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Dear Britax, are you listening?

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Dear Britax,

I’m writing regarding a topic I’m sure you’ve heard many times before. But please, just stay with me while I wax nostalgic and maybe we can make a deal, mmkay?

This has been a discussion parents and CPSTs have had for years, and it’s been put out there many times, but no bites. So can we have just a nibble? Please?

If one were to walk down the car seat aisle at the store, what would one see? Many different types and brands of seats, all different shapes and styles. But what’s the thing they have in common? Well, they’re all black or gray. Maybe there are a few with some red or dark blue accents or patterns that look like hotel room curtains, but mostly they are pretty neutral. There’s not really a lot that makes one stand out more than the others to the average consumer.

Now let me throw these words out there: Jonah, Barnum, Fido, Faux Paws, All Star, Mariposa, Ashley Floral, Popsicle…ring a bell? Probably not because it’s been such a long time but I hope we can change that.

Shannon fashion. No drab purples here…a vivid periwinkle with happy flowers!

All Star with the cute little sports details

I remember this limited edition Mossy Oak. People would pay big bucks for the cover back in the day.

 

Kids grow up so fast these days. I think we focus on trying to make kids into little adults sometimes and forget the whimsical magic that is childhood. To me that’s what all these prints represented- the child’s space, something they identified with and loved to look at (which in turn made them happy to sit in and we all win!).

Faux Paw…there was also a blue version called Fido! My son adored his “puppy seat”.

Remember the Britax “Couture” line? Here is the soft cotton whale cover called Jonah.

“Hampton” fashion was much loved by another CSB child who is now 15.

Another Couture line cover with dragonflies

It’s easy to blend in with the others. Your seat names were iconic because they stood out compared with other brands. Marathon, Boulevard, Roundabout, Wizard, Regent. Most people aren’t going to remember what their other brand of seat from 10 years ago was called but I guarantee they’ll remember their 12-year old’s favorite Britax seat, even the ones that have been discontinued. To keep this iconic history, maintain tradition and not blend in with the dozens of other seats that have the number 4 in their name or a clever pun is essential. Maintaining tradition doesn’t mean forgoing safety or the latest engineering. In fact, it means the opposite as the tradition of Britax is to be a unique and innovative company that has a reputation of firsts, of having seats that meet needs that the other companies do not. Not to blend in with the crowd. I know you value that history and tradition because you have a special place for it on your website, right here. Remember when the Marathon was the only seat on the market a child could extended rear face in? I do.

Obviously, that goes way deeper than a fashion, but let’s start there. Bring back some of the most popular beloved fashions. You can call it The Legacy Line, and maybe it would be for a certain period of time. I guarantee you there would be a response. Cowmooflauge is definitely an example of a legacy kept alive, but there are so many more amazing covers you could bring back. Keep some neutral seats for those who prefer them, but instead of 6 different variations of black and gray, add some flair of the Legacy Line for the rest of us!

Please consider it! Look back and consider what makes Britax unique from other manufacturers. The high weight capacities, the extended rear-facing abilities – these are things that used to be unique only to Britax but is now a common staple. However there are things other manufacturers don’t have a reputation for, so flaunt it! We’d love to see it.

No More Unsafe Winter Excuses! The Birdy Boutique Car Seat Poncho Review

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A Cold Weather and Winter Jacket Alternative Safe for Most Carseats

It’s still hot outside here but the early morning fall chill is here. You know, the one that makes you dress in layers in the morning but you’re sweating to death by afternoon? Part of our constant morning struggle is kids complaining that they’re cold when they get in the van, but I’m too cheap to let it warm up (hey, it’s above freezing, they’ll be alright) and they don’t want to grab jackets because they won’t need them within a few hours when they go outside for recess. The Birdy Boutique sent me the perfect solution: their car seat poncho!

We all know bulky jackets are not okay in the car thanks to numerous blog posts on the topic, including Jennie’s famous winter coat entry. I’ve reviewed car seat coats that snap/button over the harness to remove the risk of compression, and those are great options too. However they are pricey and therefore not an option for everyone. The car seat poncho is a cuddly, warm, easy to use wearable blanket that is safe.

Birdy Boutique is a shop run by two moms (and sisters!) named Barbara and Joanna who have a passion for safety. They also have a blog on their website, with tons of great topics including DIY projects! In addition to the ponchos, they sell birthday sets and adorable accessories.

