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Infant Car Seat tips for new mommies (or BTDT)


Forum: 2011 Playroom

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  #1  
May 28th, 2011, 04:56 AM
Olivia&DelilahsMommy's Avatar Married to my soulmate :)
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I just wanted to post a few things about infant car seats that I know when I was a first time mommy, I had no clue. This is to not step on anyones toes or anything like that, it's just for informational purposes.

First things first, when your child, no matter what age is in a car seat, make sure the chest clip is at armpit level and the straps are nice and snug...ALWAYS, that's very important, or the car seat is useless and your baby/child will fly out of their seat if there is an accident. I can't tell you how many pics on facebook I see of children in car seats that the straps are just hanging, or the chest clip is on the belly. It's called a chest clip for a reason.

There are many different infant car seats out there on the market, there are ones that hold babies up to 22lbs,which in my opinion are a waste of money because you can spend a few bucks more and get longer use out of a better seat. There are ones that hold up to 30lbs, 32lbs, and 35lbs. Of course you won't want to be carrying around your infant once they reach a heavier weight, but you can keep the seat permanently in your vehicle and get more use out of it.

I was looking at prices of car seats this week and the Graco Snugride that holds up to 22lbs was $89, but I found a Graco Snugride 35 (up to 35lbs) for only $109.

If you buy a used car seat (which I don't recommend), make sure you look at the sticker on the side for the date of manufacture. Infant car seats EXPIRE after 5-6 years depending on the seat. Also, if the car seat was ever in a car that was in an accident (even very minor) it should have been destroyed. Insurance companies will replace car seats that are in a vehicle, that are in an accident. Another thing, how was the car seat washed? The straps should NEVER be submerged in water (this will weaken them), and the cover should only be washed per instructions of the manual. Some you can only wipe clean, others you can put in the washer, but not dryer.

Some people are under the misconception that if their child reaches the height limit on the infant seat they have outgrown it. That is not always true, as long as there is 1 inch of the shell of the seat above the babies head, they still fit, and of course as long as they are under the weight limit.

When you install the base of the car seat in your vehicle, make sure it is installed correctly either with LATCH or a seatbelt, NEVER with both. The base should never move more than an inch if you try to move it, it needs to be installed nice and snug/tight. If you need help, google car seat technicians in your area. Some hospitals offer help installing as well as fire departments, and it's free.

Last but not least, your child is 500 times safer rear facing than forward facing. All infant seats are rear facing, but I'm saying after they have outgrown the seat and you get them a convertible seat. The new AP recommendations are that every child should be rearfacing until the age of 2 years, instead of the old 1 year AND 20lbs. A lot of people ask how is the child comfortable because their legs seem squished. Believe me, your child is comfortable, and just fine. IF there ever were an accident and your child was rear facing and for some reason their leg broke, it's easier to cast that (highly unlikely their legs would break), than if your child was forward facing and severed their spine (which is actually highly likely).

PLEASE if you have ANY questions at all, don't be afraid to ask. No question is stupid, especially when it comes to car seats. I want your child safe and that's all this post is about...is keeping your baby safe. If you need help finding a car seat for your baby, or have any questions, ask!! (I'm a good bargain hunter too, and can find great seats for low prices!!)

Also if I've left any info out that someone would like to add, please do so!!
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  #2  
May 28th, 2011, 05:04 AM
Jenilope's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Thanks for the great info!

I have an infant seat I need to get rid of. How do you recommend destroying it? Do I just take it to my local fire station/technician, or is there something I can do to it at home before throwing it out to make it obvious that it shouldn't be used? I would hate to throw it out and have someone think they were getting a safe seat for free when they were really putting their child in danger. It's not at all uncommon around here for people to pick up things you put out to throw away, and I've had this seat sitting around for a while because I don't want that to happen but don't know what to do with it.
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  #3  
May 28th, 2011, 05:06 AM
Olivia&DelilahsMommy's Avatar Married to my soulmate :)
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Cut the straps so it can't be used!!

That's actually what some police/firemen do when a car seat has been in an accident, but not always.
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  #4  
May 28th, 2011, 05:09 AM
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Thanks!
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  #5  
May 28th, 2011, 06:10 AM
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Very very very good post. I cringe every time I watch these baby shows on TV and they have these babies in the car seats wrong. I think nurses should be trained in this and not let these babies leave in that car until the parents know the correct way to have them in the car seat.

I usually get the convertible/all in one car seats, my 3 year olds is good from 5 lbs to 100 lbs, my 1 year old is 5-85 lbs. He's 15 months and 25 lbs and won't be switched to fwd facing for quite awhile yet.

Also - every area should have some sort of car seat check, call your local fire dept's or car dealerships and have your car seats professionally installed. The majority of us that think we have them in right - actually have it Wrong. It's free to do.
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  #6  
May 28th, 2011, 07:07 AM
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Very helpful, thanks for posting!
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  #7  
May 28th, 2011, 03:51 PM
Kittynoah's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Thanks for posting!

Also, since we will have little babies in the winter - never put them in a bulky coat and then put them in the carseat. The straps won't be snug enough and it can be dangerous. Either use a thin fleece or just get a cozy cover that goes over the carseat. Or you can just use a blanket! I cringe when I see babies in a snowsuit or thick, bulky coat and they are strapped in the car seat.
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  #8  
May 29th, 2011, 10:25 AM
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Thanks for the tips! I am learning more about car seat safety. In Australia car seats only rear face to 9-12kg (20-26lbs) and it is legal to forward face as young as 6 months!!

