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#1 of 67 Old 07-06-2008, 11:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What kind of car seat have you picked out for your little one? Thoughts, opinions on the different brands?

I think we've settled on the Graco SnugRide for her infant car seat. I wanted the SafeSeat, but then I realized I don't really want to lug around a 10 lb car seat plus the baby. I'm trying to decide now between the Britax Marathon or Boulevard for when she outgrows the infant seat. I hate the thought of spending so much money on car seats, but I know it's one of the most important things you buy.

kati , wife to josh , mama to j&d (7.31.07) marion (9.18.08), feeder of nanuq and gracie lou
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#2 of 67 Old 07-06-2008, 11:09 PM
 
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We purchased the graco quinn safeseat and black metrolite stroller ...I guess the carseat fits into this swing papasan chair we have which will be nice. We also got 2 bases one for each car so it will be easier traveling with her. All we need is a baby and we are set!! A friend gave us an eddie bauer seat for when she gets older which is nice and dark colored for stains.

: DD 8/29/08 and twin boys 11/3/09
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#3 of 67 Old 07-06-2008, 11:52 PM
 
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We are skipping the infant seat and just buying a convertible car seat right away. My babies are big so he or she will fit just fine right from birth. I haven't totally settled on which one though. The info on carseats is enough to make your head explode.

I checked out another forum called Family Safety and all the gals there are so knowledgeable about carseats. I used that as a starting point to do some research.

I will just carry baby in the sling bc lugging around extra equipment is not fun! Especially when the baby wants out of the carseat as soon as you get anywhere. Plus, I need 2 free hands for my other little monsters.

Happy carseat hunting!

Wife to dh, Mommy to ds1 12/2002, ds2 9/2005, and ds3 9/2008.
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#4 of 67 Old 07-07-2008, 12:41 AM
 
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i prefer the BV over the MA bc of the SIP, plus the BV has infant padding.

be careful when buying though b/c only the post 2/08 seats are 35 lbs. RF;ing
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#5 of 67 Old 07-07-2008, 12:43 AM
 
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I haven't totally settled on which one though. The info on carseats is enough to make your head explode.
:

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I will just carry baby in the sling bc lugging around extra equipment is not fun! Especially when the baby wants out of the carseat as soon as you get anywhere.
I'm not really wild about carrying a big plastic bucket around, either, so I don't plan to do it much. But I think I will bring the bucket in the house/church/wherever so I don't have to put baby in a freezing cold seat once winter comes.

Catherine, mama to Preschooler Girl 9/08, and Toddler Boy 3/11

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#6 of 67 Old 07-07-2008, 12:49 AM
 
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We're doing the Graco Snugride first and then the Britax Marathon. This is because these are the ones my SIL used and she's a big time product (and life in general) researcher. So since I'm lazy and I'm doing researchy stuff on birth and all that right now I'm just going to trust her picks.
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#7 of 67 Old 07-07-2008, 01:12 AM
 
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Since my babies start at 9 pounds and I MUCH prefer to carry them in my arms or a sling, I just don't see much point in a "baby bucket." We had one with Samuel and had to buy a bigger seat a 4 months old, and I had to stop carrying it at about 8 weeks...it was leaving BRUISES on my arm!

This time we're doing what we did last time and going with a Britax Roundabout from the beginning. I have considered doing the Marathon, but DS2, at 4 years old, JUST outgrew his Roundabout and even then only in height, not weight! My babies start out big and fit well into a convertable seat from the beginning and I prefer a seat that is always latched/tethered/ROCK SOLID installed in the car. With infant seats/carriers I always worry that something might fail where the seat attaches to the base.

The Roundabout fits better in our car (it's about 6" shorter than the marathon, which means more space for the front passenger when it's RF) and once baby outgrows the seat (weight or height), we'll have the option to move him into DS1's Regent, which DS1 will probably have outgrown in height by then. If we didn't have a Regent to move baby into, though, I would be leaning more toward the Marathon or the Sunshine Kids Radian 65 or 80.

