Clek Infant Thingy: Absolutely Outstanding

20150414_130615_resizedClek continues to blow us away with exceptionally well-designed and executed products, and the latest addition to their family of funkily-named products (totally a real word) is the “Infant Thingy.”

Not a stand-alone infant seat, the Infant Thingy is an add-on to Clek’s previously reviewed and loved Foonf and Fllo and enables use of either of those seats from birth.  Disclaimer #1: I do not have a newborn of my own anymore. Disclaimer #2: I didn’t drive around with a doll pretending to be my newborn while testing the Infant Thingy although the thought did cross my mind. Not creepy at all, right?

Are you reading this in confusion, wondering how on earth a person is supposed to use an infant/child, aka convertible seat, from birth? Don’t you have to use an infant-style seat instead? No my friends, no you do not. Many choose to, and for those really tiny babies who need a low birth weight seat I would continue to suggest that you do to ensure best fit on the tiniest humans, but for the average 5lb+ newborn do consider a Foonf or Fllo plus Infant Thingy right off the bat.  This means you probably need some kind of baby wearing plan but that’s not a topic we’ll cover here.

 

20150412_090534_resizedHere’s what you need to properly use an Infant Thingy:

1. An infant, or one on the way, who is between 5-22lbs and 19-33″ tall.

2. A Clek Foonf or Fllo to put said Infant Thingy in.

3. A vehicle in which a Foonf or Fllo properly installs.

4. A strong desire to say fun-sounding words like Foonf, Fllo, and Thingy.

 

 

 

 

The Infant Thingy comes only in black, but it coordinates nicely with all of the colours I had handy to contrast it with. There are a few solids and prints missing from this spread – see the full range for Fllo and Foonf.

Tokidoki Infant Thingy 20150412_111153_resized 20150415_123154_resized 20150415_124044_resized 20150412_090314_resized

 

Some important things to note:

  • 2015 models of Foonf and Fllo will ship with an extra set of lower harness slots (6 instead of 5), positioned just at the top edge of the Infant Thingy when installed in the seat (all seats pictured here are older and have only 5). Some seats, produced during the transition phase, might have an extra slot in the shell of the seat but not in the fabric cover. That’s okay, just use the lowest slot apparent in the cover.
  • 2014 and 2013 seats can still be used with the Infant Thingy, it just means the harness will fit the baby a bit differently, and that’s okay too.

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  • The long-standing rule that when rear-facing the harness must come from at or BELOW the child’s shoulders is tossed out the window when using the Infant Thingy for a very small baby. Clek has assured us that it is absolutely fine to use the Infant Thingy even if baby’s shoulders are lower than the lowest harness position on your seat. For real. Once baby’s shoulders do reach that level though we revert back to AT or BELOW for choosing which harness slot to use.

When using the Infant Thingy the manual for it trumps the manual for the seat, such as the instructions for harness position as above. If there is a point of confusion Clek’s fabulous customer service team is always available to answer your questions.

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When using any seat it’s extremely important to make sure you’re reclining it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. For newborns it’s absolutely critical to make sure you’ve reclined the seat as much as is allowed to protect the baby’s airway.  Thankfully both Foonf and Fllo are reasonably compact even when at the most reclined level. The car seat head rest is removed when using the upper head support attachment piece of the Infant Thingy, because that’s what the instructions say to do.

 

When I first began putting the Infant Thingy into my Foonf (shown in pink in all photos here) I realized that if you don’t read the manual you’re going to probably make some errors.  Not that it’s complicated – not at all – but don’t think it’s just some comfy fluff to pad your baby’s derriere. Like all things car seat reading the manual is really important.

You need to put the head support pad on right way up. If you do it upside down it will gape and not sit nicely at all, possibly compromising baby’s airway. Simple to fix though – pop the plastic tabs back through the harness slot and flip it around.

20150412_123408_resized Thingy head pad

 

Similarly the routing of the hip strap OVER the hip support flap needs to be done with care, otherwise you’ll get bunching and a poorly fitting harness on baby.

hip strap routing

 

Lastly, if your baby is small enough that you need to remove harness length to ensure proper tightness, route it as shown relative to the splitter plate (on the back of the seat). The extra loop of harness length will slide more easily along the underside of the seat as you tighten it for a small baby. How tight is tight enough? Until it passes the pinch test with no excess slack in the webbing.

splitter plate routing

 

It’s very easy to adjust the crotch buckle on Foonf or Fllo to maximize fit on your baby. With use of the Infant Thingy only you may use the longer or shorter crotch buckle length on the inner slot of the car seat. This means you can lengthen or shorten the crotch buckle as needed for a smaller or larger baby.  Those of you with 2013 Foonfs can purchase a two-length crotch buckle straight from Clek; everyone else: your seat came with this nifty feature.