The ponchos themselves have been crash tested in an independent crash test facility and are CPSC/CPSIA certified. They are made of high quality fleece, are reversible, and have a hood. The ones we received were gray with arrows and an adorable green dinosaur print with spikes on the hood that my son loved!

They also have a red and black buffalo plaid with antlers on the opposite side, flowers with mermaids, the gray arrows we also received, cupcakes, a cozy black sherpa, and unicorns. They fit children from about 6-12 months up to 4-5 years and measure about 52 inches long by 24 inches wide. Even though the end of the age spectrum is 4/5 years old, my tall 9 year old loved them too. They don’t drape over his legs like they do my 6 year old but they covered his lap (which is still more coverage than a car seat safe jacket) and he claimed it was super cozy.

Dinosaurs!

Gray Arrows

Using them is pretty self explanatory- simply buckle the child in and then place the poncho over their head so it drapes on top of them like a blanket. The back is designed to be lifted up over the back of the car seat so the child doesn’t have any bulk behind their head. Of course my son was stubborn and insisted on NOT doing that for pictures but given how the poncho fits him, there really wasn’t a concerning amount of material behind his head. It mostly laid safely to the sides and wasn’t more than what a hood on a jacket would be.

Snug and cozy while safely buckled underneath!

A photo from their website that shows how the poncho can be draped over the back of the seat.

These are great options for the budget-minded family and perfect for both cold winters and mild seasons with chilly morning car rides. I really appreciate Birdy Boutique for reaching out to us and offering up their super cool items to try! I always love supporting small businesses, especially mama and veteran owned businesses, and their package was so personal and sweet. From one Army family to another, thank you for your service, Barbara!

You can purchase Birdy Boutique’s car seat ponchos on Amazon or at the Birdy Boutique website. They retail for $39.99 but at the time of writing this they are on sale from $24.99 and up.

Thank you Birdy Boutique mamas! I received no compensation for these products from Birdy Boutique and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Never-Ending Winter and a Follow-Up Review of the Buckle Me Baby Coat

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I think this has been a rough winter for most states. I know I should feel grateful for getting a million inches of rain here in the South vs a million inches of snow everywhere else but man, my mud is even getting tired of itself. Just when we have a nice 70-degree day, it drops to 30 and we get freezing rain. It’s gray, it’s gloomy, it’s gross, and I’m just done. I’m also sick of the constant piles of jackets strewn about. One of our most used is the beloved red jacket from Buckle Me Baby Coats. Dahlia with BMBC (Buckle Me Baby Coats) reached out to me earlier to see how we were doing with our coat. We love it! In case you missed it, I did a full review on our BMB Coat here. In a nutshell, it’s a nifty car seat safe coat that closes OVER the harness of your car seat instead of under them.

Declan is now 5 years old and about 43 inches and 35 lbs and our jacket still fits! He no longer has any growing room but hey, we got two seasons out of it! As you can see below, he’s still rocking it. He’s currently riding in a harnessed seat, but I took a picture of him in my 8-year old’s booster to show how this type of jacket will continue to grow with him as he moves up in stages of safety seats.

This is his big brother’s booster and the photo was taken entirely for the purpose of showing how the coat works in a booster seat. Declan is still riding in a harnessed seat.

So what’s new over at BMBC? Well, they have two new fashions! They are limited edition and include a cozy sherpa lining and a hood! You can see them below. “Hello Cupcake” is a super cute blush color and “Tornado” is the exact color you’d expect with a name like that—a really nice slate gray. Get them here on the BMBC website!

Lastly, as of this past fall, they have a trade up program! If you donate an outgrown BMBC, you receive a $20 credit toward the purchase of a new one. If you donate a regular coat, you get a $10 credit. Quality coats can be pricey, so the credits are a great way to offload some of that cost! They also offer a preorder program to order ahead for next season, and change your size any time before it’s delivered, if needed. The donated BMBC are given to local children in wheelchairs and the traditional coats are donated to refugee children from Syria. Such a great way to ensure your kids aren’t the only ones to benefit from your purchase.

All coats can be found on the BMBC website: Bucklemecoats.com.

Thank you again, Dahlia, for keeping us warm and safe for another winter. <3

I received no compensation from BMBC and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.