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More thoughts on strollers

Posted by Alina on Sunday Aug 17, 2008 Under Baby Products
Graco Travel System

Graco Travel System

The Graco Travel Systems, which are available for around $200 are quite nice. The system consists of a relatively light weight (20 lbs), folding stroller and a car seat, which can be used with the the stroller or in the car. The stroller has a generously sized storage basket, a reclining seat, and a child’s tray. The system can be used from day one and up to 40lbs, or 4 yrs.

Another option to think about is getting a car seat stroller frame by Graco, Kolcraft, Baby Trend, or Combi. These typically run around $50-70. They can be used until your baby can sit up, at which point, you can consider a folding Maclaren or Chicco strollers, which start at $60, and are light-wieght (~11 lbs), great for traveling and don’t occupy too much space. They should last until the child is about 3 yrs old.

These are just a few suggestions in the big sea of strollers out there. Good luck finding the one that’s right for you and your little one.

Combi

Combi

Baby Trend

Baby Trend

Kolcraft Universal Car Seat Carrier

Kolcraft Universal Car Seat Carrier

Graco SnugRider

Graco SnugRider

Maclaren Triumph

Chicco C6

Chicco C6

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About Car Seats

Posted by Alina on Tuesday Aug 12, 2008 Under Baby Products, baby safety

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, children have to be in appropriate seats in a car until age 6.

Graco Snugride

Graco Snugride

Child Restraint Law:

  • Rear-facing seat until 1yr or 20 lbs.
  • Forward facing child restraint until 5 yrs or 40 lbs.
  • Booster seat until age 6 yrs.

(Reference, Retrieved August 28, 2008)

I have recently discovered that my baby car seat, the Graco Snugride (the highest rated baby seat by Consumer Reports), which I thought was intended to last through a child’s whole first year, should actually only be used until the child is 22lbs or 29 inches long. My son is four months old, and is already 27 inches long, which means that I have to go shopping for the next car seat quite soon.

Britax Marathon

Britax Marathon

There are “convertible” car seats on the market which can be used from when a baby is 5lbs until he/she is 40-65 lbs, depending on the seat. After doing some research, I learned that Britax brand car seats have great safety ratings according to Consumer Reports. Britax car seats tend to be expensive ($230-$310), but they will last for years (4-6, depending on the seat), can be mounted to be rear-facing or forward-facing, all recline allowing your child can sleep comfortably.

Although at first glance, the convertible seat may seem like a money-saving, practical choice, it should be noted that Consumer Reports recommends starting with an infant seat before moving up to a convertible seat because it’s “more secure and compact for infants.”

Here is what Consumer Reprots recommends in regards to car seats:
“No matter which car seat you choose:

  • Try out the seat you buy. If it doesn’t fit securely in your car, return it for another.
  • To make sure your car seat is positioned correctly in your vehicle, consider getting a free car-seat inspection. For a site near you, go to www.nhtsa.gov.
  • Adjust the seat as your child grows.
  • Position your child in the center-rear seat of your car if the car seat can be securely fastened there.
  • Remember that any car seat is better than no car seat at all.”

(Reference, Retrieved on August 28, 2008.)

I found a great article from Consumer Reports about various types of car seats, installation advice, and  safety recommendations. Read the full article.

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My stroller (re)search:

Posted by Alina on Thursday Jul 17, 2008 Under Baby Products

At first the search for the perfect stroller seemed overwhelming. I was about 30 weeks pregnant when I began going to baby stores and playing with all the different types. To make my search easier, I narrowed down my list of wanted features. I live in New York City, don’t own a car, and tend to walk a LOT. Stroller features I focused on were:
1. Large wheels – for a smooth ride and easy maneuvering of curbs and uneven sidewalks, as well as easier navigation through grass in the park and snow/ice in the winter.
2. Bassinet – for baby’s comfortable sleeping in the fist few months.
3. Reclining seat – for comfortable napping once my son gets a little older
4. Easy collapsibility – for easily folding the stroller when taking a bus, subway stairs, or getting it in and out of a rental car.
5. Something that would last a few years.

I found it very helpful going to the stores and actually trying to take strollers apart and put them back together. I narrowed my selection to the Baby Jogger City Series Elite, Bugaboo, and Stokke. All of the above come with a bassinet, have large wheels, and have very sturdy construction and are can support 40 lbs (Bugaboo), 45 lbs (Stokke) and 75 lbs (Baby Jogger).

I ended up purchasing the Baby Jogger because it was the easiest to collapse – one hand operation – while holding baby in the other arm. Both, the Bugaboo and the Stokke require use of both hands and multiple steps, and I thought the Bugaboo was a bit difficult to reassemble. All three make adapters to attach a car seat to the stroller frame. My son hated being in the car seat, so I didn’t use this feature. If you purchase the bassinet for the Baby Jogger ($199.99), it comes with the multiple car seat adapters for the Graco, Peg Perego, Britax, Maxi Cosi and other car seats, which otherwise retail for about $60. The Stokke car seat adapter is $79.99, and the Bugaboo adapter is $44.95 (for one type of car seat of your choice).

I’m very happy with the stroller we got. However, in hind site, I realize it is missing one feature that I would have liked to have, the ability to have the baby facing me once we’re on the go. Once my son turned 2 months, he was no longer happy to be in the bassinet, and when I put him in the regular seat (reclined), I found out that he likes looking around, but after a little while, he get upset, because he cannot see me (and probably thinks I’m not there). Thus, every block or so, I have to go around the stroller and talk to him for a few seconds, so he knows I’m near. I’m sure he will soon outgrow this stage, but now looking back, I see that being in Manhattan, I hardly ever need to collapse the stroller when I am by myself. And if my husband is with me, I can hold the baby and he can collapse the stroller, so it doesn’t have to be a one hand operation. Although I am pleased with the many features of the Baby Jogger, I probably would have chosen otherwise knowing what I now know.

Baby Jogger Pram/ Basinette

Baby Jogger Pram/ Bassinet

Baby Jogger City Series Elite

Baby Jogger City Series Elite

Bugaboo

Bugaboo

Stokke Xplory

Stokke Xplory

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