Until we arrived here I had no idea how much safer read facing is. I was worried about DD not having enough room because she is over the 99%ile for height, but she was fine! Here is a photo of her happily rear facing at 20 months

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  #9  
May 29th, 2011, 06:28 PM
Olivia&DelilahsMommy's Avatar Married to my soulmate :)
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I'm glad I could help out some people with this post. It was something I was VERY uneducated about as a new mom, and I can't even begin to tell you how guilty I felt once I did find out about certain things that I had done prior to learning. I feel like sharing this info can be very helpful.

I also ditto the jacket/snowsuit thing. Always make sure your baby/child is in the seat snug, and you don't have to adjust the straps or anything to accomodate for a jacket. A fleece is sufficient, or a warm coat warn backwards OVER the already tightened/fastened straps. There are plenty of ways to keep your baby/child warm without a heavy jacket/snowsuit on.
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  #10  
May 30th, 2011, 02:38 AM
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Ooo good stuff!

And I'll have to keep a blanket on me when I put my baby in the car. Believe me, a regular fleece suit thing will NOT be enough here. Especially when it hits late December and the temp goes below -20F.

I'm so worried about the winter because of how sensitive a baby's skin is. I have a friend who doesn't bother with a scarf on her 22-month-old and because of that, the little girl's cheeks are so winter burned. Even now they are always bright red and the skin is quite a bit more dry on those spots and you can see where it cracked a few times in the winter. I felt so bad for that poor baby. There are loads of idiot mothers here who take their child out in everything but gloves, or everything but a scarf, or everything but a hat. It's too cold for that here!

So yeah, great info, especially about the chest clip. Thanks!
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  #11  
May 30th, 2011, 06:00 AM
babyB No.1's Avatar Super Mommy
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Thanks much for the post - I don't think you should worry about stepping on anyones toes. It was great info (and I will be a first time mom and AM clueless). I actually just told my husband yesterday I had no idea which was the right (best, safe, comfortable....) car-seat to get. So I much appreciate the time you spent writing this!
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  #12  
May 30th, 2011, 08:38 AM
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Lurking...this is a great post! I just wanted to add that keeping a blanket in the car is great year round so you can cover the carseat in the summer so it doesn't burn baby's skin. They get so hot!!
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  #13  
May 30th, 2011, 09:01 AM
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Great info!! With my son, I knew nothing about carseats and learned soooo much from these boards! DS is 19 months and still RF until the limits of his seat (40lbs, not sure of height limit, but i know it's not always correct....correct is when their head is within 1 inch of the top of the back).

Around here, when police respond to an accident they are supposed to cut the straps on a carseat so it won't be used again, but i'm not sure how many actually do.
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  #14  
May 30th, 2011, 12:37 PM
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Oh yeah, I meant to ask: Does anyone know anything about the Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite Convertible car seat?

My mom was at Sam's the other day and they have them $138 (I think that was it) and she figured she'd buy one for either me or her (her if I didn't like it). So she told me to look around about stuff for it, but I can't find much on it like what she wants.

I have not found any safety rating things and the like. I do see that a lot of people seem to like it, but have even seen some where they were annoyed with it because it was too complicated to secure to the seat.
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  #15  
May 30th, 2011, 04:55 PM
Olivia&DelilahsMommy's Avatar Married to my soulmate :)
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I actually have the Eddie Bauer 3 in 1 seat for my daughter which is the same thing, and I absolutely hate the seat. I can tell you I would NEVER EVER put a newborn in it either. We keep this seat in my husbands truck since we aren't in his truck as much as my car. I bought it before I knew about car seats thinking it was a great seat and I'd never buy another etc....yeah it's a piece of crap.

I have an Evenflo Triumph Advance in my car for DD and I absolutely LOVE the seat, I would buy a million of them if I could lol...it's easy to install rear facing and forward facing. It has a knob to tighten the harness and it's like a lazy boy recliner. I love the seat and recommend it to everyone. It's great for a newborn, as well as a bigger toddler.
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  #16  
May 30th, 2011, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaska-Su View Post
Oh yeah, I meant to ask: Does anyone know anything about the Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite Convertible car seat?

My mom was at Sam's the other day and they have them $138 (I think that was it) and she figured she'd buy one for either me or her (her if I didn't like it). So she told me to look around about stuff for it, but I can't find much on it like what she wants.

I have not found any safety rating things and the like. I do see that a lot of people seem to like it, but have even seen some where they were annoyed with it because it was too complicated to secure to the seat.
I use this seat but would also never put an infant in it. I used the infant seat and now my toddler is in it.
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  #17  
May 30th, 2011, 07:09 PM
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we decided to go with infant seats and not convertable seats because the starting weight for the infant seat we picked is 4lbs. Im not sure how little our kids will be when they are born.

Also, a lot of fire stations (at least where i live) will check to make sure its installed corectlly. My city does car seat check days.

We went with safty 1st onboard35 air ride,
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  #18  
May 30th, 2011, 10:54 PM
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If the fire department does not do inspections in your area call the police department (not 911) but the local department. Our first convertable was a real pain to get in the car but the police was more then happy to do it for us.
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