Overwhelmed in choosing a carseat - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 4 Old 02-09-2010, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've read at several websites, including here, about carseats. I'm feeling overwhelmed with how to begin choosing the "right" carseat for our babe-on-the-way.

I have a 1996 Odyssey. I'd like a convertible for the babe for the van. Dh has a 2003 Hyundai accent. We're going to go with a bucket seat for his car, narrow if possible, so that we can fit big kids in boosters on either side.

I have a Wizard (I think?) now, but we bought it about 6 years ago, so I'm thinking it's expired and I should not reuse it with the baby? Currently my almost-6 is in that one, but I'll probably bump him to a booster on his birthday.

Suggestions?
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#2 of 4 Old 02-09-2010, 11:06 AM
 
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The Wizard expires six years from date of manufacture: seats are usually at least a few months old when purchased, so chances are it's expired or very close to it. Also, Britax convertibles almost never fit newborns (when rear-facing, children's shoulders need to be above the bottom strap slot and Britax convertibles have bottom slots at 10", which is too tall for most babies). Which brings me to the next question -- where are your son's shoulders in relation to the top strap setting? When forward-facing, shoulders must be below the straps. Most 6yos have outgrown Britax convertibles by height. If the seat is outgrown or expired, I'd recommend boostering now rather than later.

Convertibles that generally fit newborns well and may get kids to a safe booster age/size include the Graco MyRide, Learning Curve TrueFit and TrueFit Premier, Sunshine Kids Radians (65, 80, XT, 65SL, 80SL, and XTSL). and Evenflo Triumph Advance.

I think the BabyTrend infant seats are the narrowest buckets. The Combi Coccoro is a convertible seat that fits newborns and is even narrower than most buckets.

Carseat-checking (CPST) and WAH mama to a twelve-year-old girl.
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#3 of 4 Old 02-09-2010, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks! ds's shoulders are still below the straps. He's about to outgrow size 4 pants; he's not a big kid.

This is dh's first baby, my 4th -- the other three were 8.5, 9, and 10 pounds at birth, my almost 6yo was 23". I'm I'm kind of expecting another large babe, but otoh I've got a new set of genetics at play here. If I did get a convertible a bit too large, I could use the bucket seat in my car til LO gets big enough for the convertible.

The maine reason for keeping ds in the Britax is that the middle seat has only a lap belt, no shoulder belt, so I don't want to put any of the kids there without a harness. Once lo gets here, we'll have to keep the back seats flipped up at all times my kids are in the car, but for now, we usually travel with the back seat down

I know this sounds like a dumb question, but how I do I begin wading through the various carseat recs? Last time I was purchasing, general wisdom was "buy a Britax" so it was easy -- I also had a good friend who was an avid carseat researcher so I really trusted her advice. This time, I'm kind of starting from scratch, and we spend a LOT of time in the car, and travel from ME to CT fairly regularly, so I want to get a super safe seat.
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#4 of 4 Old 02-09-2010, 01:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morgainesmama View Post
I know this sounds like a dumb question, but how I do I begin wading through the various carseat recs? Last time I was purchasing, general wisdom was "buy a Britax" so it was easy -- I also had a good friend who was an avid carseat researcher so I really trusted her advice. This time, I'm kind of starting from scratch, and we spend a LOT of time in the car, and travel from ME to CT fairly regularly, so I want to get a super safe seat.

You have a lot more great seats to choose from now! 6 or 8 years ago, that was the standard advice, you are right, because britax had higher weight and height limits and features other seats didn't have. But they really haven't improved their seats since then and almost every other brand has surpassed them in terms of size limits, features, and lower cost.

I think you'd be fine getting a seat that doesn't fit newborns well since you can and will use the bucket if needed. Chickabiddy already listed the ones that fit newborns well so I won't repeat her. Other seats to look at would be the safety 1st complete air (rear-faces to 40 lbs, ff to 50 with tall top slots) and any of the britax convertibles.

I'm not sure if you are aware, but the recommendation now is to rear-face to the seat's limits, or as close to age 4 as possible. So that should be a factor in the seat you choose. All the ones we listed will get most average kids to age 3 rear-facing. The ones more likely to get kids to age 4 are the graco my ride, complete air, and any of the radians. The true fit is good for tall, lighter kids. It only has a 35 lb rf'ing limit, but it has a nice tall shell.

As far as which seats are safer...we don't know. All seats pass the same standards and no one can say which is safest. You should pick a seat that fits your car, fits your child, fits your budget and is one that you will use correctly every time.
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