Friday, October 21, 2011

Why My Carseat Blankie

He's buckled in to his car seat with nothing behind him or his head, then the blanket is placed on top, and if extra protection is needed she covers him with a over the top car seat cover. The safest way for baby to travel!

It's Stylish, Sassy and Safe! And is the perfect size for travel. 

Here's how I came up with the idea! After having my second Spring time baby, I decided that the full one piece zip up pieces (that went behind my baby) for my car seat were just too warm for my baby. And come to find out later that it wasn't even safe. In New England in March and April you never know if it's going to be 30 or 60 out!

I needed something that was conveniently sized to fit the car seat, so there's no extra bulk in front of the babys face (like a traditional size blanket), and small enough so if my children decided to make it their "blanky" it wouldn't be too big for them to carry around all the time, and the pattern would be something they'd love for ever.

This is the perfect size to fit with most bucket style car seats, and then transfers well to the toddler car seat as a lap blanket. People are even using it in the stroller and bouncy chair. One mother at one of our craft fairs came over with her umbrella stroller and tried it on after a quick look she said "I'll take it", I asked her how she made the decision so quickly her reply "it doesn't hang down and get caught in the wheels of the stroller".  It really does seem to be the perfect size!  

They each have their own, it not only doesn't get caught in the wheels, but they aren't fighting over who has more blanket covering them! This is a lifesaver for us!

 While doing a bit of research I recently came across an article on that supports the use of a smaller blanket for the car seat vs. the big puffy buntings and zip up one piece units that fit around the car seat. Check it out at

It has some really great information for new parents about car seat safety and things to think about when you're deciding how to keep your baby warm and safe in their car seat this Winter.  My sister just asked me for a 2nd My Carseat Blankie now that the weather is cooler for her 5 month old. Layering the blankets is still the safest solution!

Don't forget to log on to  to find a place near you to have your car seat checked, or even professionally installed.

Please visit my web site at to see our great selection of blankies.
Or you can visit us at the Wellesley Marketplace in Wellesley, MA on November 19th!

Happy Fall!!

She's enjoying hers in her bouncy chair.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fly Safely with your child

Between achy ears, close quarters and favorite trinkets left behind, it takes a brave parent to dare to bring a child on a plane. And then there’s the car seat debacle. The first time we flew with our baby, we paid for an extra ticket so we could have him securely fastened in his car seat. Once we managed to maneuver ourself, the baby, the car seat and the diaper bag onto the aircraft, we were horrified that the car seat barely fit. And after a flight attendant gamely helped us wedge it in (with a little sweating and cursing on all our parts), it certainly wasn’t at the ideal angle.

Now there’s a better option. For kids over one year who weigh between 22 and 44 pounds, the car seat struggle is over. The CARES child aviation restraint system is an FAA-approved safety harness that fits on any airline seat. It weighs only one pound, and it’s all you’ll need to bring on board (well, aside from the diaper bag, toys, snacks, etc).

Louise Stoll, Kids Fly Safe  
CARES was invented by Louise Stoll, a grandmother who was horrified to see her pregnant daughter waddle off the airplane lugging both a heavy car seat and a toddler. Now this godsend gadget is a must-have for families that fly. It just slips around the back of the seat, and snaps over your child in seconds. No sweating, no cursing. Phew.

CARES is the solution to safe and easy air travel! 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Let's Talk Bus Safety

So no car seats on the bus, but at least there's seat belts! 

My son started 1st grade this year in another new school. So as a new student in a new school you get to watch the new kid riding the bus video during orientation. We all gathered at the school and watched a bus safety video with our kids. It had a lot of great information and I'm hoping he took in a little of it, but still feel like I need to help him remember some of the tips and information throughout each week. He had a bad experience in our last town as a Kindergartener, so I decided to just pick him up and take him in each day since I knew we were moving again this year.  But now that we're in the town we hope to stay in for a while it's time for him to learn some bus rules. So far we're 7 days in and he's loving riding the bus! 

Here are a few safety tips to help you with your children. 
Walking to the Bus Stop
Always walk on the sidewalk to the bus stop; never run. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left facing traffic.

Go to the bus stop about five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. While at the bus stop, wait quietly in a safe place well away from the road. Do not run and play while waiting

Getting On and Off the Bus
Enter the bus in a line with younger students in front. Hold the handrail while going up and down the stairs.

