May 2017 Moms

Baby Gear and Baby Item Recomendations - attempt #2

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Re: Baby Gear and Baby Item Recomendations - attempt #2

  • @schnitz9 I drive a Honda Fit. It has a surprising amount of space inside. I'm just having a hard time figuring out how to get a good measurement for car seats. To give you a general idea compared to your car, the Fit is listed as having 39.3" of legroom in the back, compared to 37.9" for the Rogue. As a hatchback, it's roomier than most cars, but still on the compact side for sure.
  • Ooh, I'm interested in this too. I got my new car this weekend (OMG YAY!), but I'm still not postive how an extended RF is going to fit. It's a Jeep Grand Cherokee, but they have smaller back seats in regards to car seats.
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  • @starphish18 I have the Radian and wouldn't take measurements for gospel. Depending on the shape and angle of the seat the car seat is installed on the recline distance can vary a bit. In my Audi A3 it seems like it reclines a mile but in my husband's old Lexus RX and his new Grand Cherokee it seems more upright so the distance is less of an issue. I'm on travel for work by can measure on Friday. 

    That said regardless of how deep it goes in your car do yourself a favor and buy the angle adjuster! It saved you an extra few inches of space so you don't have to slide the front seat up as much. 

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  • I don't own a Radian, but my friends do.  They also have a 4-ever.  If you plan to travel by air with a seat, I've heard the Radian is super heavy.

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  • @WombThereItIs So it does fit in your H's Grand Cherokee okay?
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  • lrwardroplrwardrop member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited January 3
    Hope it's ok that I resurrect this old thread. I figure it's still very relevant. I'm deciding between the Graco 4-ever and the Diono Radian. I think both would be perfectly fine, but I'm leaning towards the Diono if it fits in my car since it has a slightly higher rear-facing limit. @bacorrea and @lrwardrop, you both mentioned liking the Diono Radian. I was wondering if either of you (or anyone else) still have it installed rear-facing in your car? If so, would you be able to get two measurements for me so I can get an accurate idea of if it would fit? I'm looking for one measurement from the bottom corner that sits nuzzled against the seat straight up so it's level with the portion that sticks out the furthest near the headrest. Then, from that spot straight over to that portion of the headrest that would bump into the front seat first. The only measurements I can find online are a general width, which doesn't really help in determining where the widest portion near the top would hit the front seat. Hopefully that makes sense. Much appreciated if anyone still has it installed!


    My son is still RF at 17 months in my dodge journey. I am at work now I can measure later if needed. What kind of car do you have?

    you should get the angle adjuster. It really does give you more room. I have it. It does make your child sit more upright but my son hasn't had any issues falling asleep comfortably, sometimes when my husband drives like a crazy person and slams on the breaks his head comes forward but I just move it back.


    the carseat does not touch my seat when I am driving. When my husband is in the car he puts his seat back further and it does touch the carseat but does not move the car seat. The car seat is anchored in at the base and then there is also an anchor that comes from the back of the seat and gets attatched to the metal part underneath the driver seat.. kind of hard to explain. if you youtube how to install it you will see. my point is that the seat is very sturdy and does not budge when its installed properly. So if your seat touches it slightly, it will probably be ok.

    https://www.amazon.com/Diono-60320-Radian-Angle-Adjuster/dp/B006I1QTYQ/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1483463343&sr=8-1&keywords=diono+angle+adjuster


    starphish18
  • Yes the Diono Radian is a heavy seat and I would not purchase it if you plan to move it from car to car.


    I love the seat but it stays in my car and I've never brought it anywhere. I have another graco seat in my husbands car that gets uninstalled if needed.


    starphish18bacorrea
  • @lrwardrop Thanks! I drive a Honda Fit...it's a bit roomier than a car, but still not very big.
  • @WombThereItIs So it does fit in your H's Grand Cherokee okay?
    Beautifully. 

    Re: Diono and travel: it's a heavy bastard but with the backpack straps it frees your hands up soyij don't have to drag one of whole wheeled car seat carts. 

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  • bacorreabacorrea member
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    edited January 3
    @starphish18 I have to ask my dad for measuring tape, but I will try to update soon. 

