Category Archives: Gear

Taking Control with #DIYZ

Disclosure: This post is in collaboration with the DIYZ® app. All opinions of apps and companies that help me complete DIY projects are my own.

From the moment we become parents (and during the 9-months prior for the mamas), we start having things taken away – our body, our time, our energy, our freedom, our control, etc. It’s rare when we suddenly gain something back of importance. Relax, I’m not getting all existential on you. I’m a simple guy and I appreciate simple things – like freeing up a power outlet in my kitchen with a new outlet containing two USB connectors! That’s right. I can now charge three devices where I was once only able to charge one (let’s be realistic, the coffee maker is not going anywhere!)

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5 Maxi Cosi Car Seat Tips

car seat installation maxi cosi mico

As I mentioned in a previous post, I took my car seat to the local police station to have them check my installation. There were a few things I did wrong, so here are my tips. And for those that are curious, we have the Maxi Cosi Mico infant car seat and the Maxi Cosi Pria 70 convertible car seat (not yet installed).

  1. MAKE SURE IT IS NOT DEFECTIVE! Check to make sure all the clips, pads, straps, etc. that are supposed to be on the car seat actually are – even if you think the seat is brand new, comes in what appears to be the original packaging, and was bought online or received through your registry.
  2. Most new cars have the LATCH system. However, your car might not have it for all the back seats. Mine only had it for the outside back seats, not the middle. But research has shown (and the police officer confirmed) that the middle seat is safer since baby is further from the side of the car if there is impact. Makes sense to me! However, with that said, you can’t use the outside LATCH anchors in the middle seat, no matter how you are able to force it (like I was). Thus, I use the seat belt, which is fine. In fact, the seat belt doesn’t have a weight limit, whereas the LATCH system does. Neither is better or worse than the other.
  3. If you are using the LATCH installation, it’s pretty simple. Click the anchors in, tighten, and you’re done. But if you are using the seat belt, you need to make it tight. We all know that if you tug abruptly on the seat belt it will stop (as it should), but do you know how to “trick” the seat belt into stopping? Pull it all the way out and you’ll hear the ratchet start to click as the belt recoils back. Once it does that, you can secure your car seat with it, otherwise the seat belt will just keep moving.
  4. Strapping your baby in is pretty self-explanatory. But the one thing I did learn was that if you happen live in a colder climate (I do not) and dress your baby in a bulky jacket a la The Michelin Man – take it off when you strap them in. If you don’t, you’re really strapping in the jacket and your baby can still move around inside. Lay the jacket on top like a blanket (or reverse it and put in their arms only).
  5. According to the police officer, industry regulations allow you to put a blanket or towel on the sides of the baby to secure them even more if they are small. But they don’t allow any after-market pads and will in fact claim no liability if such a pad is used and baby is injured (god forbid).

Do you have any tips of your own?

Screw you Babies R Us

babies r us maxi cosi car seat

You will inevitably have a baby registry and a lot, if not all, of your items will come from Babies R Us.  Just accept it. There are alternatives (like Amazon, which we used), but one segment of your baby shower invitees is still learning the internet (this is a fact, not an insult) so they will gravitate to the familiar and avoid the unknown.

It all started with a trip to the local police station to have them check the installation of my car seat (check your local area for participating locations). I scheduled the appointment well in advance of our due date, which turned out to be a good thing since our daughter came early. I arrived on-time and received a B+ for my effort at self-installation (more on that later). Then the officer informed me that the chest clip was missing. Kind of embarrassing, but why would I have even thought to look? The seat looked brand new. But more importantly, how the hell does a reputable company sell a defective car seat? Pretty unbelievable.

Next came the really frustrating part. Read more

The Baby Registery

baby registry baby gifts amazon baby registry babies r us

Full disclosure: I had very little to do with the creation of our baby registry, the credit goes to baby mama. However, I was involved in some of the “final” decisions – ie. “Babe, I’ve done all the research and I’ve narrowed it down to two things. Which do you think is better?” Like I said, I had very little to do with it.

We My wife originally decided to register at Babies ‘R Us (must) and Wishpot. For those of you that don’t know anything about Wishpot, it’s basically a website where you can create wish lists for anything and then add items from around the internet. Well, she soon realized that due to the amazingness that is Amazon, and it always having the lowest price, we found that ALL the items we were adding to Wishpot, were from Amazon. So why not just use the Amazon Baby Registry? Thus, we switched it (I actually did this very important task. And then checked it like five times to make sure I didn’t miss anything).

With that said, and given the fact that I didn’t do much of the research, you might wonder what the dad’s role is in all of this (and with other seemingly “mom-centered” activities): be a sounding board. Read more