So long, paper!

You might have seen this already, but as of last week we have gone to an online class registration system.  It seemed like it was time to step into the 21st century.

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We chose a really great company to go through for the registration process, and we keep finding new things it’ll let us do.  But here are the highlights of what’s up and running:

  • The full list of all of the classes we have scheduled through April 2013 are listed on our Registration page. But keep an eye on it– we are adding new classes in the very near future!
  • Multiple class registration can be handled in one transaction.  Just choose the classes you want to sign up for and enter your info once!
  • You can pay for your class at the time of registration or you can pay at class, as before. You will get an invoice after your register reflecting this. Our cancellation policy will not change.
  • You will automatically get a confirmation right after you register.  You will get a reminder email the day before class.

Also, we did a quick tweak to our classes.  We’ve heard feedback, and now our Sunday, Monday, and Thursday classes are all collectively called “Evening Lamaze Childbirth Series“.  It had been confusing what the differences between 5 and 6 week classes.  Truthfully, there was none. Both are 15 hours total and have the same information.  Now you can just pick a night that works for you!

As always, we are happy to answer any phone calls or emails if you have questions.  Thanks for all of your support, as always! We know we have many happy families taking our classes, so sign up and be one of them!

Warmly,

Veronica and Brittany

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

How to Buy a Car Seat- Some Tips

It’s National Child Passenger Safety Week!

I get a lot of questions from people about what kind of seat they should buy.  There are some rules, and then I have some opinions. The real answer is that you should buy the car seat that fits your child, fits your car, and that you can use correctly every single time. So, beyond that…how do you know what to buy?

Used Seats 

  • Never use a seat whose history you don’t fully know. Thrift stores are a very horrible place to buy a car seat.  It’s a pretty bad idea to buy used seats from online classified sites or garage sales.  The seat could have been in a crash, could have missing or broken pieces–you just don’t know.  You child’s life is more important than being thrifty.
  • Think twice before borrowing someone else’s seat.  Only do so if you absolutely know the seat was never in a crash severe enough that would have required replacing the seat.
  • Don’t ever use a seat that is missing labels. Also? Don’t use an expired seat.
  • Always check to make sure a previously used seat hasn’t been recalled, even if it was yours from an older child.

Buying New

  • If you want to do a little bit of homework ahead of time, I found absolutely the most amazing resource on car seats. the National Highway and transportation Safety Administration has an Ease of Use Guide for pretty much any seat you can think of.  It has height and weight limits on the chart as well, which is AWESOME, because that information can take a bit to find on a manufacturer’s website.
  • When you go to the store, pay attention to how easy it is to adjust the position and the tightness of the straps.  Some seats have easy adjustments, most require you to take the seat out of the car to adjust the strap position (which isn’t done often anyway), but some seat even require you to uninstall the seat to adjust the tightness of the harness.  Again, the easier these adjustment can be made, the more likely you are to use it correctly.
  • Make sure the seat will fit in your car!  This is a tough one, especially if you are buying a rear-facing seat.  Find a store that will let you take the seat to your car and check the compatibility. Also, make sure to read the car seat user’s manual to find out how much space you need between the top of the car seat and the actual seat in front of it.
  • Consider expiration lengths. If you are buying a seat for your first child, longer expiration dates mean you’ll be less likely to have to buy a new replacement seat for future children.  5-6 are standard for most seats made by US companies, but some seats go to 9 years.
  • If you are buying a convertible seat, buy the one that will fit in your car but allow the child to be rear-facing the longest.  It’s not just weight to consider.  Most kids outgrow a seat by height before weight.
  • When buying infant-only seats, look at how easily you can adjust the angle of the base so it’s correct.  Some have really nice adjustable feet. Otherwise, you can use a pool noodle unless explicitly told not to by the manufacturer.
  • If buying a high-back booster, look if there are multiple settings for the slot the shoulder part of the belt goes through.
  • If you are trying to fit multiple seats across a back seat, look for narrower seats.  Some of those seats can get awfully wide.  In fact, just today I saw a mom who has a compact car with an infant-only seat and two pricey seats all in the backseat. Because of the width of the seats, the pricey seats were installed incorrectly, which made them kind of useless.  Again, go to a store that will let you try the seat in your car.

And finally, a suggestion.  Infant-only seats are fine, but if you are on a budget, consider buying one really, really good convertible seat that can be used from birth until age 3-4.  You’ll be happier because you’ll have a seat that’s probably easier to install and use, and your child might even be safer. Some of those seats even have things like a way to use the tether in the rear-facing position and additional crash test projection. So instead of buying one $100 seat you use for 5 months and then a $150 seat you use for 3 years, buy one rockin’ $250 seat.  You’ll be happy you did!

Any questions?  I’ll be happy to answer them in the comment section below!

Transport safely!

Warmly,

Veronica, proud CPST

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

What your doula* wants you to know

*Disclaimer: There are many doulas in the Twin Cities and  different practicing styles.  So while many of these things might ring true for many of them, they might not for all of them.  I think these are pretty standard, though.

This winter, I will have been a doula for 6 years.  I have learned something from every single family I worked with. Currently, I am taking a break from doula work to focus on other things (namely, BabyLove), but this break has provided me with some time for introspection.  So, here are some things that I wish every family I have ever worked with would have known.

  • You doula is there to support you.  She will be your unwavering guide through an unknown journey.  However, she will not have your baby for you.  Having a doula can make your labor shorter, easier, and it can have fewer interventions, but all the work is yours to do!
  • If you are uncertain about your care provider or place of birth, having a doula can help, but the better plan is to keep your doula and find a place where you ARE comfortable.
  • Keep in regular contact.  A quick email or chat after a prenatal is great.  That way your doula knows what’s going on and you can have a chance to alert her to anything new that might have come up.
  • Meeting your care provider can be helpful.  There are A LOT of doulas out there, and some times getting a chance to meet your doula in person will mean that your care provider and doula will work together well when the birth actually happens.
  • If you think you might be in labor, don’t just text your doula.  Texts are fine if you want to touch base about something small and not time-sensitive. However, if you have contractions that are 10 minutes apart, CALL.  Actually, if you have ANY questions about contractions you’re having, call.
  • If you are admitted to the hospital for anything, especially if it might be preterm labor, LET YOUR DOULA KNOW.  She might not need to be there with you, but having the heads up that something abnormal is up is very helpful.Then if you do need her, she has some warning.
  • Call your doula when you think anything might be going on labor-wise.  Don’t wait until the last minute.  You’re not bugging her.  That’s her job.  Then you can work on a plan of next steps together.  It’ll be less stressful for you, too.
  • After baby is born, if you need resources for anything, ask your doula.  That’s what she’s there for.  Need more help?  She can help you find a good postpartum doula.

What do you think?  Any doulas want to chime in?

Warmly,

Veronica

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.