    DD is 2.5 and still rear facing. Her car seat is behind the passenger seat, because I couldn't drive if she was behind me do to how big the car seat is and the whole not touching the seat in front. I'm 5'9 so my seat is probably further back than average women. I drive a Dodge Grand Caravan. I am going to FF DD when 2.0 is born and 2.0 will be in the Britax infant seat until I buy a new Diono. DD has been in her current one since 4ish months because she was too heavy and I hate the infant britax seat. 

    ETA I don't have an angle adjuster. The passenger seat being closer to the dashboard wasn't an issue for me because DH was deployed and we rarely drive together unless it's a road trip and then we take turns riding in the back. 

    Also I haven't traveled (via plane) with the Diono we have a cheapo car seat for air travel. 
    starphish18
  • The higher rear-facing limit is the main draw for me with the Diono. I guess, let me also ask this of anyone with a Graco 4-ever or other 40-lb rear facing limit. How long were you able to rear-face?
  • @bacorrea curious what you hated about the Britax infant seat? I had kinda narrowed it down to that one but am open to input. I know it's kinda heavy and a little narrow but I can't find a lot of other drawbacks? 


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  • @starphish18 ok I hope this is helpful. I also took pictures. Please excuse my super messy car! 

    Ok this is about 23 inches from the seat to where it sits not hitting the head rest.

    It's about an inch from the head rest. 


    This just an overal picture 


    It leaves about 10in of leg room for the front passenger.


    I hope this helps! 

    starphish18
  • @starphish18

    We have a Graco Milestone (similar to a 4-ever w/o a no-back booster) and a Chico Nextfit.  DD is 3 and still RF'ing.  She will be 3 1/2 when this kid comes and we will likely turn her around then.  Or maybe we'll keep her that way until 4.  I haven't really decided.  Either way, she should be under the 40lb limit of both seats.

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  • @ShadeofGreen816 I have the Britax a Chaperone, it's just huge and takes a ton of room in the back seat, I don't think they sell that one anymore though. It made our passenger seat of our jeap unuseable (we couldn't fit it behind the driver) DD was 9.9lbs so it was 30lbs+ of carrying from the beginning. I hate hate hate the Britax Stroller (B-Agile) that I got because there was no basket space. I'm actually going to get the Britax B-Ready 2017 there is more basket space and i'm going to make it into a double stroller.
  • @bacorrea thanks that's good to know. We are wanting the BSafe Elite which has great safety ratings and a few friends of mine have liked it. I do want to go to BBB before long though and see what it looks like in my car. Having zero room in the passenger seat is kinda a deal breaker. I do realize that the room will be less but I'm 5'8" and H is 5'10" so while we're not TALL, we need some reasonable leg room


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  • Kipperoo said:
    I was putting together baby girls room over the break and was reminded of something everyone should look into on the blackout curtain front--these things are AMAZING. We have them in my son's room and they are fully customizable and work with your existing window covers. They keep all of the light out and can easily be velcroed in or out. The only downside is that it makes your house look a bit like a murder house from the outside if you are looking closely...https://blackoutez.com/  
    I've never seen that one! I have one that suctions to the window which is very useful for travel or for a guest who likes their room darker.  We just buy the blackout curtains and put some fabric over a cut pool noodle on top of the curtain rod. It does make a world of a difference to have a dark room for the kiddo.

    And get this, my parents think we shouldn't be so extreme about making this LO's room dark like we did with DD because oh no, he won't be able to sleep anywhere else. Whatever.


  • I think no matter what car seat you have rear facing, it mostly depends on your car for how much leg room your going to have in the front.


    bacorrea
  • Has anyone use the KIIDE system?
  • @Cubslove12 the Kiinde?

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  • The higher rear-facing limit is the main draw for me with the Diono. I guess, let me also ask this of anyone with a Graco 4-ever or other 40-lb rear facing limit. How long were you able to rear-face?


    My son is 22 months and still RF and he still as a good 10lbs to go.  At his rate of growth (he's been in the 50% for weight and 5% for height since birth), we are looking at RF til about 3 years old.  I like the 4ever because the seat is much easier to install with latch than the diono.  Plus its what more compact. The head rest adjust up and down which give you more room RF.

