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#1 of 36 Old 06-09-2014, 06:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Car Seats (Ugh!)

Soooo, have you all bought a car seat yet? I hate this decision! I wish there was a clear front runner in terms of safety AND comfort for baby. I was planning to just get a Britax Convertible seat (we LOVE Britax, it's the only thing I use for non-infant seats) but although they say for 5lbs and up, apparently they really aren't safe for most babies until their are 4-6 months old. So I suppose we'll do a infant seat. I'm thinking we'll probably just do a Chicco Keyfit 30. It seems to be one of the safest. We had it for DS but sold it - he outgrew it very quickly. Because they use it a shorter time I bought his on Craigslist, but I'm thinking we'll probably just buy it new and, if we like it, save it for potential future babies.

What about you all? Anyone know something fabulous that I don't, making the decision super easy? For me safety and comfort are the only priorities. I don't care a whit about how heavy it is or if it clicks onto a stroller, because I'm one of those that has to be touching baby as much as possible. We use it only in the car.

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#2 of 36 Old 06-09-2014, 08:16 PM
 
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it is super important to me that an infant seat have a strap adjustment from the front side. if it does not have a strap coming out between their feet, I simply cannot bring it home. it is too much fuss to adjust from the back and anyone helping with the baby wont do it.

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#3 of 36 Old 06-09-2014, 08:49 PM
 
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I love the chicco keyfit, but I'm too cheap to buy an infant seat only to have to turn around and buy a convertible a few months later. We FINALLY ordered our seat. dh found a coupon code online to get the chicco nextfit for 20% off at albeebaby.com. We expect it to arrive tomorrow. Yay! Its a lovely seat, fits newborns, and from petting it in the store, it feels like its well padded and comfy! The recline adjusts easily, it provides plenty of legroom for extended rearfacing, it seems perfect!

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#4 of 36 Old 06-10-2014, 12:17 PM
 
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http://cybex-online.com/us/carseats

Cybex - love them! Would never buy anything else.

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#5 of 36 Old 06-10-2014, 03:11 PM
 
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minerva23, why are these particular seats amazing? I know nothing about them! I am between a Chicco and a Britax, and have been leaning towards the Britax because it's narrower, and will be fitting 3 kids in the backseat. I loved our Chicco when my last baby was small, but I think it's too big of a seat for the new dynamic.
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#6 of 36 Old 06-10-2014, 03:18 PM
 
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those seats look neat, but it looks like that brand only makes infant carriers and boosters. i prefer going straight to a convertible.

Plumeria, 3 in the back?! is your backseat enormous? Don't even think about getting a britax! I'll save ya some time: radians. Don't bother lookin elsewhere, you need radians. works well with newborns, so that helps. what seats are your other 2 in? We did 3 across for about 2 years, so its definitely doable, but goodness, we did it with 2 radians and the narrowest (most expensive *cringe*) booster we could find.

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#7 of 36 Old 06-10-2014, 04:09 PM
 
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WOOHOO! My nextfit just arrived There's something comical about looking at that HUGE box on the porch, then looking at my belly that, as big as I may feel sometimes, really contains quite a small baby, maybe 4ish lbs.. and thinking, wow, this huge thing for this teeny peanut? lol. Anyway, really liking it so far. I took it out to play with a little. Its SO easy to adjust (I'm loving the no rethread harness) and my 5yo even gave it a try It takes mere seconds to adjust it from fitting an itty bitty newborn to fitting a giant 50lb 5yo! He really likes it and wishes it were for him He fits it in both height and weight. The padding is sooo thick and soft. I love it!

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#8 of 36 Old 06-10-2014, 06:57 PM
 
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We've got the chicco 30s. Loved them for DD! If we were planning to get carseats into our car (rather than just the van) we'd do the radians, since nothing else will fit. It's worth at least swinging by the big box stores to see if they have anything on sale. Usually they don't, but the last time we did I found a chicco 30 at Toys r us on clearance for $80, which was 60% off! I'll need new ideas for the big-kid car seat in a year or so, though, because I HATE the evenflo pieces of crap that we have for DD. Hard to adjust and just annoying as anything.

