Archive: Gear Guide

Car Seat Conundrum: Demystifying car seats & boosters with Dr. Alisa Baer

choosing a safe car seat for your infant, toddler and childWe know that choosing a car seat is tricky (you want the safest car seat that’s easy to install and transport while looking great in your car!). No doubt, there are a lot of factors at play, but it needn’t overwhelm! There is a science to it. Guiding factors include the age, height and weight of each child, how many kids you have, your lifestyle and type of car you are most likely traveling in. Luckily most seats work with most models, but some work better or worse depending on your vehicle and the backseat configuration. “It’s like a puzzle,” says Dr. Alisa Baer, dubbed “The Car Seat Lady.” With thousands of car seat installations under her belt, she has created magic formulas of seats countless times.

There are a few things that you can look for or consider when making your purchase to ensure a good choice, including how long it remains rear-facing (the longer the better: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends at least two years) and how secure the seatbelt installation is.   Even if you picked a great seat, proper installation is key. “What’s shocking,” says Baer, “is that an overwhelming number of car seats are not installed correctly.” Baer notes, “If you’re not sure how to do it, you can go to seatcheck.org or safekids.org and find a certified installer in your area.” In fact, considering the misuse rates, she’d recommend it.

Living in the city can add extra complication to the car seat question. “Although it’s legal to travel in the city in a cab without a car seat,” says Baer, “this doesn’t mean it’s safe.”  The best solution depends on the baby’s age and stage she says.

Do you Q? Introducing the Aton Q at Babesta!

Aton Q car seat at BabestaWe love the latest car seat by Cybex, the Aton Q. Does it make the grade? We say decidedly yes!

Beauty: A+: It’s got an XXL canopy, comes in lots of fashion colors (but we’re New Yorkers, so we’ll almost always go for black) and is made with premium fabrics. It’s sleek and modern and as far as car seats go, it’s a stunner.

Brains: A++: Superior side impact protection ensures forces are distributed in the car seat shell, away from baby; it features super easy and secure installation; and requires no rethreading the straps—the adjustable headrest does it for you! To boot, the seat’s even safer for preemies due to super flat positioning.

Also, like the Aton 2, the seat has a load leg that reduces forward pitching of the seat, reducing the stress on your baby’s head and neck in case of an accident, is washable and works seamlessly with a range of strollers making for an easy travel system.

 Aton Q review car seat babesta

Here are some of the features in detail:

Superior Side Impact Protection: The seat features “Telescopic Linear Side-impact Protection”, which means that in an accident, the first forces are transferred by the pull out side protector facing the door and distributed to the car seat shell, thereby absorbing the forces of the impact and channeling them away from baby. This is an upgrade from the Aton 2 increasing the safety quotient.

Automatic height adjustment of the seat: For preemies and newborns especially, the angle of the head, neck and chest is important, as the wrong position can create breathing difficulties. The new Cybex Q adjusts the sitting angle as the baby grows and you adjust the headrest.

No more rethreading straps!  With the new 8-position height-adjustable headrest with integrated harness guide, the length of the harness changes automatically when the headrest is adjusted. This prevents any need for the difficult threading in and out of the harness and makes it almost impossible to misuse.

An XXL foldaway sun canopy: UVP 50+ sun canopy protecting baby’s skin. It also protects from wind and rain!

Easy travel system:  The Aton Q infant car seat can be effortlessly converted into a travel system with many buggies and strollers.

Other features:

  • Load leg reduces forward movement upon impact decreasing the stress on your child’s neck and head in the event of a collision. The load leg distributes the force into the back of the car seat instead.
  • Seat is equipped with EPS foam, which absorbs energy in a collision.
  • The Aton Q base’s belt-tensioning plates makes installation quick and easy using latch or safety belts
  • Seat release is two-step.
  • Seat features five point harness with shoulder and buckle pads.
  • It’s super light – only 8.8 lbs (seat) and 10.25 lbs (base)
  • Removable infant insert to position newborns and newborn inlay
  • Indicator confirms the correct attachment of carrier to base (again, making correct installation easy!)
  • Breathable fabric covers are machine washable

The new Cybex Aton Q infant car seat is suitable for children weighing 4-35 pounds, and up to 30” tall. Comes with a car seat and base. Additional bases (for additional cars) are available separately.

How to choose the best double stroller for you!

We wanted to help walk 2nd time parents through some of our favorite options for double strollers! It’s not the easiest category, and we’ve never heard of a parent who looks forward to making the purchase. No matter what, double strollers are bigger, heavier and bulkier than single strollers, there’s no getting around that. They have to hold two children safely so they must be robust.  There are a few questions you can ask to help you decide which one is right for you!

First, do you prefer In-Line or Side by Side?

There are great options for either configuration, and we’ve found that most people have a distinct preference between having kids side by side or front & back. If the children are side by side, your ride will be wide. If they’re front & back, it will be long. We find many city dwellers like the front back configuration because it’s easier and less obtrusive in the city streets and down the narrow aisles of the supermarket. But there are some great side by sides as well, and all that we carry clear a standard door frame (sometimes by centimeters) so entry won’t be a problem.

