Friday, October 28, 2011

Keeping Baby warm in the car

Fall is here, and winter is quickly approaching. The air is getting cooler. How do you keep your baby warm in the car? Baby can not wear a puffy coat in the car. The puffiness will keep you from getting the harness tight enough, and when it compresses in a crash, baby may be ejected from the seat. Here is a look at some options.

Here is an adorable baby. She's about 8 months old in this picture, and she rides in a Graco Snugride. Here she is wearing her coat. The coat is actually a fairly thin fleece, but it's a size or 2 too big (I think it's actually cut large).

Here she is, wearing the coat in her carseat. I've buckled her in, and tightened the harness as much as the coat allows me to.

Here, I took her out of the carseat, without loosening the harness. I took her coat off, and put her back in without adjusting the harness.

When a harness is properly tightened, you shouldn't be able to pinch any of it. Your fingers should just slide off. You can see in this photo how much I am able to pinch

A thin fleece that is too big is just as bad as a puffy coat. A thin fleece is safe, as long as it fits the child snugly.

Here is a good option. There are carseat covers that go over top of the carseat like a hairnet. These don't interfere with the harness, and don't prevent you from getting the harness tight enough.

Lula Clips Review

First, I want to thank the creator of Lula Clips for kindly sending me a sample to use and review. I had heard about them at the ABC trade show, and wanted to check them out. I was actually very excited.

What are Lula Clips? They are orange pins, shaped like hands. They attach to the carseat with a safety fin, attached to their back. You pin it on the carseat cover, and put the buckle tongues (the metal pieces that go in the crotch buckle) on the hands. The hands have a strong magnet inside, so ideally the keep the harness out of the way while you put the baby/child in the carseat.

From their site:
Lulaclips™ hold the car seat harness out of the way when loading your child. They are like an extra set of hands when you need it most. Lulaclips™ ensure that you never have to dig the buckles out from under your child and make sure you never risk waking a sleeping baby. They will make you and your baby smile!

I tried it on my daughter's Radian. I wasn't terribly fond of it. I take excellent care of my carseats and their covers. I didn't like putting holes in the cover. And there is a safety feature to the safety pin, so you must use 2 hands to open the pin. I felt like trying to get it off my seat, I was going to rip a huge chunk out of my cover :(

I also tried it on a friend's infant carseat. I had her use it for a week, to see what she thought. I thought it was easier to get on and off the infant seat, perhaps because I could flip the seat around however I wanted (without baby in, obviously). My friend said she didn't like the clips much either :(

I know on the website, they put the clips up near the baby's head. I chose to put them lower because in a crash, I don't want anything extra near my child's head.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Clek Oobr

The Oobr is a high back booster seat made by Clek. It is for children weighing 33-100 pounds in high back mode and 40-100 pounds in backless mode. The back is made from magnesium, and the headrest is attached with steel rods, just like your vehicle headrest. It has lower anchors to lock the booster into place with your vehicle's LATCH system.

I managed to get my hands on an Oobr to try out. First I tried a friend's daughter. She is 6 years old and weighs 45 pounds.


Then I tried Sofi. She's 5 years, 35 pounds.


Sofi is too light to be using a booster, but I am beginning to look at my options for when she is 40 pounds. So, what are my thoughts? I love that it's LATCHable, so kids don't have to remember to buckle it when they get out. I love how sturdy it is. Unfortunately, it's nearly impossible to buckle next to the Frontier 85 in my van, and the girls didn't think it was comfortable. The lapbelt is higher than we usually like to see with booster (though still acceptable). There is very little leg support, except for my short legged 5 year old. It was also very difficult to pull the shoulder belt through the belt guide when trying to buckle. All that combined with a price around $300, puts it at the bottom of my list.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Product reviews to come....

Wow, it's been over a month since I blogged. Well, the good new is good things come to those who wait. I have a few product reviews lined up. I will be reviewing Lula Clips, the Diono Angle Adjuster, Clek Oobr, and the Graco Turbo booster.