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Most parents who travel (or even just live) with babies and young children are desperate for any gear or gadget that can truly make their lives easier and their babies safer. There’s a ton of baby gear out there that isn’t really a game changer, but then there is the Doona Infant Car Seat. The Doona Infant Car Seat is truly a game changer for traveling families, and also those families who primarily travel around their own communities. The Doona is an infant car seat, but then it can shoot out wheels and become an infant stroller! It’s the kind of thing you dream of, but it is actually real and available!
When our first daughter was an infant six years ago we lugged around one of those bulky infant car seats like everyone else did (or does) on our arm when we would move her in and out of the car or go into restaurants when she was still sleeping. Then when we would travel there was always a bunch of gear that would have to go with us if we weren’t planning on just holding or carrying her the whole time.
Knowing we were about to have our second daughter earlier this year I was thrilled to find out that the Doona was going to be available for sale in the United States beginning in the spring of 2015. While it was a big investment at $500+ I rationalized it since we were reusing a bunch of other large and pricey items such as the crib, jogging stroller, clothes, and even cloth diapers from our first daughter, so this one splurge was okay.
Now that we have used the Doona Infant Car Seat for close to six months I am beyond thrilled to report that it was the game changer I hoped it to be, and it was indeed worth the hefty price tag given that we use it multiple times almost every single day. In fact, I have multiple people (usually other moms) stop us every time we are out and about to ask what the Doona is and then they will say things like “this is almost a reason to have another baby”. It’s that awesome.
Details on the Doona Infant Car Seat
The Doona is certified by the US and EU regulatory bodies for use as a car seat, approved for use on airplanes (assuming you have a seat for your infant), has side-impact protection, the materials are free of chemicals, and it comes with things like an infant insert for use for the smallest of babies starting at four pounds.
The Doona is said to fit babies up to 35 pounds and 32 inches long…though with my larger than average 5 month old who is already pushing 20 pounds I’m not sure how much longer it will last us.
Now, the Doona is undeniably heavy at around 16 pounds + the weight of your baby, but that isn’t a huge deal since you don’t carry it around other than to load it in and out of the car. It can work with the base and a vehicle’s LATCH system or simply be utilized with the seatbelt when you hop in and out of cabs or Uber vehicles as we did on a recent trip to NYC.
Using the Doona Car Seat for Travel
Having traveled with a young child before getting in and out of cabs without a great solution for simultaneously maintaining safety for our little one and ease of mobility with getting around town, it was so amazing to have a device that could serve as both an infant car seat and a stroller with just the push of a button. If you travel regularly with an infant the Doona is all-but-a-must-buy.
How to Use the Doona Infant Car Seat Stroller
I will readily admit that converting the Doona to and from stroller mode took a few tries for me to master, but once you get the hang of it, it was very simple and straight-forward. In fact, here is a video of Baby S and I showing how to use the Doona Car Seat stroller and convert to stroller mode and back again.
Where to Buy the Doona Car Seat
This is a big $500+ purchase so of course you want to be smart with where and how you make your purchase. As of this writing the Doona is still pretty hard to find in the United States as the stock seems to sell shortly after retailers receive the product (which is why I have come up empty-handed in trying to secure one as a giveaway here!). If you are picky about your color choice then you will need to be even more patient in securing the Doona your heart desires.
Some retailers that carry the Doona include Diapers.com, The Baby Den, Pish Posh Baby, and other pretty high end baby retailers. I bought mine at The Baby’s Den to get free shipping and no tax charged (outside of NY). I have kept an eye on Amazon since I know lots of us like to use discounts, free shipping, etc. via that site, but so far the prices on Amazon seem higher than via other retailers.
I’m a huge, huge fan of the Doona Infant Car Seat and have traveled with it already to Mexico, Florida, NYC, as well as on seemingly infinite trips to the grocery store, doctor’s office, Target, and more. It was our largest gear purchase for Baby S, but it was worth every penny. When we gate-check the car seat/stroller at the airport we are sure to put a cover on it to help keep it safe.
Whether you travel around the world or around your town with your baby I can pretty much guarantee you won’t regret buying the Doona. If you have one, I’d love to hear your thoughts!