Auto Repair Peoria AZ

Arrowhead auto mechanic in Peoria, AZ. Servicing European imports.

When I do business with someone and feel they are deserving of a review, I’ll give them one. The same can be said when I deal with some scum-bag company that I have a poor experience with, if they have done me dirty, I’ll blog about it.

November 2019 NASCAR Race

So we were out in Avondale at the Phoenix International Raceway for the weekend watching some NASCAR and enjoying some downtime. I had picked up some friends in Peoria to join me and ended up staying the night there on Sunday because, well, because the beverages had been flowing good enough to justify me making a grown-up decision and not driving home. Monday was Veterans Day, and we were going to lay-low at the house for the day. I went to make a store run, and my Dodge Durango was running a little funny. I called my husband, who was back in Tempe, and he suggested that I take the car to Arrowhead Automotive in Peoria for repair. He has a Range Rover he takes there because they specialize in European Imports, but I wasn’t thrilled about making the trip. I had no choice, and off I went.

Best Auto Repair Mechanic in Peoria

Ok, so I ended up taking the Durango out there, and even though they specialize in high-end European imports, they took the Dodge without an issue. Now, I usually take it to Tempe Dodge for maintenance work and have thought all this time they were taking care of me, come to find out, and they charge way too much money. I had just gotten my A/C repaired at Tempe Dodge, and it cost me an arm and a leg. When I spoke with the lead mechanic Tommy, he treated me great, spoke in a language I could understand, and seemed legitimately concerned about resolving the issue with the Durango. I ended up grabbing a Lyft and left the Durango for repair. Based on the feedback my husband has given me, their Google Reviews, and the short period of time I spent with them, I would say these guys might be the best mechanics in AZ… well, maybe not all of AZ, but the best mechanics in Peoria.

Trust Issues With Mechanics

peoria auto mechanic

As a woman with minimal knowledge of how cars work, I have trust issues dealing with mechanics. I don’t think it’s from anything I have experienced first hand, and I think it has to do with me knowing nothing about something that often costs me a ton of money when problems surface. I felt different this time around dealing with Tommy at Arrowhead, he didn’t have that used car salesman vibe, he seemed like genuine people, and it seemed way more affordable compared to what Tempe Dodge has been charging me. I would refer my girlfriends and guy friends to them for business, and I feel they are trustworthy people, and that’s important to me. The other thing I appreciated was that it was co-operated by his wife, who was there to talk with me as they were explaining things. This was helpful and made the conversations more comfortable.

Next Time I’m in Peoria With Car Problems

I think I got lucky this time that my husband knew of an auto repair garage in Peoria, had I been in Sedona, I might have been stuck dealing with some local yahoo trying to drain me of every dollar I had. Referrals are helpful, especially when they come from family. I know very few of my readers are family, and many of you are from out of state, but for those of you that live in Arizona, and specifically if you live near Peoria, you should consider Arrowhead Imports next time your car is need of a checkup. Fortunately for me, the check engine light was a sensor issue and not an actual engine issue, still, replacing a sensor isn’t cheap, but with these guys, it was less expensive than it would have been at Tempe Dodge. From here on out, I’m going to make the trip from Tempe to Peoria for my automotive needs, and it’s worth the time and gas money for me to dee with a husband and wife owned business that seems genuinely concerned about helping you.

Braces Or Invisalign?

treating teeth with Invisalign trays

My niece is living in Oklahoma City and is about to get braces, but I suggested to her that she might want to take a shot at Invisalign. Seems like a less permanent option for anyone looking to get their teeth straightened without the long-term commitment of braces. Well, at the end of the day it’s up to her mother, but I always like to give my opinion to my niece and her mother, they both appreciate it and always seem thankful for the alternate perspective. The interesting thing about the discussion with both of them was, neither of them had even heard of Invisalign. So, I did what any awesome aunt would do, I wrote down some information and decided to share it here on my blog. Feel free to share this with anyone you might know who is considering braces and might find Invisalign is a better solution.

