Tag Archives: Car seat

Save Money, Have a Baby (3 of 5)

Our first two posts covered general hints about baby shopping and how to apply those hints in the Nursery.Now it’s save money for your On-the-Go Lifestyle.

On the Go
In the car, strolling the mall, hiking the trails, riding the train – sound familiar? Parents are always on the go.

Check out these hints:

  • The most expensive car seat is not necessarily the safest. Do your homework before purchasing (or call us and we’ll do it for you).  You can also find some great tips on ‘Child Car Seat Safety’ here.
  • Contact your insurance provider before shopping for a car seat. They may pick up the tab.
  • If you have an extra receiving blanket handy, roll it up and use it as an infant head support for your car seat.  The store bought supports are an added expense you don’t need.
  • Yeah that travel system (stroller/infant seat combo) looks great, but it probably isn’t the best fit (See this mom in the picture? That’s a heavy stroller!). Most of these strollers are 30 pound beasts. Instead, concentrate on a safe car seat and from there find a lightweight stroller that’s compatible.

We’ll see you shortly for the fourth post with more great money saving tips!

- Sarah and Linda

Linda Bauchwitz and Sarah Chambers are a mother/daughter team and owners of Before & After Baby Planning LLC, a concierge and consulting service that helps new and expectant parents prepare for their new arrival.  They can be reached at 763-494-3201 and on the web at:  www.planning4baby.com.

Save Money, Have a Baby (2 of 5)

Welcome the second in our series of great tips on saving money while you plan for your baby.

First, we passed on some general hints about baby shopping.

Now we’ll cover  where smart shopping will save you money: the nursery.  Let’s get to it!

The Nursery
The nursery is one of your biggest expenses. You are probably going to purchase large pieces of furniture as well as bedding and accessories. Through our research we have found multiple ways to minimize some of these exorbitant costs.

  • Although cute, changing tables can be a waste of space and money.  Rather, use a low dresser (possibly one you already have around the house) with a changing pad placed on top. This will give you extra storage and a piece you can use beyond the diapering years.
  • If you are looking to buy new…check out regular furniture and unfinished furniture stores.  Regardless of where you buy, look for dovetailed drawers and solid wood construction.
  • Always wanted a convertible? Well, this is the perfect time to buy it. Buy a convertible CRIB that will morph into a toddler bed or even a twin or full. We say go all the way – get one that will last until freshman college orientation.
  • Steer clear of drawers under cribs. You are paying more to collect dust (most drawers don’t have any type of cover). If you are desperate for storage you are better off picking up a couple plastic under-bed storage bins with lids.
  • If you strip a screw, lose a bolt, or break a caster don’t toss the whole crib – replace the part. ProductAmerica.com is a great resource for these crib emergencies.
  • When looking for crib bedding, avoid the all-in-one bedding sets.  Keep it simple. Nice sheets and a great light weight blanket are all you’ll need.

– Sarah and Linda

Linda Bauchwitz and Sarah Chambers are a mother/daughter team and owners of Before & After Baby Planning LLC, a concierge and consulting service that helps new and expectant parents prepare for their new arrival.  They can be reached at 763-494-3201 and on the web at:  www.planning4baby.com.

Bringing Your Newborn Home

By Steven W., busy dad and our family blogger

2300011.JPGBringing your first newborn home from the hospital can be a daunting task for new parents. In particular, dealing with car seat installation can be frustrating, at best. Here are some tips to help get you and your car seat prepared.

Before the Big Day

1) Get the car seat, now

You will need a rear-facing infant car seat to take your newborn home from the hospital.
Don’t wait until the last minute to buy it and install it. Get one somewhere around week 30, or sooner.

Steven’s Tip: I recommend getting the type that detaches from the base. That way you can get a sleeping baby out of the car easily, without waking him or her up.

2) Do a dry run of the car seat installation

  • First, read through the installation guide to give you an idea on how to install the car seat, but don’t expect everything to be crystal clear. You may want to visit the car seat manufacturer’s website, in hopes that they have a helpful installation video. If your car has LATCH anchor points (and most newer cars do), plan on using them. Otherwise, use the seatbelt method.
  • Next, give yourself an unrushed hour to try to install the car seat the first time. After connecting all of the connectors, buckles, and tethers, pull the belts until snug, but do not tighten them. Take a step back and make sure the installation is right, none of the belts or straps are twisted, and give them all a good wiggle and tug.
  • After you are convinced everything is right, then start tightening each of the straps. Put a knee on the car seat and lean your weight into it as you tighten the straps. You want it to be snug-fitting installation.

3) Do the final car seat installation

Now evaluate the installation. Does it look right? Do you have any questions? Take a break, and consult the installation guide and website over the next week.

The next weekend you may need to take it completely out, make some adjustments, and install it again. Don’t worry about it, this is why you are starting early! Again, give yourself an hour. (After installing car seats dozens of times, it still takes me 15-20 minutes to put one in!)

TOP TIP: Get an expert opinion.
If you want an expert’s opinion, many states offer car seat evaluation appointments with the highway patrol or at local seat inspection stations.

Eventually your car seat will be all set for the big day, and even if that day arrives a little sooner than planned, you will be ready.

4) Make an Emergency Information card

Make and put an emergency information card on the side of the car seat. A simple 3×5 card with the child’s name and some emergency contact phone numbers will give you peace of mind.

5) Fill out the warranty card

This is the one and only warranty card that I fill out. You want to be the first to be notified if there is a safety recall on the car seat. This happens more often than you would expect.

On the Big Day

6) Bring the car seat into your room, early

Early in the morning on the big day that you will be taking your newborn home from the hospital, take the car seat out of your car and bring it into the hospital room. This shows the nurses that you have the required car seat, but more importantly, the car seat will adjust to room temperature and also give you an opportunity to test fit your newborn.

7) Test fit your newborn

A few hours before you will be checking out of the hospital, put your newborn in the car seat for a test fit. Adjust the straps as necessary for a snug fit, then take your newborn back out.

Now when the big moment arrives to leave the hospital, you will easily be able to put your newborn into the car seat with a minimum of hassle or delay. Congratulations!

The information provided here is not meant to be a substitute for professional advice. These tips are from people who have shared their real life advice; always check with appropriate professionals you trust in making your purchasing or life-related decisions.