Baby Strollers and Car Seats – Did you know they combine?

Having a baby means going everywhere together, they depend on you since they can’t be mobile by themselves yet! So, maybe you’ve got the infant car seat already, maybe you are still researching. But did you know, baby strollers and car seats can combine, and be sold separately or together?

Chicco Brand Travel Systems

chicco-seat-stroller-comboChicco offers many travel systems, and their website is very easy to navigate and help you through the process. They have a tool that will ask you questions and get you recommendations on what you need. I highly recommend if you are just starting the research on travel systems, or really don’t know where to start.

The Bravo Travel Systems are a personal recommendation of mine. These strollers are very easy to fold and carry. Out of all the brands, these strollers seem to fold up the most compact if taking up space is a concern for you.

All the KeyFit, KeyFit 30 and Fit 2 infant car seats fit into the stroller via the child tray, and it clicks right in. Very simple.

Then, once your baby is bigger, the stroller has multi-positioning reclining backrest, a canopy, tray with 2 cup holders, and an extra seat cushion. There is also a parent tray with 2 cup holders and a storage compartment. It has a padded push-handle with 3 height positions (awesome idea, all moms aren’t the same height!), and an all-wheel suspension for a smooth ride.

This stroller can fit your child up to 50 pounds.

Baby Trend Travel System

Amazon’s Choice of baby stroller and car seat combination is Baby Trend Expedition Jogger. There are 10 different color options, if that is important to you!

This is the travel system that I purchased a few years ago. The big difference between this one and the Chicco one, is the wheels. This stroller is considered a “jogger”, meaning it has 3 wheels, and they have air in them like bicycle tires, it is made for all terrains. I live on gravel roads, so this really worked better over having four smaller wheels.

It is recommended that if you are going to use the stroller for jogging/running, that you don’t do this with the infant car seat attached. This is for when your baby is big enough to be strapped in the 5-point harness system in the stroller.

Any of the Baby Trend Flex-Loc infant seats are compatible with the stroller. They click into the child tray and release with the push of a button.

Features of this stroller include: lockable swivel front wheel, all-terrain tires, parent tray, a children’s tray with 2 cup holders, a large storage basket, extra wide push handle, adjustable canopy with sunroof, 5-point safety harness, and reflectors on the footrest.

Evenflo Pivot Modular Travel System

The Evenflo Pivot Modular System is one of the best-selling baby stroller and car seat combos out there. There are 4 color varieties from what I can find.

While this stroller does have 4 wheels, Evenflo says they are “soft, but sturdy cruiser tires”. The rear tires are larger than the front.

This system is different than the first two in that the stroller’s frame has 6 modes of use. It converts from an infant car seat frame stroller, to stroller seat, and also to carriage mode. It really is a luxury travel system!

The system comes with Evenflo’s Rollover Tested SafeMax infant seat. One of the few car seats to ever be tested for rollover impact, compared to just an impact accident.

The maximum weight for this stroller is 35 pounds.

Conclusion

These systems all include an infant car seat, one base, and the stroller. Keep in mind, if you have already purchased an infant car seat, there is probably a stroller to accommodate it! You don’t have to purchase a new seat just to get a stroller.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Graco Extend2Fit Car Seat Review – Is it the Best Choice?

I’ve chosen to review the Graco Extend2Fit for a couple of reasons. One, is listed as Amazon’s Choice under baby car seat reviews. Two, it is the seat that I personally purchased for my son 18 months ago. So I wanted to see if almost two years later, it still stands up to its name, and did I make the best choice?

Graco Extend2Fit Car Seat

Price: $141.99 (on Amazon) Walmart is the only store that has the same price tag. Most online retailers have this car seat listed at $179.99.

Colors: There is a variety of six different color choices, depending on where you shop. Pictured is the Gotham color choice.graco-extend2fit

Warranty: You can purchase a 3-Year Warranty for $16. It will cover all mechanical failures, 100% parts and labor, free shipping on all repairs, and 24/7 Customer Support.

Details

The Extend2Fit is a convertible car seat. It can support a baby rear facing from 4-50 pounds, and then forward facing from 22-65 pounds.

The seat padding is removable and machine washable and this is handy! My son has crushed up puffs and breakfast bar crumbs everywhere.

I was told that ND law states that a child must be 30 pounds or at least 2 years of age before becoming forward facing.

My son is pretty tall for his age, so the best feature I like about this seat is the extending parts. He has plenty of head and leg room to keep growing until he hits the 30 pound mark. I do not have it extended all the way, we are on position 3 of 4. The headrest has 10 different positions, and we are on 7. So it gives you quite a bit more room!

graco-leg-roomThere are 6 different recline options. 3 for facing each direction. This is great for those babies who prefer to nap on car rides, or those that want to try to see out the window. It’s all for their comfort.