Invisalign is invisible and are custom made and shaped to your teeth. They are clear but still somewhat noticeable. Unlike braces, you get multiple trays customized to your teeth each time your teeth shift. Every two weeks you get a new tray. You take the trays out when you eat and brush your teeth after if you want to keep them clean. Then you just pop them back in and you’re good to go. This makes it super easy when on the go for adults and teens. They also come with a case to keep them safe and clean.

If you are interested in getting Invisalign, it would be best to schedule an appointment with your OKC orthodontist and they will have a consult with you discussing the entire process and costs. They will also discuss if this is the best option for you or if braces will speed up the process. They want you to be comfortable and efficient with the entire process of getting your teeth how you want them.

After the consultation you will get a digital scan of your mouth so that they are able to create a treatment plan. This comes with 3-D images of your teeth, mouth and jaw. Using these 3-D images, you will get a customized plan and be able to see great before and after results.

clear braces treatment options in Arizona.

Depending on what treatment plan your doctor wants to give you, the average time is about 12 months for Invisalign to work perfectly. For teens the treatment time can vary but it all depends on the person. Some orthodontics apply bumps on the teeth to help the Invisalign grip the teeth better to ensure the teeth are moving the correct way.

Invisalign not only fixes gaps and alignment but it will also help with dental problems. Gapped teeth will leave gums more exposed to bacteria which is unhealthy. Over and underbites can cause jaw stress and overcrowded teeth increase the amount of plaque. Invisalign is able to cure all of these problems.

Invisalign is easy to wear as an everyday routine. You can go all day while wearing them and take them out as you eat. When you brush your teeth, you can clean your trays too. Your teeth are cleaner with Invisalign because you clean them as you brush your teeth. Where braces you cannot take off.

They are clear so your smile is 90% normal and make you still feel like yourself. Once you’ve finished treatment with a great smile, you will get retainers. This part of the process is the same whether you had braces or Invisalign. Retainers are a must because your teeth can easily shift, especially right after treatment. Typically, you only wear your retainer at night but maybe for the first couple days they recommend wearing it throughout the day just to get used to it since your teeth have relied on structure for so long. After that you just continue to wear your retainer and you are ready to show off your perfect smile.

Luxury Apartment Hunting In OKC

My best friend in Oklahoma had a daughter that started college this year. It was a happy, yet somewhat sad occasion. I flew out there to help move her daughter closer to the university, and our search for a luxury apartment was an interesting one, to say the least.

First, they are pretty well off, and the price wasn’t an issue. We looked around Oklahoma City for condos, duplexes, rental homes, luxury apartments, and lofts that would accommodate the needs of her princess. This was difficult due to the nature of her mother, I love her to death, but she is one picky person. If it wasn’t exterior she had issues with it was the interior. Our search lasted an entire weekend before she settled on a place to call home for the next four years. 

My initial thought was, why not just move her to campus where she can room with some classmates? Why the need to put her up into an apartment for $1,000 a month or more when there were more affordable housing options closer to campus. Well, silly me. It wasn’t about the convenience of the location as much as it was about the status of where she was staying. They ended up renting a beautiful luxury apartment in Oklahoma City at J Marshall Square. This is a premier piece of real estate where elite residence rent and her daughter fit right in.

If this was my daughter, we would’ve made a trip to Ikea, and the apartment would have been furnished with our old furniture, and some new items purchased from Ikea. Not her though, they went and bought some of the most luxurious pieces of furniture they could find. White wrap-around leather couches for the living area, oak wood kitchen table, 60 inch flat screen TV, a new desk, and kitchen supplies that would have been enough for me and my family of six. 

I’m not knocking her decision to rent a luxury apartment for her daughter, I think at the end of the day if I could afford it, I would have done the same. But there is something to be said about the struggle, and having everything handed to you doesn’t necessarily build the character that struggling does. I was long gone from my home by the time my little brother graduated from college, he was spoiled like this girl, and his work ethic is pathetic. He has never held a job, hasn’t found a job, and isn’t aggressively pursuing one. This is what I expect from her daughter post-graduation. 