When entering the bus, go directly to a seat. Remain seated and face forward during the entire ride.

Riding the Bus
Always speak quietly on the bus so the driver will not be distracted. Always be silent when a bus comes to a railroad crossing so the driver can hear if a train is coming.

Never throw things on the bus or out the windows. Keep the aisles clear at all times. Feet should be directly in front of you on the floor and bookbags should be kept on your lap.

Never play with the emergency exits. Large instruments or sports equipment should not block the aisle or emergency exits. If there is an emergency, listen to the driver and follow instructions.

Hands should be kept to yourself at all times while riding on the bus. Fighting and picking on others creates a dangerous bus ride.

Exiting the Bus
If you leave something on the bus, never return to the bus to get it. The driver may not see you come back and she may begin moving the bus. Make sure that drawstrings and other loose objects are secure before getting off the bus so that they do not get caught on the handrail or the door.

Respect the "Danger Zone" which surrounds all sides of the bus. The "Danger Zone" is ten feet wide on all sides of the bus. Always remain 10 steps away from the bus to be out of the "Danger Zone" and where the driver can see you.

Always cross the street in front of the bus. Never go behind the bus. If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver before you attempt to pick it up, so they will know where you are.

Never speak to strangers at the bus stop and never get into the car with a stranger. Always go straight home and tell you parents if a stranger tries to talk to you or pick you up.

Thank you to this wonderful sight for some great information on School Bus Safety.

Watch a quick safety video.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Child Passenger Safety

7 out of 10 kids in safety seats are NOT buckled in properly!
Motor vehicle crashes are the #1 killer of kids!

In 2009, there were nearly 62 million children age 14 and younger in the U.S., 20% of the total resident population. To help keep them safe on the highways, NHTSA advises that children 12 and younger should always sit in rear seats, and that parents should always read child restraint instructions and the vehicle owner manual instructions. 

Parents and caregivers are urged to have their children’s car seats checked on National Seat Check Saturday, September 24. As part of Child Passenger Safety Week (September 18-24), certified child passenger safety technicians will be available to inspect car seats and provide hands-on advice free of charge.  

Visit for a place near you! You don't need to wait for September. Call today!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Driving the Development of Safer Cars

Auto safety has evolved from basic seatbelts and lighting to high-tech safety features that can help drivers avoid accidents altogether. Thanks to continuing innovation, today's vehicles are the safest in history and have contributed to year-over-year decreases in crash-related fatalities and injuries nationwide.

Starting with 2011 models, National Highway Traffic Safety Association has introduced tougher tests and rigorous new 5-Star Safety Ratings that provide more information about vehicle safety and crash avoidance technologies. Because of the more stringent tests, ratings for 2011 and newer vehicles should not be compared to ratings for 1990-2010 models.  Overall vehicle score and frontal crash ratings should ONLY be compared to other vehicles of similar size and weight.

It's simple: More Stars equal Safer Cars. 5-Star Safety Ratings measure the crash worthiness and rollover safety of vehicles. Five stars is the highest rating, one is the lowest. Learn more on

Thursday, July 14, 2011

It's not about age, it's weight.

One of the most important jobs we have as a parent is keeping our child safe when riding in a vehicle.

With my oldest going in to 1st grade and my youngest going in to her last year of preschool (pre-K) it really has me thinking about safety and boosters and when's the right age. But it's really not about age, it's more about height and making sure the safety belt fits properly. I have to keep reminding myself of that simple fact. 

The more I pick up their friends and take them with us the more I realize how lax people get as their children get older and reach school age. I find my son actually crying to me that he doesn't want to use his booster with a back because his friends don't have to use one. Asking me "Why do I have to?" telling me "I feel like a baby" in it.  I have to admit, he may not need the back at this point, but what have I got to loose right. It has that little bit more of side impact protection and gives him a place to rest his head on longer trips.  So he's asked me to take the back off when we're staying around town, but don't most accidents happen within a 5 mile radius of your house?  So I am holding strong on this one and he's using the back. But I have run in to instances when his friends parents, even my own sister have let their 6 or 7 year old sit without any booster.  The general guidelines are 4'9" and/or at least age 8.  The laws vary by state and you can check them out here. They'll even tell you what the fine is on this site.  But most pediatricians will tell you 4'9".  I had an 8 year old ask me if she needed to use a booster in my car the other day and I pulled out the tape measure and said let's see....  nope. She wasn't close to the proper height. She seemed ok with it once she knew why. I think educating our kids and ourselves and not letting us get lazy with car seat use just because our kids are growing up is very important.  A simple backless booster isn't difficult to install or use.  If you need help or more information check out the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration website.  Or if you need a place to check how to properly install yours check out

Friday, June 10, 2011

How to keep my young kids interested in reading all summer.

