Oil spill and infant car seats

No, the two aren’t related…the title just serves as an indication of how jumbled my brain is lately. It’s been an oddly stressful week so far, and I haven’t gotten my s*%t together enough to flesh out any of the wonderful posts that have been milling around in my head. I assure you all that it’s nothing exciting. I’m just feeling overwhelmed at the moment by the combination of science and life…the tightrope act never ends!

Instead of an original thought, I refer you to this blog post from Small Things Considered. I’ve been asking lots of questions for the past several weeks on Twitter about why some of the oil-degrading microbes we know of haven’t been “deployed” for cleaning up the oil spill. Not that BP is offering much information, but this posting provides a lot of information on the chemical and microbial changes that are naturally occurring around the oil spill. According to these guys, the deployment of commercially-available microbial products has never been proven to be any more effective than letting the bugs already out there do their “first-responder” job. So I guess this microbiologist has finally found her answer.

I’m hoping to get back to blogging this weekend. In the meantime, if anybody has advice/recommendations on infant car seats, I’d appreciate the input – the information out there is so overwhelming!!

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11 thoughts on “Oil spill and infant car seats

  1. I am loving the Graco Snugride. It has very high safety ratings, and the clip in base is awesome (since it means you don't have to strap the thing into the car every dang time). I also am in love with using it with the snap-in stroller frame: it has been a lifesaver for traveling and even just regular stuff like going to the mall/whatever, since you just unclip the carseat from the car's base and transfer it to the stroller frame, no removal of baby/rebuckling of seatbelts/etc. The more messing around with buckles and seatbelts you have to do during these transitions, the more pissed off your baby is going to get and the unhappier and more stressful your experience getting out of the house is going to be.

    During those first three months especially, you want your getting-out-of-the-house experiences to be as low stress as possible since you already feel like a crazy strung out weirdo with anxiety, hormones, a messed up body, a kid who could start screaming at any moment… Minimizing the potential for screaming is crucial for getting back to feeling like a normal person. At least it was for me.

  2. I also have the snugride (with 2 bases) and a snap n' go

    Used it for both kids so clearly I liked it well enough. It gets heavy when your kids get older, but it is great for an infant who sleeps a lot.

    I have one BIG piece of advice (not car seat brand related) but it is to keep your child rear facing as long as possible. Don't turn them around at 1 year. Get a good quality convertible second seat (I LOVE the Britax Marathon) and rear face your kids to 40 pounds. This is soooo much safer and many many many parents don't do it.

  3. Thanks guys! After compiling all my research this afternoon, I had it narrowed down to the Snugride and Chicco KeyFit. I was leaning toward the Snugride and am glad to hear it's worked so well for others!

  4. OK. Here is what I have to say about infant car seats:
    Get one with the highest weight limit possible that way you can use it longer. A lot of the less expensive seats go up to 25 lbs (I think), but some go up to @ 30lbs. The one we purchased went up to 35lbs, so I am hoping we get to use it for a long, long time. Sometimes it's not obvious what the weight limit is. If you are looking at the seats on the web, you can usually find the weight limit under the specifications link (which you probably would have figured out on your own).
    Good luck. Baby stuff is so freaking overwhelming. I found the vast array of nipples completely mind boggling. I avoided that isle for a long time.

  5. Another graco + snap-in carseat stroller base fan here. My brother had the keyfit 30 and it was just as nice, though–I don't think you can go wrong. I have to admit my final choice between them came down to color (red!)

    Just don't get that travel system crap (ie the whole stroller + carseat combo), you're hauling along a lot of weight for a long time for no reason.

    Re the weight limit, do keep in mind that past a certain point, you may not wish to transfer a carseat + a 30 lb baby in and out of the car, even if the carseat can technically handle it. Depends on how much weight you lift in your spare time though.

  6. Late to the party…. We have the Graco SafeSeat, which is like the SungRide but goes to 35 lbs. This was excellent with the first baby, who was always on the small size and rode in that thing until she was over a year old and ready for the car seats she is still using now (at 3.5 years old).

    The second baby is much bigger- at 8.5 months she weighs more than the first weighed at a year. And @Dr. Jekyll is right- I'm lobbying to ditch the snap in seat because I'm having a hard time carrying my 20+ lbs of baby and the car seat (ours weights about 13 lbs, I think, or was it 11?)

