We're pregnant with #4 (yay!) and this is the biggest age gap we'll ever have - almost 4 years. Our first three kiddos all used the same infant seat, that we got with DS #1, who is almost 8. There were _not_ very many options back then, especially compared to now.
What brand do you suggest? Here's our facts:
* we have big babies - they have all been 8+ lbs at birth and over 20 lbs by 6 months. The longest I used an infant carrier/bucket seat was 5 months because they outgrew it height wise. We grow heavy kiddos!
* we will need to buy a convertible as well, as our big boys are in Nautilus' and our 3 year old is in a TrueFit and will be still when the baby is born/little. I really like the TrueFit a lot - fits well, adjusts well (love the no-rethread adjustment) so I'm leaning towards that, although I could be swayed.
We have a Honda Odyssey and this kiddo will be in the middle captain chair.
We've had Britax in the past (hated them) and our boys are equally as tall (95%ile) as they are heavy, so the length matters almost more than the weight for us.
Do you want an infant seat or to just go straight to a convertible?
Is your three year old still rear-facing in the Tru Fit? Are your other kids still harnessed in the Nautilus or are they using it as a booster?
(I ask because if your 3 year old is not rear-facing, you could move your oldest to a dedicated booster, your three year old to a Nautilus and pass the Tru Fit to your new one. You could also plan on doing that when your newest one moves out of an infant seat).
I think I do want an infant seat - the baby will be born in the winter (cold) and with 3 big siblings and lots of school functions, it will be nice for the early months to just pick up the carrier to walk into the school to pick them up instead of having to unbuckle, wake up, etc. for a 5 minute thing.
Our 3 year old just moved FF in the TrueFit, right around when he turned 3. I didn't even think of moving him to the Nautilus! (brain fog here). Our oldest is not harnessed and honestly, is fine in a LBB. He's pretty tall (54 inches) and at his rate of growth, in 9 months, he'll definitely be fine in a LBB all the time. Heck, my second son will be 6 then and he will likely have outgrown the harness of the Nauti too but I love the fit of them as a booster for our shaped kids.
Great idea! (which my husband heartedly approves of).
Since you just want to use it for a few months and your babies tend to be "healthy" sized, you'll really be fine with any seat. If you want it to last longer than others, I have heard the following two recommended most often:
Chicco Keyfit 30
Graco Snugride 32/35
Most kids outgrow infant seats by height well before weight and these are no exceptions.
My older two were super tall (my oldest outgrew the old evenflo triumph before his first birthday rfing!). For my third I bought the Graco Safeseat (which is what the Snugride35 is now) due to the tall shell. Of course she ended up being tiny! By my calculations, my older two would have fit in the SS for at least 6 months (rather than the 3 months they lasted in the seat I had). I know there are other infant seats with taller shells now. So if you want longevity you have more options then you did a few years ago. I believe the other seat with a tall shell is the safetyfirst Onside (or Onside Air).
Close... :) the Onside Air is a convertible. What you're thinking of is the Onboard Air. It's made by Safety 1st. Also the Safety 1st Onboard 35 (without the Air) is cheaper but just as tall - it just doesn't have as many bells and whistles (a less user-friendly base and no air pocket side impact cushions).
I had the Onboard Air for my daughter and I loved it. Average sized babies can theoretically use it until age 1.5 to 2 years of age. The weight limit is 35 lbs, and realistically most kids (of average proportions) will fit in it by height until somewhere between 25 and 30 lbs. Most kids will outgrow most "average" infant seats by height at around 20 lbs. Even some of the ones that have higher weight ratings will be outgrown by height much sooner.
The Snugride 35, the Onboard (air or not), the Via, and (I think) the Combi Shuttle are among the taller infant car seats available. The Keyfit is pretty tall too but shorter than these others.
You're right, thank you!