So my oldest baby is now reading!!  Urgh! Now that we're almost done with Kindergarten and he's reading (Thank You Mrs. Schillhammer!!!)  I'm trying to figure out how to help him not loose this skill he's learned so well in his class.  Besides all the books that we've purchased for him to hopefully do for his math and language skills, now I have to think about books he can actually read. We've put a few in the car for all the many road trips we will hopefully be taking, and we've also started listening to books on CD in the car. We all love this! But I'm thinking that if we can establish a routine that he sits for 20 minutes or so a day and knows that he has to do those things at that time each day it'll be easier to get done.  And I'm thinking we rotate math with reading so he's not overwhelmed.  These are all things we kind of learn as we go with our first child, and becomes easier (I hope) as we get to the next.

So we belong to the Barnes&Noble Kids club. And I get these great emails from them and the last one included a nice article about how to keep them reading throughout the summer. Feel free to check it out for more on this subject.

Here's a bit of what they have to say: During these summer months, it may be helpful to think of yourself not as a backup teacher, but as a supportive coach whose job it is to incorporate reading more fully into your child's life. It's always important to read storybooks to children, but summertime offers a wealth of additional opportunities to introduce them to the world of print.

Getting ready for a vacation is a great time to play memory games, which help children to focus on details, categorize information, and learn to think more systematically-all important reading readiness skills. Here's a game to try: One person begins, "We're going a trip and we're taking our pajamas." The next person adds, "We're going on a trip and we're taking our pajamas and a teddy bear." Keep taking turns, repeating all the previously mentioned items and adding others - until it gets just too silly to continue. Or, you might play an alphabet version of the memory game, starting with "a" for apple, continuing with 'b' for blackberries, and so on.   The full article is online.

When I read this it reminds me of all the great apps I've found for our iPad.  If you use iTunes just do a search for educational apps or math apps. I recently brought my iPad and iPod in to my sons kindergarten class and the kids were doing math flash cards and SO excited about it. The teacher was excited too because it was just another way for them to practice their math. My sons favorite app this week is called "Math Ninja".  It's part game, part math.  He LOVES it! Thanks apple!! And they're all FREE!

If you have any tips or things that have been successful for you please share them. We all have the same goal. Keep our kids learning, happy and enjoying the summer!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Summer learning?

Summer vacation is quickly approaching and me with my first one in school has got me wondering. Will my kindergardener "forget" everything he is learning right now in the 10 weeks he has off? What should I be reviewing with him on a regular basis each week? Is simply having him read to me each day enough?  He's made such progress with his reading and math that I'd hate for him to loose momentum.

Yesterday our school actually sent out a link to a program they recommend called Summer Skills.  It looks like a great idea. Twenty minutes a day, 3 times a week. Seems like a doable option!  In my sons classroom during his Explore Time the teacher puts these worksheets out called Drop In the Bucket. She saw another teacher do and she liked them so she puts them out as an option for the kids to do, and my son LOVES them! They are put out by a company called Frog Publications. And I'm tempted to grab those as well, but I don't want to overload my poor son, it is after all summer vacation right. Then there's always the Kumon Books. My kids LOVE the mazes and the letter books. And now my son is working on the Ryming Words and the a Maze book.  These are great tools we use every week in our house and actually leave out on our arts and crafts table. My 4 year old loves that she has her own workbook just like her brother.  

There are so many options! It can make a parent of a new school aged child go crazy if we think about it too much. If you're interested in what your child should be doing don't hesitate to ask your teacher.
They will direct you to an option that's great for you.

