Back in the summer, we were asked if we would like to review a revolutionary new car seat- the Doona. Despite baby’s arrival being months away, we jumped at the chance- not just because an infant car seat is the one baby essential you are required, by law, to have before you leave the hospital. We jumped at the chance because the Doona was unlike any other car seat we’d ever seen. I’ve been a parent for 10 years now and I know how difficult some of the day to day aspects of it all can be. And that’s why the Doona appealed so much! I cannot tell you how wonderful this car seat is (I’m going to try!) and how helpful it has been since Elsie was born. I have a series of posts to publish as part of our review, starting today with an overview the basic features. Simple parenting: Doona car seat review.
Simple Parenting describe the Doona as the Next Generation car seat, and I can easily see why. When people realise that this is an infant car seat with wheels, the question is asked:
Why didn’t anybody invent this before now?
It is SO simple and so obvious! What can be easier to use than a car seat that lifts straight from the car and, with the press of a button, allows you to wheel your baby where you need to go? No need to clip onto a heavy chassis, no need to buy an expensive travel system. No need to get wet on a rainy day as you struggle to unfold, set up and strap in. The Doona is so easy to use, and such a genius product!
How to use
At the back of the seat there is a small handle that you press in to release the wheels. Holding the handle in the upright postion, press the handle and allow the wheels to unfold. Once the wheels have clicked into place, the handle can be extended for pushing. When ready to go back into the car, simply return the parent handle to low and change to the upright position. Then press the handle at the back of the seat once more, while at the same time pushing the back wheels (the large ones) with the heel of your foot. This releases the wheels into folded position, so just allow the seat to lower gently to the ground. The seat is then ready to go back into the car. Folding and unfolding the wheels takes seconds.
The Doona car seat comes with a newborn insert to provide extra protection for tiny babies. This cushion is still an essential part of the seat for us as Elsie is still so small, and we don’t feel that she is able to ‘get lost’ inside the seat. The harness is easy to use and simple to adjust according to your baby’s size. The car seat also has a generous hood that provides shelter and shade when needed.
The Doona’s extending handle is very easy to use. Simply press the button at the centre and either push or pull depending on whether you want it at full height or not. To fold the wheels the handle must be in the upright position and pushed down to the lowest setting. To move the handle (it has three positions- straight back for use in the car, upright for carrying into the car, and forward for pushing as a stroller) simply press the two white buttons either side of the seat simultaneously.
The Doona also comes with a range of accessories. We have the rain cover-
essential for this time of year! This is a lot easier to use than most raincovers, due to the ingenious clips at the back. They attach simply to the back of the seat, holding the cover securely in place so that you can pull the other end of the cover down over the seat. There is a zip to allow access to baby if needed, and to remove the rain cover you just push the clips away from the seat. Easy!
The Doona also comes with car seat protector mat so that the wheels don’t dirty the car. Genious.
The brake system on the Doona is another fantastic feature. Red pedal for stop, green for go.
Wear and tear after 6 weeks
Now that Elsie is 6 weeks old, and we’ve been using the Doona almost every day since then, I wanted to write about the wear and tear. The Doona is not intended to be used as the main pram for baby, but as I have three other children that all need to be dropped off in different places on the school run, it has fast become the most used and most valued baby item we own. So how do the wheels look after 6 weeks of use?
There are signs of use, but honestly these wheels are not flimsy and I fully expect them to stand the test of time. The rest of the seat still looks brand new, thanks to the fact that the fabrics are easy to wipe clean.
Verdict so far
So far, we love the Doona! It is honestly the best baby product we’ve owned and we don’t know how we’ve ever managed without it! Since there is so much more I could write about it, I’ve decided to split my reviews up. So the next review is going to be more of a video review, with demonstrations on how to use the Doona, and a little bit to show exactly how it makes our life that little bit more simple. Following that I will be sharing some of our favourite Doona Moments too.
The Doona car seat is suitable for babies from birth to aprox 13kg. For more information on product specifications, available accessories and safety testing, please see the Simple Parenting site.
We were sent the Doona car seat for review purposes only, and all opinions are my own.