Categories
Family Life

Making Baby Car Seats and Installation Stress Free with Baby Car Seat Installers

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One of the biggest challenges as a new parent is the car seat! We bought a Peg Perego infant seat and took it to a car seat clinic 2 months before our baby was born, just to make sure it was installed correctly. We were like any new overly cautious parent, super ready and excited for our son to arrive! I can then remember when he was only 4 months old and had already reached the height limit on his infant seat. There are so many manufactures and models on the market, how does one choose? We visited the store and tried 4 seats before we settled on the Britax with the cow print fabric, or until I convinced my husband it was the best and worth the extra money. It was what I wanted all along, I just need him to agree!  But the problem was we bought our seat on a Saturday and their installer was only in on Tuesdays, so now what? Everything we read and had been told was that you needed to make sure your seat was installed correctly just like we did with our infant seat. I sat on the computer for a couple of hours searching for car seat clinics in my area and the next one was in a month. That was 9 years ago and lots has changed.

One of the biggest changes are companies like Baby Car Seat Installers. I had to share all about them so that if there is anyone still struggling with installing their car seat like I did 9 years ago, they can rest assured that Mohammad is to the rescue – no need to stress! Read on and learn a little about them, what they do and their advice to anyone purchasing or installing a seat themselves.

1. Please tell us a little about Baby Car Seat Installers.

We install car seats and teach parents how to use their car seats correctly. We also offer free installation inspections for parents who have installed their own child passenger restraint systems. Baby Car Seat Installers was started after I experienced firsthand how difficult it was to install a car seat correctly and how few resources were available. Our child passenger technicians are certified through St. John Ambulance, and we aim to educate and promote the importance of child passenger safety through our services and resources.

2. What areas do you service?

Our drive-in facility is located in Markham. We primarily service the Greater Toronto Area, but our mobile team has visited parents at home, work and even the hospital all over southern Ontario. We do our best to be there—wherever “there” may be—when we’re needed most.

3. Why is it important to make sure that your car seat is installed correctly?

Health Canada indicates car crashes as the leading cause of injury and death among Canadian children. And Transport Canada studies show over 80% of car seats are not used correctly. These two statistics demonstrate a dire need for more child passenger education and services. On the brighter side, St. John ambulance states using a car seat correctly seat can reduce the chance of serious injury by 70% and fatality by 90%. This is why we do what we do. Baby Car Seat Installers is trying to make a difference one car seat installation at a time.

4. Shopping for a new car seat can be very overwhelming. What tips can you recommend to those who are shopping for one?

Rest assured that all new seats sold in Canada meet the Canadian safety standards. That being said, a good place to start is determining what stage car seat your child will need and your budget.

I highly suggest doing some research online first and finding seats you like, and then visiting the store so you can see them. Doing your own research is crucial because the staff at many retailers don’t have the experience to ensure you’re choosing the best seat for your child and vehicle. If you need help in the store, find someone that knows car seats; or visit another time, location, or store. Often seats at different retailers can sometimes look identical but can be different. It is important to pay attention to the seats’ features, weight and height allowances and infant support padding that come with the models.

5. What tips do you have for people who aren’t located in your service area and want to install their seat themselves?

Check with your local health department if there are any community car seat clinics you can attend. Do this well in advance because they are generally held only a few times a year, and they book up extremely fast.  If you are left without an option and have to do it yourself, consider the following guidelines:

1) Set aside time and do it well in advance. Doing it last minute will only increase the likelihood of errors.

2) Check YouTube for reputable installation videos—those that are current and done by technicians—for your exact car seat model. If you can’t find one for your model, watch a similar model seat. This will give you a general idea of pressure needed when installing and how a correct installation should look and feel.  Bear in mind each car and seat is different, therefore, you will have to install your specific seat according to your particular user guide and vehicle manual.

3) Read the manual. Read the entire car seat bible (manual) and the child restraint sections in your vehicle manual. If you skip this step—long as it may be—your chances of winning a lottery are higher than installing the seat correctly. Your time versus your child’s safety, it’s your call.

4) Prepare as much of the seat as possible out of the vehicle with ample space, then take it into your car for installation. Working in the confined back seat can be frustrating.

5) Check your install. Make sure the base or seat doesn’t move from side to side or front to back more than an inch from the belt path. Check to see if the harness system still operates smoothly. For rear facing seats, be sure to check the angle; and for forward facing, ensure the tether strap is secured correctly and is tight.

6. Do you have a favourite seat that you would recommend to new parents?

Some seats are better suited for some children and not for others, so it’s impossible for me to pick a favourite. There are many quality car seats on the Canadian market and all of them meet Canadian safety standards. The manufactures I prefer are Clek, Britax, Diono and Peg Perego because none of their car seat models is substandard. These brands, however, do cost more. There are other quality car seats out there that don’t cost as much as the name brands; nevertheless, I am not a fan of all of their models.

