Monday, June 30, 2008

Infant Car Seats - Beginning the search

Last year Consumer reports incorrectly tested infant car seats. The impact they subjected the test vehicle to were much more rigorous than specified in the test. However, even with all of this, two car seats still passed.

This website still lists the two (Snugride & Flex-Loc):
http://www.consumersearch.com/www/family/baby-car-seats/

With both of us having science backgrounds, this is a no-brainer, go with test verified quality. I see that many new models now contain EPS foam padding.

So most of my research here just included looking at what infant seats were compatible with which strollers. The best resource was this compatibility matrix:
http://www.elitecarseats.com/catalog/product_matrix.jsp?groupId=102&categoryId=500&sortKey=NAME

Next Research Challenge - Strollers

Strollers, wow, where to being.

- there are the high end - like the Stokke Xplory
- there are high end, but not as expensive, Bugaboo Cameleon, Quinny Buzz
- there are rough road/limited jogging strollers, Bob Revolution, Phil & Teds, Baby Jogger
- there are compact ones, all umbrella strollers, Quinny Zapp (smallest folded size I've found)

I will be posting more on this topic as I get time (tons of internet searches in the history). Right now we're leaning toward two strollers, the Bob Revolution for more extensive outings, and a Quinny Zapp (4 wheel US version) for travel.

Organic Mattresses

One of the first things we identified (through the help of "Raising Baby Green") was the desire to use organics, particularly for the crib mattress. Easier said than done, try to find a store in your area that carries organic mattresses. So it was off to the Internet to do some more research.

The biggest retailer I was able to locate online was Naturepedic. They have an entire line of various combinations. The use of organic cotton provides a natural flame retardant, one of the biggest chemical problems with non-organic mattresses.

During a trip to a local store, I found that another option is the Colgate natural coir fiber mattress. This fiber based solution wrapped in organic cotton gives a firm backing for a crib.

Our final decision is the Naturepedic 2 and 1 (infant hardness on one side, toddler on the other with more spring). The use of inner springs is appealing since it allows for the double sided use which will extend our usable time. Since this is not a cheap crib mattress, this should help us save over time.

I normally don't recommend using a manufacturer's website to research topics, however, Naturepedic does a very good job of describing the benefits of organic mattresses. Visit there FAQ here.

Specifically we will be going to Charlottesville, VA to pick this up at one of our favorite stores The Nature's Child (mattress link here).

This Blog

In this blog, I'm going to attempt to relay information about research Gail and I are doing throughout the raising of our child. We're starting out with almost nothing (I think we have several books right now, a handful of infant cloths, and maybe one or two toys). This way you can see and comment on what we're finding.

We live in a small city (Fredericksburg, VA) between Washington DC and Richmond VA. It's a nice community, with many amenities. Though sometimes finding some moderate to high end baby gear is a challenge. Come experience this journey through our blog.