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Baby & Toddler Mobility

Traveling with an infant or toddler can be a challenge but that’s what we all have to prepare for as parents.

Having a baby requires that you adopt a different lifestyle that incorporates the safety of your baby whenever you are traveling for a vacation or even to the grocery store. It is important to know and adhere to all safety precautions that you must have learned by now.

Avoid toxic baby gear with Flame retardants, PFAs, and more..

We strongly recommend using natural-based products, made with mostly organic materials with limited toxins. We recently came to understand the grave dangers of materials such as flame retardants and we strongly advise parents to check details of any baby product to understand the materials the products are made of. There have been documented dangers of flame retardant substances including the risk of neurological damage, hormone disruption, and even cancer. National Institute of Health has more details on flame retardant substances here

Flame retardant substances are still common in baby mobility and babywear products such as carriers, strollers, car seats, swings, play yards, and more. Before 2016, none of the car seat and stroller brands made flame retardant-free seats but at least five baby car seat companies have now phased out flame retardant materials in their car seats and car seat covers.

Unfortunately, flame retardants are not the only toxic found in baby products. PFAs (poly-fluoroalkyl) are used to make waterproofing materials and they have also been linked to various serious health issues including cancer, weakened childhood immunity, and endocrine disruptions, among others. You can read more on PFAs here

In most of our guides, we provide you with up-to-date information on mobility and babywearing gear including materials used to manufacture those products. Without proper research, you may expose your baby to various harmful products thinking that you are improving the quality of life for you and your baby.  We have an expert in our team with deep insight on baby safety when it comes to mobility and babywearing and we hope you find our resources, guides, and reviews helpful.

To ensure safety and ease of moving around, there are a few baby products that can assist you including carriers, wraps, car seats, strollers, and travel systems.

Baby Mobility & Babywearing Gear

Babywearing

Using a wrap, sling or carrier can enable you to do other chores in the house or at home without necessarily holding your baby with your hands.

Like other baby products carriers, wraps and slings come in different shapes and sizes for you to choose from. If you intend to be hiking severally with your kid, you can get those made with material and strength for hiking. For hot weather conditions, lightweight carriers made from light materials may be more suitable. If you have back pains, you may want to get carriers with back/lumbar support and if you are short/petite, you can get these made for petite moms. We are also fond of forward-facing carriers which you can read more about here.

If you are plus-size, you can get these options. If you delivered a preemie, these carriers are made of soft material with care suitable for carrying preemies. 

If you like hip carrying or hip seat carriers, you should learn their pros and cons before getting one and if you are breastfeeding, you should get one suited for breastfeeding moms.

Car seats

There are federal regulations requiring all infants to be in a car seat whenever they are in the car for whatever distance. There are guidelines on how to fit the car seats as well. From the first day, you deliver at a hospital, make sure you are going home with your baby in a suitable car seat.

There are three main car seats you need to know and research widely before purchasing. They are among the most expensive baby products and recommend taking time to understand them better before ordering them.

  • Infant car seats – These are designed for infants of less than 12 months and are rear-facing to meet the regulation that infants should be placed in a rear-facing position in the car. They come with a base that can easily be installed and uninstalled in the car. Cars have clicks that easily click in and out of the car seat base. They are very easy to move around with but like any other product, they come in various models.
  • Convertible car seats – These are designed for both infants and toddlers. You can use it as rear-facing when your baby is under 2 years old. Once your baby attains 2 years with appropriate weight and height, you can turn it to be forward-facing. Unlike infant car seats they are not very portable.
  • Booster car seats – For kids of age 4 and above with a weight of at least 40pounds, booster seats are made to elevate their height so the car seat belt crosses the toddler’s body for maximum safety.

When picking an infant, convertible, or booster seat, we recommend those with at least a 4/5 safety rating from crash testing results as reported by NHTSA and other organizations that do independent standardized safety testing such as Consumer Reports.

We have some details of infant car seat safety ratings and convertible seats crash test results. 

Strollers:

A stroller is a hand-pushed vehicle to carry babies and young infants and they have been around since 1773 when William Kent designed one for a British Duke. They were considered luxury items and were common with the royals back in the day but have become essential must-have baby items for most American families. Strollers enable you to move around easily but are still not essential in the developing world. If you can’t afford it, not to worry – we have a guide on stroller necessity here.

Strollers are not the cheapest of baby products and a quick check on Amazon reveals that a typical stroller costs $150 to $200 with some brands such as Uppababy Vista V2 going for as high as $1300. We have details on the most expensive strollers here.

We recommend safe strollers made from non-toxic materials that meet your requirements with a realistic price tag of not exceeding $400.  To determine which one is best for you and your baby, we have classified the strollers below;

Travel Systems

Travel systems are car seats and strollers that can attach to each other. With the infant car seat, you can unclick it from the car seat base and set it right on the stroller making it very easy to move around with it.

Our Kids’ Mobility Expert: Kate Nash

Kate Nash

Kate Nash

Baby Mobility Expert

Kate Nash is a mother of two and a child mobility expert with a great passion for educating parents about car seat safety.

She writes a lot about the changing car seat safety laws in different states and the safety rating of different infant and convertible car seats based on NHTSA and CR safety ratings.

She is knowledgeable on all car seats, travel systems, and strollers available in North America. She is a recognized baby gear expert and can be reached on her email, kate.n@motherhoodhq.com.

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