Whether you’re getting ready for a new grandchild or preparing for a family road trip to celebrate Grandparents Day, having the right car accessories is as crucial as having the right vehicle. So, we scoured the internet to identify the best baby gear, in-car tech and senior-mobility aids that every grandma and grandpa should have in their vehicle. Check out our five recommendations below.
The Right Child Car Seat
If you’ll be taking care of the grandkids regularly, you ought to have your own child car seat. Otherwise, you’ll have to uninstall and reinstall the safety seat at every drop-off, which can be a nuisance.
The best child car seat for grandparents is one that’s lightweight, adjustable, and, preferably, convertible. For example, the Safety 1st Grow and Go is a 3-in-1 convertible seat that weighs just 20 pounds and comes with the company’s patented “QuickFit™ Harness for easy adjustment of both harness and headrest in one simple step.”
However, before you choose a product, review your state’s laws regarding child car seats (read our guide to Arizona’s car-seat laws). Convertible car seats may not be safe if you’re taking care of an infant grandchild, for instance.
Getting a small child out of their car seat may be a herculean task for grandparents with arthritis. A device like the UnbuckleMe Car Seat Buckle Release Tool helps ease those struggles. The tool works on nearly all push-button seatbelts and prevents arthritic thumb pain when unbuckling harnesses or straps. This car accessory is also cheap – about $15, give or take.
A Swivel Car Seat Cushion
A swiveling cushion is perfect for seniors and grandparents who have trouble getting in and out of their vehicles. The cushions simply help rotate the hips, alleviating pain and discomfort associated with entering or exiting a car. Best of all, these are more affordable than modifying the vehicle with extensive therapeutic add-ons.
Vehicle Diaper Pail
A portable, in-vehicle diaper pail is essential when taking road trips. These should be easy to use and small enough to fit inside the back of a car or SUV, with bonus points being awarded if they’re disposable. Two of the better car diaper pails we’ve found are the Diaper Genie Quick Caddy™ from Playtex® and the Toss™ Disposable Diaper Pail from Munchkin.
The Playtex Diaper Genie Quick Caddy is made of durable, lightweight plastic and an antimicrobial material to prevent bacteria growth and odors. The device can store up to 10 infant diapers before needing to be refilled. This product is about $25.
The Toss Disposable Diaper Pail is more affordable (under $5) and easier to transport. It accordion-folds when not in use, then freely stands upright when needed, allowing grandparents to hold up to 30 newborn-size diapers. When it’s full, simply toss it in the trash bin, as the entire product composts naturally.
Rear Seat Reminder App
The 2021 Honda Odyssey comes with the industry’s first Rear Seat Reminder system, but there are several alternatives for grandparents who may sometimes be forgetful: An app.
One of the best third-party options is the Kars4Kids smartphone app. It’s compatible with most Bluetooth devices and features a customizable alarm that alerts grandparents when they may have left their grandchildren in the car. Best of all, it’s free!
Another great option is the eClip Baby Reminder. The simple device attaches to a baby’s car seat and monitors cabin temperature. If a grandparent exits the vehicle without the baby, the application will automatically send an emergency alert through the smartphone app. This product is pricier (about $50) but that’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.
A Honda Odyssey
Perhaps the best thing to give grandparents is the new Honda Odyssey. In addition to its industry-first Rear Seat Reminder system, the Odyssey offers a bevy of other technology to help parents, grandmas and grandpas alike.
Easily restrict audio playback to certain seating areas in the Odyssey with its available multi-zone audio system. This is an excellent feature when caring for a napping infant and her bored three-year-old sibling – mute the zone with the baby and pump Raffi through the speakers for the toddler.
Magic Slide® 2nd-Row Seats
The innovative mid-row seats fold flat and can move side to side and front to back, providing grandparents easier access to both second- and third-row seats.
Grandparents who must keep an eye on an entire flock of grandkids will find Odyssey’s CabinWatch setup to be a blessing. The camera system is displayed right on the Honda minivan’s center screen, offering a full view of the back two rows.
Working in tandem with CabinWatch, CabinTalk enables drivers to speak directly to the other passengers via an in-vehicle PA system. CabinTalk even sends your voice through any earbuds connected to the Odyssey’s Rear Entertainment System.
Hands-Free Power Tailgate
Grandma needn’t ask for help opening the Odyssey’s cargo bay thanks to its available hands-free power tailgate system. With the simple wiggle of her Scholl’s-clad foot under the liftgate, the minivan’s tailgate pops open.
Best of all, Odyssey also features a height-adjustable cargo area that can be individually customized for both Grandma and Grandpa.
To learn more about the grandparent-friendly Honda Odyssey, or to schedule a test drive in the 2021 Odyssey or another good Honda SUV, contact a Honda dealer near you.For shoppers in the Phoenix area, speak with someone from your Valley Honda Dealers in Arizona. We have staff on hand and ready to show you what makes the Odyssey the best minivan for parents and older grandparents. Find your closest Valley Honda Dealers location near Phoenix today!