If you read about car seats on social media, you've probably noticed some shares lately about new LATCH rules. I've spotted some misinformation in some of the posts I've seen, and some panic about whether or not a child's car seat will be as safe without using the LATCH installation. Don't panic just yet, though. You can still use LATCH to install your child's car seat, as long as you're following manufacturer's instructions for the car seat and the vehicle. If you buy a new car seat after February, you'll need to learn about the new rules covering lower anchors. Luckily, new labeling requirements should help you decide when to use the lower anchors and when to switch to the seat belt.
I've loved babywearing with my kids. It's so convenient to be able to keep baby close to you in a baby carrier while still being able to move around, enjoy the outdoors without your arms feeling like they'll fall off, or get a few things done in the house while still snuggling your baby.
One of the best options available for newborns is the ErgoBaby Bundle of Joy carrier package. This package includes the ErgoBaby Original carrier, which is one of the most popular soft structured carriers available, with an infant insert so you can begin using the Ergo for a newborn. You can take a look at the pros and cons of this baby carrier in my ErgoBaby Review.
Some parents really like a baby wrap carrier for newborns and young infants. The Moby Wrap is one of the best-known carriers of this style. Wraps are often made of a stretchy knit material, though, which can begin to feel uncomfortable as baby gets heavier. That's when parents tend to turn to a sturdy woven carrier such as the Ergo or a mei tai.
Regardless of which baby carrier style you choose, you must read the instructions and follow age and weight limits from the manufacturer. For more babywearing safety information, check out these Baby Carrier Safety Tips.
A stylish hat is an important part of your baby's winter wardrobe! Zooni hats are an adorable way to keep baby's head toasty on chilly days. These cotton and polyester hats have a fuzzy, wild look thanks to the loops and tails of yarn that stick out all over the top. Several bright, baby-friendly colors are available, as are some Zooni hats with animal faces on top. Sizes extra-small through large are available to fit almost any baby or toddler.
- Zooni Hats (Compare Prices on Pricegrabber.com)
Need gift ideas for the littlest recipients on your list? The 2013 edition of my Holiday Gift Guide is full of fantastic options, from big gifts to go under the trees to budget presents and stocking stuffers. If this is your baby's first Christmas, I've also chosen some of the best personalized gifts to mark the occasion.
If you've used very many baby or toddler products so far, you probably have some favorites, and some not-so-favorites. Share your own baby products reviews below, or help other new parents out with tips and tricks for using or caring their baby gear. I'd love to hear from you!
- Review Your Baby's Crib
- How Do You Wash Your Cloth Diapers?
- Share Your Newborn Essentials
- Review Your Stroller
- What Are the Best Potty Training Products?
- Share Your Nursery Photos
- Review Your Car Seat
- Baby Gear You Won't Buy Again
- How Do You Save Money On Baby Gear?
- Your Favorite Baby Registry Items
Perhaps it's obvious from that headline, but I'm a little excited to dig into some pie this holiday weekend. Are you traveling with your family for the holidays? Hitting the road, or the skies, with a baby or toddler presents some challenges and requires a bit more packing, but taking those littles along can also be loads of fun. If you're planning trips by air, you'll find advice in my Air Travel Tips for Parents of Babies & Toddlers.
What are your favorites? You can share them here: Readers' Baby Travel Must-Haves.
Plum Organics has issued a voluntary recall of some pouch baby foods from the company's Baby Stage 2, Tots Mish Mash, and Kids lines. A manufacturing defect could result in the food pouches spoiling. The spoilage would probably cause the pouches to swell and look different than unspoiled pouches, but to be safe, the company is recalling all pouches with certain date codes.
To see if your Plum Organics baby food pouches are included in the recall, check the "Best By" date. Affected pouches have dates from 08/05/14 to 12/08/14 and the letters AT .
Don't feed the recalled pouches to your child. Call Plum Organics at 866-495-3774 to receive a voucher for a replacement product.
Social media was abuzz recently with word of an Earth's Best baby food recall due to one mom finding maggots in a pouch of Earth's Best Organic Butternut Squash Pear Baby Food Puree. Gross, right? If your baby is a fan of the Earth's Best baby food pouches, though, you can relax. There's no recall, and the manufacturer hasn't found any other instances of the bugs in their products.
You can read Earth's Best's product investigation page for all of the details and updates as they're available. According to the manufacturer, they have:
- taken sample pouches from the store where the allegedly infested pouch was purchased, including some with the same production date, and tested them to be sure they met the company's quality standards
- tested additional pouches from the same production run to ensure there were no contaminants or signs of low quality
- requested to pick up and test the allegedly infested pouch (the consumer did not allow the company to test that pouch)
- consulted with an entomologist to verify that the very high temperatures used in manufacturing would not allow insects to survive in the pouch.
The video and mentions of the infested baby food pouch have since been removed from Facebook. If you have further questions about this incident, you can contact Earth's Best at (800) 442-4221.
Halloween is here! The kids are all excited about their candy-fueled escapades tonight, and I can't wait to see all of the little ones in costumes. I hope you all have a safe and fun Halloween night, and I hope you'll share those adorable baby and toddler costume pics with me. Tag me on Twitter, @HeatherCPST, if you'd like to share photos.
I'll start the parade of pics by sharing my grouchy garden gnome with you. Two-year-old Collin had to wake up early from his nap to attend the Halloween parade at the older kids' school. He remained unimpressed until he received a piece of chocolate and stole a fake ninja knife from his brother.
If your baby or toddler is sporting a homemade costume this year, please be sure to add a photo to the Homemade Baby Halloween Costumes gallery. Your hard work can be inspiration for other parents next Halloween!
Baby Trend's new Inertia infant car seat is competing for the same buyers as the popular Chicco Keyfit 30 since both seats come in at just under $200. The Inertia wins out very slightly on price at about $180 versus the Keyfit 30 at about $190. But how do they compare on other features?
Inertia's strong features are the anti-rebound bar, and the Controlled Motion base that rotates to a more upright position in a crash. It has rigid LATCH on the base, and may be the easiest LATCH installation available in infant car seats today. The no-rethread harness is also very easy to use, and the triangular handle makes carrying the seat a bit easier for parents. Inertia also has a 2-pound upper weight advantage over the Keyfit 30.
However, the Keyfit 30 wins the newborn fit battle with it's low harness slot plus infant padding, which makes that lowest harness slot a full inch lower than that of the Inertia. On a small newborn, that inch can definitely be the difference between proper and improper harness fit. Keyfit 30 also has a built-in seat belt lock-off, which the Inertia lacks, and the recline angle of the base is much easier to adjust than Inertia's.
Though Inertia is incredibly easy to install with LATCH, Keyfit 30 is nipping at its heels there, because it's still incredibly easy to click in Chicco's flexible LATCH connectors and pull a piece of webbing to tighten. Both seats have about 19 inches of shell height between baby's bum and the very top of the seat, and they're very similar in terms of width at baby's shoulders and thighs, as well as on seat depth. These two infant car seats are very close competitors. The choice may boil down to the size of your newborn, or even your color preference. Both seats have plenty of features to keep baby comfy and parents confident when it comes to safety.