Who knows though, maybe it’s a different vibe in Oklahoma City than it is here in Arizona. Perhaps these types of lessons aren’t needed in the midwest. Out here in the Southwest, you better come out of college hustling or you will get left behind real quick.

Breast Augmentation Over 35

Hey ladies, I’m back with another post for you and this one is a little personal for me. So after having and a handful of kids and breastfeeding all of them, these things aren’t as perky as they once were. I have tried buying different bras from Victoria Secret to everything else on the shelf that designed for sagging breasts. Some of them have been pretty comfortable, really living my breasts and making me feel confident about them. Then summer hit and I was in my mom bathing suit (no longer a bikini) and I could just feel them being pulled by the natural forces of gravity and I began to consider getting a boob job. My husband supports this of course, but this is something I have been thinking about for years now. I have had four kids hanging from these things sucking them dry of every last ounce of milk I had in them and they look and feel like that. I reached out to my girl in Oklahoma who recently had her breasts lifted after three kids and they looked amazing. She found a plastic surgeon in OKC that was able to reshape them as if they were never deflated by three kids. They were sculpted to perfection in my opinion, her nipples are naturally positioned, and they look extremely real. I have seen too many boob jobs that have looked like softballs implanted under the skin and have forced the nipples out to the sides like some natural tumor-like growths. Not what I’m looking as I research my options. I have seen the results she got with Dr. Sawan and am considering a trip to Oklahoma to get these things inflated. There are some amazing plastic surgeons here in Scottsdale and Phoenix that I’m sure can get the job done, but I don’t know of anyone personally that has had the procedure done here. So, I’m at a crossroads in life at 35. Is it time for some plastic surgery to get this mom-bod back in business, do I get the surgery done here in Arizona, or do I got Oklahoma and have it done and then stay at my girlfriend’s place for a week or so while I recover from the surgery? It would be nice to recover from the surgery without my husband and kids bugging me and wanting to look. I know my husband will be wanting to touch them as soon as they pull me off that operation table, but everyone will need to wait! I’ll keep you ladies posted as this develops, plus pictures ;^}

A Scout’s Guide To The Ultimate Summer Camping Trip

27 ℃. That’s the perfect temperature for summer camping according to Scouts – Canada’s youngest outdoor experts. So, go check the thermometer. It’s time to answer the call of the wilderness!

Scouts learn essential outdoor skills and how to prioritize safety in all activities from day hikes or week long portage tours. Prepare for your next camping trip – whether it’s the first of fiftieth – just like a Scout with Scouts Canada’s Ultimate Summer Camping Guide to make your adventure both memorable and safe.

Campfire Construction

For many, a campfire is a beloved tradition and the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of camping: laughing, roasting hot dogs and sharing stories around crackling flames. The best fires are made up of three things:

Tinder: Small twigs, dry leaves, needles, bark, wood shavings, paper or even dryer lint. These burn immediately and are a crucial element to spark the fire.

Kindling: Sticks as thick as fingers help to build a strong foundation.

Firewood:  Logs of wood keep the fire burning long into the night.

Collect plenty of dry wood before striking a match so the fire isn’t left unattended to gather more fuel. If the campsite has a designated fire pit, use it to keep the flames contained. If it doesn’t, build the fire away from brush, branches, and tents on a durable surface like a rock, dirt or sand to prevent scorching the earth. Always have water close by to extinguish the fire.

Animal Encounters

You’re venturing into animal territory while camping. Knowing in advance what types of wildlife reside in the area will help prepare for and avoid animal encounters. Check for reports of recent sightings and keep an eye out for signs of wildlife nearby such as tracks, fresh droppings, scratches on tree trunks, or animal homes.

Be particularly cautious to protect against ticks, tiny bugs typically found in grassy, wooded areas or along shorelines and in parks – all places campers like to go! Some ticks can be carriers of illnesses like Lyme disease.

