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Picking out a travel system for your new little arrival can be a fun time (at least for us women it is ūüėČ ) But what you don’t expect is how stressful it can quickly become trying to find one the right color that says you, one that is functional, within a reasonable price range-and what I learned after Kylie-one that is comfy for baby.

I realized after Kylie that so many infant car seats on the market just suck. ¬†They’re basically a thick layer of fabric pulled over hard plastic, no padding at all. ¬†NOT at all comfortable for a little baby, and Kylie hated her car seat because of it. ¬†I fell in love with this Maxi-Cosi seat. ¬†It has such nice padding and the perfect amount of cushion. ¬†But the stroller it came with was horrible ūüôĀ So what to do??? ¬†There were some other nice cushioned car seats that came with decent strollers, but non that were both the color I wanted, nor style. ¬†OK maybe that’s a little vain and high maintenance to be concerned with those two things…but you will be using them multiple times DAILY! ¬†And if you can find a stroller/car seat that fits your style and your budget, and one you can feel classy pushing around, there’s nothing wrong with that. ¬†I didn’t think I would care that much before having Kylie, so we snagged a travel system during a Black Friday deal. ¬†It wasn’t a comfy seat and it lacked so many features that pretty much EVERY other travel system has and the fabric was super boyish. ¬†We got a good deal-don’t get me wrong I’m ALL about good deals-but the thing is the price wasn’t far off from so, so many other options I had if I just would have taken the time to think more about what I wanted…but in my defense I didn’t really know what I¬†wanted at the time.

So I’d like to share some¬†tips and tricks of 1) what to look for 2) how to get the travel system that you will love

CANOPY-I didnt’ realize what a big deal this would be until I was driving in the car and there was nothing I could do to keep the sun out of my poor baby’s eyes ūüôĀ ¬†Most car seats have good large canopies…but there are those out there that don’t. ¬†So make sure that you’re getting a large one that pulls at least to the middle of the car seat. ¬†My favorites are the ones that can move all the way down to their feet.

DEPTH-I don’t know why, but so many car seats dip incredibly far down in the middle, so much so that for newborns they’re basically being folded in half. ¬†This would cause gas/intestinal pain for Kylie, I would have to fold up a receiving blanket and use it to fill the deep space so that she could be a little more elevated. ¬†So try to avoid this problem all together and get one that isn’t a bucket.

PADDING/CUSHION-Would¬†you want to ride in a hard plastic chair that covered only by a slightly thicker than average fabric? ¬†Well neither does your baby. ¬†Kylie hated riding in her seat until I started padding it with blankets…which then that made her sweat. ¬†So just avoid all the hassel and get a better padded seat from the get go.

YOU LIKE ONE BUT NOT THE OTHER-Did you know you can mix and match strollers/car seats?
I loved this Chicco Bravo stroller at first sight. ¬†But NOT the car seat one bit. ¬†Likewise I LOVED the Maxi -Cosi seat at first sight. ¬†But NOT the stroller (yuck). ¬†After test running the Dana stroller I realized I was going to have to give up the car seat, or deal with the annoying stroller. ¬†But being ME and kinda stubborn at times (ok, a lot of the time) I decided that I would find a way to keep the car seat and get a better stroller. ¬†After browsing the other Maxi compatible strollers, that quickly became out of the question (yeah $600 for a stroller…no ¬†thanks!)
So instead I decided to try something different. ¬†I took the car seat to Target and tested it on the display strollers. ¬†Now it obviously didn’t ‘click’ into any of them, but it FIT! ¬†And unless I were to go over some crazy mountain rocky terrain, there was no way that the car seat could tumble out of the stroller. ¬†It fit all of the display strollers perfectly! ¬†There were like 4 different brands I tried it with, including the Chicco Bravo! ¬†So I returned the Dana, ordered the Bravo, which just arrived today and I’m on cloud nine.

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