Happy Thanksgiving from our families to yours! We hope everyone has a fantastic holiday and safe travels to and from your destination. If you’re lucky enough to be staying home today – I’m jealous. I’ll be sitting in traffic trying to get to Long Island. Yeah… so not fun. But I still have tons to be thankful for so I’ll try to keep that in mind while I’m creeping along on the Van Wyck Expressway.
Of course I’m thankful for great friends, a wonderful family, our health, a roof over our heads, the food on our table and all the other important stuff that I try never to lose sight of. But this is CarseatBlog so I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the CPS-related stuff that I’m super thankful for this year. I’m thankful for (in no particular order)…
Affordable higher-weight harness seats
Infant seats (and even a few convertibles) that fit smaller newborns really well
Beltpaths that don’t cut my wrists when I’m installing the seat
Budget-friendly seats that are still easy to use correctly
All the smart, passionate & dedicated techs, instructors and advocates that I learn from everyday
“Faud” is one of the Qunell family traditional holiday foods, usually served whenever turkey is on the menu. We don’t really know much about it, other than my dad’s parent’s family was originally from Quebec, so it is probably French Canadian in origin. Surprisingly, it doesn’t come up on Google under that name. There are some similar recipes for traditional Quebec meat stuffing and French meat pie filling, but none of the ones I found are quite right. Unfortunately, it is such a delicacy that I cannot reveal the secret recipe. Someday, we plan to make a fortune selling this stuff on the internet. I probably shouldn’t even be showing any photos or video where I divulge some of the ingredients, but today is your lucky day!
Yes, that grayish color and lumpy texture is accurate. So, what are your traditional Thanksgiving foods? (Normal or unusual)
The Graco SnugRide 40 Click Connect infant carseat is the King of all the current SnugRide models in the Graco Kingdom. You might be wondering how many SnugRides there are in Graco Land? By my last count there are now seven (Yes, SEVEN) different SnugRide models. For the sake of clarity, I’m going to list them all here just because I think it’s important for parents to understand what the differences are.
“Classic Connect” Graco SnugRide Models (compatible with older Graco strollers & with new Graco “Classic Connect” strollers)
“Click Connect” Graco SnugRide Models (compatible only with new Graco “Click Connect” strollers)
SnugRide 30 Click Connect: 4-30 lbs, height 30″ or less; 4 sets of harness slots; no lock-off on base; front harness adjuster
SnugRide 35 Click Connect: 4-35 lbs, height 32″ or less; 4 sets of harness slots; no lock-off on base; front harness adjuster
SnugRide 35 LX Click Connect: 4-35 lbs, height 32″ or less; no-rethread harness with 15 height adjustments; base with lock-off for simple seatbelt installations; front harness adjuster. Full review coming soon.
SnugRide 40 Click Connect: 4-40 lbs, height 35″ or less; no-rethread harness with 15 height adjustments; unique SR40 exclusive base has 8 recline positions, lock-off for simple seatbelt installations and best-in-class legroom for older babies and toddlers
The Graco SnugRide 40 Click Connect is currently a Babies R Us exclusive so it’s only available at BRU stores and their online store. The model I have for this review is the “Moonstruck” fashion. This particular model comes with an optional newborn body support insert (only for babies less than 12 lbs.), an optional head-hugger insert and optional harness strap covers. The SnugRide 40 is also available in “Mena” which is a pink and brown girly fashion.
Extra SR40 bases are available for $79.99. For the record, this is no ordinary base. It has innovative features that you won’t find on any other infant carseat. I’m not easily impressed but I think the SnugRide 40 base is very cool. It has 8 recline positions that should allow you to achieve a proper recline position in any vehicle regardless of how sloped or how flat the seating position is. Also, as you move up in base recline positions (position #1 is the most reclined; position #8 is the most upright), the carrier moves away from the vehicle seat bight and creates more leg room for the older baby or toddler. It’s quite ingenious! The kick-plate/vehicle seat protector is purely optional and slides down to store in the base when you don’t want it or need it.