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#9 of 36 Old 06-10-2014, 07:42 PM
 
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Oh my goodness, I wasn't clear! I won't have three "little" ones in the backseat; it will be an 8yo, a 5yo in a booster, and then baby #3 . Backseat is definitely not larger than average; we have a Jeep Patriot. My older two are pretty skinny, they don't take up much room, but still, between the two of them and an infant seat, we are working with limited space! I've never used a convertible seat with a newborn/ infant, in fact I've always been kind of freaked out by the thought of it because my babies are usually TINY- 5lbs at full term, and right around 22 at 1 year. I had read that the Britax infant seat, can't remember what it's called, was narrow... haven't purchased a seat yet, so I'm glad to be in on this conversation!
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#10 of 36 Old 06-11-2014, 01:40 PM
 
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http://cybex-online.com/en/carseats

Sorry, thought all of them are available on the US market too. We got the Pallas fix which can be converted into a booster and works for ages 3 to 12. They are a bit pricey but well worth the money. We will be fitting 3 of them into our car soon as well. They are easy to put in and out with the easy fix system, covers easily come of and on for washing and most important they meet all the safety criteria important for us when traveling on the road with our kids. I never liked the strap-in seats. I got one from my sister and they would just twist out of them. With the Pallas they can't do that.

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#11 of 36 Old 06-12-2014, 08:49 AM
 
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I saw that Chicco has a new car seat with an extended canopy.
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#12 of 36 Old 06-12-2014, 09:06 AM
 
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Oh wow, those cybex are neat lookin! I think there's only one seat that works like that that is available in the US,and its pretty uncommon, no stores carry it, so unless someone orders it from amazon, no one has it. Never seen it in person. Its the Kiddy World Plus. I've only seen it because I got the booster version of it (Cruiserfix) CRAZY expensive, but I could buckle it next to 2 other car seats without skinning my hand, and it was cheaper than a van, so we went with it (we have a van now!) Its a real nice seat, but there was a part on it that broke, and we don't know how, jus thappened to notice it, and the oh-so-helpful customer service person confirmed it was no longer safe to use, and offered me 20% off a new one. Ugh. Gee, thanks! It was irritating to spend well over $200 for a *booster*, only to have it last around 18 months. We went with a cheap backless instead, lol.

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#13 of 36 Old 06-12-2014, 01:45 PM
 
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I know I have been MIA around here the last month, but life is starting to slow down a little, so I had a relaxing afternoon to catch up

I am a CPST-I (Child passenger safety technician, instructor) Basically, I have been a carseat tech for 6 years and recently also became an instructor. So carseats are my hobby and one of my passions I will help you gals as much as I can

First the best carseat is the one that fits your your car, your child, your budget and can be used correctly every time (the biggest issues - the misuse rate is 75-90+ percent of seat). Having said that - there are defiantly some that are better than others in different circumstances.

PlumeriaSky - 3 across in the back seat of a Patriot may be awfully tight the new Britax convertibles (G3 and G4 seats) actually fit newborns quite well. You have to call Britax for a small baby insert to put in them (it is free) but I have seen average size newborns fit them well. The first few generations of Britax convertibles did NOT fit most babies, even though they were rated from 5 or 6 lbs and up.

The Keyfit 30 is a great seat and installs really well in most cars, and fits most babies (even little ones) very well. I put my 4 lb nieces in these just 6 weeks ago and was very impressed.

The Chicco nextfit should also fit little ones very well. That is what my 2 year old is riding in right now and I am very impressed with it.

The Cybex seats are really awesome! I have an original Aton (infant seat) that we used for #5 and will be using for this baby as well. I participated in a lecture with the directors of the company yesterday and am very impressed with their new seat, the Aton Q, but it is over $300, and that is a ton for an infant seat!!!!

Graco seats are good seats, and easy for most people to find to purchase. They fit most babies, and are relatively easy to install . Just make sure to try and get front adjusting harness (strap comes from between baby's feet to tighten harness) instead of behind their back. It is really hard to tighten properly every time with the rear adjust ones.

Also, please, please, please find a current CPST to check your seat! A list of current techs can be found at http://cert.safekids.org/ click the find a tech link

And feel free to ask questions! It may take me a day or two to get back, but I will answer them!

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#14 of 36 Old 06-12-2014, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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PlumeriaSky - 3 across in the back seat of a Patriot may be awfully tight the new Britax convertibles (G3 and G4 seats) actually fit newborns quite well. You have to call Britax for a small baby insert to put in them (it is free) but I have seen average size newborns fit them well. The first few generations of Britax convertibles did NOT fit most babies, even though they were rated from 5 or 6 lbs and up.
I'm going to call Britax tomorrow, but I just wanted to double check with you - the Britax convertible seats DO fit newborns? That would be so great! From what I read the shoulder straps just didn't go down low enough, but have they changed that? And in your opinion, is there a good reason to buy the most expensive of the Britax seats, or are the less expensive models just as safe?

