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