Confused About Next Car Seat - Help! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 02-14-2009, 10:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DS is 6.5 months and still comfortably in his Graco SnugRide. We're looking ahead to the next seat, though, and I'm confused.

We're planning to get a convertible seat and we both have small cars (Honda Civic and a Mazda3)...thus we're looking for a compact seat. The Britax Roundabout is probably highest on the list now (great reviews, high safety rating...although I haven't done much looking yet). The Roundabout only goes to 40 lbs. for FFing...and this is where I need guidance.

I asked my ped at our last visit about DS's presumed height/weight trajectory and average weight of kids at different ages. I remember her saying that 40 lbs was an average weight for 4-year-olds...but I don't remember why 4 years old was a magical age. Is that when kids switch to boosters? Or seats that convert from harness to booster?

Does it make sense to buy a seat that only goes to 40 lbs.? (DS is around the 50th percentile for height and weight right now)

I don't mind buying a RF/FF convertible seat now and eventually switching to a booster type seat - but I don't want to have to buy another car seat between the two because DS has gotten too heavy for the Roundabout but is not ready for the next kind of seat.

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#2 of 22 Old 02-14-2009, 11:03 PM
 
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We have a graco comfortsport for DS with a weight limit of 40lbs FF. He never made it to the weight but he outgrew the seat heightwise at 18 months.

For DD I ordered the Marathon which seems higher and has a FF limit of 65 lbs.

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#3 of 22 Old 02-14-2009, 11:37 PM
 
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4 years old is the bare minimum for a booster, but I'd be aiming for higher. DS is not a great example as he's current at/over 97th percentile, but he just turned 4 and is 46 lb, 44 inches. At 3 y.o. he was 42 lbs and 41 inches I think. He's just barely still in a Safe Voyage (similar to Marathon). He had outgrown all of the Graco, etc. type convertibles by 3 and the roundabout. He probably outgrew them closer to 2.5. I'd recommend at least a Marathon, or a TrueFit which will get you to a far higher age/height/weight range. Otherwise, I'd plan on a 3rd harnessing seat like the Nautilus.
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#4 of 22 Old 02-14-2009, 11:50 PM
 
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You can put a convertible more upright for an older baby. I would bet you could get a MA to fit more upright (especially since it can be braced by the seat in front of it) and it will last you ooodles longer than the roundabout. More than likely, your ds will outgrow the roundabout by height way before weight, and probably way before he's old enough for a booster.

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#5 of 22 Old 02-15-2009, 12:10 AM
 
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Roundabout is a total waste of money. I'd get a marathon or blvd instead. Our blvd fit rf in our civic without problem.

-Angela
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#6 of 22 Old 02-15-2009, 12:11 AM
 
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we have a marathon in a civic and it fits great. theres actually more room in the civic than in my saturn sl2. in the civic, someone can sit in the passenger seat comfortably (sometimes he's in the middle, sometimes the passenger side- its dh's car, we're not in it a lot) in my car, hes on the passenger side, and my front seat is all the way forward and completely upright and the marathon still rests against it, lol.

its a good thing i hardly ever have people in my car

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#7 of 22 Old 02-15-2009, 01:50 AM
 
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the marathon fits better in my d's mazda3 then the comfortspot we had

Susan, Mom to 4- Elizabeth 12, Hailey 9, Sammy 7, Caroline 3
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#8 of 22 Old 02-15-2009, 06:10 PM
 
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Definately don't get a roundabout, my friend has one and her son has outgrown it rf'ing at 17 months and only 26 lbs. she doesn't want to turn him around yet so she has to get another seat...
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#9 of 22 Old 02-15-2009, 06:19 PM
 
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I agree about the Roundabout being a waste of money. It's not that it's a bad seat, it's just that it is outgrown so early rear facing that you end up having to buy another convertible.

A convertible seat can be as upright as 30 degrees from the vertical for older children with good head control. A Marathon, as well as many other full size convertibles fit just fine in your cars.

Rebecca, CPST, Navy wife to Chris, furmama to Fenway
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#10 of 22 Old 02-15-2009, 06:34 PM
 
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yeah, definitely don't get a roundabout. The little bit extra for a marathon will be worth it. Or, you could even get a fisher price safe voyage which is very, very similar to a marathon for $129.00 I'm considering either this or The first years True fit to purchase in the fall when my marathon expires.

eta: sorry, didn't notice it had already been suggested... but with no shipping from Albeebaby the Safe Voyage is even cheaper than a roundabout and will give you 15 more lbs ff'ing!

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#11 of 22 Old 02-15-2009, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the replies. I just looked at the Marathon, Boulevard and TrueFit on Amazon and while they all have many 4 and 5 star reviews, the complaints about them give me pause. E.g. the Marathon is not as deep a seat as the Roundabout and the crotch buckle is apparently very short which has been problematic for people (including someone who says her small cloth-diapered baby ended up practically sitting on the buckle). One of the other ones is apparently problematic when RF because the mechanisms for tightening and loosening the straps are virtually inaccessible.

ARGH! I just want an easy safe seat that will last until it's booster time.

Teacher until birth of DS (7-27-08)blowkiss.gifand now DD (10-17-11)femalesling.GIF:, now SAHM, wife to my wonderful hard-working DH.   cd.gifnocirc.gifselectivevax.gif

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#12 of 22 Old 02-15-2009, 08:29 PM
 
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The Marathon is a larger seat than the Roundabout so I'm not sure how the Roundabout would have a deeper seat.

There is a problem with the TrueFit where the harness adjuster is difficult to access RF. They are coming out with a new model in a couple of months that has an anti-rebound foot and it solves the problem of reaching the adjuster.

