Britax carseats too big for newborns? - Mothering Forums
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Family Safety > Britax carseats too big for newborns?
dannic's Avatar dannic 08:16 PM 02-01-2010
In another thread someone mentioned that Britax convertable carseats are too big for newborns. Is this true? Even for larger newborns?
My babies weigh in around 9 lbs, 21" long.
I thought Britax Marathon was everyone's favorite safe carseat? I'm not due til August so I've got time to figure this out, but I really wanted a seat that stays in the car--no dumb carrier.

treehugginhippie's Avatar treehugginhippie 08:26 PM 02-01-2010
Yes, they are too big for newborns. You might want to check out the True Fit...
dannic's Avatar dannic 08:54 PM 02-01-2010
Are there any safety articles that cover this? I'm not liking the reviews I'm seeing on the true fit...I'm just frustrated--it shouldn't be this hard to find a safe carseat (and how do I really know?)
HeliMom's Avatar HeliMom 08:57 PM 02-01-2010
I'm not sure as far as the practical application is concerned but the britax website has a few car seats that are convertibles that they state are for newborns to 65 lbs. For those of you who say it is too big please tell me why? ( curious as I just got a great deal on a new boulevard for my 9 mo old which I'm planning to use with our second baby when that happens)
Cersha's Avatar Cersha 08:59 PM 02-01-2010
The lowest setting for the harnesses are too high for a newborn.
HeliMom's Avatar HeliMom 09:06 PM 02-01-2010
dannic's Avatar dannic 09:09 PM 02-01-2010
At what weight and height (baby) would a Britax work? Not 5 lbs, but perhaps twelve? Curious as to your thoughts.
prothyraia's Avatar prothyraia 09:10 PM 02-01-2010
double post
prothyraia's Avatar prothyraia 09:15 PM 02-01-2010
My son was just shy of 10lbs and loooong; there's is no way he would have fit in our marathon as a newborn. I have a picture of him in at 6 weeks and he's still a fair bit too small (I didn't know that at the time )

Edited to add: Here's the picture for a visual reference:
I don't remember his exact height/weight, but he was consistently in the 95+% until almost a year old. You can see the harness slots are still noticeably above his shoulders at this point
Erica09M's Avatar Erica09M 09:20 PM 02-01-2010
It's not about what weight, or even overall length. It's all about their torso.

Their torso length needs to be at least 10 inches long before even being able to consider using a Britax convertible for a child. A 21 inch long newborn most likely is not going to have a 10 inch torso. That only leaves 11 inches for head, neck, and legs. I'd venture to say that some newborns have 7 inch legs. That would only leave 4 inches for head and neck, if they had a 10 inch torso. Not likely to happen. Not to mention that most newborns are all curled up and don't sit with their backs stick straight anyway.

Some children fit in it ok at a couple months old, it really just depends on how fast they grow. I've seen pictures of some 6-9 month olds that still don't fit.
dannic's Avatar dannic 09:22 PM 02-01-2010
Okay, yeah, I can see that. Thanks for the visual. All my DC have been 20lbs by four months and I don't go anywhere with baby for the first month-two months so I was wondering if it'd work...let's see, my last babe was 12 lbs by 1 month...any other options besides the true fit? (I like one or two options to compare, but would rather not start from scratch again).

ETA: It's just so strange--I was on here a yr ago or so and everybody raved about Britax...
dannic's Avatar dannic 09:25 PM 02-01-2010
Erica. Thanks. I hadn't understood quite what I was looking for. That's good to know.
Erica09M's Avatar Erica09M 09:27 PM 02-01-2010
Originally Posted by dannic View Post
Okay, yeah, I can see that. Thanks for the visual. All my DC have been 20lbs by four months and I don't go anywhere with baby for the first month-two months so I was wondering if it'd work...let's see, my last babe was 12 lbs by 1 month...any other options besides the true fit? (I like one or two options to compare, but would rather not start from scratch again).

ETA: It's just so strange--I was on here a yr ago or so and everybody raved about Britax...
The Graco My Ride 65, Learning Curve True Fit, Evenflo Triumph Advance, Evenflo Symphony 65, and Sunshine Kids Radian, Combi Coccoro, and Cosco Scenera all fit newborns well. I'm sure there are others I'm leaving out, but this is a general list of seats we recommend over on another parenting board I'm on.