The harness system straps move up and down with the extension of the headrest. So there is no re-threading the straps with each adjustment. It is a 5 point harness system, easy to use and very secure for your child.

Installing this seat is very easy. I have the anchors in my car, so I just have to use the LATCH system to click the seat into place. There is an easy to read level bubble on the side as well.

Another great feature that you don’t always think about, is the cup holders! They get a lot of use in my car. We take our water cup with us, it can hold toys, it can hold snacks, or whatever my child decides to bring with for the ride. Then whatever he needs, is within arms reach, and we don’t have to fuss and pull over and search for things.

This seat weighs 24 pounds. It is not super convenient to move between vehicles, as once it gets extended, it is obviously bigger. But with the easy install, it isn’t hard to move it around, just a bit bulky.

Specs:

This car seat has a 10-year expiration date. I like this, as I can have a second child and re-use it instead of having to purchase another seat.

Rear facing maximum weight limit is 50 pounds. You can have your child rear facing for much longer than other seats.

Front facing minimum weight is 22 pounds.

Its capacity is 65 pounds, and 49 inches in height. This seat can be used for years, until your child needs just a booster!

Online reviews rate this car seat at 4.6 out of 5 stars.

Rigorously crash tested to meet US Standards, has also been side impact tested.

 

Conclusion

18 months later, I am still very thrilled with my car seat purchase. My son really does seem comfortable on the car rides, which makes us both happy. It really seems worth its money, considering I will probably get another few years use out of it before having to upgrade to the booster seat. Let’s say 5 years of use, that’s only costing me about $30 a year!

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Car Seat Bases – A Second Helper

Graco SnugFit Base

I talked about how when buying an infant car seat, it comes as a carrier and all you have to do is click the seat into the base in your vehicle. You can buy a second base for another vehicle, or to have as an extra for Grandma’s, for a fairly cheap price. Honestly, it is much easier to have a second one installed and just have to click and go, rather than uninstall and move around the one base. It will help you keep your sanity to not have to worry about moving around two parts instead of just your baby in the carrier.

Graco SnugFit Base

 

Above is the Graco SnugFit base, which I reviewed the car seat base and carrier for in my previous post. Most brands of seats will offer a reasonably priced base only, just be sure that your car seat is mentioned in their information for compatibility. 

 

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Baby Car Seat Reviews

Here is a list of the top baby car seat reviews currently in 2018. I will keep it updated as often as I can. I hope this will make you feel that you are making the safest purchase for your baby!

Graco SnugRide 35

The Graco SnugRide Click Connect has been rigorously crash-tested and is one of the highest rated baby car seats. It has impact-absorbing foam all around, and has a hassle-free installation. They say “CLICK, that’s the sound of secure install”. There is also an easy to read level indicator, taking out the guesswork of installation.

It is lightweight, easy to transport between car to stroller to home and back. This car seat is compatible with many of Graco’s strollers, making it easy for you to build your own travel system that fits your needs.

This seat will fit a baby weighing between 4-35 pounds, and up to 32″ tall. It is available to purchase at Kohl’s, Target, Amazon, and almost any big outlet store and comes in three color options.

Chicco Keyfit 30

This baby car seat has outstanding reviews. It is actually the #1 rated infant car seat currently. The base has ReclineSure leveling foot and two RideRight bubble level-indicators to make sure your seat is installed properly. It is also equipped with the best energy absorbing foam for impact protection. It has a one-hand release to make it easy to remove the seat from the base, 5 point harness with one-pull tightener, a removable canopy, and a smooth underside to help protect your vehicle.

 

Chicco has also developed this car seat to be compatible with multiple strollers from their brand.

This baby car seat is for use of babies weighing between 4-30 pounds, and up to 30″ tall. It is available for purchase at Chicco.com, Amazon, Target, and most outlet stores.

UPPAbaby Mesa

The UPPA baby Mesa infant car seat is another well-reviewed car seat. This one is pricier than the first two, about $100 more.

It has a smart secure system that allows the seat to be installed in seconds. It also has adjustable no-rethread headrest with side impact protection, and has storage pockets for the harness buckles. It also is made of all flame retardant materials, wool mostly, which is where the price difference comes in. These seats have a 7-year expiration date, making them easy to use for more than one child.

It will attach to two of the UPPAbaby brand strollers without adapters.

