Practical Parenting & car seat safety

October 30, 2015
Christine Carolan

It’s January and the weather is starting to become a bit colder and I expect most of us will be digging out our bulky winter coats soon if you haven’t already. If you are a new mum or about to become a new mum you will probably buy or receive some beautiful winter coats or all in one snowsuits for your baby but I want and need you to think twice before using these in conjunction with your car seats as we move into the winter season.

WEBSITEA bulky coat and a car seat is a dangerous combination and here’s why:  A bulky coat under a child seat harness can result in the harness being too loose to be effective in a crash.

You need to make sure that there is nothing compressible between your child and the straps. All you have to do is compress a bulky coat in your hands and then let go and watch the air fill back up instantly. Even the RSA (road safety authority) have advised that bulky winter coats can pose a serious threat when worn under the straps of car seats and they even mention booster seats too so this warning is not just for tiny babies.

So how do you know if your child’s jacket is too bulky? Well the primary concern is the thickness of the fabric especially puffy jackets and snowsuits. Here’s a little experiment you can do at home to check if winter coats are safe for car Seats. This test will show you how thick the coat is and how much the coat will compress during a crash.

  • Take the car seat into the house.
  • Put the winter coat or snowsuit on the child.
  • Put the child in the car seat and buckle the harnesses as you normally would before car travel. AdjuCosynestst the straps to the appropriate fit for your child.
  • Take the child out of the car seat without loosening the straps at all.
  • Take the coat off your child.
  • Put the child back in the car seat and buckle the harnesses again, but do not tighten the straps.
  • If you can fit more than two fingers under the harness at the child’s shoulder bone, the coat is too thick and is not safe for use with the car seat.

I can pretty much guarantee you no winter jacket you have is safe! Basically the thickened fabric will compress and leave the harness slack on the child, allowing excessive movement or even ejection in the event of an accident.

But my child will be cold? It’s such a hassle! What are my alternatives? I hear you and as a busy mum myself even an extra 10 seconds sometimes can seem like a lot, but I cannot stress how important this is. I am deeply passionate about getting this message across as my son’s car seat saved his life in an accident and not just his car seat, but the fact that he was restrained tightly enough. Someone reversed into me so it was not my fault and unexpected so please ‘safety first.

In the winter you can put extra layers on them, long johns, tights, thermal vests or a hat. You can also just take the coat off strap them in and put their coat on backwards so they can put their arms through the opposite way round. If you have a wriggler this won’t work so there are companies like Happynest, and Morrck that sell baby wraps that allow the baby to be strapped securely into the car seat without interfering with the safety of the straps. There are also videos on both of these sites, which will show quite clearly how these products work. You can also get car seat ponchos from Car Seat Poncho which make it incredibly easy to get your child in and out of the car.

So maybe coming up to Christmas if you are buying a pressie for a new mum, park the snowsuit and embrace the wrap.

Help me to spread the word and save lives by buying functional, safe and effective presents and sharing this post with your friends


Ali xxx

Big Sale 25% off everything

October 22, 2015
Christine Carolan


big sale drawn labelWe have a fantastic sale on at the moment to make way for our new stock coming soon. Why not take advantage of this great offer of 25% off all items purchased. All you need to do is enter coupon code sale when ordering your product.  There is 25% off our Cosynests and Cosysleeps. Don’t miss out – order today!


Our celebrity friends

January 31, 2015
Christine Carolan

We have a lot of celebrity friends who love our Happynest items here are some great comments….

Amy Huberman testimonial new

I am a HUGE fan of Amy Huberman so was delighted to receive this lovely message from her!


triona celebrity endorsement

I love Triona McCarthy, she always makes me smile and she is a great fan of our range. So supportive!

maternity and infant testimonial


Holly testimonial

Holly Willoughby is such a great person and so kind!


alison and friends honda

Alison is the Ambassador for Honda International and runs regular Evenings with Alison all around Ireland. We were delighted to take part!