Chicco USA has issued the following statement regarding the NextFit convertible:
Chicco is committed to creating state of the art products which meet the strictest safety standards and the ease-of-use features our consumers expect. The original shoulder harness pads used on the NextFit have been used in Europe for over 10 years with great success. However, after input from our U.S. consumers who have used the NextFit, Chicco conducted more testing without the harness pads and with a new harness pad design. The NextFit performed very well with and without the current pads, as well as with a new removable shoulder harness pad design. The new shoulder harness pads developed by Chicco for the NextFit are easily removable. All NextFit car seats, regardless of harness pad style, meet or exceed not only Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, but also Chicco’s internal safety standards.
All NextFit car seats manufactured after October 1, 2013, will have removable harness pads.
We don’t have a picture of the new harness strap covers yet but as soon as we do we’ll share it here.
*UPDATE: Below is a link to Chicco’s specific instructions on how to remove the harness strap covers. If you want to remove the harness strap covers on your NextFit model made prior to Oct 2013 you MUST follow these specific instructions for removal. Removing the pads in any other way could result in messing something up and possibly making the seat unsafe for your child. I’m not going to go into the “whys” right now so just trust me on this one!
These “replacement” directions were written prior to this update announcement so you can ignore the language that says “Never use your NextFit car seat without shoulder pads”. Just follow the directions on how to remove them, put the chest clip and buckle tongues back on properly and reattach the harness safely. *At the end of the process, once the harness pin has been fully re-inserted, check to make sure that the plastic tab is back in its original position preventing the pin from moving forward again.
There is also a video detailing the process on the Chicco website. Again, this is an existing video meant to detail the process of swapping out the current harness strap covers with identical replacement strap covers so you can ignore the language that warns you to never use this product without the harness pads.
http://www.chiccousa.com/nextfit/installation.aspx (the link to this video can be found in two places: on the left side of your screen under “Shoulder Pad Replacement Kit” or under the Rear-Facing Videos “Installing Shoulder Pad Replacement Kit”). Again, at the end of the process, once the harness pin has been fully re-inserted, check to make sure that the plastic tab is back in its original position preventing the pin from moving forward again.
I just want to add that we really love that Chicco listened to feedback from parents and caregivers and worked quickly to provide options and alternatives to NextFit consumers! Child preferences, parental preferences and situations vary widely so having various options (something to please everyone!) is greatly appreciated.
All Evenflo seats with the difficult AmSafe buckles that everyone disliked are in the process of transitioning to different buckles. If consumers are having problems with the AmSafe buckles on seats they already own with harnesses that can be replaced (Maestro, Secure Kid, SureRide, Embrace) they should contact Parent Link for a replacement buckle. The Symphony is going back to an IMMI buckle (which it had originally). The other Evenflo seats will transition to a different buckle style.
New Symphony DLX & LX models with redesigned headrest. Will be shipping to U.S. retailers in December. Should be available in stores by mid-January. The new DLX model will be also be going to Canada. The Canadian version follows the same timing as the U.S. version. The Symphony DLX price point in the U.S. will remain at $229.99.
Current Symphony (left); Redesigned Symphony DLX (right)
Redesigned Triumph has built-in cup holders and sliding headrest. Also shipping in December. Will be available at Target in mid-January. Price point remains the same at $149.99. This model is also going to Canada. It will be sold at Sears Canada and should be on the shelves there by mid-January.
SureRide is in the process of having the recline stand tweaked so it is less pointy. No details yet on when that updated model is going to be available.
Foonf crotch strap now includes two different lengths (will come with 2014 seats, will be available to order within a few weeks for existing seats). Simplified anti-rebound bar (ARB). Updates to 2014 manuals. All colors available on black or white shells. Video manuals available on website with step-by-step instructions. Will eventually have a QR code on the seat. No chlorinated or brominated flame retardants used.
Foonf Tokidoki prints $549 – expected in stores by end of December
Tokidoki Oobr $349 & Olli $129
If Tokidoki isn’t your thing – there’s the Limited Edition leather Foonf & Oobr:
Nuna Pipa infant seat with rigid latch attachments and load leg is currently available for sale at select specialty retailers. $299. Current fashions include Night & Scarlet. New 2014 fashions will add Sand, Navy & Blackberry (purple). Sand & Navy will be available 1st qtr 2014. Blackberry will come later in the year – probably 2nd qtr.