Some of these books can get pricey, but if you keep looking you're sure to find something in your budget. I was at Barnes&Noble the other day. The one here in Vermont has a HUGE learning section! Between workbooks and games it's sure to keep us busy in our house all summer!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Teacher Appreciation Week 2011: 2nd – 6th May

Teacher Appreciation Week 2011: 2nd – 6th MayIf you appreciate the knowledge you have acquired over the years thanks to your teachers, Teacher Appreciation week which lasts from the 2nd till the 6th May 2011, is the week in which you can show your gratitude. Dedicated to the celebration of your favourite teachers worldwide, it is a week in which you can reward the teacher of your choice with a small gift. These come in different shapes and sizes, depending on the ideas of the students who offer gifts to their teachers. Teacher appreciation week is the perfect time in the year to take a moment to show your appreciation to teachers for all the effort they put in each day to teach and for the education that we receive thanks to them.  Teacher appreciation week 2011 will include lots of fun events and activities and it is a great opportunity to increase interaction between teachers and students. Most schools have their own way of celebrating it, so find out more by asking your professors or local PTA or PTO! I know in our school the parents are organizing a lunch for the teachers and we're each bringing in a home made soup or salad for them to enjoy.  In years past we've brought each teacher a small annual for their garden.  It's up to you, but any acknowledgment is good. And don't forget the music, art and PE teachers. They all have a part in our childs life.

You can read more on Teacher Appreciation Week here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bicycle Car Seats

When my children were younger I would take them out with me in the jogger, and then as they got older bike rides sounded like a great idea, and we saw lots of people doing it, we just never really made the plunge to putting that extra seat on the back.  But with Spring here it's got me thinking about it again. My youngest (just turned 4) sees the kids on the back of their parents bikes and wants to do it as well, but I keep trying to explain to her she is just to old at this point. So I've done a little bit of online research on the subject and thought I'd share. After all it is basically a car seat for your bike right! 

The primary determinant of when an infant can join his or her parents on bike rides is the strength of the the child's neck.  Because of the jostling and the additional weight of a helmet (8-10 oz.), this is quite a few months after a baby can first hold their head up.  Note: Some jurisdictions have laws requiring passengers on bicycles to be at least one year old.  And, most jurisdictions have laws requiring children to wear helmet, even when they are riding in a trailer.

Usually by age 12 months parents can start checking with your child's physician to see if they have the neck development to safely go for a bike ride.  Most toddlers' neck and shoulder muscles can tolerate the weight of a helmet and absorb shock from bumps in the road at 1 years old. [We do know that infants in Africa travel by bike.  They are tied tightly to their mothers back, with their heads well supported.]

We know of no comprehensive study on the best method to carry an infant on a bike and remember there are risks associated with all of them..   I saw a nice break down of the risks on this web site International Bicycle Fund. You can see what's right for your family the bike seat or the trailer. And remember they should ALWAYS wear a helmet.

Thank you to the International Bicycle Fund for this great information!

Below is a great quick glance guide of things to think about when using a car seat on the back of a bike. I grabbed this off the Consumer Product Safety Commisions website. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Scootering Safely

As my oldest grows from his toddler car seat to his booster, he also becomes more active and safety becomes something we have to think about in everything he does. One of his FAVORITE things to do is ride his scooter! And what I love about the scooter is that it's so portable. We can fold it up and take it everywhere, and we do.  With Spring in the air and sunshine actually out up here in Vermont... I thought I might take a moment and remind of some of the things we should think about when riding a scooter.  Below is a great image I actually borrowed from the Consumer Product Safety Commisions website. 

Last year, over 40,000 people were taken to the hospital emergency rooms in the U.S. because of injuries from riding scooters. Most of the injuries were kids under 15!

You can find more Kid Safety Information on the CSPS website!

Happy Spring!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Never leave your child alone in your car.

With the warmer weather coming....  at least I think it is up here in Vermont! I thought I'd post a quick reminder about leaving kids in the car.  There seems to always be one horrible and inevitable news story early in the season that a child has died from heat stroke while in a vehicle.

It has happened in February with temperatures in the low 70’s.  But typically around the Ides of March we hear of the first event of the year – a disturbing, horrific incident of an infant or toddler dying from being trapped in a sweltering car.

The risks and causes of these hyperthermia deaths are well-known, and this tragic mishap occurred 49 times in 2010 – the worst year since records have been kept.

I found another great website with some safe tips for children in all aspects of your life at

Friday, April 8, 2011

Ultimate Blog Party!

