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Did you know that by the time your little one is 10 years old, you may have been through up to five different car seat configurations? One baby + five separate car seats...we may not have made it past pre-calc (true story), but something isn't adding up.

Lots of mamas may not realize it, but it is possible to use one car seat from the infant days all the way through the big kid years. Car seats that accommodate kiddos from birth up to 10 years old are on the rise, and since we are all about money-saving products that grow with your baby and swoon over minimalist baby products with a "less, better, beautiful" mantra, we wanted to break down the pros + cons for you and share our favorite picks.

So you mean I'll only need one car seat in 10 years? Really?

Yup—that's exactly what we mean. All-in-one seats, as they're commonly called, were designed to fit children from birth through 10 years old. (Give or take, of course, depending on the height + weight of your kiddo.) These seats easily transform from rear-facing for infants and toddlers, to forward-facing seats for older kiddos, then to a high-back booster, and even then to a backless booster in some cases.

What are the pros?

Choosing a car seat that fits the needs of you and your family is a pretty personal choice, but, keeping that in mind, there are plenty of reasons to love all-in-one seats.

  • Affordability. The seats grow right along with the changing needs of your infant and child, eliminating the need to buy four separate car seats and instead allowing you to buy just one. Minimalism FTW!
  • Ease. Don't want to think about car seats for the next 10 years? Done and done. While most car seats expire 6-8 years after purchase, all of the all-in-one car seats on our list expire 10 years from date of purchase.
  • Safety. Our all-in-one seat picks are loaded with the newest and best safety features, putting your mind at ease when you're traveling with your little one. Plus, as your little one grows, you'll easily be able to switch over the seat into its next configuration, making sure you'll never be left in a pinch after a growth spurt.
  • Versatility. Are you transporting different sized children? All-in-one seats make it easy to do just that without the need for multiple seats.

And what about the cons?

All-in-one seats aren't for everyone. If you like the convenience and portability of an infant bucket seat, all-in-ones probably aren't the best choice for you. Another concern is the seat's footprint in your car over a period of time. Lots of families like to switch to narrower, more streamlined seats as their kids get older and their family grows.

Our top picks

We've chosen three all-in-one convertible car seats we think are worth checking out. These seats get our top picks for unparalleled safety, comfort, offer beautiful design.

Maxi Cosi Magellan 5-in-1

We were lucky enough to attend a launch event for this seat earlier this year to check it out in person, and all we can say is...wow. The Magellan is one of the smartest, most beautifully designed car seats we've ever encountered.

This convertible car seat works with children 5-20 lbs., from newborn to approximately 10 years old. The first thing that stood out to us with the Magellan was its adaptability. The Magellan boasts seven recline positions, three adjustable torso height positions, and 14 headrest heights. All the adjustments are simple and intuitive, so you'll never spend a lot of time fumbling with the seat. (Most can even be done one-handed!) Combine this with the comfort factor—super soft (and washable) self-wicking fabric, a removable infant pillow system, and more—and your little one may never want to get out of the car 😉

Safety is another huge pro of the Magellan. The seat meets and exceeds all safety standards, and includes innovative features like side impact protection that adjusts as the seat converts to different positions.

And last but certainly not least, the Magellan is packed with smart features designed to make #momlife a whole lot easier. The chest clip features ClipQuik technology, so it buckles together easily with the help of built-in magnets. The seat also has spring-assisted shoulder harness straps and a buckle that's spring-loaded to point forward—so no more fumbling around for those straps or crotch buckles. Genius!

Maxi Cosi Magellan 5-in-1 Convertible Car Seat
$349.99, Nordstrom

BUY

Baby Jogger City View Space Saving All-in-One

You might know the popular brand Baby Jogger for their amazing strollers, but now they've entered the all-in-one car seat market with the amazing City View—and we are very impressed! It's not only beautiful, but it's filled with all the safety and convenience features you could ever want in an all-in-one seat.

The City View Space Saving All-in-One car seat grows with your little one from 5-100 lbs. Like other all-in-one seats, the City View can be used rear-facing, forward-facing, and eventually as a high back booster seat when your kiddo (and you!) are ready.

