Car seats! What was I thinking? Possibly starting from scratch with a 6 yo, 16 mo, newborn - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 02-07-2012, 07:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've had my daughter FF since before she was even one. I had noooo idea until a few months ago that there could be any issue with this. I'm glad I've been "lucky" and haven't had any serious accidents. I'm now concerned about her booster- is it safe enough? I mean, safety can't just end at 4 years. This is currently what we use for her:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Harmony-Juvenile-LiteRider-Youth-Backless-Booster-Car-Seat/15047829

 

Until recently, my DH and I thought all of this carseats till 8, etc stuff was sort of ridiculous (shouldn't I know better than "we didn't have that and we were fine"). I had the same type of booster, so I ASSUMED it would be safe. Input? Anyone freaking out now at the thought of me taking my child around with that seat because it's not safe enough?

 

We also have a 16 mo who is still RF in her infant seat, but is at the limit now and we need to switch her anyway because we'll need the infant carseat for a new little one in 2 mos. Any suggestions? I now feel like I have no idea how to pick a safe car seat. I guess I (again) just ASSUMED they're all safe or they wouldn't sell them. This makes no sense with how I live the rest of my life, so I don't know why I am doing all this assuming and trusting of regulations, etc. Ugh.

 

Also, going back to the infant carseat, I'm now wondering if the one we have is safe. We bought it at Walmart as well. It's some sort of evenflo (embrace or discovery?)

 

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#2 of 19 Old 02-07-2012, 08:52 AM
 
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My almost-10yo rides in that Harmony booster seat.  It's a fine seat for a big kid (over 7 or 8) if the vehicle has high headrests/seatbacks and a shoulder belt.  It's not a safe or appropriate choice for a 3- or 4yo.  How old is your daughter?  EDIT:  just realized from the title that she's six.  I'd prefer to see a 6yo in a highbacked booster seat, but honestly, the other issues in your post concern me more.

 

How much does your toddler weigh, what's the limit on her infant seat, is there a full inch of hard plastic shell above her  head, and is the seat installed with 1.5" of clearance between the handle (which must be down) and the front seat?

 

It is true that all child restraints must pass testing and are safe when used properly.  It seems that proper use might be something we can help you with.


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#3 of 19 Old 02-07-2012, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My DD1 in the harmony booster is almost 6 (end of the month). She's about 45 lbs and 46-47 inches tall. My toddler (DD2) is 22 lbs and 30-31 inches. As for your other questions, I'll have to look when my DH gets home. But I can say that we are switching to a van soon (probably a Sienna) and space has been an issue in our Malibu. I doubt there is much clearance for the handle in our current setup. We should be in the van by the end of the week, so this may only be a concern for one more ride. I can move my seat forward for a temporary solution. I know DD2 needs to switch seats soon, I'm pretty sure the weight limit on her seat is 24 lbs and I want to have time to clean and wash it before using it again. We're not sure what seat to get, had seen this at Sam's Club:

http://www.samsclub.com/sams/shop/product.jsp?productId=prod3840281&navAction=push

 

But we are hesitant to buy Safety 1st products. Ironic.

 

Also, I just noticed it is RF only to 35 lbs. Should I be looking for something that is RF longer?

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#4 of 19 Old 02-07-2012, 09:36 AM
 
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Both the Discovery and the Embrace have 22# limits.  Your child cannot ride in that seat again, not even once.  It's too dangerous. You need to get a new seat before she rides in the car again.  I'd look at the Graco MyRide, Evenflo Triumph65, or Cosco Scenera 40RF or Apt, all of which have 40# RFing limits.


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#5 of 19 Old 02-07-2012, 09:59 AM
 
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A new seat for your toddler is the priority.  I agree with chickabiddy's recommendations.  You need to buy it asap.  If money is a concern, the cosco scenera is only $40 at walmart (I think the one at walmart only goes to 35 lbs, but it will still buy you quite a bit of time).  The literider is an acceptable seat at your DD's age and size, but a high back might be a better fit/more comfy for your DD/better for sleeping.  I have my 7 year old in a graco turbo booster and he fits great.  We use a literider for carpooling (both when he goes with someone else, and when we drive one of his friends).