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#13 of 22 Old 02-15-2009, 09:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by not_telling View Post
I just looked at the Marathon, Boulevard and TrueFit on Amazon and while they all have many 4 and 5 star reviews, the complaints about them give me pause. E.g. the Marathon is not as deep a seat as the Roundabout and the crotch buckle is apparently very short which has been problematic for people (including someone who says her small cloth-diapered baby ended up practically sitting on the buckle).
I never had a problem with cd'ing and the MA. I believe there are 2 or 3 crotch slots. DD is getting the Frontier any day now and should be the last car seat. So we did, Graco Snugride, Marathon, Frontier.

Mindfully parenting DD 8/04 & DS 11/08, Human beings are the only mammals who do not nurse their offspring to full term.
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#14 of 22 Old 02-16-2009, 04:09 AM
 
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There's been a lot of discussion lately about cloth diapers and the Marathon. I can't find anyone who can explain what the issue is. There was a three-page thread of people saying "Nope, cloth diapers here, no problem with the Marathon" about two months ago.

The True Fit or Radian would last the longest. The Radian is a really, really long seat though, so you'd probably have trouble making it work in your vehicles. You can use the True Fit without the headrest until baby is 22# or within an inch of the top of the shell, and then it's like an oversized baby bucket.
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#15 of 22 Old 02-16-2009, 12:38 PM
 
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Another option if you are worried about the crotch strap is the Britax Decathlon. It has 3 crotch positions. It is pretty much the same shell as the Marathon and Boulevard, but will RF to 33 instead of 35 lb. I have this seat for DD who is still RF at 3.5 and crotch strap in the the middle. She is tiny though at 26 lb and 35 inches. I had a Marathon for DS till he outgrew it, and towards the end, the crotch strap was getting a bit tight for him (after about age 5). I just switched him to a high backed booster at almost 6 because his shoulders were above the top slots (he was about 45 lb and 44 inches when that happened).

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#16 of 22 Old 02-16-2009, 02:57 PM
 
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I believe there are 2 or 3 crotch slots.
I am wrong, there is only one crotch slot. I checked today.

Mindfully parenting DD 8/04 & DS 11/08, Human beings are the only mammals who do not nurse their offspring to full term.
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#17 of 22 Old 04-13-2009, 02:29 PM
 
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My dd1 was always 50th percentile for height a weight, and she outgrew the roundabout by height right around 3. At 5, she just now hit 40 pounds and is still 50th percentile for height and weight.

dd2 however (75 for height and 90+ for weight) is coming close to outgrowing her Maxi Cosi (rear facing) at 19 months old. The Maxi Cosi has a similar shell height at the roundabout.
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#18 of 22 Old 04-13-2009, 04:16 PM
 
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It is not just weight that matters. A lot of kids outgrow the Roundabout by height long before reaching 40 pounds - my DD would have for sure.

The Marathon worked very well in the middle of the backseat of my 2001 Civic. The top came up between the front seats, so they could both be back reasonably far. I could still drive with it behind the driver's seat rearfacing (I'm 5'4"), but my husband couldn't, so with two kids we had it rearfacing behind the passenger seat and that meant we had the passenger seat just slightly farther forward than we would usually have it.

Some stores (including most Babies-R-Us locations) will let you take the floor models out to try in your car. The one here had me leave my driver's license with customer service as security, I've heard others will actually send someone out with you. Try and see if you can get the taller/higher weight seats to fit. If you can't, expect that you will most likely need to buy a combination seat such as the Nautilus to use forward facing harnessed when the smaller seat is outgrown by either weight or height.
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#19 of 22 Old 04-13-2009, 10:57 PM
 
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My son is down around the 15th percentile for height and weight; we've been very happy with our Roundabout. He's got at least another year in it for weight and height, although he is turning 4 in two months. If you child is similar on the growth curve, you may be very happy with the Roundabout.
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#20 of 22 Old 04-13-2009, 11:04 PM
 
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Here's a little-known fact - convertible carseats take up LESS space in the backseat than infant carseats b/c they don't have the base and are more upright.

If you can fit the Snugride in your backseat, then you can fit a Marathon (which I would recommend over the Roundabout).

We drive a Scion Xa - very small, backseat as small as (or smaller than) a Civic. We originally bought a Roundabout for our convertible b/c I thought a taller one wouldn't fit. Then we upgraded to a Marathon and voila - it fits just as well as the Roundabout but will last DS several years longer (until he's truly ready for a booster at 5-6 years old).

DS is 30% for height with a shorter torso and he outgrew the Roundabout rear-facing at 22 months and still fits in it forward-facing - he'll probably outgrow it FF when he's 4.5 years old if I had to guess.
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#21 of 22 Old 04-14-2009, 08:51 AM
 
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Because convertible seats can be more upright, they actually take up less room than a bucket seat. I have a Mazda Protege, my bff has a Kia Rio and in them we have rf'd the Radian, the TrueFit and the Scenera. Our favourite is the TrueFit.

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#22 of 22 Old 04-15-2009, 03:08 PM
 
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I'm going to echo everyone and say to skip the Roundabout completely. I also have a very small car, a Mini Cooper, and DD outgrew her Snugride just before 6 months. I started the search for a convertible that would fit my car and be safe. I contemplated the Marathon, but ultimately decided on the First Years True Fit. It fits great behind the passenger seat. My DH (who is 6"1") can still fit in the front seat with this carseat, which he couldn't do with the Snugride. It's RF to 35 and FF to 65, I believe.

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