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Need Carseat Advice.....Please

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
I have 9 month old girl / boy twins.
Friday when we went to the doctor Leah weighed 19.2lbs and Logan weighed 16.3lbs.
So my question is,

#1: What is the best kind tof carseat to buy?
#2: When do they face foward?
#3: Do I have to get a convertible carseat or can I go to a Booster?:

Anything else you can think of?
post #2 of 30
Rear facing is MUCH safer than forward facing and you can read these pages for more info on that.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9916868/
http://cpsafety.com/articles/stayrearfacing.aspx
http://www.car-safety.org/rearface.html
The absolute MINIMUM for forward facing is one year (adjusted) AND 20 lbs. but it is better to rear face to the limit of the (convertable) seat which is usually 30-35 lbs. depending on the seat. For these reasons, you need to go with a convertable seat for now, not a combination (boosster).
For seat recomendations, well, that depends on severall things, mainly your budget, and the size of your kids. You gave weights, but lenth and torso lenghth would also help (torso length is from the floor to the top of their sholders when sitting on a hard surface). Whatever you do stay FAR away from any "3 in 1" seat. They are sold by many brands, but are all basicly the same and are NOT the last seat you would need to buy because they have extremely low top harness slots and are almost always outgrown long before the child is ready for a booster. They also make poor boosters.
Let me know your budget and the kids heights and I can help you find good seats. HTH!

~Kelsie -*slightly* car seat obsessed, and CPS advocate
post #3 of 30
Thread Starter 
Leah is 70.5 cm
Logan is 71.4 cm

I dunno why the doctor wrote cm
I don't have the torso measurment.
Budget = $100 each? Don't really know that either. Just want a good one without spending alot...
post #4 of 30
That's a low budget. Honestly if you can at all I would spend more. It will be worth it in the long run. IMO Britax are the best carseats out there. And quite a few of their seats go up to 65lbs so they will last quite a while.

-Angela
post #5 of 30
Ok... the best low cost seat is the Cosco Scenare. It rear faces to 35 lbs. and is pretty easy to use. It really works better than most other more expensive seats, but you might end up needing another seat later on before they are ready for a booster (MINIMUM of 4 years, and 40 lbs.). If you wanted to splerge, I could recomend several seats that would last quite a bit longer, but for under $100 each, the only seat I would buy is the Scenara: http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html...sin=B000A3YIWS
Just make sure to get a 5-pt. harness, and NOT the overhead shield. Feel free to ask me any questions...

~Kelsie
post #6 of 30
Thread Starter 
Ok after looking at the last one you posted I definatly want to buy a more expensive one.
Go ahead, recommend away!
post #7 of 30
sorry but i dont think thats a bad budget at all. i think its rediculous how much people pay for carseats!! i am very type A about carseat safty and the laws but i dont think you have to spend more then $100 on a carseat. though britax may be great i have seen them and dont know what the hype is besides they are made with expensive material covers and look "fancy". i go to our local hospital and they do carseat inspections and if you take a saftey class (15 minute video) you can buy a carseat from them for $20. its great and i have bought 4 through them. they are cosco, eddie bauer editions and are perfect.

your little ones will need to be in the infant carseat for a bit longer. i found that i could keep my twins backward facing in their infant seats for a lot longer then my singleton because they had company and were much happier on car rides. if you just dont like infant seats anymore you would have to get convertables since they are not the weight or age for a foward facing, 5 point harness, booster seat. but if you wait till they are 20lbs AND 1 year then you can by the 5 point harness booster. booster
there are more expensive ones and less expensive ones. i really dont think price determines saftey. i think its all how they are installed.
post #8 of 30
Britax offers features that other brands don't offer. Plus they also meet European carseat rules which are far stricter then US. Britax is the ONLY company that offers rear facing tether which is a great safety feature. Plus keeping your child harness as long as possible is the safest way to go and Britax is one of the few companys (the others being as expensive as Britax) that allows you to do it. Britax also has padding that makes the seat very comfortable, trust me if you look at the cheaper seats padding you'll notice the difference. Plus I don't like how many recalls Cosco and Graco have on a consistent basis, I'd rather spend money with a company that doesn't have as many recalls. Ease of use and the fact that most people can install a Britax correctly makes it a better choice in my opinion. I own 3 marathons and we had to budget and give up other luxuries to afford them but I think they were worth every penny I spent on them.
post #9 of 30
I tried to use less expensive car seats with my first (DS) and found that for various reasons (bad pads leaving marks on his skin, annoyingly difficult latches, etc) we ended up buying like 3 car seats before he was in a booster. When DD was ready to move out of the baby bucket, we bought a Britax....spent around $250 I think. I love it, she is comfortable in it, and I see no reason to do anything differently until she outgrows it. It is nice not to sorry about it!

