I am looking for a convertible car seat for my 8-month-old dd. I'm not planning to switch over yet (she's currently in a graco snugride 22), but want to buy one now. I don't want to spend a lot of money, but I want a reputable brand that is safe. With my other kids, we did graco snugride to britax roundabout (RFing from age 1-3 and then FF) and then to graco nautilus. I thought about getting another roundabout (we liked them and my kids tend to be short and skinny so don't outgrow them) but they seem more expensive than others. I've looked at others too, but am getting so confused by all the choices. We have a sienna van so space isn't a huge issue. I do loosen their straps when I take them out and tighten them when I put them back in so I want something that is easy to adjust (I think I read somewhere that one carseat has a button/know right up against the seat when RFing and it can be hard to adjust). So any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Help me choose a convertible car seat
How big is your 8 month old? How long are you hoping to rear-face her for? Will her carseat be next to any other carseats or kids? Will you run into a problem in the future with running out of forward facing tether anchors (this depends on how closely your kids are spaced--- if you will, one solution is to rear-face longer until an older child will no longer need the tether).
For short children (under the 30th percentile) Britax is a good choice. They used to (10-14+ years ago) be the best, and almost only, choice for extended rear-facing. Now you have many other options and it will basically be up to your personal preference. Do you not have a Roundabout to pass down, or are they all expired? Just a warning--- the newer Britaxes actually have *shorter* heights than the slightly older ones, so if you had an older one that lasted three years rear-facing does not mean the newer ones will. When my kids were young (they are 11 & 14) we had Britaxes and loved them but won't be getting one for the new baby--- there are just so many better options out there.
BTW, there are *several* options available right now that should last 3-4 years rear-facing and then until your child is ready for a booster forward facing.