    My best suggestion for you would be if you are planning on using an infant seat DON'T buy the toddler seat until you ready to use it.  This is for 2 reasons.  You can see how big your child is and if you in fact need an extended RF seat. Also the seats warranty is from date of purchase.  If you purchase a seat now and don't intend to use until after the infant seat you loose all that time on the warranty.  And trust me if you intend to get an all in one seat you want all 10 years of that warranty!

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  • On the RFing topic, has anyone flipped the car seats in one car but not the other?  The kids will be 2 Saturday and we are debating flipping them in DHs truck since his seats are a little harder to tighten RFing.  I'm just nervous that could make them not want to RF in my car.

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  • @starphish18 we actually have the Peg Perego primo Viaggio in my car, which RF until 45lbs, but my son is in 98th percentile for weight and height, and at nearly 3 still only weighs in at about 35 lbs. So we could RF for much longer if we wanted.  

    @chickyclg my husband also has a truck and we started FF in there first and didn't have issues. He rides in my car far more and it never seemed to bother him. 
    chickyclgstarphish18
  • @Cubslove12 I had a love hate relationship with it.  I hit a point where I stopped responding as well to the pump so I would have to combine 2 bags to to fill one bottle if I only got a couple oz on each side.  They were super convenient when I was EPing and out and about though as far as not having to carry around extra parts. 

    I never used the bottles since my LOs only wanted Avent or Dr Browns but I had a friend that swore by them.

    I also used the baby food system for puréed food for when we went on Vacation.

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  • @starphish18 For reference, my 5 year old DD is 34 lbs and average height/weight. So well under the 40lb RFing weight limit. My almost 3 year old DD is 25lbs. 
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    starphish18
  • SWE2SWE2 member
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    @Cubslove12 I'm a FTM so I haven't used mine yet but I bought the whole pack when it was on sale at zulily. I got it for the reviews and if I don't use for milk I am planning on making my own puréed food and will use it for that 
  • One thing to note about the RF limits is that there is a height limit as well. I think most kids actually hit the height limit way before the weight limit so if you have a tall kid or predict you will have a tall kid, I would consider that as well (for example, DS is in the 60th %ile for weight and therefore according to growth charts likely won't hit the weight limit (40 lbs) until he's like 4.5, but he's in the 95th %ile for height and if he stays there he'll be too tall around 3.
    Yesss. This so much. 
  • kat81kat81 member
    Long-Lasting Membership 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Photogenic

    FWIW my responses will be outdated because we have used (and still plan to use) mostly 2010 stuff! But I'll answer anyway...at least one thing I can say is that my responses are based off of two kids' worth of use.

    Infant Carseat (pros, cons, would you recommend)
    We used the chicco keyfit 30. I strongly recommend a similar "bucket" seat. Buckets are superior to convertibles because you can move a baby out of the car when s/he is sleeping. You can also move the seat from one car to another very easily (even if you have only one car, remember you might be riding in someone else's, traveling, etc.) These are also really great to pop into a stroller frame, so you can easily go from stroller to car and back with a sleeping baby. Babies fall asleep really randomly all of the time (especially when the car is involved), so it's great to be able to take the seat where you need it whenever you want. Get a convertible when the kid outgrows the bucket. This particular bucket seat is very easy to install, which is why we bought it. I'm glad it is also considered one of the good seats for "3 across" as we are going to try to do that.

    Evidence that I mean what I say -- our keyfit is now expired, but rather than make it work with seats we currently own (we have an infant-compatible seat and a different spare seat so we could make do without a new seat), we will instead buy a new bucket seat (probably this model again). Buckets are REALLY really really good to have.

    Toddler Carseat (pros, cons, would you recommend)
    The first toddler seat we got was the diono radian. It's a good, solid seat, and we got it because it's narrow (I guess we were always considering 3-across...). It has served us well for 4+ years now and we like it a lot. It also works for lots of stages, though we started using it at the FF stage. Cons -- it is SUPER heavy. Ridiculously so. A pain to travel with, even though we've done it before.*
    The next toddler/child seat we bought was the ImmiGo. I cannot recommend this seat enough, especially for travel. It takes up very little space, and it folds up into booster size, but it is a full 5 pt harness seat. Cons -- you NEED latch installation. It is forward-facing only, so use on older toddlers only.
    We also have a chicco nextfit. This is SO easy to use. It is pretty wide, though. I recommend it if you're not considering 3-across.
    We also have a clek foonf. This is a very expensive seat and considered to be the safest out there, also really wonderful for extended rear-facing. My 3 yr old uses this on a daily basis and it feels like she has a lot of time left she could continue to RF. For fun a couple of times DD and DS switched seats, meaning that my then 5 yr old was able to fit into her seat RF. It is also very narrow so it's good for 3-across. But it is extremely heavy and hard to install and adjust. I also don't think it's so easy to strap in the kid (for some reason the crotch buckle strap is really short.) This seat sits very high in the car (hence how it makes room for extended RF) but still works in our medium-small sedan (toyota corolla).