Hey there, party goers — I’m so happy to see you!  It’s exciting to have party guests over here for the Ultimate Blog Party 2011
Okay, I’m late to the party but I just heard about it and had to jump in!
My blog is mostly just about car seats and safety while traveling, with a little bit of helping mom gadgets mixed in. But all are used while traveling with your little ones either in the car seat or stroller.  I’m a stay and work at home mom so you’re sure to catch a few “mommy blog” style posts thrown in here and there. I do try to keep it related to traveling somehow though. :) 

A bit about me and my family. Recently we made the move from Massachusetts to Vermont and everyone is adjusting well! We've really found a wonderful place to live and really enjoy the outdoors. I recently started being able to stay home with my children full time while doing my My Carseat Blankie business and a freelance graphic design business on the side and it's wonderful!  What a change for us all, but wonderful! Today for instance we spent 4 hours outside just enjoying the sunshine and laughing and then tonight I'm making up for it with a bit of work time after they go to bed. But I wouldn't change it for the world. I'm just enjoying it all right now! 

Thanks for reading my blog!

Car seat for preemie and low birth weight infants.

Take a look at this great product from Child Source! This transportation solution enables you to bring your newborn home earlier than ever before! Designed for low birth-weight and small infants weighing less than 9lbs and less than 21.5" long.  

  • Meets FMVSS213 - Improved vehicle installation system ensures a more secure fit.
  • Unique design allows infant to be positioned on back, stomach or side.
  • Patented, wrap-around harness creates added protection during a sudden stop or crash.
  • Five-degree surface raises infant's head to facilitate breathing.
  • Deep, fully padded shell combines impact protection with ventilation.

Take a look at online.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Mommy Hook!

This is one of those things that when I see it I say "why didn't I think of that"!

It's basically taking an item that already exists and repurposing it for another use. A great use!  We've used these in rock climbing, now they have added a rubber grip and renamed it (not knocking the invention at all)!  You simply clip it to the handle of your stroller and then hook all the bags on to it so they don't fall off. It's made out of a durable heavy duty aluminum and not the cheap plastic most other gadgets are made out of.  Great idea!

You can visit their website for retailers that sell it at

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fly safely with your child.

CARES looks like a nice solution to safe and easy flying with children!

CARES, the Child Aviation Restraint System, is the only harness type child aviation safety restraint  ever certified for airplane travel by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

is an elegantly designed belt and buckle device for kids 22-44 pounds  that is easy to use and creates a safe airplane seat for your child without the hassle of carrying a heavy car seat with you.

CARES weighs just 1 pound and fits into a 6" stuff sack
!  It is simple to install, adjustable to virtually any size airplane seat, and keeps your child as safe as a car seat would.

is made of the same industrial-strength webbing as your own seat belt.  It is engineered and manufactured by AmSafe Aviation, the world's foremost manufacturer of airline seat belts.

Need your car seat at the end of the trip?  Check it as luggage  -- take
CARES on board in your pocket for a safe airplane seat for your child and a hassle free trip for you!

Check it out at:  Kids Fly Safe

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

National Public Health Week

April 4 - 11, 2011 is National Public Health Week

It only takes a moment for an injury to happen – a fall on a stair, a moment’s glance away from the road, a biking or sports-related injury, a medication mix-up. But it also takes just a moment to protect against injuries and make communities safer. The potential for injury is all around us. Each year, nearly 150,000 people die from injuries, and almost 30 million people are injured seriously enough to go to the emergency room.

Injuries are not "accidents", and we can prevent them from happening. Taking actions such as wearing a seatbelt, properly installing and using child safety seats, wearing a helmet and storing cleaning supplies in locked cabinets are important ways to proactively promote safety and prevent injuries.

During National Public Health Week 2011, the American Public Health Association (APHA) needs your help to educate Americans that "Safety is No Accident". Together, we can help Americans live injury-free in all areas of life: at work, at home, at play, in your community and anywhere people are on the move. We all need to do our part to prevent injuries and violence in our communities. Join us as we work together to create a safer and healthier nation.

Thanks to the American Public Health Association for the wonderful information. 
You can find even more on their website at:

Monday, April 4, 2011

Do you have a favorite car seat?