Categories
Family

What should you include in your birth announcement?

You’ve been blessed with a beautiful baby, now it’s time to announce it to the world. Sending a birth announcement to your friends and family is as important as sending a wedding invitation. Even in this new electronic age, mailing a physical birth announcement isn’t something that should be replaced by a quick email.

Many new parents wonder what they should include on their birth announcement. This is one area that a seasoned designer can offer their professional experience to make the process easier for you. Here is a list of my recommendations:

1. Photos – We recommend sending a photo birth announcement as everyone wants to see how cute your little one is. You can choose a design that uses only one photo of the baby or use a few, like close ups of their tiny hands and feet. You can also include a photo with siblings or the entire family.

2. Gender – This can be denoted by the colour used on the announcement. Pink for girl or blue for boy, but some want to use a gender neutral colour so we recommend that you include a heading like “it’s a boy!” So there is no doubt as many are using unique names that might not be so obvious.

3. Name – Using either the babies full name or their first and middle name. Many like including the first name or nickname in a script style font faded in the background.

4. Birth Details – Include as much or as little as you would like, the common details to include are; date of birth, time of birth, weight and length.

5. Parents – Including the parents names, if the mother uses her maiden name it is recommended to use only the first names. Common writing includes “Love proud parents, Max and Rhonda” there is no need to include the last name(s) here if you have included it as part of the babies name.

6. Siblings – If the new baby has siblings include them with the parents names. Putting them on the line below the parents name “Love proud parents, Max and Rhonda and big sister Julia” or include them in the introduction “Julia is proud to announce the arrival of her baby brother…” at the top of the announcement. This helps make them feel involved in the announcement.

7. A special saying, poem, or religious verse/quote. Depending on the amount of space left many chose to include something special to them. You can also order a double sided or folded style card which allows for extra space.

We recommend to keep it simple, less is more, is a good rule of thumb. Don’t over-crowd the design with too much information. This is where hiring a professional designer will ensure that your birth announcement is perfect, as their experience with design and layout will help guide you to a completed design that you will be proud to send to all of your friends and family.

Categories
Fitness

What IS Mummy Tummy Anyway??

No I am not pregnant and I haven’t had a newborn baby in over 6 years, yet I still get asked because of my ‘Mummy Tummy’. One night when my son’s guitar teacher asked if I was pregnant and I had to answer yet again with the “No I just had a big dinner” I knew that something had to be done. Thankfully Samantha Montpetit-Huynh of Core Expectations heard my frustrations on twitter and sent me a message telling me that I am not alone and she would help me fix this ‘problem’ of mine. I booked an Ab Rehab®for Diastasis Recti training session on her website that night!

Samantha was so helpful and informative during that visit, she told me that my separation was pretty bad (I think it was 6 fingers wide), but that there was hope. I told her she needed to let me share with my readers all about mummy tummy, something I knew so many new (and not so new, like myself) moms faced. I hope that by sharing this information with you as pregnant and new moms, that I can help you a lot sooner, as the earlier you start after your baby is born the better. But don’t stress if you are like me, we too can fix this problem. I am still at it, but I will be sure to update as I go along.

So What Is Mummy Tummy Anyway? Samantha explains:

Mummy Tummy is a term every mom on the planet can relate to after they have had a child. Now I’m, not talking about muffin top or “the shelf”, I mean the pooch, ball that sticks out right around or under your belly button and just continues to get bigger throughout the day? Yeh that.

And after countless attempts at sit ups (AHHHH), crunches (ouch!) and other useless forms of ineffective exercise a lot of moms eventually just get “fed up” and begin to seek help. This is usually a trip to the doctor who will tell them either “yeh, that’s the way it goes after you’ve had a baby” or “if you want, you can have surgery”. Are you kidding me?? Neither of them could be farther from the truth especially if or when they don’t know what they are dealing with in the first place.

Diastasis Recti (separation of the Rectus Abdominis) is most commonly the cause for the mummy tummy. Your abs are separated, your organs are exposed and the more you eat, pushes them out – plain and simple. But can you get them back? Of course you can! But don’t get any fantasies that it’s easy. If your only alternative is to “suck it up” or have a $10,000 tummy tuck, then you must realize that the work needed to do it naturally is going to be a lot. But hey, I have never met a mom yet who wasn’t used to hard work. It’s just a matter of how hard you want it. Sound familiar?

CoreExpectations

So there you have it! But it’s not just exercise, it’s also a way of life. If you have a diastasis and it’s significant, there’s a good chance you have chronic back pain. You need to change the way you move and use your abdominals in everyday life.

But if you don’t do anything at all, please stop the crunches, v-sits and all the other old school ways of creating a six-pack just to make your mummy tummy worse and more importantly, hurt your back even more.