One of the first things we noticed about this seat (and loved!) is its size. It's super narrow—at only 17.4" wide, it's one of the slimmest all-in-one car seat on our list. Less car seat means more space for passengers or other kiddos in your backseat, and that's a major win in our book.

Incredible safety features are also a huge plus with the City View. The seat features an anti-rebound bar, adding an extra layer of protection when rear-facing by reducing the amount of rearward movement of the car seat during a frontal crash by over 45%, according to Baby Jogger. The seat's frame is constructed from steel bars, helping it to retain its structure in the event of an accident. And the seat even uses durable, thicker foam, helping to not only make the seat softer but to also absorb energy in a crash.

We also love all of the tired-mom-proof features that were carefully thought out in the design of this seat. Switching from one mode to the next is super easy; you won't need hours of poring over the instruction manual to convert the seat from one mode to another. (Yay!) There are 10 headrest positions, also easy thanks to a no re-thread system, and four recline positions that are very straighforward. And we truly LOVE the easy latch system—it literally clicked right into our car and made installation a breeze. The seat doesn't have a removable fabric cover, but it is able to be spot cleaned, so in the case of spills and messes.

Baby Jogger City View Space Saving All-in-One Car Seat
$349.99, Nordstrom

BUY

Diono Just My Color Radian rXT

For mamas of multiple young kiddos who need two (or even three) car seats to fit across their car's back seat, Diono has long been a favorite for their narrow, safe car seats. The brand new Just My Color Radian rxT adds a fun, new cool factor to one of our favorite seats—and brings with it all the all-in-one conveniences we've come to appreciate from this car seat.

Available in 5 brand new colors, the Just My Color seats are sure to add a little fun to your next carpool. They're stylish, tailored, and come in both vivid, bright colors and more subdued neutrals if that's more your thing. But best of all? They are well thought out, extremely safe, and easy to use.

Similar to our other seats on the list, safety is a top priority for the Radian. Featuring a steel allow frame, aluminum reinforced side walls, and energy absorbing foam, your kiddo will be protected from every angle if there's ever a crash. And if you're worried about all of these features making for a bulky seat, don't be—the Radian is our narrowest seat on the list, coming in at only 17" wide. The design is sleek, narrow, and beautiful, and easily fit 3-across along a back seat.

The Radian rXT is suitable for kiddos 5-120 lbs. and, like our other all-in-one seats, works rear and forward-facing and as a booster. The seat boasts 12 headrest positions, five harness slot positions, and three crotch buckle positions. We do wish there were a few more seat recline options, but with all the other comfort features built in, our little one didn't seem to mind. We also heart that the seat folds flat for easy storage and portability—it makes traveling so much easier!

Diono Just My Color Radian rXT
$349.00, Diono

BUY

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Many parents begin looking into Montessori when their children reach preschool age, but there is so much you can do at home even with the youngest babies. Montessori is much more than a method of education or academic system. It is a philosophy and a certain way of approaching children, whether at school or in the home.

Here are five simple (and free!) ways you can begin using Montessori with your child from birth. And if your child is older, don't worry—all of these principles apply to older children as well.

1. Provide freedom of movement

From birth, we can give children the opportunity to move freely in their environment.

For a newborn, this simply means providing plenty of time when they are not being held or constrained in a carrier, stroller or other device.

You might spend time siting next to your child while they lay on a soft blanket, either inside or outdoors. They're clearly not able to move around the environment on their own at this point, but can practice moving their arms and legs and supporting their head, without their movements being limited.

For an older baby, freedom of movement might include letting them pull up on objects and edge their way around the room at their own pace, rather than putting them in a jumper or holding their hands while they walk.

Freedom of movement is excellent for gross motor development, but it is also a great confidence builder. It sends a clear message to your child that you believe they are capable of developing their muscles and abilities in their own timeframe.

Another aspect of freedom of movement is comfortable clothing that supports a baby's growing ability to move. Dressing your baby in a onesie or loose fitting pants and shirt maximizes their ability to move. Providing young babies plenty of time unswaddled and without mittens or shoes also helps them learn to use their muscles.