If I was switching over from the infant seat to a toddler seat here are a couple favorites I might choose and why. There are so many more choices now then even just a few years ago!

The Britax Boulevard sets the industry standard for safety.  A five point harness, side impact wings, and both the HUGS AND LATCH systems make this one hard to beat.  If there is no price too high for your child’s safety or your own peace of mind, stop searching here. You can use it rear facing until 40 lbs! (My little girl is 4 and weighs only 37 lbs.). And the forward facing until 70lbs. Britax also has a wonderful quick-adjust harness which I'm not sure most people understand until you actually have used it on a regular basis. But trust me it's great!


The Sunshine Kids Radien80. This one folds well, has a great shoulder strap,  and is certified for use on aircraft.  It’s narrow width lends it to many uses – in addition to air travel. And fits 3 across in the back seat of our SUV much easier then others. This is a top-notch choice when used in forward-facing capacity.  You can use it rear facing until 45 lbs. and forward facing until 80 lbs.   The fact that you can be safe and still fit 3 across is great because once your kids are in pre-K and Kindergarten the play dates begin and with 2 kids I still have 3 car seats in the car because of how often we have an extra child in our car. 

The Britax Marathon is durable, comfortable, and considered one of the best forward-facing convertible car seats in the industry. If the comfort of your child is your highest concern, your search may be over.  And it's a bit more affordable then the Boulevard. It's good for rear facing up to 35 lbs. and forward facing up to 65 lbs. (My 6 year old boy only weighs 47 lbs.)  If this car seat was an option for us when he was younger he'd still be in it! But we had a smaller sedan at the time and he was 20 lbs at 6 months so we used the Britax Roundabout since it fit rear facing nicely in our car.

Here are just a few places you can check out reviews from:

I also came across this nice article on on how to buy a car seat.

And remember you can check to find a car seat installation location near you!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Perfect fit for the stroller!

This blankie doesn't get caught in the wheels while strolling around. It really is the perfect travel size!

My Carseat Blankie®, was originally designed for the car seat. It works just as well with the stroller. One of our moms that owns one made this observation for us in the first few months of selling out at craft fairs out in Gloucester, MA, and it has been a huge selling point since then! Thank you to whoever that was!! She walked up to the table, took a sample and placed it on her baby in the stroller and that was it. Sold she said, "now I don't have to worry about it getting caught in the wheels".

You can SAVE 20% on your own My Carseat Blankie using coupon code: BLOG at check out at

Thursday, March 31, 2011

When to switch to a booster?

Happy April Fools!

Buckling up the right way on every ride is no Fools Joke. It's the single most important thing a family can do to stay safe in the car. But finding the safest way for each member of the family to ride can be confusing if you don’t have the right information.

Once they outgrow their forward-facing car seat with a harness, it's time to travel on a BOOSTER SEAT ... but still in the rear seat. They should ride in the back seat in booster seats until they are at least 8 years old, unless they are 4 feet 9 inches tall, at which point they should fit properly in a seat belt.

Follow your car seat manufacturer's instructions and your vehicle owner's manual on how to install. And you can always get help from a local certified technician for FREE. Find a technician in your area at

A few questions to think about when you think you are ready: If you answer "yes" to any of these you probably are:
  • Does your child exceed the car seat’s height or weight limits?
  • Are your child’s shoulders above the car seat’s top harness slots?
  • Are the tops of your child’s ears above the top of the car seat?
Here's a link to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's top picks for boosters.

Don't forget to check for recalls and expiration dates.
One important thing you can do on a regular basis is check to inquire about any recalls or safety notices on child safety seats. AND Avoid purchasing safety seats from yard sales, flea markets and second hand stores or when there is no known history of the seat. I know in my house we love hand me downs, just remember not for car seats. You can check the expiration date on your car seat. Yes, car seats do expire. To find yours check your side label for the expiration date, if you can't find it, find the date of manufacture and consult your car seat manufacturers manual. There are a few car seats that go for 10 years, but most are 6 years.

You can find out more at: OR National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

You can review the car seat safety laws in your specific state here:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Blankie Clip

What are your thoughts?