Note that when a child is under 22lbs — also the maximum weight limit for use of the Infant Thingy — you MUST use the circular belly pad with Foonf and Fllo. See the two lengths of crotch buckle shown below? Adjust as needed for best fit on your baby.  With my newborn doll (fits perfectly into ‘newborn’ sleepers), I had no trouble at all getting the harness tight enough with the harness shortened and crotch buckle in the shorter setting, with room to adjust smaller for an even smaller baby.

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When do you remove the head support and put the Foonf or Fllo’s head rest back on? You can’t use both at once, there simply isn’t room. Remove the head support — a cushy pad several inches thick — when the top of your baby’s head reaches the top of the head support.

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As baby fills out you may choose to discontinue use of the Infant Thingy before it is outgrown, and provided your child meets the minimums for use in the Foonf or Fllo alone (25″ and 14lbs and able to sit unassisted) that is completely appropriate.  There is overlap between minimum use for Foonf and Fllo, and maximum use for the Infant Thingy. This is lovely, because all babies are shaped and proportioned differently.

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The smallest baby I know (7 weeks old, 11lbs) fit really nicely in the Infant Thingy + Foonf; with how much more I could have adjusted the harness I have no doubt a much smaller baby would fit easily.

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Update: we found a smaller baby! 6 days old, 7lbs 14oz, and 20.5″ long.  Delicious.  If you happen to know one even smaller, and the parents are cool with sharing a photo we’d love to add it in for future readers.  Please get in touch.

Newborn in Infant Thingy

 

 

Foonfreview21This 6 month old (from our original Foonf review) fits beautifully in the seat (and would in the Fllo as well) at 15lbs and 28″ long.  She could use the Infant Thingy as she’s well within the weight and height limits, but doesn’t need it. Your mileage may vary but I likely would not purchase the Infant Thingy for a child of this size.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, are you sold on the awesomeness that is the Infant Thingy?

  • cushy pad with the same fabulous Crypton fabric on most Foonf and Fllo seats for easy wiping up of spills (if you are expecting your first and are unfamiliar with the messes that babies can make let me tell you, this is a very nice feature)
  • excellent harness fit with small babies
  • overlap between maximum use of Infant Thingy and minimum use without it – customize use to your baby’s shape and needs
  • fits perfectly in the seats it is designed for – meaning you can truly use the same seat from birth, through extended rear-facing to age 3-4+, all the way to booster readiness, for the vast majority of kids

Where can you find the Infant Thingy?  It’s almost ready for sale directly from Clek (Canadians shop here and Americans shop here), and from Clek authorized retailers near you, for $69.99. In the market for a Foonf or Fllo? Available at the links above, and also at Amazon.ca, and Shop.ca.

Would you like to WIN an Infant Thingy?  Contest is over – congrats to Julie K.! Thank you to all who entered!  You need to already own a Clek Fllo or Foonf, or be in the market to purchase one.  Contest open to residents of the US or Canada. See the fine print in the widget below for all of the details.  Huge thanks to Clek for giving us a sneak peek at the Infant Thingy, and for providing the one shown in this review. Disclaimer #3: I love this so much I almost want another baby so I can use it. Almost.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

82 comments to Clek Infant Thingy: Absolutely Outstanding

  • stacey

    I have a beautiful Dragonfly Foonf, that needs an infant thingy to keep it warm– especially with the snow I saw today!

  • The Infant Thingy would be perfect for my Fllo in Drift. I would love to be able to ditch the bucket seat and use the fllo with my 6 week old.

  • Amy

    My Foonf is a Rainbow Paul Frank.

  • Super excited at the prospects of now just needing one car seat when baby boy comes this July! Can’t wait to order my car seat soon!

  • Kristy

    I’d use it in my fllo! OMG I love this thingy!!

  • I have two, a foonf in dragonfly, and a fllo in ink, if i were to get an infant thingy, i could have all the babies and hubby couldnt complain about more car seats!!

  • M. Y.

    I would by a fllo or a julius stripe foonf to go with it.

  • Rachelle

    Haven’t decided on using a bucket seat or a convertible for my son who will be here in June, but that seems like a cool idea.

  • Lindsey Beaulieu

    I am purchasing a Clek Fllo in the next few weeks and would love the chance to use with my baby due in May!! Thanks for this opportunity!

  • I have a flamingo computed Fllo… But am seriously considering buying a second Fllo to use from birth with #2 arriving this fall!