 

A 40 lbs limit is great, but with a 22 lb 16 month old, 35 lbs will also last a good long while.  I don't like the seat you linked to personally (nothing *wrong* with it, but it can be difficult to install and doesn't seem as comfortable as other seats).

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#6 of 19 Old 02-07-2012, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you both. I'm having one of those moments here where I'm wondering how I could have neglected this! Seriously considering switching DD1 to a high backed booster just for peace of mind, especially since she buckles herself. I'm surprised by the 22# weight limit- I thought ours was 24# but my pregnant brain tends to be wrong a lot lately...

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#7 of 19 Old 02-07-2012, 11:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyBecky View Post

Thank you both. I'm having one of those moments here where I'm wondering how I could have neglected this! Seriously considering switching DD1 to a high backed booster just for peace of mind, especially since she buckles herself. I'm surprised by the 22# weight limit- I thought ours was 24# but my pregnant brain tends to be wrong a lot lately...



Like the pps said, you need a seat for your toddler asap.  The ones they suggested are good, and if it's available near you I'd also consider the complete air.  If you have a specialty store near you and more money to spend you could also consider the true fit or the radian.

 

For your oldest, a hight back turbobooster would work well.  And the literider you have is great for travel or a spare ride in a friends car seat, so keep it. 

 

How old is your infant seat?   If you used it for your oldest, then most likely it's close to or is expired and you'll need a new one.  If you want an infant seat with the base I'd look at the snugride35, onside or onside air, or chicco keyfit.  If you want a convertible seat to use from the getgo rearfacing with the baby, I'd look at the graco myride or first years true fit.

 


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#8 of 19 Old 02-09-2012, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I ended up getting something similar to the Safety 1st Complete Air... It's a lesser version of it by Safety 1st and has the protection to reduce risk of head injury RF up to 40# 40". I debated between that and the Apt. The Apt didn't have the air cushioning of course and was much wider which could be a problem as we add kids and therefore carseats to our van.

As for the infant carseat, we actually bought it for DD2, so it's less than 2 years old. Other than her current booster, we've gotten rid of all of DD1's carseats.

Thanks!

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#9 of 19 Old 02-09-2012, 08:34 PM
 
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Do you know what seat you got?  If it's the Onside Air, be aware that despite the labeling that will not last anywhere NEAR as long as the seat that was suggested.


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#10 of 19 Old 02-10-2012, 10:14 PM
 
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I'm guessing most likely that was it.  Though if she got it at Costco she spent less then she would have on a scenera and it's still a good deal for the time being (just will need to be replaced in the future).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maedze View Post

Do you know what seat you got?  If it's the Onside Air, be aware that despite the labeling that will not last anywhere NEAR as long as the seat that was suggested.



 


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#11 of 19 Old 02-14-2012, 06:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It's one of the safety1st air ones... I'm aware it won't RF past 40# 40" but I was thinking about it and my oldest didn't hit 40# till after 4 yrs. We're having another baby, so I figured we can get DD2 a different seat if she grows out of this one and give this one to LO3 at that point. I'm kind of disappointed with the seat though- The anchors were not long enough to anchor it RF, so I had to buckle it for the time being! I buckled it tightly the 1st time, but it somehow tipped backwards! Heart attack. I adjusted it and it hasn't happened since, but I feel like I cannot get the right seat/properly install it to save a life now! So frustrated. Do they have anchor extensions?

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#12 of 19 Old 02-14-2012, 07:22 AM
 
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That's what I was trying to explain; it is unlikely you will actually get to 40 lbs or 40" in that seat, because it is substantially smaller than the seat that was recommended. 