This seat is for babies weighing between 4-35 pounds, and up to 32″ inches in height. It is available from  Amazon, buybuybaby.com, and online at Target.

There are plenty of baby car seat reviews out there, and lots of brands to choose from. I hope I can help put your mind at ease with these three great options for your baby!

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Child Car Seat Accessories – Here to help you!

After purchasing your choice of car seat, then what? Here is a list of some child car seat accessories that can be helpful to you, your vehicle, your child, or all of the above!

Seat Protector

These mats will save your vehicles seat for years to come. They are non-slip, and fit under an infant seat all the way through a high back booster seat. Car Seat Protector ExampleThe LATCH anchors can easily fit around them. It will help prevent scratches and dents in your seat, and also be easier to clean. Some varieties come with mesh pockets for extra storage.

Continue reading “Child Car Seat Accessories – Here to help you!”

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Car Seat Safety – Help with Traveling

While most car seats have the same type of harness set up, it doesn’t hurt to have some information on how to properly buckle your child in. Car seat safety is important, you want to keep your bundle of joy tucked in correctly!

Infant Carrier Safety

Here are some tips for your babies very first car seat.

  • Don’t use your infant carrier as a replacement for a crib. Once you are home, remove your baby from the car seat and place them in their crib or bassinet. This will reduce the chances of SIDS occurring.
  • Don’t place your carrier on the top of a shopping cart, where a toddler would sit. Place the carrier in the big part of the cart. You could easily hit a bump or swerve and cause the carrier and you baby to fall.
  • Don’t place hanging toys from the carrier handle in the car. The toys could become flying objects in an accident and cause injuries.
  • Keep your baby fully buckled in, even when outside of the vehicle. Babies can wiggle and squirm enough that they could cause the carrier to rock and then roll them out of it.

Rear Facing Seating

Babies are required to sit in a rear facing car seat until the age of 2. Some states say the age of 2, or 30 pounds. State law varies. Manufacturers should also have in their instruction book their own recommendation on what height and weight their seat can accommodate to. There is no negative effect to keeping them in a rear facing seat as long as possible. Rear Facing Car Seat Image from the CDCBabies spines are still developing, and they could not sustain an accident in a front facing position, it could be fatal. The seat in a rear facing position, cradles their backs and protects them from harm, and keeps them safer.

Always put your rear facing seat in the back seat of your vehicle. Any seats in the front can cause serious damage to your growing baby if hit with an air bag.

Car seats come with harnesses, that can be re positioned as your child grows. There should be a variety of slots to remove the straps and move them up as they get taller. Some tips for using the harness on your child are as follows:

  • The shoulder straps must be at or below your child’s shoulders.
  • The straps should always lay flat without any twists in them.
  • The harness must be snug. You should only be able to place one finger under the straps between them and your child. You should not be able to pinch the straps into a fold once snug.
  • The top of the chest clip should be parallel with their armpits.

Common Mistakes

Some common mistakes with car seats are:

  • Placing your car seat in the wrong spot. Again, car seats must always be placed in the rear of the vehicle. If it is in the front, the air bag could deploy and hit the back of the seat, causing your babies head and spine to be injured. The best place is the center of the back seat, but on the sides is fine.
  • Having your child relined at the incorrect angle. The car seats will come with a “bubble” indicating the safest recline for your child. Babies need to be semi reclined to help keep their airways opened. As your child grows, the recline angle will also change. Be sure to read the manufacturers instructions on where the indicator is located.
  • Placing a heavy coat or blanket on your child. The fewer layers between your child and the car seat, the safer they will be. You can place a blanket over them once they are securely fastened in the seat.
  • Moving to a forward facing seat too soon. I know you want to be able to see and interact with you baby, but you want to keep them rear facing as long as possible.

Front Facing Seats

Front Facing Car Seat with Harness

Once your child is big enough for the front facing seat, be sure to use the harness, and also the tether strap. This strap should hook over the back seat of your vehicle. Refer to your owner’s manual if you don’t see this latch in your car.

As your child grows, you will eventually be able to remove the harness, and use the seat belt with the seat to properly latch them in.

Car Seat Safety – There is always help!

It is super important to properly install and use your car seats. After all, your babies life depends on it. Most hospitals or clinics will offer a car seat check up. Here, someone can help you check that you have installed the seat correctly, as well as teach you how to harness your baby in. These clinics will occasionally also offer a trade in on your seat when it’s time, and give you a discount on your next seat. They do this to ensure proper recycling of car seats, and to be sure no expired ones are being used unsafely. Be sure to ask your nurse if you have any questions, or would like some extra help.

 

 

 

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