    *Speaking of travel, I HIGHLY recommend the Go-Go Babyz "travelmate" if you plan on flying or traveling in some other way with carseats past the infant-bucket-in-stroller stage (i.e. if you need to fly with a convertible carseat). This device is kind of like a luggage rack, but you strap the carseat onto it. The kid then sits in the carseat while traveling through the airport/train station and you pull them. You can't then use it as a stroller to walk around on city streets during your trip, but it is a great way to transport the carseat so that you don't have to ever carry the child or the seat. We also used the britax one, but after a lot of use it eventually broke. The gogobabyz one seems to be higher quality. Do NOT attempt to strap the seat to your rolling luggage, as this could damage your luggage unless your seat is extremely lightweight.

    Stroller (pros, cons, would you recommend)
    Get a stroller frame to go with your infant bucket, such as the snap n go. We got the maclaren one because it apparently worked better with the chicco keyfit. Do NOT get a "stroller system" that goes with your carseat. It will be bulky and heavy and just generally not worth it.
    For us, we then also got a macleran "triumph," which is basically a fancy umbrella stroller that is lightweight but very solid and safe starting at 3-4 mo old. We used these two strollers a LOT with DS, as we lived in a high walking area. Both held up through a second child as well, and seem like they'll be good to go through the third. Neither stroller was great for real off-roading on trails--dirt okish, but rocks not so much (we did try) and neither is any good in the snow (we also did this a lot with DS--esp the stroller frame--as it was a crippling winter right after he was born). But otherwise they were great. They both packed up very small and very light (could easily break down and carry onto the city bus over your shoulder.)
    I think that it might behoove you to buy more than one stroller rather than get one of the ones that is over $1000 and lasts for lots of different stages/ages. But you can do this if you get one of those fancy ones used.
    Also neither of my strollers were good for two kids. With a 2.75 yr age difference we found this not to be a problem. I could wear one kid sometimes, or make them take turns using the stroller as DD was a bit older but DS still needed a break here and there (the triumph works for much older kids if needed...well past when you want your kid in a stroller anyway.)

    Pack n Play (pros, cons, would you recommend)
    Some people would say you don't need a pack and play. I think you absolutely do need one if you'll be traveling, unless you always travel to someone who has one or to a hotel (they nearly always have a crib or pack n play). We also used the bassinet attachment of the pack n play for the first 3 months of each child's life so the baby could sleep in the room with us overnight but could have his/her own room with a crib that was used during the day for naps. We got the simplest graco one, which was just a pack and play and bassinet. I believe it also had some mobile attachment thing but we didn't even use that. You don't need to get the one with the changing area and all of that other stuff, IMO.

    If you don't go for a pack n play a lot of people opt for the rock n play. We never had one, but I heard these do wonders for the baby who won't nap and/or has a reflux problem. You cannot use them for overnight or long/excessive napping because you can create a torticollis/neck problem in the baby, but otherwise these seem like great products...that came out just after DS was born.

    Swing (pros, cons, would you recommend)
    We never got one and never missed it. For sure you don't need a swing AND a bouncy AND a rock n play. There is some redundancy here.

    Bouncy Chair (pros, cons, would you recommend)
    We had one of these. I highly recommend some sort of infant seat of this sort so you have a place to put the baby when you're doing various things. We definitely used ours a lot for both kids and still have it for #3. I don't remember the brand, but I think these are kind of all the same. Just make sure the thing can disassemble and be washed. You will have poopslposions in there.

    Crib (pros, cons, would you recommend)
    N/A...we got ours hand-me-down from my sister. I guess I'd just say simple is good.