Britax convertibles, the Safety 1st Avenue, and the Safety 1st Complete Air do not fit newborns well.
dannic's Avatar dannic 09:46 PM 02-01-2010
Thanks, Erica. Are those all convertibles? I guess I'll have to start looking!
TheGirls's Avatar TheGirls 10:17 PM 02-01-2010
On the other end of the spectrum, the Britax convertibles don't fit older/bigger toddlers well either. They don't have the shell height to RF as long as you should and they have NO RF legroom for a tall toddler.

A TrueFit or a Graco MyRide or a Sunshine Kids Radian will fit both a newborn and a big/tall toddler better.
chickabiddy's Avatar chickabiddy 10:23 PM 02-01-2010
I agree: I don't think very many child passenger safety advocates would consider Britax convertibles "favorites". They don't fit newborns, they don't get most kids to safe booster age/size, they don't have a high rear-facing capacity (height or weight), they don't have a high forward-facing capacity (height), and test results definitely don't support their reputation as "the best".
chel's Avatar chel 10:54 PM 02-01-2010
Originally Posted by dannic View Post
Are there any safety articles that cover this? I'm not liking the reviews I'm seeing on the true fit...I'm just frustrated--it shouldn't be this hard to find a safe carseat (and how do I really know?)

I've been really happy with the Truefit so far, dd2 is now 3w old. It fits her well and is smaller than the Evenflo bucket (that I borrowed when the TF was delayed in the mail) and fits behind the driver in my honda civic.

the main complaint I've read about the TF was the strap adjuster was hard to reach. I have the TF premiere with the rebound bar and don't have a problem at all reaching the strap adjuster.
mamadelbosque's Avatar mamadelbosque 11:55 PM 02-01-2010
I have a truefit premier and its OK. I wouldn't buy it again at this point though. Its a PITA to install because you *have* to use the lock-offs even if your seat belts lock. Its also very tall and wide - it would *not* fit comfortably behind the drivers seat in my accord - maybe if you had it super reclined and it could fit in the crook of the seat infront of it, but once its upright its SO wide. Its a better fit than the radian to be sure, but thats not saying much. The belt adjust isn't totally buried, but its definetly not super easy to adjust either.

I much, much, much prefer my triumph advance. Its super easy to install, has lots of legroom and yet is also compact and fits in my car peachy wonderful fine It adjusts super easy w/ the knob & lever on the side. Its a great seat. I'd buy it again in a heart beat. Actually, if I could go back, I *wouldn't* buy a truefit, and just get another triumph.
BathrobeGoddess's Avatar BathrobeGoddess 12:15 AM 02-02-2010
My ds is 11 months and 19bs...and he is just over the top strap point of the Marathon. We also have a True fit, a Radian 65...The TF is really wide but man it is an easy LATCH install both rear and forward facing! I can get it in and rock solid in less than a minute with LATCH...belt...not so much. He fits best BY FAR in the Radian but the reason we have it is to make 3 across possible in my dh he doesn't ride in it often. I would actually consider moving him into it full time...but don't really see the need to buy another one when I have a seat that works just fine in my car...
~Katie~'s Avatar ~Katie~ 12:27 AM 02-02-2010
At 27-28 inches my DD could fit in a Britax with the lowest harness slot even with her shoulders, that was around 4 months. She also has a very long torso, if that gives you some point of reference. The True Fit is a great seat, the first install is a learning experience but after you do it once it's extremely easy to do from that point forward. We use those when we visit the IL's. Also really easy to adjust the harness height and the price is good. The Radian is also a great seat with some longevity to it.
an_aurora's Avatar an_aurora 12:49 AM 02-02-2010
DS in the Marathon at 6 weeks. At that point he was very close to the 2nd strap slot on his main ride (TrueFit).
dannic's Avatar dannic 01:13 AM 02-02-2010
Figuring out carseats is tough! It was easier before I new better!

Does BabysRUs carry most of these brands? I'm rural and have nothing but a walmart. Had planned on just ordering I'm wondering if I shouldn't see them first. I could check them out when I make a trip into the big city.
I'll just check BRU online to see, duh!
ashleyhaugh's Avatar ashleyhaugh 01:25 AM 02-02-2010
my son was just barely tall enough for his marathon when i bought it at 5 months. the straps were a bit over his shoulders in the house, but right at even with when we installed it.