    So also look at the weight of the seat and think about how much weight you can really haul.

    We used a book called Baby Bargains to sort through all the choices on all of these things. The only place it led us astray was on the high chair. Neither of our girls cared for the high chair we got. In the end, we used one of the little “travel booster chairs” that straps onto another chair. Visiting babies all liked our high chair just fine… so apparently it is something about our kids. I can't say I mind not having the big high chair in the kitchen though- that sucker took up a lot of space.

  7. @ Cloud and Dr. Jekyll – What did y'all use for a stroller if not the travel system? We've decided on the SnugRide, but we still need to figure out strollers.

    Thanks for the book rec Cloud…I've been compiling a reading list, which I'll be purchasing this weekend on Amazon!

  8. I agree with Cloud. The baby bargains book was very helpful.
    We did end up going with the complete travel system, but like Dr. J and Mrs. H mentions, it is heavy. On the plus side you don't have to use the car seat with the stroller the entire time. Once she gets bigger she can use the stroller part alone which will significantly cut down on how heavy everything is. However, if you have a small car or live in an apt. and would have to lug all this up and down flights of stairs, I would suggest looking at something smaller and lighter.

  9. The other option besides the travel system is that you get the car seat plus a stoller frame, e.g. http://www.amazon.com/Graco-SnugRider-Infant-Stroller-Frame/dp/B0007KMUH4

    Then when the kidlet outgrows the carseat, you can choose whether you buy a full-size stroller like the travel system stroller (e.g. http://www.amazon.com/Graco-Literider-Stroller-Lively-Dots/dp/B002TUTPCI/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=baby-products&qid=1277329528&sr=1-3, which is 17 lbs) or a lighter umbrella-type stroller (e.g. http://www.amazon.com/Maclaren-Quest-Sport-Stroller-Charcoal/dp/B00354776S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=baby-products&qid=1277329581&sr=1-1, which is 12 lbs). We went with a Maclaren (secondhand…) and it is quite easy to maneuver, smaller overall than the travel system-type stroller.

    It's personal preference and also living situation which works better for you. Urban types often are more umbrella stroller/carseat frame, while rural/suburban types with bigger cars and bigger supermarkets are often more keen on the travel system setup.

  10. Yeah, just like Dr. Jekyll, we just used a frame that the car seat snaps into.

    For our first, we had that and a BOB jogging/off road stroller. We added a folding stroller when she outgrew the carseat, and then a cheapo umbrella one for travel (but went on to use our slightly less cheapo folding one when we traveled, because it reclined, and so we could get her to nap while we saw the sights). Our folding one is still smaller than the stroller that comes with a travel system.

    Now, with two, we have an unbelievable collection of strollers…. all the ones from #1, plus two double strollers. It is sort of ridiculous. Luckily, we moved into a house with a garage in the interim, or we'd have a room full of strollers.

    Anyway, Dr. Jekyll is right- think about will fit in your car and what sort of situations you'll use the stroller in. I mostly like having the smaller stroller for shopping, so that I can maneuver around the racks. I've never missed the extra space of the travel system. My diaper bag is a backpack, so if I run out of space, I just put it on my back.

    Another thing to think about is if you plan to do any baby-wearing… if you do, you may find the stroller gets less use. We used the stroller a little less with baby #2, since she liked to be in the Moby when she was tiny, and that was really the easiest way to shop. Baby #1 basically fought like a banshee to get out of an baby wearing device until she was old enough to face out, so she rode in her stroller more.

    My other, totally unsolicited book suggestion is Birth Day by Mark Sloan. A fascinating read- basically, the history of giving birth. I recommend it to all my scientist friends who get pregnant. It won't help you pick a stroller or other gear, though.

  11. As updated by others, I have really loved that stroller frame for my carseat–it's the only stroller we've used for this first six months. We're finally to the point where we are considering a separate stroller that she can sit up in and face out (since she's getting more and more interested in everything out there).

    Also, you really don't need a high chair until the baby starts eating solids (and even then you can do feedings on mommy's or daddy's lap for a while) so you might as well wait until nearer the time to worry about that one.

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