Thanks! Good to see you around How are you doing?

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#15 of 36 Old 06-12-2014, 03:13 PM
 
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I'm going to call Britax tomorrow, but I just wanted to double check with you - the Britax convertible seats DO fit newborns? That would be so great! From what I read the shoulder straps just didn't go down low enough, but have they changed that? And in your opinion, is there a good reason to buy the most expensive of the Britax seats, or are the less expensive models just as safe?

Thanks! Good to see you around How are you doing?
Hi, I am doing good thanks for asking I did an update on the June thread.

The NEW Britax convertibles fit average sized newborns (like 7-8 lb babies and up) I have not seen a 5lber in one, so I don't know about that. They are labeled with G3 or G4. If they are older than that or the classic style (only sold at target currently, IIRC) they do not fit newborns.

Personally, I have not played with the newer Britax convertibles much. I was a huge Britax fan back in the day, and they really were a head of the game for a long time. Now many of the others have caught up and/or passed them. The "safe cell technology" they use looks really cool, but we never get to see real world crash test numbers, so how it works compared to others is not known to the general public

As to the other features of their top line editions. The "pillows" on the outside of the seats are interesting. They are really for the protection of other booster or seat belt passengers in the vehicle. Again we have no idea how/if they work as advertised Also if you are an extended rear facer parent (and this is soooo important in my mind and I have seen real life examples where the rearfacing kid walked away when others int he vehicle did not). Britax convertibles are now on the lower end of weight and esp height limits, and leg room for the kiddo in the seat.

Does that help at all or just muddy the waters more?

http://carseatblog.com/carseatblogco...ded-car-seats/

This is my favorite link for this conversation. It really gives a good run down of the pros and cons of the common seats.

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#16 of 36 Old 06-12-2014, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It does help! I'm dissapointed to hear it, but it's much better to know. We do as much extended rear facing as possible, but it seems like right around 2 years my kids inherit my absolutely ridiculous motion sickness. With DD she would literally throw up after 10 mins in the car until we turned her around. DS lasted longer, but we've had to turn him around, too.

What car seat are you getting for your little one?

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#17 of 36 Old 06-12-2014, 06:03 PM
 
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You ladies ROCK. J-Max, thank you for all of the info, I SO appreciate you taking the time to write all of that out, and your expertise. 3 in the Patriot will be tight, but luckily my oldest is super skinny and we've been ok in the past when having an additional cousin with us, with a convertible seat, booster, and the big boy. Because my babies start out so small- 5lb range, I'm still kind of reluctant in using a convertible from birth and would prefer an infant seat. Definitely want to keep my costs down, but very much need the right set up.
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#18 of 36 Old 06-12-2014, 08:59 PM
 
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You ladies ROCK. J-Max, thank you for all of the info, I SO appreciate you taking the time to write all of that out, and your expertise. 3 in the Patriot will be tight, but luckily my oldest is super skinny and we've been ok in the past when having an additional cousin with us, with a convertible seat, booster, and the big boy. Because my babies start out so small- 5lb range, I'm still kind of reluctant in using a convertible from birth and would prefer an infant seat. Definitely want to keep my costs down, but very much need the right set up.
What seat(s) are you using right now? The deal with 3 kids across one seat is a matter of "puzzling" the right seats. It might be easier to have your 5 year old harnessed, because it is easier to reach the 5 pt harness buckles than a seatbelt buckle.

As for narrow infant seats. The narrowest is the Baby Trend Flex lock, but it is hard to get a good install in most vehicles. I have fought with the base a lot . Next are the Graco Classic Connect 30 (NOT any of the others - only the 30), and only a hair wider is the Chicco KeyFit (both the 22 and 30 lb seats have the same width)

For convertibles, the narrow options are a Diono Radian (they just changed the names and I don't know them off the top of my head yet) but it is pretty tall fron to back, but does last a LONG time rearfacing - my #4 is very tall and made it to 4.75 years rearfacing. Or the Combi Coccoro. This is one of my favorite seats, except it only lasts until about 18mo-2 rear facing. But it is narrow and comfy and cute

Also this is where seats up on a base come in handy (for buckling seatbelts next to them. So, a Britax convertible or the new Cleck Foonf (which is also a narrower seat), or maybe the Chicco Nextfit (which we recently got to replace the outgrown Coccorro and I really like it). Another option may be the brand new Graco 4ever. It just came out this week (Baby's r us exclusive right now) and all the tecks that have seen it are apsolutly in love with it. IT actually does everything and does it well (rearfacing, forward facing, highback, no back booster) So far NO 3-in-1 seats actually are able to do what they claim, but this one appears to!