GL!
tassy
post #10 of 30
My vote would be for the Britax Marathon. That's what we use for our older kids and it's what I'll put my twins in once they've outgrown their infant carriers. It's rear facing up to 33 lbs. and forward facing up to 65 lbs. We've loved all the Britax seats we've tried. Here's the company's page on it.
post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stayathomemommy
though britax may be great i have seen them and dont know what the hype is besides they are made with expensive material covers and look "fancy". i go to our local hospital and they do carseat inspections and if you take a saftey class (15 minute video) you can buy a carseat from them for $20. its great and i have bought 4 through them. they are cosco, eddie bauer editions and are perfect.
That's exactly how I used to feel about Britax.....UNTIL I actually USED one myself!! I was very satisfied w/ my graco products until they started showing wear at 2.5 yrs instead of at six! So I had to replace both of them. One, I borrowed my friend's britax marathon, and oh my, does it install like a dream! So easy to use and secure, I couldn't believe it! So I tried out several other seats for my dd, was totally frustrated, and ended up saying forget it, I'm buying a britax! And I'm so happy I did. AND it was on sale which never happens, AND it's a cool zebra print!!

Anyway, that is so cool about the hospital car seat course and getting a cheap seat--I've never heard of a program like that before, but it's excellent. I'm glad that you're happy w/ the seats. And I'm sure they are making a big difference w/ that program.
post #12 of 30
Britax is the gold standard when it comes to safety. Their top of the line is the boulevard- it has side impact protection- very few seats on the market do. Britax are tested and pass a HIGHER standard than most seats on the market.

The marathon or decathalon (basically the new marathon) are great choices- both go to 65#s so you'll get YEARS of use out of them.

-Angela
post #13 of 30
Along with other posters, if you are willing to spend more, I say the Britax Marathon (or Boulevard, but not the Decathlon) would be a great choice, and a few paterns are on sale right now so you can fine them for less. Another seat I would recomend is the new Fisher Price Safe Voyage. It is made by britax, but is less expensive due to a few missing features (froofie covers, built it lock-offs, rear facing teather, HUGS, and a lower weight limit: 55 lbs, vs. 65). Another seat you might want to look at is the Sunshine Kids Radian which (like britax seats) has a 65 lb. wight limit. Higher weight limits are a really great feature because a 5-pt. harness is so much safer than a booster, and many kids outgrown other seats (usually by height) before they are old enough for a booster (higher weight seats have higher top harness slots) and parents end up needing a heigher weight seat anyway. Might as well just start out with one IMO. Here are some links to these seats:
http://www.burlingtoncoatfactory.com...s_baby_depot=1
http://www.specialtybaby.com/britax.html
http://www.specialtybaby.com/sukiracarsed.html

I personally don't think it is at ALL unreasonable to spend a lot of money on a good car seat (though there are decent cheaper ones). People spend far more on far less important things for their children (like storlers, cribs and other stuff). It seems to me that if there is ONE thing to spend money on, it's the one that could safe your childs life. As for being thrifty, there are pleanty of other things to save money one. Still, I understand that some people just are not financially able to spend much on anything and that is why I always recomend the Scenara because it really is a good seat.

~Kelsie
post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by soygurl
Ok... the best low cost seat is the Cosco Scenare. It rear faces to 35 lbs. and is pretty easy to use. It really works better than most other more expensive seats, but you might end up needing another seat later on before they are ready for a booster (MINIMUM of 4 years, and 40 lbs.). If you wanted to splerge, I could recomend several seats that would last quite a bit longer, but for under $100 each, the only seat I would buy is the Scenara: http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html...sin=B000A3YIWS
Just make sure to get a 5-pt. harness, and NOT the overhead shield. Feel free to ask me any questions...

