How Do I Know What Baby Gear To Buy?

Pregnant with my second child, it had been almost 7 years since I'd found myself planning for a baby.

I felt like I had completely started over.

I may be a childbirth educator and a doula, but practical things I wanted for the baby seemed to be blowing my mind. I knew how I would like to feed and diaper my child but how would I know what gear to buy?

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So I headed to the trusty internet!

After searching for a bit, I came across Baby Gear Lab. What I found there was a magical unicorn! They helped me answer all my questions.
 

Now, I am almost ready for baby to arrive thanks to them. This is an awesome resource that I plan to keep on hand for all labor and postpartum clients. Might even encourage me to write some reviews about the items I chose vs what Baby Gear Lab had to say!

If you check out BabyGearLab.com, you won't be disappointed!

The Hard Truth of RV Travel With Your Family

We’re coming up on the time of year where families like to travel.

Do you fit into any of these categories?

The time of it being mostly older adults traveling in their RVs is ending. Now, you'll find it is becoming more popular with younger adults with children. With over 30 million RV enthusiasts around the nation these days, it might just be time for higher safety standards and better accident reporting.

Class A RV traveling with kids.

There are 3 different kinds of motorized Recreational Vehicles- Class A, Class B, and Class C.

  • Class A RVs are the largest type of RV and is built on a bus chassis. Generally, they weigh between 17-22,000 lbs and are about 32 feet long. 
     
  • Class B RVs are van conversions and are the least popular type of RVs. They usually weigh between 6-8,000 lbs.
     
  • Class C RVs are the most popular type of RVs and are built on van chassis. They can weigh between 10-12,000 lbs and are about 20-28 feet long.
     

What are the current safety standards for Recreational Vehicles? Is traveling in an RV safe?
 

Sadly, there really aren't too many safety standards specific to RVs. First off, RVs are not crash tested by NHTSA (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). NHTSA is the program in charge of ensuring vehicle safety through testing and enforcing vehicle performance standards. There are two RV makers who self test, Roadtrek Motorhomes and Bailey Motorhomes.

Every single test showed extreme injuries and catastrophic loss.

 

Bailey Motorhomes released a series of videos of its extensive motorhome crash testing process. You can see the other videos in the series here:

Video 2     Video 3     Video 4      Video 5 

All RVs are required to meet Federal seat belt standards for the driver and passenger seats up front but until November 2016 it wasn't even required that the front seats have lap AND shoulder belts. It is still not required that the rear seats have more than lap belts, which we already know are not safe enough alone. They also aren't attached appropriately, usually just to the plywood or floorboards, and the seats tend to disintegrate in an accident anyway, as seen in the crash test videos.

 

How do you install a car seat in an RV?

 

With most of the seats in the rear part of an RV being sideways or rear facing, there really isn't anywhere to put a car seat. The crash forces when sitting in one of these seats would pull at the child in the seat inappropriately and could actually cause injury. Car seats are only safe in forward facing seats with belts which pass the federal seat belt standards. In short, there isn't a safe way to install a car seat in an RV.

 

How does my family safely travel with an RV?

 

When it comes to safest options, you have a few choices.

  • Option #1 is to drive a separate car following the RV with all additional passengers in it. This can ensure everyone is seated in a lap and shoulder belt or appropriate child restraint.
     
  • Option #2 is to drive a standard passenger vehicle and pull a travel trailer, such as a fifth wheel.
     
  • Option #3 is to have the RV delivered to the site you will be staying. Places such as Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort actually have nearby RV rental companies that will deliver, set up, and return the RV themselves. Think of all the benefits of that!

So next time you're making your road trip checklist, remember to schedule a consult with our CPST (child passenger safety technician) to help you travel as safe as possible.

Not local? The information for finding a CPST in your area can be found HERE.
 

 

Looking for a little more info? Check out THIS webinar which is used to educate CPSTs on the subject.

To Those I've Judged

 

Before I had kids of my own, I judged you. When I was a new mom, I judged you. Sometimes when I was feeling less than, I judged you.
 

I'm sorry.

 

Who was I to decide how or when you should experience those things in your life? Who was I to give you all that unsolicited advice when you're a grown adult who makes your own damn decisions? I am going to apologize to you now. I respect those tough decisions you made. Whether it was how you birthed, how or what you fed your child, what car seat you use for your child, or just simply feeding your child McDonald's for dinner.

I've made some hard decisions now and I know didn't make mine lightly. Why did I ever think you did?

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The "Mommy Wars" - Oh, how I despise them. The parenting guilt is so real. It seems like no matter what decisions we make these days SOMEONE is going to judge us.


Want to breastfeed? You'll be latched to that child all the time!
Want to formula feed? Breastmilk is far superior!

Want to baby wear? They'll never learn to walk!
Want to use a playpen? How lazy you must be.

Thinking of having just one child? They will be such a spoiled brat.
Thinking of having 3+ kids? How will you ever have enough time to take care of them all?


Push it away, this is your experience, this is your decision to make, this is YOUR life. I want to know one thing overall- You're a badass and you're rocking this parenting thing.

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All of the team at The Birth Geek, from labor doulas, to postpartum doulas, to our photographer are proud to support your family without judgment. We're just here to help you through and help you document your life as you Choose Your Own Adventure.