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#1 of 43 Old 10-11-2007, 01:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi- I'm expecting my first in April. We are homebirthing and not planning on venturing out in the car very much, if at all, in the first weeks. My plan all along has been to get a Britax convertible seat and use it from the beginning. But I am wondering which Britax I should get- the Boulevard or the Decathalon. Does one recline more than the other? Also, I have an Acura TSX, so it's not a tiny backseat or anything, but if one of those seats is a bit smaller, I might be more inclined to get that one just so that there is a bit more room for someone to sit in the back next to the carseat (which will be in the middle seat).

I know many people are inclined to get a baby bucket system for the beginning and then switch to a Britax. My gut is telling me to skip the bucket because I know it would not get much use- we won't have a stroller base for it, and I won't be carrying it around- it would stay in the car, and we are definitely minimalists when it comes to gear. But of course my baby's safety is most important, so I suppose I could be convinced to get a bucket and the Britax if there is good evidence that a Britax is totally inappropriate for the first 2-3 months.

Those of you who've been there, done that- which Britax would you get- the Decathalon or the Boulevard and why? And do I REALLY need a bucket seat too?
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#2 of 43 Old 10-11-2007, 02:01 PM
 
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Initially, I use a "bucket" seat (graco snugride) because if/when you're using the car, and baby falls alseep, you don't need to wake them. For me, that's the major hassle about not using a bucket seat. Safety wise, I don't see how britax would fail an infant. Personally, I use the britax boulevard for dd (rear and forward facing to 65lbs). Ds uses the regent (forward facing only to 80lbs).

Congrats!! And good luck...

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#3 of 43 Old 10-11-2007, 02:03 PM
 
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Boulevard- no question. The decathlon has some bugs that a lot of people are not happy with. AND the boulevard has TSIP and a knob to adjust the headrest and straps so NO rethreading.

And just as a declaimer- I use a bucket at first. The britax bottom strap slots are too high for nearly all newborns to fit safely.

-Angela
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#4 of 43 Old 10-11-2007, 02:05 PM
 
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Personal opinion here ...

I have the decathlon. I bought it because at the time, I believe it had the highest weight limit, and I found it easier to use and cushier than the Marathon. DS was 7 months when he grew out of his bucket (Graco Snugride).

Personally, I cannot imagine putting a newborn or a small infant in the Decathlon, even with the infant insert. It is just such a large seat. DS, who was an average 7 pounds when born, was swimming in his infant bucket for the first month or so.

I don't know if there is a difference safety-wise. I am sure many mamas have done just fine with the convertible carseat alone. But given my experience with my first baby, I cannot imagine not having that bucket carseat. I didn't put DS in it all the time like you see a lot of mamas do - he wouldn't tolerate it and wanted to be held or slung. But I did find it essential for car travel.

Good luck on your decision!
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#5 of 43 Old 10-11-2007, 02:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by merry-mary View Post
I have the decathlon. I bought it because at the time, I believe it had the highest weight limit,
Just for the record- the decathlon has always had the same weight limits as the marathon and boulevard

-Angela
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#6 of 43 Old 10-11-2007, 02:21 PM
 
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well...I don't know
We got the graco snugride and my tall dd has just outgrown it at 4 months!!:

So the britax boulevard has just arrived. She's about to have her first ride in it today. It is a big seat in terms of height and depth...but it isn't unusually wide IMO. It has lots of padding and inserts for little ones, but I don't know how well a completely floppy newborn would do in it.
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#7 of 43 Old 10-11-2007, 03:19 PM
 
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We have the Britax Decathlon and LOVE it!!!!! We did start out with the "bucket system" (ours is Graco Snugride) and switched when Camryn turned a year old.

Caitlyn is 5 months old and we are still using the Graco Snugride but plan on switching to a Decathlon for her ASAP. I no longer use it to carry her in places, which is the main reason I used that instead of the Decathlon. She prefers to sit in a shopping cart, stroller or high chair instead of her car seat (which she HATES!!!!)

Mom to, Cassi,, 25 yo daughter, 4 yo twins, Carson & Camryn 3 yo Caitlyn and my wonderful 14 yo neice, Carlie
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#8 of 43 Old 10-11-2007, 03:26 PM
 
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If you dont want a baby bucket, Id start with the new Britax convertible seat. Its the same size as a Roundabout but has the TSIP.. and then eventually you will need to move to the next size up but thats years away at 40 lb.

We have a Roundabout, 3 Decathalons, and 1 Boulevard and the Boulevard is my all time favorite for bigger babies (4-6 months and up) but the Roundabout is my choice for new babies but that new seat has the Roundabout beat.. and will be getting one for our new baby
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#9 of 43 Old 10-11-2007, 04:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Just for the record- the decathlon has always had the same weight limits as the marathon and boulevard

-Angela
Ah. I must have chosen it over the Marathon for the cushiness then
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#10 of 43 Old 10-11-2007, 05:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Tiffany_PartyOf5 View Post
If you dont want a baby bucket, Id start with the new Britax convertible seat. Its the same size as a Roundabout but has the TSIP.. and then eventually you will need to move to the next size up but thats years away at 40 lb.