2. Use respectful communication

Respectful communication is a hallmark of Montessori for children at all ages, and this can certainly begin at birth. It may feel silly at first, but try telling your infant each time you're going to pick them up. Let them know when it's time to eat or time for a diaper. It will begin to feel more natural each time you do it.

You might try asking permission, such as, "May I pick you up for a diaper change now?"

While they, of course, won't be able to answer you in words yet, they will understand your tone and if you ask regularly, they might start to respond in other ways, such as reaching for you or smiling.

We can also show respect through our communication by always using real, precise language. For example, rather than telling a baby a picture is a "doggie," try telling them it's a "dog," or maybe even the type or name of the dog if you know.

This type of communication lays a wonderful foundation for a relationship of mutual respect, and also exposes your child to a rich vocabulary from the beginning.

3. See caregiving as bonding

Caregiving tasks, such as feeding and changing diapers, can seem endless and can be truly exhausting, especially in the first few months. In Montessori, we try to view these activities as a time for bonding and connecting, a time to give a child our undivided attention.

In a classroom with multiple babies, or a home with older siblings around, this can be an especially important time to take a few moments and be present with the baby you are caring for. It can be so tempting to scroll through social media while breastfeeding or rush through diaper changes to get to the more fun stuff, but these are truly opportunities to slow down, make eye contact with your child, and simply be with them.

Montessori also views these activities as collaborative. We always try to do things "with" children, rather than "to" them.

For the youngest infants, collaboration might just be talking them through what you're doing, or following their lead for when they need to eat and sleep.

For older babies, you can include them more through asking them to crawl to the diaper changing area or bring you a diaper, or offering them two shirts or two foods to choose from.

Reframing these caregiving activities not only makes them more enjoyable for us parents, it ensures that we have regular check-ins where we're fully present with our babies. It makes them feel cared for, and never like a burden.

4. Allow time for independence

How can a baby be independent? They rely on us for so much—warmth, nourishment, safety, love—but we can actually help infants develop independence from the very beginning.

We can look for times when our baby is calm and alert and let them "play," or lay on a blanket, without being held. We can give them time to look around the room and visually explore their new world without interacting with or distracting them.

We can respond to mild fussing first by talking to them, by gently touching them or holding their hand, rather than immediately swooping them up into our arms. Sometimes all they need is a little reassurance that we're there.

Every baby is different and every baby's tolerance for these moments is unique. Some babies might be content to lay on their own for quite a while, while others seem to want to be held constantly. Follow your own child's lead, but look for little opportunities to help them stretch their independence from the start.

5. Practice observation

Observation is one of the most important principles of Montessori for all ages.

Each child is on their own developmental path and the only way we can really know what they need, what challenges they're ready for, is through careful observation.

Naturally, you spend tons of time watching your new baby. Observation is just a slightly different mindset, watching with intention, to see what new skills your baby might be working on, what parts of the room they stare at with captivated interest.

This type of observation will help you know what toys to offer your baby better than any developmental timeline. It will also help you get to know them in a deeper way.

Montessori can seem a bit mysterious or even intimidating, but so much of it is really so simple. It is much more about how we view and interact with children than about academic achievement or beautiful materials.

No matter what type of school you plan to send your children to, incorporating these principles at home from the beginning can add so much to your parenting journey.

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There are so many firsts we get to experience with our baby in those precious 24 hours after birth, but experts suggest that a first bath should not be one of them as waiting could help mama and baby with breastfeeding.

This week a study published in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing links delaying newborn baths with increased in-hospital exclusive breastfeeding rates.

The study's lead author, Heather Condo DiCioccio, is a nursing professional development specialist for the Mother/Baby Unit at Cleveland Clinic Hillcrest Hospital in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. She told TODAY her research was promoted by patients, who have increasingly been asking staff to hold off that first bath in recent years.

Part of this is likely due to the World Health Organization's stance on newborn bathing. The WHO recommends babies should not get a bath for 24 hours, but the recommendations don't really explain why the organization suggests this.