Why bulky coats / snowsuits and car seats don’t mix

January 7, 2015
Christine Carolan

Hello everyone, as you know we are huge advocates for keeping babies safe when travelling. I was delighted when a mum sent me photos of her baby Sadie in a snowsuit in a car seat. She demonstrated just how much distance is from the baby’s body and the car seat straps when wearing a snow suit. She took Sadie out of the snow suit and without adjusting the straps put her into her Cosynest and into her car seat. As you can see below the straps were really loose. The padding of the bulky jackets or snowsuits mean the straps are not fitted securely enough to the baby’s body. In the case of a crash the thick fabric compresses and the straps would become very loose. The Road Safety Authority state that the rule of thumb is if you can fit more the 2 fingers under the collar bone of the car seat strap then its not tight enough. The cold weather is approaching so if you want to wrap them up, put layers on them and once strapped in, put a blanket over them, or better still invest in a reversible Cosynest!
sadie snow suit carseat straps baby


Dublin Chamber of Commerce Awards

December 16, 2014
Christine Carolan

We had the opportunity to attend the Dublin Chamber of Commerce Awards recently. It was a night of glamour and style as guests arrived in Black tie style for the gala ball. My husband and I were sitting at the Fingal LEO (Local Enterprise Office) table along with our friends from Stayhold, Motorcheck and Martin Kennedy who were also Finalists in the Fingal Enterprise Awards. We had a fantastic night!

john adn tina gala ball

Happynest Finalists in the Fingal Enterprise Awards 2014

December 16, 2014
Christine Carolan

Hi guys,

We were over the moon to hear that Happynest was nominated as a finalist for the 2014 Fingal Enterprise Awards. As we only launched in April 2014 this was a huge achievement for us. We didn’t win the overall prize but were delighted to come award with a Finalist Award. We got to met Sean Gallagher from Dragon’s Den and he was such a gentleman and gave us great advice!

sean gallaher finalist photo

Working with Alison Canvan & Honda International

December 16, 2014
Christine Carolan

Hi everyone,

It’s been an extremely busy time for us here at Happynest HQ.  We were lucky enough to take part in An Evening with Alison Canavan and friends in October and November of this year in Cork and Galway. Alison is not only the ambassador for Honda but also a subject matter expert in parenting and nutrition. I learned so much by taking part in these events.  It was a fantastic opportunity for us to talk about the importance of car seat safety and what makes our Cosynest and Cosysleep so special.  I am looking forward to working with Alison and Honda in 2015! alison canavan and friends


The power of juicing

October 4, 2014
Christine Carolan

Good morning everyone!

vegetables mixedWe are well and truly into winter now as the temperature starts to drop and hats and gloves are being dug out of the drawers.  I have been so busy lately that I think I neglected myself a bit. The result is now a sore throat and a cold. As a working mum I find it hard to get all the nutrients into me. Like every other mum I was running around, getting the kids out to school, skipping breakfast. Having a cup of tea and biscuit when I got back from the school run. I would then clean the house, do some work /meetings, get the weekly shop in and then do the school run again… prepare dinner….. you know the drill.

In all this time I never sat down and thought about my own well being, am I getting enough exercise in, what am I eating. So I decided to stop and take stock of what I was doing. I realised I wasn’t getting much fruit or vegetables into my diet. I felt I didn’t have the time to prepare it and sit down and eat it.  My body was crying out for nutrition and I knew I had to do something about it.  I opened my cubboard and found a juicer I had bought last year and a book from Jason Vale about Juicing. My husband and the girls were out one day and I sat down and read through the book. It made so much sense to me that I could get all this nutrition into me through a juice rather than skipping breakfast I could have a really healthy juice. I have been juicing every morning now for 3 weeks and have just introduced exercise back into my plan the last week and feel so much better. Last week was particularly busy for me and I think my sore throat and cold is a result of a very stressful week so I made myself a power juice this morning to kick start my system.

If your like me and want to get healthy but struggle to get the time to get all the right foods into you, then juicing once or twice a day might be for you.

Here is one of my favourite recipes I didn’t have the wheatgrass or spirulina so I wouldn’t worry about it. Now be prepared, its green but you will feel great for it:-)

Chlorophyll Power from Jason ValeIngredients:
1⁄2 medium Pineapple
1⁄4 medium Cucumber
1⁄2 (peeled) Lime
1 1⁄2 stalk Celery
1 handful Spinach
1 handful (kale + cabbage + watercress) Green Leafy Vegetables
3cm chunk Broccoli Stem
1 small handful Ice Cubes
SERVES 1How to create
Peel the lime, leaving as much of the white pith as possible – it’s where most of the nutrients
are. Juice the pineapple (no need to peel if you have a good juicer) and all the other ingredients.
Make sure you pack the spinach and leafy vegetables tightly into the chute of the juicer,
before juicing, to extract the most juice. Pour over ice and get ready to feel the power!
For an extra dose of chlorophyll add a small teaspoon of wheatgrass powder or spirulina
– it takes it up several levels! If you can do a wheatgrass shot – even better! If you’re adding
spirulina or wheatgrass powder then you will need to whizz it all up in the blender before