Picking out a travel system for your new little arrival can be a fun time (at least for us women it is 😉 ) But what you don’t expect is how stressful it can quickly become trying to find one the right color that says you, one that is functional, within a reasonable price range-and what I learned after Kylie-one that is comfy for baby.
I realized after Kylie that so many infant car seats on the market just suck. They’re basically a thick layer of fabric pulled over hard plastic, no padding at all. NOT at all comfortable for a little baby, and Kylie hated her car seat because of it. I fell in love with this Maxi-Cosi seat. It has such nice padding and the perfect amount of cushion. But the stroller it came with was horrible 🙁 So what to do??? There were some other nice cushioned car seats that came with decent strollers, but non that were both the color I wanted, nor style. OK maybe that’s a little vain and high maintenance to be concerned with those two things…but you will be using them multiple times DAILY! And if you can find a stroller/car seat that fits your style and your budget, and one you can feel classy pushing around, there’s nothing wrong with that. I didn’t think I would care that much before having Kylie, so we snagged a travel system during a Black Friday deal. It wasn’t a comfy seat and it lacked so many features that pretty much EVERY other travel system has and the fabric was super boyish. We got a good deal-don’t get me wrong I’m ALL about good deals-but the thing is the price wasn’t far off from so, so many other options I had if I just would have taken the time to think more about what I wanted…but in my defense I didn’t really know what I wanted at the time.
So I’d like to share some tips and tricks of 1) what to look for 2) how to get the travel system that you will love
CANOPY-I didnt’ realize what a big deal this would be until I was driving in the car and there was nothing I could do to keep the sun out of my poor baby’s eyes 🙁 Most car seats have good large canopies…but there are those out there that don’t. So make sure that you’re getting a large one that pulls at least to the middle of the car seat. My favorites are the ones that can move all the way down to their feet.
DEPTH-I don’t know why, but so many car seats dip incredibly far down in the middle, so much so that for newborns they’re basically being folded in half. This would cause gas/intestinal pain for Kylie, I would have to fold up a receiving blanket and use it to fill the deep space so that she could be a little more elevated. So try to avoid this problem all together and get one that isn’t a bucket.
PADDING/CUSHION-Would you want to ride in a hard plastic chair that covered only by a slightly thicker than average fabric? Well neither does your baby. Kylie hated riding in her seat until I started padding it with blankets…which then that made her sweat. So just avoid all the hassel and get a better padded seat from the get go.
YOU LIKE ONE BUT NOT THE OTHER-Did you know you can mix and match strollers/car seats?
I loved this Chicco Bravo stroller at first sight. But NOT the car seat one bit. Likewise I LOVED the Maxi -Cosi seat at first sight. But NOT the stroller (yuck). After test running the Dana stroller I realized I was going to have to give up the car seat, or deal with the annoying stroller. But being ME and kinda stubborn at times (ok, a lot of the time) I decided that I would find a way to keep the car seat and get a better stroller. After browsing the other Maxi compatible strollers, that quickly became out of the question (yeah $600 for a stroller…no thanks!)
So instead I decided to try something different. I took the car seat to Target and tested it on the display strollers. Now it obviously didn’t ‘click’ into any of them, but it FIT! And unless I were to go over some crazy mountain rocky terrain, there was no way that the car seat could tumble out of the stroller. It fit all of the display strollers perfectly! There were like 4 different brands I tried it with, including the Chicco Bravo! So I returned the Dana, ordered the Bravo, which just arrived today and I’m on cloud nine.