Just Please, Please, Please stay away from the Cosco/Safety First/Eddie Bauer Alpha Omega seat. As tech's, it is our very, very least favorite seat. It is an OK rearfacing seat, a crappy outgrown between 3-4 year old forward facing seat, and a dangerous booster. It is the only seat I ever ask people NOT to buy.

We will be using a cybex aton and a Combi Coccoro for this little one But I kind of have a seat problem and we play some moving of things as needed. I also have a Nextfit, Radain, classic Britax Boulevard for rearfacing seats (and a few FF and boosters too )

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#19 of 36 Old 06-12-2014, 09:01 PM
 
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You ladies ROCK. J-Max, thank you for all of the info, I SO appreciate you taking the time to write all of that out, and your expertise. 3 in the Patriot will be tight, but luckily my oldest is super skinny and we've been ok in the past when having an additional cousin with us, with a convertible seat, booster, and the big boy. Because my babies start out so small- 5lb range, I'm still kind of reluctant in using a convertible from birth and would prefer an infant seat. Definitely want to keep my costs down, but very much need the right set up.
If you message me where you live, I may have a tech friend that can play seats with you and find the best combination. There are a few of us carseat crazies out there, hehe

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#20 of 36 Old 06-12-2014, 11:40 PM
 
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You are so kind, J-Max! My oldest is not in a booster anymore, my second is 5 and in a Graco booster, and as for the little one on the way, I am between the Britax B-Safe, Chicco Keyfit 30, and now the Cybex Aton. The Baby Trend Flex Lock I had years ago with my first, hated everything about it. I had the Chicco 30 with my second, and loved it, but my one issue is the size of the base and weight of the seat itself. Also, the material made my baby very hot, I live in South Florida, and the heat is no joke!
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#21 of 36 Old 06-13-2014, 08:39 AM
 
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Jmax--I'd love your insight about whether there's any chance at all of getting two infant seats and a convertible in the back of an Elantra. I realize that the answer is almost definitely 'no', because we tried putting the ones we have in there just on a lark and it was way too small, but if it's in the realm of possibility it would sure make our lives a lot easier to have both cars be usable! Also, is there any reason why using a shoulder-belt is better or worse than the latch? Our stupid van only has one latch attachment in the back row, and if we have carseats in the middle row captain's chairs there's no way to get all the way back to get the third kid in. And thanks for all of your advice--it's really interesting to read even for seats I don't currently have!

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#22 of 36 Old 06-13-2014, 09:31 AM
 
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You are so kind, J-Max! My oldest is not in a booster anymore, my second is 5 and in a Graco booster, and as for the little one on the way, I am between the Britax B-Safe, Chicco Keyfit 30, and now the Cybex Aton. The Baby Trend Flex Lock I had years ago with my first, hated everything about it. I had the Chicco 30 with my second, and loved it, but my one issue is the size of the base and weight of the seat itself. Also, the material made my baby very hot, I live in South Florida, and the heat is no joke!
The B safe is a good seat, but not particularly small or narrow . Fairly easy to install and use, etc. The Keyfit is a great seat. Super easy to install and use properly, it is a bit heavy (but no more than the B-safe). I kind of have a love affair with the Aton, so I am trying hard not to be biased, lol. It is super light weight when carrying it (all the mechanisms are in the base - the seat weighs like 9 lbs). The base also has a very different locking mechanism, and it is SUPER easy to install properly. It also allows for a "European" route if you are not using the base, so it installs very securely if you are not using the base, unlike most other infant seats. However, it is only a 22 lb seat - so it won't last a long time, like the other 2 you are looking at. It also rattles in the base when you are driving, this drives some people crazy, but my car is plenty loud enough I don't really even notice it, lol. IT also has a bit of a learning curve to taking in and out of the base. The latching mechanism is on the base, and takes a bit of getting used to (have to push 2 buttons in sequence, instead of pull a handle - easy but different), and the seat goes in teh base opposite of how traditional bases go int the US (I can't remember if it is foot, then head or the other way, but opposite of every other seat I have even used). Both of these are very easy, just takes some practice and new muscle memory. And it is Spendy However the Aton 2 and the Q have a load leg and the side impact foot thingy. I am seriously debating a Q, if I knew we were having more I would do it!
I am trying hard not to recommend any seat over another. It is something we stress really hard. There are great seats in every category!