  • I have an original 2013 dragonfly foonf that I won from car-seat.org. Would love to win the infant thingy to compliment the seat.

  • I don’t have a Clek yet but I want to buy a Fllo. 🙂

  • I have neither, but if I do get bribed into having more kids I would likely by a fllo as I have a dodge grand caravan 😀

  • Ali Wisehart

    Three foonfs, one waiting for an infant thingy for the new baby! Blue, and two of the paul frank money patterns, heart shades and whatever the other one is lol.

  • Ink fllo and tokidoki all over foonf, here. 🙂

  • Amy Desroches Ribeiro

    Oops – made a typo in my name the first time I posted. Can?t wait to get the Fllo! Went and tried it out in the car a week ago and it fit beautifully. Would love the Infant Thingy!

  • Cathy Ricard

    I love my Clek Foonfs and this review is really making me consider just the Infant Thingy on my next baby instead of a bucket seat. Great product from a great company.

  • Megan

    we were very early adopters of a blue Foonf – love it to pieces!

  • Tiffany Brooks

    My foonf is hot pink! Would love an infant thingy for our little girl that is due three weeks from today!!

  • Angie

    I am due with baby #2 on May 9th and would absolutely love to be able to to skip the bucket and go right to our beloved Clek seats! We currently have a Foonf Julius Hawk and a Fllo. We definitely plan to buy two more (one for each car).

  • Jennifer Odom

    I have a Paul Frank Hawk Foonf. 🙂

  • Ruthann Talbott

    I have a Julius Stripe and baby #4 due in August. This would be awesome!!!

  • Christine A

    I have 2 Fllos, one black and one flamingo. We love them as they look great and are really solid.

  • lyndsey

    This makes me want a third baby as the thingy is being released three months to late

  • Would love to win an infant thingy! We have a snowberry and dragonfly Foonf and a baby boy coming at the end of May!

  • Stephanie

    I have 2 fllo’s in drift that I love. The thingy would be great for #3 that’s due in August!

  • Muthoni shull

    I have the fllo in shadow for my 38″ 2.5 year old (still rf) and want to buy a second fllo for my little guy now that hey have an infant Insert 🙂

  • Don’t have a fllo or foonf right now but wouldn’t mind winning one since I may need a couple in future. No particular color favored.

  • Crystal

    I have a foonf in pink hearts, a fllo in drift and a fllo in shadow. I run an in home daycare and am a CPST. With five under five daily an infant thingy would be a great addition to ditch the bucket.

  • I have two Foonfs right now – in Dragonfly and Blue Moon – which (nearly) 3 year old twins are ERF in. I plan to buy a new one (probably in Flamingo) for my baby girl who is due this summer.

  • ali m

    I have a foonf that I bought last summer with the help of a $100 gift certificate I won. I have on of the Julius prints. I have been hearing about the insert for quite a while. If it had been out when my son was born this fall, I would have definitely bought it, but now my son is probably 13-14 lbs and I’m not sure it’s totally worth it yet. I would definitely buy for the next baby.

  • Kaitlyn

    This is FANTASTIC! Makes me even more sold on the set. I have been looking at getting a Clek for my 2 year old, just worried it will not fit in my 96 Honda Civic. With expecting a newborn, I might just need to get 2 seats!

    • jshapka

      If you check out the Foonf and Fllo reviews linked in the Infant Thingy post you can see some pics in an 03 Civic. Not exactly the same but should give you a good idea for fit!

  • Would love to have one of these for our foonf!

  • In the process of buying a Fllo!

  • Veronca G

    I have a thunder foonf and need a infant thingy for my newborn boy.

  • Mia W

    We have one Fllo (in Drift) and one Foonf (in Tank).

  • Would love to win the Infant Thingy to have on hand for foster care! We use Clek Foonfs and this would be great to have on hand in case we get an infant placement 🙂

  • Stacey Halvorsen

    What a genius idea!! I’ve been looking at the Clek and wanted to take the pIunge but was waiting till my little one was a bit bigger. Love this.

  • My baby’s Foonf is Ink coloured.

  • Christina W

    we have a clek foonf for my 21 month old son and loved it so much that we got a pink Paul frank hearts for my then unborn daughter! She’s now 6 weeks old and would love for her to use her clek that’s sitting in the garage. This would be perfect for us!!!

  • Our sweet Hazel wants to match her big brother in a Foonf! Her Snowberry is en route and she would love the Infant Thingy to keep from waiting a few more months to use her awesome new seat!

  • Stephanie Donkin

    We have three foonfs! A snowberry, ink, and tank. Tank is for our youngest (2 months). We are currently using an infant car seat for him but would love to get him in his foonf now with the infant thingy!

