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happy playing

s first cereal

s first cereal

Baby Gear
'Screen Tester Print E-mail
Thursday, 10 May 2007

It’s that time of year – the sun comes out, the clothes come off . . . and the sunscreen fights begin.

Last year Maddie was just a year old, and not able to fight us very effectively. She submitted with good grace, largely because she didn’t know she had options, I think. This year, she has no interest whatsoever in sitting still while we get the sunscreen on her and is very vocal about it.

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Silkys For Everyone! Print E-mail
Friday, 30 March 2007

As I’ve mentioned several times before, Maddie has a lovey that works really well for her – Silky. She goes through cycles of need: sometimes she only needs it for sleep time, and sometimes she’ll request it several times throughout the day as she gets sleepy, cuddly, or scared. Currently she’s going through a Silky intensive, and will ask for it at church or after a big play date. We’re so grateful for the thing that right now we don’t care if she’s still carrying it when she delivers her first State of the Union address. In fact, we’re planning on getting one for peanut to use later on, and see if it works as well for her as it does for her big sister.

Maddie’s been preparing for the big sister role- bossiness and mothering come easily to her (don’t know where she gets that . . .) and, while I’m sure it’s a developmental phase every tot goes through, she’s intensely interested in imitating Mommy. She loves diapering any stuffed animal she can get her hands on (Kitty wouldn’t hold still, much to her chagrin), cooking for her dolls in her kitchen, placing them in her toy high chair and “feeding” them, putting the dolls to bed in her toy crib, and so on.

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Car Seat Safety Update, Revised Print E-mail
Monday, 22 January 2007

A couple weeks ago I told you about a recent Consumer Reports test; the Consumers Union tested 12 rear-facing infant car seats and reported that 10 out of the 12 seats used failed at least one of their tests.

Last week, the Consumers Union retracted that report after the federal government claimed the failure results came from drastically higher test speeds than stated in the report.

Consumer Reports has announced an internal investigation into the veracity of the government’s claims, and that they will re-do the tests as soon as possible and issue a new report. Meanwhile, they are still urging a recall of the Evenflo Discovery, the car seat that failed the most in their tests.

I imagine that if you’re a parent using one of the infant car seats that got low marks, you’re feeling partly relieved but partly confused right now. I know I would be. I’m not sure what I would do in your situation. Here are the things I know to be true:

Consumer Reports works really hard to provide unbiased, high-quality, dependable information to consumers. They refuse to accept advertising or sponsors, conduct all their tests anonymously so they don’t get “freebies”, and do not allow companies to even use their name in advertising such as “Consumer Reports rated us the best!”

I also know that ANY car seat is better than no car seat at all. So here are some things you can do:

-Make sure your car seat is in good condition. If your baby is the sixth one to use it, you may want to think about buying a new one. Buckles and straps start to wear down with time, and the plastic may be weaker than you think.

-Along those lines, I’d encourage you not to buy a car seat second-hand; you have no way of knowing if that seat you picked up for 20 bucks at a garage sale has already been in a wreck or not, and thus may be structurally weaker. Only borrow a used car seat from someone you know and trust, make sure you have all the instruction books, and look them up on line to make sure the model hasn’t been recalled.

-If you buy a new car seat, register it with the maker so they can notify you of any safety issues or recalls.

-Sign up at this site to be notified of any government recalls; they’ll email you automatically.

-Get your car seat installation checked. Click here to find a location near you. Having your seat correctly installed is half the battle.

-Click here to read an article on the car seat test retraction. You can also read about it at Consumer Reports’ website or read the government’s updates on the situation at the NHTSA website.

-Use a car seat. All the time.

I’ll let you know if there’s more news on this topic as I find out about it.

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Car Seat Safety Update Print E-mail
Friday, 12 January 2007

Infant car seats made news recently when Consumer Reports ran a new batch of tests against 12 brands of rear-facing infant car seats. Using speeds of 35 and 38 MPH rather than the government speed of 30 MPH, Consumer Reports found that 10 out of the 12 car seats failed.

Yes, 10 out of 12 car seats failed.

In addition, Consumer Reports found that when testing a European model of a popular car seat, that car seat performed better than any other car seat they tested. The American version – same manufacturer – failed. Coincidentally, car seat testing in Europe is much stricter. CR also found evidence of problems with the LATCH system, and said seats did better when secured with a seatbelt. One car seat, the Evenflo Discovery, didn’t even meet government standards, and Consumer Reports is urging a recall of that product.

Three car seats failed all of CR’s tests – the Evenflo Discovery, the Graco Safeseat, and the Britax Companion. Only the Baby Trend Flex-Loc and the Graco Snugride with EPS passed every test.

For more information, read the entire report by clicking here. And even if you’ve got a top-rated car seat, I encourage you to find a car seat inspection station near you to make sure your seat is properly installed.

And of course, remember that any car seat is better than no car seat at all.

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Bagging It Print E-mail
Tuesday, 17 October 2006

I’m back from a three-day weekend visiting my new nephew (more on that later), and finally have a chance to check in on last week’s poll – how you deal with the Diaper Bag Dilemma.

Almost half of you have only one bag, which also acts as your purse. A few confessed to being a diaper bag addict – the new accessory obsession for mommies– while a couple of you said you’ve got a few bags that you choose from depending on how long you’ll be gone. And one person admitted to carrying a diaper bag and separate purse, and feeling like a pack mule.

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