The next question: are your children further apart in age or twins/close in age?

If you’re accommodating twins, you need a solution that can be configured with two bassinets or two car seats. If they’re farther apart in age, you want a solution that can accommodate at least 1 bassinet or car seat, and then have a decent sized seat for your elder child.

Another consideration: Which is more important to you, an easy fold or more comfortable seating? 

Most strollers are easy to fold once you get the hang of it, but some companies have really taken the fold as a point of distinction. For those who are taking cars and taxis a lot, with stroller in tow, one with an easy fold is great. But, if you’re primarily using the stroller around the neighborhood and have a lightweight stroller for car trips, you might choose the stroller with the plush seating.

Here are some of our top picks, depending on how you answered the above questions!

If you like inline strollers, and have twins: Baby Jogger City Select. We like the City Select because it’s very flexible. Kids can be in two car seats, two bassinets, two seats, a mix; and they can face front, back or each other. The negative: it’s a bit long and that means maneuverability is a little harder, but really it’s not too bad. It’s a lifesaver for parents of twins and our clients have loved it!

city select double

 

If you like inline strollers, and your children are mixed age: Phil & Ted Navigator Stroller. With a big seat up front and a smaller seat in back, closer to the parent, this is a great compact solution for two kids. Both bassinet & car seat options for one child. Narrow, not too long and easy to push. This one can also start as a single, and you can buy a doubles kit later.Phil and Ted navigator stroller

If you like side by side strollers, and you are on-the-go a lot in cars & taxis: City Mini Double Stroller.The fold on this strollers is amazing. It’s hands down the easiest double to fold and put in the trunk and is great for on the go. It’s a little on the wide side, as side by sides tend to be and that means you have to always have two hands behind the wheel. But this stroller is always a favorite pick by busy city parents for its ease of use.

city mini double

If you like side by side strollers and you are primarily strolling around the neighborhood & comfort is king: Bugaboo Donkey. This is the most luxe of the strollers and its combinations are endless. First of all you can buy it as a “MONO” meaning, it’s a single stroller with a nice sized shopping basket. Then later you can open it up and purchase the doubles kit to convert it into a double stroller. The kids can face forward or back, there can be 1 or 2 bassinets and 1 or 2 car seats. The flexibility and durability of this stroller (not to mention style) is great! It is a little more complicated to fold, but for city parents who are navigating their neighborhood, it’s a top pick. There’s also customization options (you can change the canopies and try out a limited edition designer canopy with an Andy Warhol or Pendleton print) and very comfy seats!

bugaboo donkey

Want to see our selection of doubles? Check them out here, but remember, stock comes in and out daily, so if you don’t see what you want just let us know & we’ll let you know when it will be back! Normally things go back in stock in a matter of a few days.

 

Fly Ride! The Yoyo stroller by Baby Zen at Babesta Cribz

The new BabyZen Yoyo stroller is the talk of the town for the travel set these days. It folds down to airline “carry-on” size, so that you can avoid the gate check! This easy lightweight stroller feels sturdy and the comfy seat is perfect for an on-the-go babe. When not in use, it features an easy carry strap, so is simple to transport. We have a sample in the store (though it officially launches later on in the spring.) We’re taking pre-orders, so if you’re smitten, we’ll give you first dibs! Here’s a quick demo video! $469.Shop BabyZen here!

Jeremy Scott, New Creative Director for Moschino

Jeremy Scott for CybexWe’re psyched to see what super-fun designer Jeremy Scott will do with the Moschino brand as Creative Director! Judging by his quirky style with awesome carseat company Cybex, we know it’s a match made in heaven! Congrats!

Friday Face-Off: Let’s Bounce

BABYSITTER VS COCO GO

Clockwise from the left: Babysitter and Coco Bouncer

This week in the ring we introduce two of our favorite contenders for the Lightweight/Travel Bouncer Title.  Let’s meet the competitors, shall we?

IN THIS CORNER:  BLOOM’S COCO GO BOUNCER!

With three easy recline positions – fully flat, semi-upright, and fully upright – this bouncer with it’s two speed concealed vibration unit weighs in at 7.5lbs.  For families on the go, the Coco Go includes an easy travel bag.  The fabric components are machine washable, the wood elements are birch in three beautiful finishes, and the anti-skid base includes front and rear retractable feet.  Suitable for newborn to 20lbs, this bouncer is certainly a strong contender for the title.

IN THE OTHER CORNER: BABY BJORN’S BABYSITTER!

Whether for play, rest, or sleep, this bouncer transforms your child’s movements into a soothing rocking motion to refine balance and motor skills while keeping your hands free.  This bouncer is also ready to travel, easily folding into a compact travel position and weighing in at just 5lbs.  Developed in close collaboration with pediatricians, the Babysitter features an ergonomic design to properly support your child – from newborn up to about 2 years – and distribute their weight evenly.  The Babysitter is made of machine-washable, guaranteed child safe fabrics and the reversible fabrics and harness allow you to create several color schemes.