To prevent a tick bite, wear long sleeves and pants tucked into socks so they can’t crawl in, use bug spray that has DEET, and wear light clothing so ticks are easier to spot. Before heading back to camp do a thorough check all over your body – and continue to check because ticks can stay attached for five or more days.

If you are bitten by a tick, remove it carefully with tweezers by pulling upward with steady even pressure, clean the area well, and watch for symptoms including a bulls-eye shaped rash. Seeing a doctor is recommended, as early detection is key. Symptoms of Lyme disease may not appear for weeks or even months after being bitten! Make sure to save ticks in a clean container and contact a local public health unit. As Lyme disease spreads to more ticks, it is increasingly important that ticks be identified and tested.

First Ow, First-Aid

Before heading out on any camping adventure, make sure your supplies include a fully-stocked first-aid kit. Scouts use the below checklist of items, so they’re prepared for anything!

First Aid Checklist copy 575
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Compound tincture of benzoin (bandage adhesive)
  • Assorted adhesive bandage (fabric)
  • Butterfly bandages / adhesive wound-closure strips
  • Gauze pads (various sizes)
  • Non-stick sterile pads
  • Medical adhesive tape
  • Blister treatment
  • Ibuprofen / other pain-relief medication
  • Antihistamine
  • Insect strong relief treatment
  • Tweezers (for splinters)
  • Safety pins
  • First-aid manual or information cards
  • Whistle

Scout-Recommended Adventure Activities

Adventurous activities go hand-in-hand with camping, and prioritizing safety is essential to a great trip. A few Scout favourites are:

Canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding provide stunning views of nature, but even on a clear day, safety is key. Always paddle within your capabilities, wear a life jacket, bring an emergency kit, tell someone where you’re going and stay close to land when possible. Also, there is a difference between a lifejacket and PFD (personal flotation device): a lifejacket will turn most people over to keep their faces out of the water even if they lose consciousness. A PFD will not.

Stargazing is of the most beautiful parts of going camping and a perfect opportunity to learn about constellations and the mysteries of the night sky!

Swimming is the best way to cool off on a hot sunny day. Always swim in a group, avoid rough water and strong currents, and wear a PFD if you’re not a strong swimmer. Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen!

Hiking Watch out for hazardous plants like poison ivy. Remember: leaves of three, let it be! No one plans to get lost, but it can happen even on a short walk so always bring a daypack with emergency supplies including extra water, snacks, a headlamp, first aid kit and emergency blanket.

Leave No Trace

One rule Scouts always follow is Leave No Trace. This means not disturbing nature while enjoying the outdoors. Plan trips to ensure waste is packed up and disposed of properly, invasive species are not brought into the campsite, and wildlife isn’t disturbed by excessive noise, light or garbage. Leave nature exactly as you found it.

For even more camping and safety tips visit or join Scouts Canada to learn firsthand! Register for your local Scouting group at Join by June 30 and receive a $30 discount!

Starting Music Lessons In Phoenix

The Kids Are Taking Music Lessons!!

Hey ladies, it’s been a while and I know it sounds boring as hell… but I really haven’t had much to report on other than the chaos that comes with parenting 4 kids. All has been well here as we start to wrap up the school year and gear up for the hot hellish Arizona summer days that await us. I wanted to drop a quick note and get this email out to you, the kids have just started taking music lessons in the Phoenix area and I have just been so thrilled with their growth. As most of you know my husband was an audio engineer for many years, so we have many instruments laying around the house. Drums, drum machines, guitars, bass guitars, piano, and the kids school instruments that include a saxophone and a trumpet. The instruments the kids use at school are rented from Milano Music in Mesa.


The excitement I have felt watching them grow in school band was never really close to the excitement I feel now that they are playing instruments that I’m a fan of. Don’t get me wrong, I love the saxophone and some Louis Armstrong on trumpet in small doses, but I like traditional bands that feature drums, bass, guitar, lead guitar, keys, and some rock’n vocals. Some recent bands that I’m into include Stone Foxes and Dax Riggs. My son (for the second time) has started learning how to play drums, and my oldest daughter is back on the piano after many years off.