DiCioccio's study involved almost 1000 mama-baby pairs. Around half of the babies were bathed within 2 hours of birth, as per the hospital's previous policy. The rest saw the first bath delayed for at least 12 hours. The researchers found a link between delaying a bath and exclusive breastfeeding, but they could not precisely answer why. DiCioccio thinks it might have something to do with baby's sense of smell.

"They've been swimming in the amniotic fluid for 38, 39, 40 weeks of their life and the mother's breast puts out a similar smell as that amniotic fluid," she told TODAY. "So the thought is maybe the two smells help that baby actually latch. It makes it easier for the baby to find something comfortable and normal and that they like."

For DiCioccio, anything that can help mamas with breastfeeding is a welcome intervention, but the nursing link is not the only benefit to delayed bathing. She notes that keeping the vernix (that white stuff) on the baby for longer allows the baby to benefit from its antimicrobial properties and can help with lung development.

However, sometimes babies do need a bath soon after birth. When mothers are dealing with health issues that can see babies exposed to blood-borne pathogens (like HIV, active herpes lesions or hepatitis B or C), a bath sooner after birth is still best, DiCioccio explained to TODAY.

Even when blood-borne pathogens are not a concern, cultural preferences might be. Not every parent wants to delay baby's first bath, and that's okay—during DiCioccio's study the wishes of parents who wanted their baby bathed shortly after birth were respected—but it's good to have all the knowledge we can get when it comes to postnatal best practices.

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Ayesha Curry has three kids, a husband with a super busy career and a super busy career herself. It would be so easy for her priority list to be: 1) kids, 2) career, then 3) Steph—but the TV host, chef, Honest Company ambassador and entrepreneurial #bossbabe says her partner still has the number one spot, even after all these years.

Speaking to HelloGiggles, Curry explains that she and her Golden State Warrior husband have seen how partners prioritizing each other can benefit a family as a whole. That's why she and Stef don't prioritize the kids above each other.

"Both of our parents are still married and have been married for 30-plus years, and the one thing that they both shared with us—some through learning it the hard way, some through just making sure that they do it—is just making sure that we put each other first, even before the kids, as tough as that sounds," she tells HelloGiggles.

For the Currys, that means making time in those very busy schedules for date nights where they don't have to be mom and dad, they can just connect as partners. Curry admits that it's not always easy to break her brain out of mama-mode and prioritize something other than time with her kids, but she recognizes that when she and Stef put each other first, the kids benefit.

"That's been very important, as hard as it is. Because when you become a parent, you want to put your kids first, and we do, but we do it second to our relationship. Because ultimately, when our relationship is good, the kids are happy and they're thriving and our family life is good. We have to put that into perspective and realize that it's not us being selfish, it's making sure we set a strong foundation."



Experts back Curry up

Family therapist Raffi Bilek, director of the Baltimore Therapy Center, tells Fatherly that while putting each other first may seem counterintuitive to parents, it's important. "I think that the question of when to prioritize your partner over your kid is best answered with 'always,'" Bilek says.

David Code is a therapist and the author of To Raise Happy Kids, Put Your Marriage First. He wants parents to lean on each other more because when we don't our kids can end up shouldering some of our emotional needs, and that's not fair. It's also not fair for parents to put their relationship and themselves last every time. He believes the "greatest gift you can give your children is to have a fulfilling marriage yourself."

According to Code, "families centered on children create anxious, exhausted parents and demanding, entitled children. We parents today are too quick to sacrifice our lives and our marriages for our kids. Most of us have created child-centered families, where our children hold priority over our time, energy and attention."

Therapists like Code and Bilek are calling on parents to put their partners first, and stop buying into the myth that we don't have time for our spouses.

If the Currys can find time for each other in their crazy schedules, so too can the rest of us.

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This morning I left my 4-year-old sobbing in the arms of her Pre-K teacher. As I turned to leave, the sight of her little face crumbling, trying to be brave but not quite managing, tore right to my core. I walked away feeling like I was wading through treacle, my chest aching and my arms heavy and useless where my child should have been. It felt so very unnatural to leave when she was crying out my name.

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