We have a Roundabout, 3 Decathalons, and 1 Boulevard and the Boulevard is my all time favorite for bigger babies (4-6 months and up) but the Roundabout is my choice for new babies but that new seat has the Roundabout beat.. and will be getting one for our new baby
I would never waste money on the roundabout sized seats unless I had no other option. It is NOT smaller so far as fitting new babies better. The bottom straps are the SAME height as the marathon/decathlon/boulevard.

It just doesn't last as long. A total waste of $$ IMO.

-Angela
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#11 of 43 Old 10-11-2007, 05:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Tiffany_PartyOf5 View Post
If you dont want a baby bucket, Id start with the new Britax convertible seat. Its the same size as a Roundabout but has the TSIP.. and then eventually you will need to move to the next size up but thats years away at 40 lb.

We have a Roundabout, 3 Decathalons, and 1 Boulevard and the Boulevard is my all time favorite for bigger babies (4-6 months and up) but the Roundabout is my choice for new babies but that new seat has the Roundabout beat.. and will be getting one for our new baby
I don't see another seat on the Britax website- what is the name of the seat you are talking about? I see that they have the Companion, which is their baby bucket, and then the convertible seats: Roundabout, Marathon, Decathalon, and Boulevard.

We are definitely going with the Boulevard, now the only decision is whether or not to get a bucket too for the first few months.
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#12 of 43 Old 10-11-2007, 05:52 PM
 
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I've always used a bucket type infant seat for the first few months. My babies have all been average size 7-8+ pounds and 22 ish inches but none of them would have fit safely into convertible such as a marathon for a while. Heck my tall 6 month old is barely good using the bottom harness slot. Otherwise it's just too much space between the top of their shoulders and the strap.

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#13 of 43 Old 10-11-2007, 06:03 PM
 
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I used a Graco Snugride and ds absolutely hate hate hated it. He would scream non-stop whenever he was in the car for however long he was in it. Out of the car it was ok, but strapped into the car it tilted him in such a way that (we think) really aggravated his reflux. Sooo...is there a better bucket out there? I was just at a LLL meeting where there were 8 buckets--all Snugrides. We're expecting #2 and I'd like to avoid screaming car rides if at all possible.

FWIW OP, I thought I would never use the bucket at all, but it was actually super handy for the reasons people said. We had a lightweight SnapnGo and it was great just placing him into it when sleeping and out and about, opposed to waking him up, calming him down and slinging him--all while in a parking lot of course. :
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#14 of 43 Old 10-11-2007, 06:37 PM
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Please consider a bucket for the early months. I am huge Britax fan, but the seats are simply not good fits for a newborn. You need either an infant carrier or a convertible with lower bottom slots. If you want to skip the infant carrier, the Radian65 is a good choice and will fit a newborn very well.

The Roundabout does not fit any better than the larger Britaxes. The Diplomat is what Tiffany is referring to, and I wouldn't buy that either.
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#15 of 43 Old 10-11-2007, 06:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ralphie76 View Post
I don't see another seat on the Britax website- what is the name of the seat you are talking about? I see that they have the Companion, which is their baby bucket, and then the convertible seats: Roundabout, Marathon, Decathalon, and Boulevard.

We are definitely going with the Boulevard, now the only decision is whether or not to get a bucket too for the first few months.
There are two new Britax seats- the Diplomat is the roundabout sized seat with the TSIP.

The other one I am blanking on the name, but it's a Boulevard for $100 more that has lights that tell you if it's in tight enough.

-Angela
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#16 of 43 Old 10-11-2007, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
There are two new Britax seats- the Diplomat is the roundabout sized seat with the TSIP.

The other one I am blanking on the name, but it's a Boulevard for $100 more that has lights that tell you if it's in tight enough.

-Angela
The Advocate....a huge waste of money. Thumbs down to Britax on that!
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#17 of 43 Old 10-11-2007, 06:43 PM
 
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The Advocate....a huge waste of money. Thumbs down to Britax on that!
Ah! thanks. Couldn't remember the name for anything

Yeah, not something I'd buy....

-Angela
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#18 of 43 Old 10-11-2007, 09:26 PM
 
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the diplomat is the one im thinking of
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#19 of 43 Old 10-11-2007, 09:42 PM
 
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I have a two year old who only recently moved to the second shortest strap height in his Marathon. There is NO way he could have been safely in a seat with even the lower stap height as a newborn. We didn't get the Marathon until he was 15 months old, and he was only barely tall enough to fit in the bottom straps. He's a small toddler, granted, but my older two who were tall babies would bot have fit until at least 6 months. I think this something that the bucket seats are good for, definitely. If you don't think you'll use one for very long, maybe a trusted friend has one you can borrow (assuming it hasn't been in an accident and isn't expired.)
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#20 of 43 Old 10-11-2007, 09:48 PM
 
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LOVE my blvd. We used it from birth. The body support helps it fit really nicely really early.
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#21 of 43 Old 10-11-2007, 09:53 PM
 