Both kids are into rap and hip-hop and listen to some pretty rough music. Although I’m not a fan of most of the language and content, I still let them listen to their own music without interfering with it. The fact that my son plays hip-hop beats on his drum kit does not bother me, at least he’s working on rhythms and timing. My daughter plays chords and riffs behind his drums that actually sound pretty cool. Seeing them play together makes me daydream about them becoming the 2020 version of Donny and Marie Osmond. I know if they knew I referenced that to them they would freak out, but you catch my drift!


Playing musical instruments is a mind stimulating activity. The hand I coordination, and the way the brain responds to music is so beneficial to children that it’s encouraged that they study music early in life to help prepare their brains for more complex problem solving and increased focus. This blog post wouldn’t be complete without a little shout out to Shirley Hayes, the primary music instructor at The Note Room Academy of Music where the kids study weekly and learn from a very qualified group of music teachers here in the Phoenix-Metro area.



Well, that wraps up this post ladies! I’ll be busy blogging this summer as I’ll be home more frequently with the kids. Hopefully everyone doesn’t start practicing their instruments at the same time, or I might just pull my hair out of my head. Stay safe this summer, stay cool, and make sure to have your AC unit serviced before the summer heat hits your home like a bat out of hell!


Special Needs Program Tempe AZ

Special Needs Program For Kids In Tempe

disabled programs in Tempe AZ

My kids train Jiu-Jitsu in Tempe at an amazing school. The owner is an active competitor and 5x world Champion. You can check out his website at They teach BJJ for sport, not so much for self defense, but obviously it can be used in the streets just as it can be used on the mats in the gym or during a competition.

But this post isn’t so much about the gym and all it offers, it’s about a special program one of the instructors has put together for special needs children in Tempe. I don’t have a child with special needs, but I have a friend that does and I know that finding group activities that are engaging for her can be difficult. This year, one of the professors of the gym launched a program called Unlimited BJJ. This program is absolutely free to any family that enrolls a child with a disability into the school. The idea is to give these children an opportunity to learn this amazing art from a group of amazing people right here in Arizona.

I know there will be a lot of you reading this from the email blast I will follow up with so that you know this blog has been published. I have been corresponding with you all for years through email and always appreciate the support. I’m sharing this today in hope that you can spread the word to anyone you know that may have a child with a disability that would benefit from a special needs program in Tempe. I don’t know enough about you all to know if any of you have that in your life, but if not, we ask that you pass this along to anyone you may know that would benefit.

This might be the best sports program in Tempe for these kids. I haven’t researched special needs programs in Tempe, but I have been around long enough to almost guarantee that the environment and the people behind it are the best in Tempe. Please share this on social media, through text message, email, and any other source you feel worthy to spread the word.

AC Repair Phoenix

Air Conditioning Repair In Phoenix AZ

phoenix hvac

Hey everyone, sorry it’s been so long since I last posted something on my blog. The holidays were crazy busy with all the kids and everything going on. Plus we have a pretty big extended family, so the travel and making the rounds was not only time consuming but it wore us down pretty bad. Everyone in the house got sick and this virus going around Phoenix right now is lasting about 2 weeks on average. Also, if you haven’t been receiving the newsletters, email me and I’ll add your address. I have been doing a lot more email letters as it’s just a little more convenient than logging into the website each time I want to communicate with you girls.

Okay, intro is out of the way and I want to dive into something that is very important to me and my family here in Arizona. Last summer we had some issues with our air conditioning unit and multiple bids to repair it and felt disappointed that everyone seemed to want us to take out a second mortgage to replace some of the parts there were apparently going out. They wanted to replace the ac compressor and some of the electrical components, I can’t remember the exact terminology used, but it was a capacitor or something.

phoenix ac repair

We changed the air filters, re-filled the freon, and had our duct work sealed by an energy efficient contractor here in the valley. The issue wasn’t the the AC unit wasn’t working, it just didn’t seem to cool the house down until the sun set. It maintained a constant temperature of about 76 during the day, and then would drop into the 60’s during the evening. That may seem like a comfortable temperature, but 76 during the day is still pretty warm for the interior of the home. We wanted this to be functioning 100% before the hot Arizona summer arrives and temperatures average 100 degrees or more in Phoenix. We decided to do it right after the holidays, and it was a strategic move, and something we knew was going to be an expense coming out of an already expensive holiday season. But we figured since it was winter, service calls may have been slow, and companies would be willing to work on our AC unit because of that. Not sure if it worked, but the price we paid was executable in the end.

