Okay wise mamas, a few months ago you all talked me out of buying an infant seat off Craigslist - thanks!
Now it's crunch time and I really need to get a seat for this baby we're expecting next month. I have tried to research here and on car-seat.org but am still overwhelmed and am hoping to get some advice again.
Here is my story:
I drive a 2005 Toyota Matrix.
We are both 5'10" with long legs, so would like to accommodate as much leg room as possible in the passenger seat.
My stepson is occasionally in the car but not a frequent rider. He's 8 and in a backless booster behind the driver which he'll likely be out of soon.
Baby is not born yet but I suspect will be 8lb+ at birth, no idea how s/he will grow after that.
I would like to skip the infant bucket seat and go straight to a convertible. We live in an area with mild winters and park underground, and I'd rather not get into the habit of lugging the bucket around just because I can.
We live in Canada - not sure if some seats are not available here.
I need something that fits a newborn well and hopefully doesn't take up too much front-back space in our not-so-big car.
I understand that the Matrix doesn't have LATCH anchors in the center rear so we'd have to install with seatbelt there or with LATCH on the outboard.
I'm pretty sure that the Matrix does not allow the carseat to touch the front seats because of some sensor issue, but haven't actually checked the manual yet.
What would be your suggestions for a convertible seat for us?
In the course of my research on convertibles for a Matrix, I've seen suggestions for:
- TrueFit (but maybe not available in Canada without a rebound bar that gives it a longer profile?)
- Graco MyRide
Does anyone have experience with these seats in a Matrix, or have thoughts about them in general? Any other seats I should be looking at? Is it better to put the baby in the center with seatbelt install or outboard with LATCH? What other factors should I be thinking about?
Thank you in advance!
If you're looking at a Britax seat, make sure you get the new generation, not the Classic. The Classic Britaxes do not fit newborns (even 8# newborns).
And a Marathon will not fit a child rear facing as long as is appropriate. How big is your step son? Unless he's a very very tall child it's unlikely he will be out of a backless booster 'soon'. 4'9" is the size of the average 11 year old. Most kids are between 10 and 12 when they can ride safely in the seatbelt alone.
Because you'll need a full 45 degrees as you've surmised you need something that will fit between the front seats. I'd suggest a Diono Radian. The True Fit may fit the bill due to the removable headrest but only goes to 35 lbs rear facing. The Graco My Ride, while one of my favorite standbys, is quite a large seat and may be very difficult for your older child to sit next to.
I've really been happy with my truefit. I don't think the rebound bar adds much if any extra space, plus people without the bar mention it's really difficult to reach the strap release. Not an issue I have with the rebound bar.
I like the space saving removeable headrest. I couldn't fit the seat in an infant recline without removing the headrest, but I drive a 1997 civic.
The seat is sold in Canada, but you have to get the correct model.
Wanted to add that it fits newborns well.