should ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until they are 4 feet 9 inches tall, and 8 to 12 years old.  

But now booster seats are the law. Effective January 1, 2012 children in California must ride in a safety seat or booster seat in the back seat of a vehicle until they are at least 8 years old or 4'9" in height as reported by Momformation blog. Colorado has also recently enforced this new law.  

Fines for a first offense could reach approximately $550 and over $1,000 for a second offense. So what does this mean parents who have already transitioned their 6 or 7 year old who is is not quite 4'9? Do they have to put their kids back in a booster seat? I can only imagine the drama this will cause.