We called around the Valley and received multiple quotes for AC repair in Phoenix and settled on an HVAC company we felt was honest and forthcoming with the true condition of our AC unit. I am a firm believer in “you get what you pay for” and I’m not afraid to pay a little extra coin for quality, especially when it impacts the comfort of my family during the hot summer months. I ended up speaking to a woman named Janah at ( in Phoenix. From the first point of contact, to when the technician came out and inspected our AC unit, I knew it was more than a business to them. I can sniff out BS from a mile away, and the sincere nature in which they communicated with me from the beginning really made me feel good about the decision. Fixing your AC unit can be costly, and nobody wants to be ripped off. The techs at Morehart AC came in and did an amazing job getting our unit serviced before the hot summer months.

The true test will come in July when Arizona starts heating up into the triple digits and the soles of your shoes begin to melt on the sidewalk. Right now it feels ice cold, but we will know for sure just how well the AC is pumping cool air when the sun is beating down on the rooftop mid day and I’m stuck inside with the two babies. I’ll update this blog post during the summer months and let you all know how it performs.

Parenting Sleep Tip: Ditch the Gadgets and Get the Help!

“Sleep while you can! You won’t sleep again once baby arrives!”

How many times have you heard that? If you’re a parent, chances are you heard it at least a thousand times in the weeks and months before your child was born. And as soon as your little one arrived, chances are everyone started asking, “are they a good sleeper?”

It’s enough to give anyone a complex!

And have you noticed that the makers of baby gear have figured out that sleep is one of the biggest concerns new parents have? I can’t turn around without bumping into a new product that claims to make baby sleep longer, better, quicker, deeper, or some other magical claim. From swaddles to noise machines, big expensive gadgets to books. It doesn’t matter, there are a million products designed to solve a million sleep problems.
But what if we’ve been looking at sleep all wrong?

I’m not talking developmentally. We’ve talked about the myths of sleep training before and we know that sleep can change depending on the age and stage a child is at. What I am talking about is the stuff. Of course there are tools and tricks that help us sleep, but which ones are legitimately helpful and which ones are just dollar signs in disguise?

I wanted to know so I reached out to our sleep coach, Rosalee Lahaie Hera of Baby Sleep Love and we very quickly realized that not only do most of these gadgets not work (either in the short-term, or in the long-term), some of them are just outright dangerous!

Safety First

One of the most important things for parents to know is that how a product is marketed is extremely important. In Canada, the only approved, safe-sleep surfaces are labeled “crib”, “bassinet”, or “cradle”. In the United States, “play yard”, or what we call a pack’n’play is also safety tested.

Any product that does not call itself one of those things has not been safety tested or evaluated for safe sleep by Health Canada.

Unfortunately, that means all those fancy “soothe your baby to sleep” baby beds, “sleepers”, rock and plays, and cosleepers are not safe sleep surfaces. And in addition to being potentially unsafe, these beds are only meant to last a few months! Babies grow quickly and by four months most infants have outgrown many of these products.  Leaving babies in these gadgets after they have outgrown them can make them even more unsafe.

Okay, but sleep deprivation is real and tired parents are looking for solutions, right?

Right. The thing is, gadgets aren’t actually solving your problem anyway! Not in the long-term at least. While you might get a few immediate weeks of relief, before long your child’s sleep is going to shift (four month “sleep regression” anyone?) and now your baby is too old for that wonderful, expensive, sleeper bed and they don’t know how to put themselves to sleep.

So what do you do?