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Jmax--I'd love your insight about whether there's any chance at all of getting two infant seats and a convertible in the back of an Elantra. I realize that the answer is almost definitely 'no', because we tried putting the ones we have in there just on a lark and it was way too small, but if it's in the realm of possibility it would sure make our lives a lot easier to have both cars be usable! Also, is there any reason why using a shoulder-belt is better or worse than the latch? Our stupid van only has one latch attachment in the back row, and if we have carseats in the middle row captain's chairs there's no way to get all the way back to get the third kid in. And thanks for all of your advice--it's really interesting to read even for seats I don't currently have!
I don't know on an Elantra off the top of my head. However, if you go to car-seat.org and post on the forums, someone will! My best guess would be that it woudl have to involve at least one Radian, and maybe if you did the infant seats baseless??

Seat belts vs LATCH Which ever one you can get the best installation with it best. Really! The whole idea behind LATCH was to make it easier to install seats, which really just added more confusion . I have 2 seats of LATCH in my car and currently am using only 1 and have 2 seats installed with seatbelts.

OK, I have to pack up the car and head to my sister's wedding so I will not be back on until Monday Please ask any questions, I really don't mind

Have a great weekend!

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#23 of 36 Old 06-13-2014, 09:36 AM
 
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Didn't even think about not using the bases! we'll try that tonight and see if it fits! Thank you!

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#24 of 36 Old 06-25-2014, 09:09 AM
 
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Didn't even think about not using the bases! we'll try that tonight and see if it fits! Thank you!

Did you get to try it?

belly.gifSAHM, carseat geek, cattle raising woman to 5 girls (15, 10, 8, 6, 2) wild.gifand a stork-suprise.gif due in July!
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#25 of 36 Old 06-25-2014, 12:33 PM
 
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Not yet. Tonight we're planning to reinstall the bases in our van, though, so while we're out there we'll throw them in the car, too, and see if it works!

She's here!
And so are the boys!
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#26 of 36 Old 06-25-2014, 04:51 PM
 
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Not yet. Tonight we're planning to reinstall the bases in our van, though, so while we're out there we'll throw them in the car, too, and see if it works!
Sorry, I was just wondering not trying to bug you!

belly.gifSAHM, carseat geek, cattle raising woman to 5 girls (15, 10, 8, 6, 2) wild.gifand a stork-suprise.gif due in July!
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#27 of 36 Old 06-25-2014, 05:32 PM
 
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Oh, no problem. Car seats is #1 on my list and keeps getting pushed to the bottom. I'm just so big and grouchy that nothing else seems to be happening.

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#28 of 36 Old 06-25-2014, 08:38 PM
 
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I jumped in a little late on this conversation and didn't think there could be any complications with a car seat, but I have an older car with small seats. Are you saying the base of the car seat doesn't have to be used? This won't affect safety, or am I misunderstanding?
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#29 of 36 Old 06-26-2014, 05:42 AM
 
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I jumped in a little late on this conversation and didn't think there could be any complications with a car seat, but I have an older car with small seats. Are you saying the base of the car seat doesn't have to be used? This won't affect safety, or am I misunderstanding?
Nope. It's just a convenience thing.
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#30 of 36 Old 06-26-2014, 06:53 AM
 
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I jumped in a little late on this conversation and didn't think there could be any complications with a car seat, but I have an older car with small seats. Are you saying the base of the car seat doesn't have to be used? This won't affect safety, or am I misunderstanding?
Read the instructions Many infant only, bucket/carrier type seats do not require you to use the base. But the base does allow for a more secure, and often better installation of the seat. Also it has be reinstalled every time you take the seat in and out of the car, allowing for more mistakes to be made on the installations. I do not recommenced it for everyday use, unless it is the only way to get the car seat to fit in your vehicle. But for traveling or occasional use (or an extra vehicle), it is a great option to have!

belly.gifSAHM, carseat geek, cattle raising woman to 5 girls (15, 10, 8, 6, 2) wild.gifand a stork-suprise.gif due in July!
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