  • Stephanie Donkin

    Our kids are on the smaller/shorter side so we can get lots of use out of it!

  • Julia F

    Dragonfly Foonf

  • Lesley zacarias

    I have a Julius stripe foonf! I would love to use this for my 3 month old!!

  • Dalia

    This would be great for our little one on the way!

  • Can’t wait to try it with my Rebel tokidoki foonf!

  • Maria

    Totally planning on the Fllo for my first child…I’ve even convinced my sister to get one for her 2nd that she’s carrying now. So happy there’s an infant insert so I don’t need to buy a separate seat!

  • Carmen

    We have a Foonf now but would get a Fllo for a 2nd.

  • Amanda McD

    Oooh! We love our foonf, and with baby #2 due in the summer, this is an exciting development 🙂

  • Hannah

    I have a Fllo in my prius and love it!

  • Stephanie

    This would be an amazing asset to the Clek family!!

  • Cheryl

    We can use one of these thingys.

  • We have the Clek Fllo in Ink for our son, would be great with the Clek Infant Thingy

  • Peachy

    I’d love a Fllo in Tank to help with fitting 5-6 car seats in my Oddy! So if I win the infant thingy it’ll give me a good reason to buy the Fllo!

  • Anastasia Herma

    We would love to win an infant thingy! We got to try it out last night at Gearapalooza San Fransisco and our ten week old loves it and fit so snugly and perfect!! Even looks sleek in the foonf!

  • Tricia

    I’m crazy excited for this! We are expecting our third and doing 3 across and have no interest in an infant bucket. Perfect all around!

  • Angela Mack

    We have a Fllo in ink, and are looking to purchase a 2nd, possibly in flamingo, but I’m still deciding.

  • Mackenzie Reiner

    I have a foonf in ink that I adore. I would love to have the infant thingy for my next baby as we sold our bucket seat! So excited they’ve made these!!!

  • Lani

    Love it!! Would consider it if I have another one!

  • Allison

    I have a Fllo in ink and my baby doesn’t like his naps as well as in his last car seat so I’d love the infant thingy so he feels more cozy.

  • Maryanne

    I’d use it with the Fllo we’re gonna buy.

  • Would love this for my little guy. Would be able to get rid of my bucket much much sooner.

  • Nichole George

    i need to move my 3 yo to a new seat and so this baby (due any second) is getting the Foonf and so we NEED an infant thingy!!!

  • Katherine

    I would like to win one for training purposes. I don’t have a foonf and won’t be getting one, but if I did I like the dragonfly colour. 🙂

  • holly borutskie

    Woohoo

  • Lindsey Hannah

    We are planning on getting a fllo for our daughter, due to arrive in September. She will definitely need the infant thingy to keep her cozy. We will probably go with ink!

  • Sarah Vincent

    We just bought the Fllo in Thunder! Can’t wait to use with our current babe. The infant thingy will be excellent for our next 😉

  • melissa

    I have the foonf and can’t wait to use the infant thingy with my little guy. So much easier than an infant seat.

  • amanda

    Would love an infant seat for our next little one. Will need to have three car seat in the back of a truck.

  • Ciara Sutherland

    Would love to win this for our baby girl due in June- do not currently own a foonf or flo yet but love the idea of one great seat for all the stages 🙂

  • Anica

    I would buy a Fllo ( it’s smaller and cheaper). It will be my next car seat purchase

  • Kathy

    I’m hopefully buying the fllo this weekend! I would love to win the insert and save a little 😉 Buying the black.

  • I have a white/black foonf. I foster infants and children it would be wonderful to have an Infant Thingy to maximize the use of my foonf.
    Thank you
    Carol

  • Jen Pott

    Love love LOVE our Foonf and will be buying another for the newest member of the family….goodbye bucket, hello thingy!

  • Sydney

    We have the dragonfly Foonf seat. An Infant Thingy would be perfect for our second ;).

  • Expecting baby #3 in July, and would love to skip the bucket seat entirely! Thinking of buying the Fllo in Ink – 16.9″ width will let me get 3 across in my Ford Escape!

  • Monica A

    Grear fit on those newbies!! I would use this in either of our pink foonfs (black or white base) or our green with white bottom 🙂

  • Grace

    What would you recommend for extra cushioning for a baby that weighs more than 22 lbs for the Fllo

    • jshapka

      Nothing – or do you mean side support Clek doesn’t make anything for extra body positioning after that weight, however the new 2016 seats do come with more squish in the padding. It might be possible to order a new cover from them if that’s what you’re referring to. I recommend you call them and ask their advice, they have excellent tech support.