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We just switched over to the Boulevard, and it seems very secure. I really like that it has side impact protection. However, it is a big pain to have her out of the bucket system. It was so convenient to take her out, bucket and all, to continue her nap when she fell asleep during a car ride. Now at 9 months old it is getting a little harder to coax her back to sleep when she has has a 15 minute cat nap. I would go for the bucket in the beginning.
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#22 of 43 Old 10-11-2007, 09:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So what do you guys think of the Britax Companion infant bucket? I don't care about the cost, but I have had friends who haven't liked the Graco Snugride, and I have a bias towards Britax. Just wondered if you thought it was a good bucket choice?
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#23 of 43 Old 10-11-2007, 10:34 PM
 
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I used the Blvd from birth and it worked great. Ds wasn't huge (8 lb 11 oz and 21 in). We have a noodle under it because our seat is sloped (carseat tech put it there). I would not buy a bucket seat, but maybe have one picked out just in case your babe in tiny.
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#24 of 43 Old 10-11-2007, 10:45 PM
 
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So what do you guys think of the Britax Companion infant bucket? I don't care about the cost, but I have had friends who haven't liked the Graco Snugride, and I have a bias towards Britax. Just wondered if you thought it was a good bucket choice?
I think there are better choices, The Companion has to have the handle down while driving, I know several people who say it sticks in the base and the headwings can be confining.

The Chicco Keyfit is a great seat, or for slightly less money, the Graco Safeseat. Both have built-in lock offs, go to 30 lbs (though most babes will be too tall before then) and allow the handle to be up when driving. The Keyfit fits tiny babies well, but the Safeseat is taller and will last longer.
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#25 of 43 Old 10-11-2007, 11:25 PM
 
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We have had the Graco Snugride in the past, and some Evenflo 5 pt harness infant seat, and the Graco Safeseat. Out of the 3, I liked the Safeseat best. I would never go for the Evenflo again.. pain in the butt and the snugride just bugged me.. the handle was a pain in the butt to put up and down, it stuck in the base sometimes and wouldnt come out.. sometimes it wouldnt snap all the way onto the base and i would stand there 30 min trying to get it to snap in... the Safeseat, we never had a problem with.
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#26 of 43 Old 10-11-2007, 11:59 PM
 
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So what do you guys think of the Britax Companion infant bucket? I don't care about the cost, but I have had friends who haven't liked the Graco Snugride, and I have a bias towards Britax. Just wondered if you thought it was a good bucket choice?
I LOVE Britax, we own 5 of their seats, but I did not like the Companion. It was heavy, very hard to get out of it's base, it always got stuck, and the sunshade was wonky. Now I rarely took it out, but once in a while wanted to move a sleeping DD2 from the car to the house in the dead of winter without taking her out of her seat, I never could because the seat was so hard to get out of the base that it always woke her up. It was much better then the Graco Snugride I had for DD1, I hated that thing so much that I didn't keep it, but I still won't be keeping this Companion either. I'll be on the hunt for a new bucket for the next baby.

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#27 of 43 Old 10-12-2007, 12:18 AM
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While the Companion is an ok seat, I think there are better seats out there. I would recommend the Graco SafeSeat I. 30 lbs/32", insanely easy and quick to install, pretty much idiot proof. Not, of course, implying that you're an idiot

I hope your homebirth goes well. I had one in August and I'm SO HAPPY with it
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#28 of 43 Old 10-12-2007, 12:41 AM
 
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I used the Blvd from birth and it worked great. Ds wasn't huge (8 lb 11 oz and 21 in). We have a noodle under it because our seat is sloped (carseat tech put it there). I would not buy a bucket seat, but maybe have one picked out just in case your babe in tiny.
Did the tech hook up your rfing tether and use that to adjust the recline. PRobably not. You might want to find a different tech if they didn't try that first.

I have a Safeseat and my dd just moved to the 2nd set of slots (there's 3) at 10 mos, she's just even w/ them. For comparison, she's just at or slightly under the very bottom slots of a Britax Marathon. She'll be in her Safeseat for at least another 10 mos I bet (she's 11 mos now), but that's why we got it b/c it will help keep her older brother rear facing that much longer. My other top pick is the Chicco Keyfit 22, LOVE this seat!

Here's a pic of a 6#13oz 20" baby in a Boulevard. My biggest baby was 7#8oz so if your babies will be 9+# and longer, a Britax would work, but it's so hard to know. You can always buy one, save the receipt and return if necessary. You can use a Britax as long as the straps aren't more than an inch above baby's shoulders when using the bottom slots.

http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f1...arseats086.jpg

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#29 of 43 Old 10-12-2007, 02:08 AM
 
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I liked the companion. I didn't take it in and out much so that and the weight didn't bother me. At the time it was the only seat out with the rebound bar (I've seen another on the market lately) and I personally feel that that is an important feature.

-Angela
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#30 of 43 Old 10-12-2007, 10:21 AM
 
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i love the companion, we're still using it at 11 months. my baby is pretty short though, so not everybody gets that long out of it. i never take it out of the car, so it being difficult to remove from the base wasn't an issue for me, and neither was having to have the handle down. i feel like it is the safest infant seat available, and i really trust britax. plus the install (esp with LATCH) is incredibly easy.
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