It’s been eight years since I’ve shopped for an infant car seat, and my goodness, have things changed. Since my trusty infant car seat used for both my boys has expired, I was on the hunt for the latest and greatest infant car seat for my baby girl due this May. Ask anyone who knows me, I’m a safety nut (like obnoxiously so), and I do A LOT of research when it comes down to gear for my babies. Add that to the fact that my work at Project Nursery keeps me in-the-know for all things baby all the time, I can be a serious snob when it comes to baby products (occupational hazard!). This third time around, I selected the Nuna Pipa infant car seat for my baby.
Now car seat selection is a personal choice and each parent puts priority on different things, so it’s important to do your own research and make your own decision. But I’m happy to share with you what I learned about the Nuna Pipa and what I love.
As I mentioned, this is my third baby, and she will have two older brothers—busy older brothers, so this little one is going to be on-the-go with me a lot right from the start. Having a lightweight infant car seat will make our excursions a whole lot easier. Weighing in at just 7.9lbs (without canopy or infant insert), the carrier can be lifted from the base with ease, and believe me, once your baby starts growing (and they grow fast!) this will become more and more important—every pound counts! Speaking of growing, the Nuna Pipa comes with both a low birth weight pillow and an infant insert for the early days/weeks, and the manual says the seat can be used for babies 4lbs to 32lbs and up to 32″ long. Keep in mind if you have a baby with a long torso, she or he may outgrow the seat before reaching that marker, and most babies will outgrow the car seat by length before they get to 32lbs, which is why the 32″ top height limit, generous for most infant car seats, is so important.
Now with my first baby I had the luxury of staying put and keeping my little babe as far away from the public and germs as I wanted. This little girl is going to be heading to drop-offs and pick-ups galore, but my urge to keep her safe from germy strangers is just as strong. Nuna’s innovative dream drape to the rescue! Lovingly referred to as a paparazzi shield by Pipa fans, the dream drape is tucked away in a zippered compartment in the canopy and can be expanded right over the opening of the car seat and attached with easy-to-use magnets. Now your baby is safely covered with a well-ventilated cover that will both give her a shaded spot for a snooze and protect her from the poking fingers of strangers (why do strangers insist on trying to touch your baby?!). No more dangling blankets to keep track of. Now during my research, I noticed some folks saying that the dream drape magnets come unattached too easily. I haven’t had trouble with that yet in my testing, though I can see how older babies may easily kick it out of place. It did take me a minute to find the sweet spot to attach the drape, and I think it’s easiest done while the seat is set down.
Ask my kids and they’ll tell you my motto is definitely safety first. I love that the Nuna Pipa has side impact protection, and it includes a stability leg (a car seat feature that is still relatively rare amongst US car seats). The stability leg is meant to absorb impact during a collision to help reduce force on your precious little one. Check with your vehicle manual to make sure you can use this feature as it may not be able to be used over a floor storage compartment or for other reasons (the seat can be installed without using the stability leg; you just lose that additional benefit for crash protection).
You’ll love the easy true-lock installation. The seat includes rigid latch, along with plastic guides to help your installation go smoothly if you need easier access to your vehicle’s metal anchors. Once installed, the seat can be removed from the base with an easy-to-use release. I do wish there were more clearance between the handle and canopy. While my hand can fit fine between them to carry it, I wouldn’t be able to easily carry the seat in the crook of my elbow with the canopy fully opened. I also found that the handle can catch on the canopy when I raise and lower it.
So guys, in my research, I read that the installation of the Nuna Pipa was fast, but I tend to give the side eye to such reports until I try it myself. I took it to my own car and installed it in about five seconds when using the rigid latch connectors, no exaggeration! It was so fast I kept checking to see if I had missed something, but there are lots of check points to see if everything is clicked in as it should be. Both the latches and the stability leg have a section that turns from red to green when they are fully engaged, and there is a bubble level to let you know if you have the right recline on the seat. As always, you can stop by a local car seat technician to have your seat double checked, but I really appreciate companies who try to make a good install as easy as possible to reduce user error. You can also install the seat using the seatbelt with or without the base, making the seat a good option for frequent travelers (hello, uber and cab rides!).
Of course, we wouldn’t be Project Nursery, without also admiring the good looks of this smartly designed car seat. I love the clean look of the Pipa with its sleek shape and design, plus for me, it’s a huge deal that there are no busy patterns. I’m also a big fan of the sophisticated color options—I selected blackberry, which is a beautiful deep plum shade, but I also love the indigo and berry options. Night, graphite, jett and suited are also good options for folks that prefer a more neutral color choice over a strong color.
Nuna’s IVVI, MIXX, PEPP and TAVO strollers are all compatible with the Pipa, and some other stroller brands offer adapters that will allow you to use the Pipa with their stroller. Okay, so I’ve told you my infant car seat must-haves in the Nuna Pipa, what are some of yours?
A sample was received, but all opinions are my own.
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