 

However, it concerns me that you think the anchors are not long enough.  They are more than long enough.  That says to me that you've probably threaded them through the wrong belt path.     

Can you take a look at the seat?  You'll see there's a path for the back of the seat (where you have the anchors threaded), and through the bottom of the seat underneath where the feet go (where they should be threaded.)
 

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Originally Posted by MommyBecky View Post

It's one of the safety1st air ones... I'm aware it won't RF past 40# 40" but I was thinking about it and my oldest didn't hit 40# till after 4 yrs. We're having another baby, so I figured we can get DD2 a different seat if she grows out of this one and give this one to LO3 at that point. I'm kind of disappointed with the seat though- The anchors were not long enough to anchor it RF, so I had to buckle it for the time being! I buckled it tightly the 1st time, but it somehow tipped backwards! Heart attack. I adjusted it and it hasn't happened since, but I feel like I cannot get the right seat/properly install it to save a life now! So frustrated. Do they have anchor extensions?



 


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#13 of 19 Old 02-14-2012, 07:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OH MY. I am having my husband reinstall the carseat. I really do not trust myself/pregnant brain any longer. I hardly drive now for this reason, actually and if I do it's just down the block. I really am doing the stupidest things as I near my due date. You hit the nail on the head- I had it in the wrong belt path. It concerns me that my pregnant brain reaches the level of safety issues. I'm just going to have to refer to DH a lot.

As for the seat being smaller than advertised on the box, I will make sure to keep an eye more on her fitting properly within the seat, and move her into a new one if she gets anywhere near the top. I'll switch LO3 to it at that point- even if she's not near 40." As for 40#, DD1 wasn't over 40" 40# till age 4 at least. Thinking DD2 will be similar. Am I still missing your point?

The other one I found was the Apt and it was just soooo big/wide. I did spend about an hour at Kmart debating between the two. They were the only RF carseats I found in our area that went above 35# and weren't $200.

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#14 of 19 Old 02-14-2012, 09:57 AM
 
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Maezde's point (with which I completely concur) is that the seat will be outgrown before the stated limits of 40" or 40#.  A rear-facing seat is outgrown by height when there is less than one inch of hard plastic shell above the child's head.  The Safety 1st Onside Air (as opposed to the Safety 1st Complete Air) has a very short shell.  The vast majority of children will outgrow the seat -- will have less than one inch of hard plastic shell above their heads -- long before they reach 40" or 40#.

 

Since you have a younger child to pass it down to, it may work out for you, but be prepared that you will likely need to purchase a new rear-facing seat with a taller shell to keep your middle daughter rear-facing.


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#15 of 19 Old 02-14-2012, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, that's what I thought she meant. I'm honestly more comfortable with having to purchase a 2nd RF seat later when she's older because I felt the other ones I saw would have given her too much head space at her age.

Also, to clarify, I currently have the seat belt looped through the proper belt path, I just didn't have the anchor in the right place. Going to have DH anchor it before I go out again.

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#16 of 19 Old 02-15-2012, 09:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyBecky View Post

Also, to clarify, I currently have the seat belt looped through the proper belt path, I just didn't have the anchor in the right place. Going to have DH anchor it before I go out again.


You're not using both the lower anchors and the seatbelt are you?  You can only install with one or the other, not both.

 

 


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#17 of 19 Old 02-15-2012, 12:12 PM
 
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Yeah, this.  Can you (the OP) clarify what you meant by this???  Something sounds off. 

Quote:
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You're not using both the lower anchors and the seatbelt are you?  You can only install with one or the other, not both.

 

 


 

 


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#18 of 19 Old 02-15-2012, 01:02 PM
 
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And you can't use the top tether for a rear-facing Dorel seat, so you should be using EITHER seatbelt OR anchors, not both.


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#19 of 19 Old 02-24-2012, 08:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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To clarify, I had said that I couldn't get the anchor to work, so I was using the seatbelt instead. The anchor is all squared away, so I'm back to using that now. Don't worry, not using both.

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