hes 28 months (today!!) and his legs are getting cramped in the marathon. he doesnt complain (well he has a few times) but i dont like to think of how little room there will be as he gets older. hes not even 30lbs, he'll be squashed at 35 and 3-4yo. i know its not a safety issue, or necessarily a comfort one either, but i dont like it. im starting to save for a radian.
dannic's Avatar dannic 01:39 AM 02-02-2010
Thanks, mamas. This has all been really helpful. I'm glad I asked! Seriously, tho, so many recommend the Britax from birth, i had no idea! Even now, in searching reviews, they came up as two if the top 4 for convertible carseats. (according to this sites opinion, anyway). I've definately got a starting place. Thanks!
~Katie~'s Avatar ~Katie~ 12:24 AM 02-03-2010
I think for a long time Britax was a really good seat until some of the newer seats started coming out that had higher weight/height limits and were better designed, it can be a challenge to do the research for sure.
ashleyhaugh's Avatar ashleyhaugh 03:08 AM 02-03-2010
yeah, britax used to be top of the line, but theyve been passed up now. my son is 28 months, so even just 2 years ago, they were the go to brand. but now everyone else is making lower bottom slots, bigger shells, higher top harness slots, and higher rearfacing limits. britax is pretty much at the same point they were a year and a half ago when they changed their rfing limits from 33-35lbs
chickabiddy's Avatar chickabiddy 11:52 AM 02-03-2010
Actually, Britax is pretty much at the same point they were *eight* years ago -- the Marathon was introduced in 2002, and as far as convertibles, it's just been minor variations on that theme for the past eight years.
lunita1's Avatar lunita1 12:18 PM 02-03-2010
I was really surprised when I started looking for seats for this baby (#4). Things have changed drastically. I never thought I'd look beyond Britax for a convertible, and Graco for my older kids, but my Safety First Onboard 35 arrived yesterday, and for convertibles my first choice is probably a First Years True Fit.

For some kind of perspective, when my 11 year old was born, I did the research and looked for the best seats available. What I learned was that most infant seats only had a 3 point harness, but I should look for a five point harness (which was very unusual). I ended up with a 3-point harness infant seat lent from a friend (my next daughter had a Fisher Price Safe Embrace Infant Seat -- 5-point harness, but also sold without a base. This review was from about the time she was born -- for CPST's the fact that it rear faced to TWENTY TWO pounds was a selling point! I think it was the highest weight limit available on an infant seat.) It had no base -- not all infant seats did at the time. Also, convertible seats were available in overhead shield, T-shield, and 5 point harness models, and making sure I got a 5-point harness model was important. The Britax Roundabout was unusual because it rear-faced up to 30 pounds, while many/most seats on the market still only rear-faced to 20 or 22 lbs. I chose a Roundabout because I wanted the best available, and a seat that rearfaced to 30 lbs. & had straps that didn't tangle up like crazy when you looked at them WAS the best available.

Basically Britax built its reputation in people's minds by being one of the earliest companies to rear face to 30 lbs. and by having easy to use 5-point harnesses with non-twisting straps. They preserved their position by filling that display space in high-end baby stores with seats covered in cute, trendy fabrics that appealed to parents wanting "the best." They just haven't made substantial improvements since the Marathon, and their prices are still as high as ever.
Drummer's Wife's Avatar Drummer's Wife 03:22 PM 02-03-2010
I've had 3 Britax convertibles, and while I loved them for ease of use and comfort (assumed), I wouldn't say they are everyone's favorite. Not now that there are so many other options that fit both smaller and larger babies/toddlers/preschoolers. There was a time when most car seats only went to 40 lbs FF, so a Marathon that went to 65 lbs was the better choice depending on size of kid -- except that you'd have to have a really short, heavy kid to fit in it until 65 lbs (I can't imagine!).

I would say my babies fit safely into a Britax convertible around 4-6 months. I think it's a great seat to transition from a infant bucket, but you will likely still have to buy another harnessed seat when they outgrow it by height (or in my current situation, my son has outgrown in RF'ing by weight).

I would get a True Fit, Radian, or Myride, I think.

I agree Britax needs to catch up. As soon as they offer a higher rf'ing limit as well as taller harness for FF (and bonus if they actually fit a newborn), then they will be the most loved seat as they may have been years ago.
treehugginhippie's Avatar treehugginhippie 05:32 PM 02-03-2010
For those of us who wish the Britax offered a convertible car seat that has all the features that the True Fit and/or Radian, My Ride etc has...I'd suggest calling their customer service and telling them. Tell them the reasons you are NOT choosing a Britax and what you wish they would offer. They forward this info to the appropriate dept. Just a suggestion...
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