Now that you’ve been introduced to the competitors, LET THE GAMES BEGIN! (In the comments of course, let us know what you think!)

-L.E.

Friday Face-Off: Bugaboo vs. Bugaboo

CAMELION VS BUFFALO

Clockwise from the left: Cameleon and Buffalo

This week we welcome two different Bugaboo models to the ring: the Cameleon and the Buffalo.  Let’s meet the contenders…

THE BUGABOO CAMELEON!

The Cameleon3 is Bugaboo’s iconic stroller: 3 terrain, 3-in-1 design, 3rd generation.  And we can see why people love it.  Weighing in at 21lbs, the 3-in-1 design easily adapts to car seats (with a variety of adapters for a variety of manufacturers), the reversible bassinette, and the reversible stroller seat.  Watch as it takes on the city with it’s smaller swivel wheels to the front; marvel as the handle bar pivots around to hit the trail with the large foam wheels forward to take on rough terrain; and stand in awe as it transitions easily from four to two wheels to take on snow and sand.  The seat and bassinet (independent and included) both flip easily to allow your child to face you or the world.  The easily accessible hand break allows you to stop on a dime and the handlebar is height adjustable to allow for easy, one-handed steering.  The foam wheels in conjunction with adjustable swivel wheel suspension in 4 positions makes the Cameleon live up to it’s namesake easily taking on a variety of environments.

THE BUGABOO BUFFALO!

A newcomer to the scene, we’re excited to invite the Buffalo to the ring.  It’s optimized for robust use, allowing you to put up to 13lbs of weight on the handlebar without the stroller tipping, 50lbs in the seat, and 22lbs under the seat for a combined weight of up to 80lbs.  You can also attach the wheel board at 31lbs and be ready to go.  Of course a stroller this robust doesn’t steer with one hand like the Cameleon, but it still swivels smoothly and is ready to take on any terrain.  This stroller has a more outdoorsy family in mind.  It has the largest seat of the Bugaboo models and it’s four foam wheels are prepared to provide a smooth ride in any environment.  It also has an extended canopy for extra protection against wind, sun, and rain.  It can fold up in one piece for garage/in-home storage or in two pieces to more easily fit in the car so you can get out and go.  The seat reclines to allow the little one to sit up straight when awake, recline when relaxed, or lie flat when fast asleep.  We also love the height-adjustable handlebar that offers a greater range of heights than ever before.

In the Bugaboo vs. Bugaboo battle, which contender do you put your money on?  Let us know in the comments!

-L.E.

Shop Be comfortable: In CAMELEON or BUFFALO strollers by Bugaboo in your Babesta store

Friday Face-Off: Vista/Cameleon Smackdown!

VISTA VS CAMELIONClockwise from the left: Cameleon and Vista

Let the stroller games begin!

IN THIS CORNER: THE UPPABABY VISTA!

One step fold with or without seat attached, watch this stroller seamlessly transition between positions for easy travel.  The completely interchangeable bassinet and seat come included to keep you covered from birth to 50lbs and the easy to read red to green attachment indicators make switching a breeze.  The “no-flat” rubber and foam wheels guarantee a smooth ride no matter where you roll and the arched rear axle means you won’t be kicking the stroller with every step.

AND IN THIS CORNER: THE BUGABOO CAMELEON!

Keeping you covered from birth to 37.5lbs, the Bugaboo Cameleon’s classic silhouette is the king of convertibility and weighs in at just 21lbs.  The 3-in-1 design adapts to car seats, the reversible bassinette, and reversible seat with ease.  It’s also easily car seat compatible with a variety of adapters available for a variety of manufacturers.  Start your day in City Exploration mode with the smaller, swivel wheels facing forward for a smooth, stable, easy-to-control ride!  Watch as it easily switches to allow you to Hit the Trail simply by reversing the handlebars so the large, foam wheels are forward! Marvel as it converts into a two wheeled stroller for snow and sand!  The reversible seat allows your child to face you or the world in one of three recline positions: flat for naptime, semi-upright for relaxation, and fully upright for when they’re wide awake.  The adjustable suspension in four positions allows you to optimize the ride for a baby or for a toddler.  The Cameleon also features an easy on /off rain cover and an easily accessible hand break.  All fabrics are durable and machine washable so you can clean them as often as you need to without worry.

So, ladies and gentlemen, take your seats, lay down your bets, and hit the comments section to see which of these two excellent contenders takes the title this week!

-L.E.

The New Buffalo Stroller

bufallo stroller (2)

It’s a real menagerie of strollers these days between the Cameleon, Donkey, Bee, and now the newest in our “zoo”, the Buffalo! This stroller is hearty, with big wheels for negotiating rugged terrain. The carry handle is tested with weight on it so it’s kosher to hang your diaper bag on it without worry of affecting chassis. The extendable handlebar is huge so can give the perfect push for someone tall and someone diminutive. The under seat basket is supersized as well giving it lots of storage space, and it folds all in one piece making it easy to get into the car or store away! In essence, we dig it! Pop in the store and give it a whirl :) )

Shop the Buffalo here

Shop all Bugaboo here!