While I'm out at the craft fairs with the
My Carseat Blankie® every once and a while some one will ask me if there's a clip to keep the blanket on the car seat. Most of the time the blanket is small enough that it doesn't really go anywhere and sits nicely on a car seat or a stroller, but I still look for something for those that ask. While I haven't seen anything like this in the stores I often think wouldn't that be a great idea. Sort of like the same clips you use on your toddlers gloves to clip them to the sleeves of their jackets in the winter, but a bit longer. While surfing the web I came across something I thought might be a good match up with My Carseat Blankie. Yummy Dummy Clips. She has a bunch of different types of useful clips.

Let me know what you think about the clip, or if you have any other ideas. I don't typically have a problem with my blankets falling off. Because the size is not so overwhelming the kids usually kept this one on. But I'd love to know what you think?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Safe Solution to wind and cold protection in an infant seat

Put a My Carseat Blankie, under a car seat cover that does NOT go behind the baby. But make sure you place it on after you buckle the harness. My sister found this wonderful car seat cover is made by Soothe Time™ it just wraps around the top of the car seat. It has a full zip on the bottom and the top. And it has a water resistant outer shell and a soft flannel inside! She uses it with my nephews My Carseat Blankie all winter long.

I've seen a few others at BabiesRUs from J.J.Cole, and Especially For Baby. As long as it's just attaching to to the top and not going behind the baby you are using a safe solution.

The Safe Solution: Car Seat Safety Experts will tell you NOTHING should ever be behind a baby or between the harness, just strap them in and then bundle them up.

You can view what different experts have to say here:

Safety Squad

Babies now sit rear facing until age 2.

A press release dated: Monday, March 21 , 2011 12:01 am (ET)

New advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) will change the way many parents buckle up their children for a drive.

In a new policy published in the April 2011 issue of Pediatrics (published online March 21), the AAP advises parents to keep their toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat. It also advises that most children will need to ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until they have reached 4 feet 9 inches tall and are between 8 and 12 years of age.

The previous policy, from 2002, advised that it is safest for infants and toddlers to ride rear-facing up to the limits of the car seat, but it also cited age 12 months and 20 pounds as a minimum. As a result, many parents turned the seat to face the front of the car when their child celebrated his or her first birthday. (I know I did). But my kid were also 20 lbs by the time they were 6 months old! And were extremely excited when they hit their 1st birthday and I turned them around. The car ride seemed like a whole new experience, and more pleasant. But I understand their findings and research.

Glad not to be in that toddler phase, in my house we are entering the booster phase. And it amazes me the amount of people that will put their child in to a booster when they are not ready. My 4 year old is begging me to be in a car seat like her 6 year old brother, and I keep telling her that when she goes to kindergarten (hoping she's 40lbs by then) she can have a booster with a back and big wings to protect her head... yes that's me "over protective" mom with the Sunshine Kids booster that is larger then her car seat with the 5 pt. harness. It's a bit large and bulky, but that's the one a car seat safety person had recommended at the time. And we have an SUV so I figured perfect for me! Had I known what I know now when I was switching my kids from the infant seat to the harness seat I might have chosen something different. I love the Sunshine Kids Radient, it has the harness up to 45 lbs. then you can use it as a booster as well. AND it fits 3 across nicely in a back seat. I didn't think I'd need 3 across in a seat with only 2 kids, but when they get to kindergarten and you start picking friends up for play dates you NEED 3 across.

Just a quick note on when you can safely switch your child to a booster seat. If he/she is at least 4 years old and she weighs 40 pounds or more or has grown too tall for her car seat (when his/her shoulders are higher than the top set of harness-strap slots in the car seat's back). But in my house I tell them Kindergarten (or age 5). A lot of the newer car seats let you use the 5 pt. harness until 65 lbs. and the 5 pt harness is safest. See the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for their guidelines.

For infant car seats, I've always found Graco to make a wonderful well made car seat at a reasonable price. They make this one particular I have liked since my sister had her baby. The Graco 32 car seat. It's for infants up to 32 lbs. and 32 inches. Perfect with the new recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. My 4 year old is barely 35 lbs. So the 32 lb. limit is great for my family since we all seem to have extra large babies.

And remember having your car seat safely installed is extremely important and overlooked the most. will help you find a place near you that will install it safely for FREE.


Child Safety Tips from National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations.

Consumer Search opinion on best rated car seats.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ratings on Best Boosters for 2011.

Have your car seat checked for proper installation each time you move to then next level at