Looking Back

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Ah, the good ol’ days. Remember when phones had cords? When people used typewriters? When cartoons were almost solely for Saturday morning enjoyment? When kids bounced around unrestrained in cars…and it wasn’t considered illegal or even unsafe?

Times certainly have changed.

Parents reading this blog today probably spent a good chunk of their childhoods unrestrained, or at least under-restrained, in cars. Looking back it seems scary, but at the time, it’s just how things were.

I was born in the late 1970s, and my mom was actually quite progressive about keeping me safe. I almost always used a car seat (albeit a dinosaur by today’s standards) until I was 4 years old. In fact, I distinctly remember the afternoon when my mom was washing our Chevy Nova in the driveway and asked if I’d like to stop using my car seat. I agreed, and I felt so grown up that I insisted on sitting in the back seat (buckled up) as she pulled the car into the garage.

Today my mom admits that having me ride in the car seat was less about safety and more about helping me see out the window. Still, she took car safety seriously. She always wore her seatbelt and insisted that I do, too, even if I did “graduate” to the front seat as soon as I graduated from the child restraint. I did often wear the shoulder belt behind my back, but she always reminded me to keep the lap belt on my hips, not my tummy (something that was often easier said than done).

I also remember a time when my mom was transporting a group of kids to some sort of YMCA event. She told everyone to buckle up, and a girl (I didn’t know her, but for some reason I remember her name was Pam) said that she didn’t have to wear a seatbelt because she was 16. My mom replied “I’m a lot older than 16, and I have to wear a seatbelt, so you do, too. Buckle up.”

Like I said, buckling up might have meant a shoulder belt behind my back, or lying on the back seat with a lap belt “secured” loosely around my waist during a long road trip, but it was (slightly) better than nothing.

Then there were the times I wasn’t with my mom, like the time my grandparents took me on vacation to California (we lived in the midwest at the time) when I was 6.

The trip involved staying a few nights with some distant cousins who had a convertible jeep. The dad decided to take us out for a ride, so my grandpa sat in front and two older cousins and I sat in the back. By “back” I don’t mean the back seat. I’m pretty there was a back seat but we sat on the back sill and held onto the roll bar. I remember looking behind us as we sped down an iconic palm-tree-lined Southern California street…and feeling nothing but sheer terror. Even at 6, I knew that balancing on the edge of a fast-moving car was probably a stupid idea. Perhaps that’s where my interest in child passenger safety began.

What cringe-worthy moments do you remember about riding in the car as a kid? Did you have a car seat? Did you use seatbelts? Did you stand up in convertible cars? Did you narrowly escape harm because you were restrained, or despite being unrestrained? Did your experiences play a role in how you go about restraining your own kids?

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Carseats That Are Now Available at Amazon.com

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Sometimes, retailers get dibs on an exclusive carseat or specific patterns.  Other times, you might only find something at the manufacturer’s or distributor’s website.  We’ve had a few situations like this from past reviews, but wanted to alert you that these and other seats can now be found at great prices from Amazon!

 

The BubbleBum Booster currently $39.99 – CarseatBlog review

Safety 1st Comfy Carry Elite Plus in Mystic or in Eiffel Lavender or in Wildflowers currently $79.99- CarseatBlog review

Graco SmartSeat in Jemma or Rosin (coming soon) pre-order $299 – CarseatBlog review

 

Graco SnugRide 30 Review – The SnugRide Infant Seat for Smaller Babies!

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The Graco SnugRide 30 Classic Connect is a fairly recent addition to the Graco infant carseat line.  Graco still sells the original SnugRide Classic Connect (22 lbs. max) and the SnugRide 35 Classic Connect as well as their newest offerings of SnugRide 35 Click Connect, SnugRide 35 LX Click Connect and SnugRide 40 Click Connect. All of these models are listed on the Graco Children’s Products website.  That may be a bit intimidating for parents.  Are the 35 or 40 models naturally the best because they have the highest number?  Not necessarily!  They all vary a bit in features and price as well.  The number refers to the maximum weight limit of the infant seat. “Classic Connect” carseat models attach to older Graco Strollers to create a travel system. “Click Connect” carseat models will only attach to Graco’s newest Click Connect strollers.

 

The SnugRide 30 has a couple advantages over the other models.  With a 4 pound minimum weight limit and no stated minimum height requirement, it should fit small newborns and premature infants a bit better than Graco infant seat models that have 5 lb. weight minimum ratings.  It also has a relatively narrow design and squarish base that could help it fit next to other carseats a bit better in some cases.  The SnugRide 30 is rated from 4 to 30 pounds in weight and up to 30″ in height.  Like other Graco infant seats, it is also outgrown by height when the baby’s head is within 1 inch of the top of the plastic shell of the carrier.

Unless you are having multiples, you don’t always know to expect a small birth weight newborn.  That can be a problem in some cases, because while most infant seats fit most full term newborns well, only a few the tiniest babies in an acceptable manner.  Does the SnugRide 30 make the cut?  Read on to find out!

September Sale at Amazon’s Baby Store ~ Deals All Month!

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It’s September again – that wonderful time of year when the leaves are beginning to change, the older kids are back to school and there are great deals to take advantage of on baby gear! September 18-24 is also National Child Passenger Safety Week, which means there are many CPS-related events and child safety promotions going on across the country.  This month Amazon has lots of special offers on items in the Baby Store (even though we all know carseats and boosters are for “Big Kids” too)!  There are limited-time deals on carseats, strollers and other gear, as well as free MP3s and Android Apps for parents & kids.  Check out the link to Amazon’s Baby Sale HERE! Note many of these deals apply from September 1st to 15th only.

Links to Some Current Special Offers:

Save 20% on Select Clek Boosters –  See our reviews of the Clek Oobr and Clek Olli.  Ozzi is very similar to Olli but doesn’t have the strap in the front that unlatches the lower LATCH connectors.

Britax B-Safe infant seat in Red currently on sale for $139.99 – Review HERE.

Britax Frontier85 SICT in Onyx or Portabello currently on sale for $260.07 – Review HERE

Save 20% on Graco Nautilus Elite in “Gabe” pattern: And of course, we have a review HERE.

Coming Soon:
Be Ready! Deal – Starting September 15th through October 15th, Buy a Britax B-Ready stroller and get a B-Ready bassinet or second stroller seat or Chaperone infant carrier for FREE! Check out our review of the Britax Chaperone infant carseat HERE.

Don’t forget to check out our Recommended Seats List for more info on the carseats and boosters we like the most.  There’s even a separate list of recommended carseats for preemies and multiples!