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Infant seat vs convertible

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
We have a Graco SafeSeat for my 5 month old DD, which goes to 30 lbs and 32" rear-facing. I have a bad back and pretty much need to stop carrying her in the seat unless my husband is around, to avoid re-injuring myself - she's a solid girl smile.gif and it's not a light seat. She's average in length but above average in weight, so far. But I do find it convenient to pop the infant seat into our two Graco strollers and would miss that convenience especially when we arrive somewhere and she's asleep.

Knowing we'll need new seats for her once she outgrows this seat, just wondering if she's safer to stay in the infant seat until she outgrows it or is it ok to move her to a convertible (rear and forward facing seat) sooner rather than later?

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

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post #2 of 13

Based on her size, it soulds like she should be fine going into a convertable at this point.  Some do not have low enough slots for a newborn, but she should be fine.  Since she is heavier than tall, you'll want to make sure you get a seat with a high rear facing limit.  There are lots of very good, affordable, options available at this point.


I hope you can keep your back healthy!

post #3 of 13

You also can continuing using the infant seat if you want, and just leave it in the car.  No reason you have to take it in and out of the base every time.

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your replies. If we continue with her Graco seat I would just leave it in the car, as we did when her brother became too heavy to carry (albeit closer to a year than this).

Three other small factors I'm considering, aside from her safety are:

1) if we bought a Radian Diono seat for her we might then have enough room for a passenger between the two kids in the back seat of our Santa Fe, which if possible I'd love to have sooner than later.

2) The later we buy her new seat the longer it will last (expiry date wise) both for her use or potential resale.

3) I could sell her current seat with the matching stroller now, which would have some value. The seat expires in Dec/13 so at some point it will be worth next to nothing if she stays in it to Jan-Mar/13 (depending on her weight) and someone won't get a year out of it.

Please send along any other advice! I can't seem to settle this one on my own! Thanks

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post #5 of 13

What year is your Santa Fe?   I have some experience with that car.  If you decide to go with a Radian I'd suggest purchasing an angle adjuster to install the seat more upright.


When you buy a convertible, you should plan on buying one that would keep your child rear facing for as long as possible.  Since your'e talking 3-4 years of use, 'resale value' will be negligible and really should not be a consideration.


How much 'above average' is she in weight?  (growth percentiles wise).  How do you and her brother trend for size?

post #6 of 13

I have a couple of questions. Firstly, I thought it was a "no-no" to resell car seats. I know personally I will never buy a used car seat as we've been in a accident before and know of someone that soaked the straps to clean them before wanting to sell the seat. 


Secondly, I'm about to have a baby and have been fighting this whole infant seat vs convertible. We have a First Years convertible that is good rear facing from 5-40lbs. I was thinking of just using that seat and after being reminded of how heavy the infant seat can be I think I may go with that.


Do you find that as long as you have a baby carrier (Moby, Sling, etc) or a stroller that the need to take the seat out and carry the baby in it is really not needed? I'm going to be having surgery after my 6-9 week mark and was thinking about having to lift the baby and the car seat and it's going to be over the weight limit. 


How is your back with just leaving the seat in the car?

post #7 of 13

It is not, in the US, illegal to resell a car seat.  As a technician, I certainly recommend that no one ever BUY a used car seat.   If someone comes through a checkpoint with a car seat from Craigslist/Freecycle/yardsale/ebay, I confiscate it and replace it.  It's an unknown source that does not meet the NHTSA guidelines for reuse.    If you are going to reuse a seat, use one from a trusted friend or relative that you trust implicitly, and you know for a fact that


1. the seat is not expired

2. has never been in an accident

3. the harness has never been washed or exposed to harsh cleansers

4. has never been checked as baggage on a commercial airline

5. has never been mistreated



As an aside, AlainaFrederick, there is no First Years seat that goes to 40 lbs.  The First Years convertible only goes to 35.   It is rated from 5 lbs and with the newborn insert fits newborns fairly well, but the shoulder straps are fairly wide set and may provide a poor fit on some very young babies. 


An infant seat is certainly not needed. It's a matter of preference and whether or not you find it convenient for your particular family. :-)   I, personally, prefer them. 

post #8 of 13

With our first we used only a convertible. With our second we again bought a convertible first, but since SIL was expecting 6 months after me, we went in together with her and bought an infant seat.  The main thing I liked about having the infant seat was that I didn't have to take baby in and out of the car seat in the cold, but could buckle him and then bundle blankets over him before going outside.  But it was occasionally convenient to be able to leave him in the seat, for instance, at the dentist's office.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Infant seat vs convertible

Thanks again for all the input. I drive a 2008 Santa Fe and at 4 months my daughter was 15.5 lbs and 80% percentile for weight? (I think she'd dropped from 90th). I'm 30 lbs or so overweight and my son is slight (36 lbs and will be 5 in July).

A phone call tonight from a very close family member announcing their pregnancy has changed the whole discussion instantly. We will no longer be selling the SafeSeat when we're done with it, so no matter what it will stick around. I'm now leaning towards using the SafeSeat until just before they're due and then they'll get a year's use out of it before it expires. We'll then move our daughter to a convertible seat (rear facing to start) and will wait to buy it so it has the longest expiry period possible.

Though the thought of fitting an adult in the backseat is still tempting. For those who know the details/specs, we're in a 2008 Santa Fe with my son harnessed in a Safety 1st Apex 65 and am hoping to find something narrow enough for my daughter to allow even a small adult to sit in back with them.
post #10 of 13

The Apex is a wide seat.  (It requires vehicle head rest support, do you have the head rest on behind him?    

Is there an adjustable head restraint in the middle seating position of the 08?

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
You're right. The Apex is wide. It's behind the driver, with a headrest. There are no headrests in the middle back seat. Would consider switching to two. Radian/Dionos if that made a difference. Or if I knew that we weren't meant to have 5 passengers right now I might be able to let it go... But it would come in handy.

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post #12 of 13

Ahh, that's the rub.  You cannot put an adult passenger between the seats if there is no adjustable head restraint.  Not safe.   


However, I can confirm that a rear facing Diono in the middle and a forward facing Diono outboard behind driver and passenger will fit next to each other quite nicely, and leave room in a full side position with head rest for an adult passenger.   That would give you the option to move the rear facing seat over into the middle if you have to transport a fifth person :-)  

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
I went out to the driveway and there in the middle of the backseat is an adjustable headrest! Who knew? (Clearly not me!). Still think having an adult in a side seat would be practical and much easier for him or her instead of crawling into the middle. I wonder if these seats ever go on sale? Can anyone suggest one of the models over the others?


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