    Monitor (pros, cons, would you recommend)
    We had a standard audio monitor for DS and that was fine, but decided to get a video monitor with two cameras when DD came along, also because DS was getting out of his bed and we really wanted to keep an eye on him more than anything else. This was SUCH a good choice. I believe our brand is summer. I highly recommend a video monitor, and get one with multiple cameras because you'll end up wanting to watch more than one kid or more than one location. Ours expands to 4 if we want to get more cameras, but as of now we're not really using it on the older kids, so we will not get more cameras.

    Breast Pump (pros, cons, would you recommend)
    I LOVED the medela freestyle and I'm hoping beyond hope that my insurance will cover it. After two kids I do need a new one, but it did last for both kids (from 2010-2014 with very frequent use). It was SO portable/small/light. I even dared to pump in public a few times (airplane, train, bus) and was able to with this thing and a nursing cover. It's loud (not louder than average, but definitely loud) so it wouldn't work to pump in public in a non-loud place but a plane is super loud so it worked for me. And I was sitting next to a stranger to boot. This one also had easier-to-clean parts, IMO.
    Cons -- this is a pricey one and for other people (NOT me), people have complained about the "suction."

    High Chair (pros, cons, would you recommend)
    Get the $20 ikea one that is all plastic. We got this one used for $5 and it has worked great through two kids. It is SO simple. There is no cloth part that gets messy and is hard to clean. It is the easiest to clean seat, and when you're eating outside you can literally just hose the whole thing down. It is also so cheap. This is the one product I feel the most confident that you absolutely should get no question. You can also screw the legs off and travel with it, though a better travel choice could be one of those ones that straps to a table (doesn't work on tables with a single leg for stability reasons, or tables with a big skirt because there is no room for the kid to sit.)

    Bottles (pros, cons, would you recommend)
    With DS we just used the medela ones that came with the pump and then bought some extras of those. They worked totally fine. We didn't even ever HAVE to get the larger size, though we did end up getting some bigger avent ones just in case daycare wanted to give him a bigger dose of milk, or also when he was older and drank cow's milk from a bottle (he was cup age, but not so great with learning the cup so he stayed on the bottle for a bit into toddlerhood). For DD, she had trouble with learning to use a bottle in spite of us trying to practice frequently in those early months, so we ended up being those parents who bought one of every single brand of bottle to try to see which one would work (especially the breast-like ones). Eventually we had to dump her at daycare and they were just goddesses who figured out how to feed her and all was good. So we tried everything. I don't really have a recommendation since none of them worked until daycare took over, and then the regular medela ones worked afterall. I think there is kind of a racket for those "just like the breast" bottles.

    Diaper Bag (pros, cons, would you recommend)
    This is going to be such a personal preference. Try for less is more, though, if you can. And get something cute that is not too bulky/heavy. Ours is a black and grey/silver shoulder bag that is not feminine, so it's normal when DH uses it. But it is not attractive, either. Doing it again I would consider a different bag, though ours worked great and we will probably just use it again for #3.

    Misc Items you can't live without
    A good carrier (we LOVE the ergo "sport," and the moby wrap served a good purpose; there are others), random cloths & blankets (steal from the hospital), a breastfeeding pillow (my breast friend is better than boppy, but boppy is what we have), breastfeeding supplies (like extra pump stuff, bottles, steam bags, cleaning wipes, storage bags), a changing table--we got a crappy used one (some people try to do without, but these are at a good height for changing, unlike some other surfaces you might use instead), a good chair/glider/rocker for nursing, a swaddling solution (either swaddle blankets if you're good at it, or the velcro swaddle ones if you aren't an expert--I liked those!)

    Some other things we found useful: an exersaucer (what you'll use as a place to put baby when s/he has outgrown the bouncer), a baby gate/cage so you can make an area of your living room / house that is blocked off for the baby--good for the crawling phase, though soon after walking they will lean on it / try to climb it, a baby tub to bath your baby in the bathtub--we had a whale one that worked well, a tub seat if you want to bathe your baby at the same time as your older kid--good for age 5-9 mo or so (we used one from a friend), and probably a bunch of stuff I can't remember but will discover when we open up the bins in the attic. :-)

