Clueless about carseats! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 05-11-2011, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
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We don't own a car so I have never really thought about it. However my sons will be travelling in my parents car soon. My mum thought I was crazy when I said my 19 month old should be rear-facing and she thought my just turned 3 year old would be fine in a booster!  


Where is the best place to look for more info on carseats? What type of seats should my sons be travelling in?



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#2 of 8 Old 05-11-2011, 02:11 PM
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I heard from a mom that any officer from a local police station would check cars seats to see if they were put in properly. They do this for free. Maybe call your local police station ( non emergency ) number?

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#3 of 8 Old 05-11-2011, 02:25 PM
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Be very cautious about police officers/firestations who do seat checks and installations.  Some are qualified, but many are not, and it is quite possible to be clueless about carseats and have a badge. :-D  Find a qualified tech (CPST) to check your seats and show you how to install them. has an enormous amount of carseat info.


Your 19mo should be RF.  Your 3yo could be RF too, depending on size, otherwise s/he should be FF in a harnessed seat.  The absolute minimum for boosters is 4yo and 40lbs, and most folks feel that 5-6yo is better (depending on the maturity of the child). 


If you are willing to list the size (height, weight) of the children and tell us what car they'll be riding in, specific recommendations would be easier.


Guessing though, your 19mo would probably fit RF in a Cosco Scenera, which is inexpensive (about $50) and fits well in most cars.  Your 3yo might fit in the same seat (though maybe FF).  If your 3yo is too tall then maybe an Evenflo Maestro (about $80).  I am assuming you are in the US.


Lots of other seats would work, but those are probably the least expensive.  

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#4 of 8 Old 05-11-2011, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. My dad is a police officer and he is pretty clueless! I have been doing a bit of reading online and I think it's a bit clearer now. Thanks for the seat recommendations but I am in the UK. My parents have a seat which I think would be suitable for my 3 year old. Am I right in thinking my 19 month old should still be in the first size carseat? I think he weighs about 22lbs although he is quite tall.

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#5 of 8 Old 05-11-2011, 06:39 PM
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I don't know anything about UK carseats, but I just want to say if your parents didn't purchase the carseat they have new, you do need to check the expiration date. and for your 19 month old, check to make sure he fits length-wise, because the majority of carseats are outgrown by length before the child reaches the weight limit. 

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#6 of 8 Old 05-11-2011, 09:39 PM
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It isn't the size of the seat that matters (the UK tends to group seats for different ages), it is that your child is in a seat that is suitable for his weight, And that he isn't too tall for it (unless your seat is Scandinavian, a rear-facing seat is outgrown when there is only 2 inches left from the top of the child's head to the top of the shell, or when the child's shoulders are 1 inch above the top slot for the shoulder straps, and I think a forward-facing seat is outgrown when shoulders are above the top slot for the shoulder strap or the ears are at the top of the shell). So what you need to do is to find some car seats that go up to your kid's current weights (and preferably slightly more), it would really be best for your youngest to be rear-facing, and shouldn't be thet difficult to find. Depending on the size of your older child, he would be better off in a rear-facing seat, but if he is a bigger child, it may be more difficult to find. You want a convertible seat, and and you may need to look at seat imported from the US or Scandinavia, as even your youngest may weigh over 13 kg (the limit on most convertible seats for rf in the UK, as they like to turn kids ff at 9 kg there).

Britax has some great seats, but they're Scandinavian, all the UK Britax seats only rf to 13 kg. Here's a list of places that sell seats that rf past 13 kg, and some info on erf in the UK, think:

The great Scandinavian seats, by the way, are:
Britax Hiway, Multitech and Twoway
Acta Graco Duologic and Belogic
Brio Zento
BeSafe iZi Kid
MaxiCosi Mobi
(although not sure how long-lasting the Besafe and the MaxiCosi are, in regards to height and weight. Britax Twoway and Multitech, Acta Graco Duologic and Brio Zento are known as the ones most likely to fit older kids, 2,5-5)
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#7 of 8 Old 05-12-2011, 12:23 AM
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It will not be easy to find a rear facing seat for your 3year old. The link in the PP is the only place I've heard of and they cost a fortune. Maybe not a popular view but if it's not something you're going to be using a lot I don't think I could justify it myself.


Your 19 month old may still fit in the group 0+ - 1 seats, ones that start rear facing and can be turned forward. It depends how tall he is though, we managed to keep DD in hers till close to 2 but she was tiny, more average sized DS was turned round about 18 months I think. In both cases they still had a couple of pounds weight wise but were to tall. Again if it's not something you're going to use regulary you may be better getting something he'll be able to use for longer.


I  would look at high back boosters with a harness for both kids. For now they go in the harness and once they've outgrown that you can still use it as a booster. we have the britax evolva which I find easy to use in either booster or harness mode. It's quite heavy compared to a plain booster if I need to move it. Mothercare look to have some well priced own brand ones.


We found mothercare was a good place to buy from. They have an area in the car park where they bring the seats out and try them for you in fact when I ordered a seat we couldn't try they did not want me pay until they had tried it in the car. They were also not keen on selling me a booster when I had my 3 yo with me saying he really needed the harness (I was buying it for his older sister)

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#8 of 8 Old 05-12-2011, 05:58 AM
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Just wanted to add to LH comments that if your 3yo is tall but light in weight you may want to consider the european seats that use an impact cushion for restraint until the child reaches 18kg, and then without the cushion can be used as a HBB. eg. Kiddy Comfort Pro or Cybex Pallas. My 3yo had outgrown his harness  (grp 1), but at 13.5kg was too small for a HBB. He's now almost 5 and still uses the cushion as he's not yet 18kg.

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