We wanted to share this recent news update from Evenflo with our readers. Evenflo has extended the lifespan on their ADVANCED Transitions & Evolve Platinum Combination Seats to 8 years from the DOM (Date of Manufacture).
This change is retroactive so if you currently own a Transitions or Evolve seat and the DOM label states that it expires in the year 2021 – please make a note in your instruction manual that you can actually use your seat until 2023-xx-xx.
Evenflo has recently updated the expiration date for both Evenflo Transitions and Evenflo Evolve 3-in-1 combination seats. Initial production included labels with a 6-year expiration from date of manufacture, but due to the extended use of this seat, new labels will include an 8-year expiration from date of manufacture. Accordingly, your child’s Transitions or Evolve may be safely used for 8 years from the date of manufacture.
It’s a lucky parent who hasn’t had to travel by plane with a young child. Some minimalist parents have it down, but the rest of us use up every last cubic inch of space we’re allotted, stuffing it with things we might possibly need like hair ties, mismatched infant socks, carabiners, and Ziploc bags that get thrown out eventually. Think back to your last trip on a plane alone when there was a small child—what was that child doing? Standing on the parent’s lap screaming? Waving at uncomfortable adults who waved once but then wanted to disengage from the outgoing child? Were you trying to eke out that last bit of nap before descent when that screech jolted you out of slumberland? Did that parent look happy or like she was going to cry herself?
Kids have that natural tendency to want to move and explore their environments when they’re in their parents’ arms. Parents naturally provide a safe place for a child . . . everywhere except in a moving vehicle, which is what an airplane is. Most of us who have traveled with children and carseats can attest that our kids have been better behaved in their carseats and have found their carseats to be safe pods for them. When was the last time *you* were comfortable in an airplane seat, after all? Kids in harnessed carseats are protected against turbulence and against runway incidents, such as aborted takeoffs and landings, and overshots. And think about it: coffee pots and Coke cans are required to be secured during flight. Don’t our kids deserve the same respect?
Can I take any harnessed carseat on the plane?
Maybe. It must have a sticker on it that says the carseat is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft. That part will be written in red ink so it’s easy to find. Your owner’s manual will also have this wording. Be prepared to show the sticker to a gate agent and/or flight attendant because they may ask to see it as you board the plane.
Can I use a booster seat on the plane?
Let’s get our terminology down first. A booster seat is a belt-positioning booster used by older kids. It’s used only with a lap/shoulder vehicle seat belt. Since a commercial airplane doesn’t have a lap/shoulder seat belt, no, you cannot use a booster seat on the plane. A harnessed seat isn’t called a booster seat. If your seat has a harness that also can be used as a booster later on, we call that a “combination seat.” Most combination seats are approved for use on airplanes only when used with the harness; that’s because you can install it with the plane’s seat belt. You can, however, take your booster seat on the plane with you as carry-on luggage for your child to use in the car when you get to your destination. If you have a backless booster, it fits perfectly under the seat in front or in the overhead bin. If you have a folding booster, it fits in the overhead bin. If you have a booster where the back comes off, you can pack the back in your suitcase and carry the bottom on with you.
What are my rights regarding carseat use onboard an airplane?
We have an article that explains what you need to know. Also, know where the certification sticker is on your carseat and bring a healthy dose of patience. Between oddly intimate security searches, our knees being jammed into the seats in front of us, and man spread by guys in the center seat, flying saps the last bit of patience of everyone. Flight attendants receive very little to no training on carseats on aircraft, so the best tactic is one of “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” If there’s confusion, it’s OK to show them the carseat owner’s manual and smile. Remember that they can (and have in the past) remove ticketed passengers from flights.
How far should I push the rear-facing issue?
If you’ve been online at all, you’ve heard of travelers who have had problems rear-facing their kiddos: the flight attendant misinterpreted the flight attendant handbook, which requires carseats to be installed on forward-facing passenger seats, and they had to turn their 3 mo. old forward-facing. At some point you pick your battle with the flight attendant (with a smile–remember, he or she is just doing their job) and the likelihood that something catastrophic will happen is slim. Turning an 18 mo old forward-facing on a plane probably isn’t going to end the world. If you’re still unsure, I suppose you could whip this regulatory requirement out.
I can be a bit of a germaphobe, and there’s almost no place I get more skeeved out than in public restrooms…especially with kids. There aren’t always seat covers available, and little hands inevitably reach down to grab the toilet for balance while their legs kick against the outside of a bowl covered in who-knows-what. It makes me want to shower my children in Purell, or, better yet, just never leave the house.