    Items that are def not needed and you found a waste of money
    We never got a bumbo but yeah, those things are bad for your baby and a waste of money. Get a bouncy seat.
    As I said above, it's probably not needed that you get a bunch of redundant products like the bouncy and the swing and the jumperoo and the exersaucer and the pack n play and the rock n play and a bassinet and a co-sleeper. Some of these have some overlap with each other.
    We never got an infant play mat and I do not think they are necessary. Just give your kid a toy (or a "toy" like a safe household tool) and put them on your yoga mat. Granted you might get spit-up on your yoga mat. But this washes out, and you don't need a tummy-time mat IMO.
    As I said above, don't get a "travel system" with your carseat because the strollers are crappy, heavy, and bulky.
    Superfluous nursery decorations (not our style, might be yours...but seriously, don't get carried away.)
    Crib bumpers that come with crib sets...also, crib sets in general. These bumpers are actually not safe. People get them because they look nice. Just don't. The only thing you need is a crib SHEET. Don't get sucked into a set that will sell you a skirt, bumpers, a pillow (!!) and other crap.


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  • @kat81 , the Immi Go looks awesome! We have been contemplating what to do when we finally turn my son front facing. He's in a Britax right now, which is good and safe but it is MASSIVE. And traveling with it is a pain. And it definitely doesn't fit in our Mini Cooper (which is very, very rarely used with him, but still would be nice to have some versatility). I think this could be a good option and it's great to hear from someone who has used it and loves it!
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  • FTM wondering about bassinets. We are getting a hand me down crib in good condition from family, but H and I would like a bassinet to use for the first few months before the crib. I found one on Amazon and Target that had good reviews, the "Arm's Each Concepts Mini Ezee 2 in 1 Bedside Bassinet." Anyone use a bassinet they would recommend or use the one I just mentioned? Any suggestions when looking to buy a bassinet?
  • @luckywife10 I've always just used the pack n play for the first couple of months in our room. I didn't feel like it was necessary to have a separate bassinet that would only be used for a short time. We needed a pack n play for travel so it was more beneficial for us in the long run. 
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  • kat81kat81 member
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    h&pmomma said:
    @luckywife10 I've always just used the pack n play for the first couple of months in our room. I didn't feel like it was necessary to have a separate bassinet that would only be used for a short time. We needed a pack n play for travel so it was more beneficial for us in the long run. 
    I was going to say this exactly.
    I think the advantage of a bassinet is that it is smaller and you could possibly arrange it to be more "arm's length" than the pack n play, but we used the pack n play for this purpose and never got a bassinet.

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  • kat81kat81 member
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    Kipperoo said:
    @kat81 , the Immi Go looks awesome! We have been contemplating what to do when we finally turn my son front facing. He's in a Britax right now, which is good and safe but it is MASSIVE. And traveling with it is a pain. And it definitely doesn't fit in our Mini Cooper (which is very, very rarely used with him, but still would be nice to have some versatility). I think this could be a good option and it's great to hear from someone who has used it and loves it!
    Yes the Immi Go is REALLY great. You absolutely must use latch installation and that can be limiting, but the vast majority of cars have latch (all cars since something like 1990 have it), and as long as you don't have 3 across all needing latch, you should be fine. It needs the top latch, too.

    As I said, for travel it depends on what kind you're doing and the age of your kid what you want to go with. We like immi go for travel, but for a younger kid who might need to be strolled around the airport/train station/etc, it is nice to get one of those rolling things and roll the kid in his/her seat. The immi go would not be able to be rolled. But if your kid does not need to be rolled, the immi go is quite easy to carry and is booster-sized when folded up.

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  • One thing I would double check with a LATCH only install is weight limits. LATCH often has much lower total seat + child weight limits and once they pass about 40 lbs combined you need to seat belt route. 

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  • Does anyone have an opinion on a mini pack n play vs the regular size pack n play? We can't decide which one to get. Almost everywhere we go that we would bring it is a small area, and we do have an ancient old huge one we can use if need be, but I can only find one person who has an opinion on the two.
  • @absbubbs I assume the mini is small than a regular one? In our experience, DD outgrew the regular one at about 18 months so it wasn't an option when we traveled.  If the mini is even smaller, I'd lean towards the regular.  Is the one you have a different size than a current regular model? You can often find the regular ones on good sales.  I think I got one w/ no frills for my mom off Amazon for $40.

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  • @absbubbs I would get the regular size one for sure if you want to use it like a travel crib.  They out grow the smaller ones pretty quickly.

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