~Kelsie
I totally agree. The Scenera is a terrific seat, and is easy to install with a high RF weight limit. keep those babies RF as long as possible. My 3 year old still rides RF most of the time, and loves it. Oh, and it's no big deal for their feet to touch the back of the seat, or for their knees to be bent. If you want to splurge, any of the Britax seats, (Marathon, Decathalon, Boulevard, Wizzard) are all great seats! You just can't go wrong. They last forever, and elminate the premature move of a child who is still too young/immatrue to a booster. Most four year olds I know are *barely* ready for a booster.

Kelli
post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by nathansmom
Britax offers features that other brands don't offer. Plus they also meet European carseat rules which are far stricter then US.
OK, I don't know where the European standards are, but I live in Israel and our imports are all European. Did you know that NONE of them (Britax included) have chest clips (excpet the US imports). My neighbor's dd could get herself out of the britax at around 16 months because it was impossible to pull the straps tight enough and she could wiggle her shoulder out. So she would be sitting in the carseat in essentially a lap belt. Tighteing the seat didn't help. Did you know the European (at least Brittish, I can't read other languages) Britax tell you to FF from 9 months? That is standard there. Sorry but I don't see them as safer. What good is a wonderfully installed carseat if you child can get out of it? I know the US imports have chest clips, but it's not because Britax cares so much about safety, it's because they sell. If they cared about safety they wouldn't sell unsafe seats in Europe just becuase it meets the standards.

Vent over

That said, we have the evenflo seats for our kids. They RF to 33 lbs. My kids are small so I am not worried about them outgrowing them too soon. If you have big kids you need a seat with a higher weight limit.
post #16 of 30
Whatever seat you go with, remember the Babies R Us gives a twin discount if you buy two large ticket items (like carseats) so take that into consideration when doing your price comparisons (I don't remember what % it is at the moment, been too long since we bought ours LOL).
post #17 of 30
I have to say, that I was really against the Cosco Scenera when I first saw one. My DD1 has a Britax Roundabout that we love, so I really wanted Britax for the twins. However, we just didn't have $400 or $500 to drop on two carseats (Marathons run about $250 EACH). Anyway, when I saw the Cosco safety reports vs. Britax, I was surprised. The Cosco seat is the ONLY ONE never recalled! They also got a higher overall rating than the Roundabout, I believe (I'll try to find the site link again.O Also, at $40 a pop at Target, I had to cave because of the price difference. Now that we've been using them for about 5 months, I'm glad we made that decision. As long as your a little careful about not twisting straps, the seat is great. You can adjust the strap tightness from the front, and they are easy to install. No, they are not a cushiony as the Britax, and no, they don't have the same number of recline options, BUT they work, are safe, and A LOT more affordable. Oh, and they are made in the USA, too, if that matters to you. HTH!
post #18 of 30
To the person who asked about the Euro laws I can't find the page where I read that. I know 3 years ago when I was shopping for a carseat for my child I remember a carseat tech on another board mentioning this. I'll keep looking and when I find it I'll let you know.

From carseat.org about consumer reports:
All carseats currently sold must pass minimum government requirements. Consumer Reports has its own methodology, and does not discuss how they derive their crash test ratings or how their ratings relate to the risk of injury. They also conceal their results in colored circles, which don't tell you exactly how much safer a top-rated model is compared to a lower-rated one. Also, a carseat that worked for the dummies on the car benches at Consumer Reports may not fit well in your vehicle or with your child. If your carseat fits your child, fits your vehicle and you use it correctly every time, then it should be safe.

From another website( abreakdown of possible costs on carseats):
that's when I start a price breakdown.

normal convertible carseat (we'll say the popular evenflo Triumph) - 120dollars

x 2 in this case - 240 dollars (needless to say, I'm not putting in tax and I'm assuming this was for someone in the US)

now... since this seat is normally outgrown by age 3 (on average, 2.5yrs), we'll use the average age to break down cost per year.