But staying inside for eternity is impractical and boring, so public restrooms are a necessary evil. That’s why I was thrilled to find a product to make kids’ bathroom trips a little easier and a lot less disgusting: the Tottigo Pack ‘n Potty.
The Pack ‘n Potty is a self-contained portable potty seat that comes in a specially designed waterproof and anti-microbial bag that allows you to put it on and take it off without ever having to make contact with anything that has also touched the toilet! There are also built-in handles for kids to hold onto, and the storage bag turns into a barrier to keep those little legs from knocking against the commode.
As if that weren’t enough, the Pack ‘n Potty also has a pocket (accessible while the potty seat is in use and from the outside of the bag when it’s not) for storing tissues, wipes, lip balm, extra clothes, reading materials, or whatever else you like to take into the bathroom.
The drawstring bag allows you to carry the seat like a backpack, which is really nice when you need your hands free for helping your kid (or going to the bathroom yourself). It could easily fit into most stroller baskets, and while it’s too big to fit in an average purse, I was able to store it in my Ju-Ju-Be BFF diaper bag, although it didn’t leave much room to spare in the main compartment.
When you want to clean it, the seat quickly snaps apart from the bag, which is washer- and dryer-safe.
I first saw a prototype of the Pack ‘n Potty at the ABC Expo in Las Vegas two years ago. I was so intrigued by it that I sought out the company’s booth at the show last year to see if the Pack ‘n Potty was in production yet, and sure enough, it was! I couldn’t wait to give it a try, and the Tottigo folks were nice enough to send us a sample.
My 5-year-old has been using the potty expertly for quite a while, but she’s small and often needs some help balancing on big-person toilets, so I figured the Pack ‘n Potty would be great for her. My 3-year-old is also showing an interest in using the potty, so this couldn’t have come at a better time.
We recently took the Pack ‘n Potty with us on a three-week roadtrip across the country. Thankfully most of the restrooms we encountered looked pretty clean, but there were a few sketchy ones, too. At first I worried the Pack ‘n Potty would have a steep learning curve or that I’d fumble it somehow, but it was actually quite easy to use right from the start, and only took a couple seconds to set up. Here’s a video showing how simple it is to use:
Besides public restrooms, it was also nice having a compact potty seat we could use at the houses and hotels where we were staying during our trip. My daughter loved the handles and the cushiness of the seat. I loved that the seat felt secure, and that my daughter could use the bathroom without either of us touching anything gross.
We have another portable seat that we’ve used in the past, but it always felt like a hassle. It folds up, which is nice in terms of compactness, but my daughter was always afraid it would pinch her, and it never felt secure on the toilet. I’d also have to reach into a potentially germ-laden bag to pull it out. Ick.
The Pack ‘n Potty solved all those problems and more. I never thought I’d be truly excited about a bathroom-related item, but I am. I still don’t love public restrooms, but I dread them a lot less now. If only they made a grown-up version…
The Pack ‘n Potty is available through the company’s website and on Amazon for $39.99.
Thank you to Tottigo for providing a sample for this review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are my own.
The Chicco trifecta is now complete with the addition of the KidFit booster! We have always loved the KeyFit infant seat, we adore the NextFit convertible and now we have the KidFit booster to complete the series.
The Chicco KidFit Booster is a dual mode product which means that it can be used as a highback booster until the back portion is outgrown and then you can continue to use the bottom portion as a backless booster until your child can pass the 5-Step Test and safely transition to using the adult seatbelt. Currently the Chicco KidFit booster is available exclusively at Target.
KidFit Specs & Features
Highback: 30-100 lbs.; 38-57” tall; at least 4 years old and can sit relatively still and properly in a seatbelt at all times
Backless: 40-110 lbs. and all other requirements listed for highback mode
10 height positions
Lower LATCH anchor attachments
2-position backrest to match vehicle seat position/contour
Headrest fully lined with thick EPS foam
Dual cupholders made of flexible rubber material
Unique shoulder belt guide design
8 year lifespan before expiration
Lower LATCH anchor connectors – premium push-on LATCH connectors attach quickly and easily and you tighten both sides of the strap simultaneously by pulling on the central adjuster strap at the front of the base. They refer to this feature as “SuperCinch” but it does NOT have the force-multiplying system found on the NextFit convertible. In this case “SuperCinch” is purely a marketing term being used to describe Chicco’s patented center-pull LATCH adjustment.
Using the lower LATCH connectors is optional. If you’re not LATCHing the KidFit, pull the strap to retract the connectors as much as possible so they don’t get in the way.