Take all the money you would have spent on fancy machines and lights and beds and everything else, and put it toward building a support team for the entire family. It is possible to create healthy sleep habits and hygiene right from birth! Use a doula to help you become familiar with your baby’s normal sleep patterns.  If that isn’t working or you want more help with sleep, working with a sleep coach to create an individualized sleep plan for your baby and your family can create the life-long healthy sleep habits and skills your baby needs.

By hiring expert help, you are learning the skills you need to support your baby both now and in the future.

Like so many other things in life, the experiences are so much more valuable than the things.


Meaghan Grant works with families to explore their options and help them to discover their own strength through pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. She is a Certified Labour Doula, Postpartum Doula, Childbirth Educator, and Postpartum Placenta Specialist. As co-owner of Toronto Family Doulas, Hamilton Family Doulas, and Family Doulas of Ottawa, she is committed to providing judgement-free support of all birth and parenting choices.

Winter Baby Car Seat Safety

With the arrival of the winter season, parents are tempted to bundle up their babies as thickly as possible in order to keep them snug and warm. The warmth factor can interfere with the safety factor of the baby car seat. The problem is that this is not the best idea if you are planning to put a baby in a car seat with a five-point harness. The reason is that the harness system then serves to hold the coat in place and not the baby. This defeats the whole safety purpose of the car seat.

Unfortunately, rescue workers and police report seeing empty coats strapped safely into baby car seats. This proves that the impact of a crash can cause a baby to “fly” out of the coat. The fact that bulky winter coats can sabotage your baby’s security in a car is a well known fact and that is why it is often included as an important warning in most manufacturers’ car seat manuals.

Whenever possible, it is best to not have your baby wear a coat at all once placed in their seat. However, coats can be a necessary evil in frigid parts of Canada. Your baby’s winter clothing should never interfere with the proper tightness and position of the clips and harness.

Dressing your baby with only the warmth factor in mind is not being conscientious of the impact on the safety factor of the car seat. To check if your baby’s coat is too bulky, place your baby in a coat and then put them in their seat and tighten the straps as you normally would. Then without loosening the harness straps take your baby out of the seat and remove the coat. Put the baby back in the seat and then look at the gap between your baby’s body and the straps. If you can fit in more than one finger at shoulder bone level, your baby would not have been strapped in securely in the seat with their winter coat on.

One trick is to take off your baby’s coat and put them in the baby seat and tighten the harness and then put the coat on your baby backwards. For colder weather, you should also keep an extra throw or blanket in the car to cover the entire seat with the baby so they don’t get cold. With the use of blankets you also have the option of simply removing or replacing them according to the change of the car’s interior temperatures. Babies in large coats can sometimes become too warm and start to perspire and if taken into cold temperatures immediately they can catch a chill which is undesirable.

Instead of bulky winter coats many parents are opting to dress their babies in thin performance fleece. This is also called polar fleece. It is warm, comfortable and very soft and does not add the kind of bulk that big puffy snowsuits can which would compromise the security of your car seat.

Despite the niftiness of this clothing, the ideal is still to have as much of your baby’s spine meeting the back of the car seat so that the shock of any impact is spread over the entire body and not just a certain point.

Whether your baby is wearing a coat or not, the retainer or chest clip should always be positioned between the nipples and armpits. This ensures that your child does not fly out of the seat. You should also not allow any gaps between the baby’s groin area and the harness.

To warm or not to warm, that is the question. Whether or not your engine needs warming in winter is a discussion for car gurus but for your baby’s safety and comfort it is a preferable choice. Without a remote starter it requires effort but it can make scraping snow easier if you also leave your window defrost on. The best option to keep your loved one warm and safe is to adequately warm up your vehicle, dress them in quality fleece, place a blanket to cover your baby after they are strapped in or flip their warmer thicker coats around. Then they will be “snug as a bug in a rug” and safely secured in their car seat.

Mohammad Bhorat is the owner and operator of Baby Car Seat Installers located in Markham, Ontario. He is a certified Car Seat Installation Technician. Mohammad offers free car seat inspections. Visit