120/2.5=48 dollars per year if you use it from BIRTH...

most children outgrow the infant seat at about 6mo... which would mean you're really spending 120 dollars a year for the twins



now... the Britax Marathon... will last your child until age 6 (5-7yrs)

270/6=45 dollars per year (so you're already saving if you use it from BIRTH)

most children outgrow the infant seat at about 6mo... which would mean you're really spending 98.18 dollars a year for twins


Now I ask you... which is really cheaper?

Prices are all from babiesrus.com, by the way.... if you ordered from a website by phone (to ask for the twin discount) you'd save even more.

now... let's also compare our 98.18 figure to what happens when the children outgrow the triumph at 2.5... because we obviously aren't putting them in boosters.

the Graco Platininum Cargo (very popular for a harnessed booster) is 100 dollars

let's be optimistic and say that it will harness them till 40lbs... we'll say age 3.5 (average build again so that's why the age)

now since they are already 2.5yrs old, that means they will get 1.5yrs of use out of the harnessed portion of the seat and that they won't use them as boosters because they want a dedicated booster, since most people don't like the cargos as boosters.

100/1

200 per year for twins

the Marathons are STILL cheaper

now... since we will need boosters after the Marathon... here we go to break it on down.

Graco Turboboosters - 50 dollars each

since they are of average build, we're going to say that they last until they are 10 (booster use is usually till 8-12yrs old)

50/4= 12.50 per year

well, the kids outgrew them at 40lbs... but they aren't 4yrs old and certainly not ready for a booster yet, so we've got to get seats that harness longer...

we're back to square one... le'ts assume the parents have headrests... so they get the Apex... which will last till the kids are 6 for harnesses... but they don't like how it works as a booster (goodness knows I don't)

130/2.5 = 52 dollars per year

for twins 104 dollars a year The marathons are still cheaper per year this way.

the turbobooster figures would be the same then.


so now let's look at our totals.... remember our total length of time is 9.5yrs in the seats combined.

Marathon/TB Triumph/Platinum/Apex/TB

$320.00 $370.00

for twins.... $640.00 for twins.... $740.00

which is really cheaper, I ask you?

and if you didn't opt for the Apex... sure you come out cheaper... but your children won't be harnessed as long or you would have still bought the Marathon or the Regent at some point. This was written by Kat on another board.


I'm not saying you have to buy a Britax carseat but in my opinion they are worth every dime you spend on them. For comfort for your child a Britax offers more comfort but if you don't drive much then a carseat with more padding may not be important. My 3 year old will not sit in the Cosco Secena that is in my father's car because it hurts. I looked into it and there is so very little padding no wonder he refused to sit in it.
post #19 of 30
Rachel Eve-
I stand corrected, your right on laws. However it is the testing standards that is stricter in Europe. The funny thing is you can find the actual requirements for testing in Europe but so far no luck on finding testing standards in the US.
post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by RachelEve14
OK, I don't know where the European standards are, but I live in Israel and our imports are all European. Did you know that NONE of them (Britax included) have chest clips (excpet the US imports). My neighbor's dd could get herself out of the britax at around 16 months because it was impossible to pull the straps tight enough and she could wiggle her shoulder out. So she would be sitting in the carseat in essentially a lap belt. Tighteing the seat didn't help. Did you know the European (at least Brittish, I can't read other languages) Britax tell you to FF from 9 months? That is standard there. Sorry but I don't see them as safer. What good is a wonderfully installed carseat if you child can get out of it? I know the US imports have chest clips, but it's not because Britax cares so much about safety, it's because they sell. If they cared about safety they wouldn't sell unsafe seats in Europe just becuase it meets the standards.

Vent over
European seats are not allowed to have chest clips. Chest clips are only for pre-crash positioning of straps, and some seats in the US in the past have been sold without chest clips(Fisher Price being one of them, I owned a few FP seats that didn't come with a chest clip, or could be used without one)

And while the Cosco Scenera doesn't have any recalls on that model, Cosco is known for recalls(and not reporting recalls). The Scenera is the re-named Touriva, which did have recalls on various model years.

There is one big reason to consider the Marathon(or the Fisher Price Safe Voyage), esp when dealing with twins. No twist straps. That bonus right there is worth every additional penny you would spend on the seats over one of the other manufacturer's seats.
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