If you have a ClickTight car seat, you should head on over to this website by Britax to see if your model is being recalled. This voluntary safety recall is due to some ClickTight buttons sticking, and allowing slack in the shoulder harness caused by the child’s movements.
Today I decided to go on a hunt for the next big baby trend, and I found this baby travel pillow. The first thing I thought when I saw this was, “Why wasn’t this invented twenty years ago?! I have needed one of these FOREVER!”
I am not exaggerating, this is something every parent will agree with me about. How many times have you had to fix your baby’s head because it looks like they are going to suffocate as they are hunched over in their car seat sleeping? This is something that has driven me crazy from day one! Unfortunately One Step Ahead’s website is closed until the end of July… so follow the link below a similar pillow made by BenBat and prevent having to pull over countless times on you next road trip to adjust your cutie pie’s head. BenBat Travel Friends On The Go Head and Neck Support, Chic, 0-12 Months
And in case you want to make your own travel pillow, I have invented an awesome one that doesn’t break any patent laws… check it out here.
During the Travel Boutique on Zulily.com this week I saw a new travel invention for infant-in-lap travelers. I decided it was worth a look into, even though if you read this blog, you know I feel about infant-in-lap tickets (if you don’t, take a look here where I investigate the reasons for my personal view further).
The product is called “Flyebaby” and is a hammock seat that can be used when you are sitting in a airline seat behind another airline seat (not including the bulkhead seating) to place your baby in. The next day I saw a ton of pins for this product on the “Everything” page at Pinterest.com, and I thought I should mention a few things about this product for every traveling parent to keep in mind.
DISCLAIMER: This is not a product review, I have not personally tested this product out, nor would I ever personally use this product because I always purchase a seat for the baby in order to use an FAA approved car seat.
The positive aspects of this product seem enticing, but upon further investigation, the website itself clearly states on the main page,
“FlyeBaby is a hammock-type seat that can be used on an airplane during the cruise portion of the flight as a comfortable and convenient place to put your baby.”
In my head when I read this, I immediately thought… this device is not FAA safety approved for take off or turbulent situations. This means you would have to take your baby out of it during take off, landing, and in any situation where the “Fasten Seat Belt” sign is on. Even though the website quotes that this product features a “five-point harness system to secure baby” which might lead you to believe that it is a secure and safe flight option for your baby, it is not. I know I am considered to be a bit extreme on my view of infant-in-lap seating (again, refer to this article), but I just want to make sure that you, the reader know what you are getting into when you drop $50 on this baby hammock. It also doubles as “a portable high chair” that attaches to restaurant and dining room chairs, but I would not pay $50 for that… especially where there are plenty of online tutorials that tell you how you can make one, like this.
So, in my traveling mom opinion, think twice before you purchase this product. You want to make sure your child is safe in sudden turbulent situations and as far as I can tell, this item is not tested or qualified for such situations.
This is the first post of a new series called… yes, you guessed it, “Ultimate Family Road Trip.” I need to start this post off with a confession… I am not the planner in my family. My husband does the planning, and he is very good at it! He gets all of his information together, and then we sift through it together to choose the best plan for the family. So whoever is the better planner (or googler) of your family should probably head this part of the road trip up.
Things you want to think about when planning your trip:
-A destination (I talk more about choosing a destination in 7 Initial Steps).
-Make a budget! You should think about gas, food, and lodging costs. And if you are flying somewhere for your road trip, you will have to include a car rental in those costs.
-Points of Interest. Research your destination online or at the library (yes they still exist, and they still have books in them!).
-Determine the length of your trip.
-Figure out which points of interest you really want to see, and map out the most efficient route from there. You want to be smart about gas usage and all that, so plan things in order of how they appear on your route.
-Pick extra things you might want to do. You can make a list of everything you have time for, but those things might not be the best things timing wise once you actually get to where you are going. It is always good to have a few back up plans to choose from.
-Remember to think about timing, eating, rest stops, and stopping for the night when you are making your rough schedule (you should never make a rigid schedule for road tripping because you would be setting yourself up to fail).
-Get the right maps (paper or GPS)! This is a crucial step for any road tripper.
-Plan out your hotels if you can, that way you can read reviews and get exact prices. Just a heads up… a 4 star hotel in Europe is like a 2 star hotel in the United States. And if it is an actual 4 star hotel, it does not mean it is in a 4 star location. If you are going somewhere you want to walk around and enjoy, make sure your hotel is not 30 miles away from the city center.
-If you are going to be in a foreign country, google maps will estimate your fuel costs, which helps a lot.
-Remember to watch out for the hidden cost of any road trip: toll roads! We spent around 40 euros each way driving from Athens to Thessaloniki. Yikes!
On our first cross continental flight with our kids, things did not go as smoothy as I wanted. I knew that there could be a better way, but I wasn’t sure how to accomplish that. Naturally, I started researching! I originally found a product at One Step Ahead that I thought would be helpful, a cart that you put your child’s car seat on so you can use it as type of stroller. Carrying two car seats through the airport was definitely something I wanted to avoid doing again. But the price tag was purely ridiculous! For $80, I would expect a lot more than a car seat dolly.
Then on Amazon I typed in, “car seat luggage” and found a strap that uses your rolling carry on as a dolly for your car seat. I was amazed. A quick type of my ebay login and $12 PayPal dollars later, I had ordered something I thought would be amazing. It operates using the LATCH system that all new car seats in the United States have (if you have a car seat that is not from the US, check out the TOTEaTOT below). The truth is, the Traveling Toddler Car Seat Travel Accessory is pretty amazing (although they could have shortened the name… wow), but recently as I was perusing the Amazon reviews I came upon a highly useful one by “Jessica.” This is what the review says:
“I showed my husband the picture of this item because I thought it looked pretty darn smart. Well, two minutes later he had the carseat attached to the rolling carry on WITHOUT an added purchased strap. You still use the seat hooks from your car seat – both side clips and the top clip. Put the top car seat hook under the top handle of your luggage & the side ones simply around the sides of the luggage. Buy a $0.50 metal ring from a hardware store & clip the car seat hooks to it & tighten all straps. Voila! We tested it with our kiddo in it & she giggled as we wheeled her around the house. Perfect.” Read more