Thursday, June 7th, 2012
It’s June and my thoughts are turning to…road trips! My little Brooklynites don’t spend a lot of time in cars like all of their suburban friends. Summer—when we start to drive around on weekends and do some big drives across several states—is always when we reevaluate what they’re sitting in.
Here are the current guidelines. Your baby needs to be in a car seat from birth, and that car seat should stay rear-facing as long as possible, ideally up to the second birthday. At American Baby we generally recommend you begin with an infant car seat, because 1) It’s shaped for a tiny person’s body and 2) It’s so convenient, because you can easily take it in and out of the car. The base stays in the back of your car, but the seat itself snaps out and is easy to tote around.
Newborns can start right out in a convertible car seat, facing the rear. You save money going that route for sure. The new Evenflo Symphony DLX, for instance, is meant to hold a baby from 5 to 40 pounds rear-facing, and a child all the way up to 65 pounds forward-facing. Most of the time, though, we see families switching to these big convertible car seats when their baby has outgrown the infant seat. The convertible seat has to stay installed in the car; you don’t want to be taking it in and out all the time.
Most people, when they ask me about a car seat, want to know which is the safest one. But all the car seats on the market that have a JPMA certification stamp have to pass the same safety tests. Choosing a car seat, then, becomes about ease of use. I like the Symphony because of the infinite-adust harness straps; they’re so easy to move as your baby grows, or even as he comes in and out of bulky winter clothing. It’s easy to recline the seat, and to adjust the headrest as well. Finally, I give Evenflo kudos for having some of the most helpful car-seat installation videos. They don’t replace reading the manual, but watching a video certainly helps when you’re new to the car seat world!
To help kick off road-trip season, Evenflo will give one Symphony DLX away to someone who posts a comment here. It’s worth $229! Tell me where you’re driving your family to this summer. Here’s a picture of the payoff my kids get after I drive them for 8 hours: Sitting on Pap’s tractor in his backyard!
You have until the end of the day on Wednesday, June 13th to comment and can post up to once a day. Read all the official rules here. Goody luck!
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