And yes, money spent on a carseat is money well spent. I have a friend whose 5 year old daughter is currently wearing a neck brace because she fractured a bone in her neck in a car accident...she was restrained legally, but not in the most protective seat for her age and size (she was in a booster and not a 5 point harness). Upon her neurologist's advice, which is to restrain the child as conservatively as possible for as long as possible, she now rides in a Regent and will until she outgrows either the weight or height. At the same time my friend bought her daughter's seat, we ordered DS1 (who is SEVEN, yes) a Regent as well and he'll ride in that until he outgrows it (I don't care if he's 10!).

Charlotte, midwife to some awesome women, wife to Jason, and no longer a mama to all boys S reading.gif('01), A nut.gif ('03) S lol.gif ('08) and L love.gif ('10).
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#8 of 67 Old 07-07-2008, 01:13 AM
 
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great thread. I was just starting this research myself. anyone know anything about the Maxi Cosi infant carseats? I think I'm split between that and the Graco SnugRide for the infant seat.

then either the Britax Marathon, Roundabout or Boulevard. figure we'll wait until baby needs the next stage to make that purchase.
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#9 of 67 Old 07-07-2008, 01:14 AM
 
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We have a Graco Snugrider that I used for my last child. I really like it although I would highly recommend not carrying the darn thing around as carrier + baby= heavy as hell. I have occasionally taken it out of the car but almost always use a baby carrier.

Once baby is big enough it will be moved into a Britax Roundabout which I absolutely love. I think Britax seats are the safest on the market and have all my kids (even my 5 year old) in some version of a Britax seat.

AP crunchy homeschooling mama to Henning (1/4/03), Connor (7/1/05) and Elijah (9/21/08) Forever holding my 3 lost little ones in my heart.
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#10 of 67 Old 07-07-2008, 06:00 AM
 
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We have a Graco SafeSeat and a Britax Roundabout. DS was in the SafeSeat until he was 10 months when he outgrew it. He would've outgrown the SnugRide around 5 months since the weight limit is lower (we also have a SnugRide for complicated reasons...). We put all 26 lbs of him forward facing when we moved to the Roundabout at 10 months, but that was before I heard the "keep them rear-facing as long as possible" advice. Not sure it would've worked anyway since the major reason we switched to the Roundabout was DS' height. In any case, the Roundabout wouldn't have fit rear-facing into our old Subaru Forester... I plan to keep this new DC rear-facing as long as possible.

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#11 of 67 Old 07-07-2008, 09:13 AM
 
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We'll be using DS Snugride until DD outgrows it. Then moving her into some kind of Britax Convertible. DS is in a Marathon, but we haven't decided what DD will get yet. We'll probably wait until sometime next year to buy it (carseats have expiration dates).

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#12 of 67 Old 07-07-2008, 09:34 AM
 
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We have a Snugride from when DD1 was little, it will still be good for another 1.5 years or so. However, I want to get a SafeSeat this time around. I love the fact that it goes up to 30lbs rearfacing. We will be using the seatbelt to restrain it, rather than the base with LATCH, because the way our van is setup, DD1 will need to sit in the very back row. In order for her to get to her seat (and for us to buckle her), there cannot be a carseat in one of the middle captain's chairs.

The seat configuration is very frustrating, b/c DD1 has a Regent (that is huge!) that has to be anchored to a tether hook. There are only three tether anchors in my van, the third is in the center of the back row. No other seats can fit beside her seat b/c it is so huge. I can't put DD2 in the back row by herself b/c she's only (almost) 2 and very needy. DD1 loves riding in the way back.

DD2 is in a Marathon, she was in a Roundabout. We got the Marathon b/c of the higher weight limit, but I don't like it. It won't install rearfacing correctly (I've tried everything) which stinks b/c DD2 is so petite, I would have preferred her to remain RF for awhile. We will get a different seat when this baby outgrows the SafeSeat.

Mom to DD#1 8/04, nursed 43 months, DD#2 8/06, nursed 21 months and DD#3 9/08, still nursing strong
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#13 of 67 Old 07-07-2008, 09:55 AM
 
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Since my babies start at 9 pounds and I MUCH prefer to carry them in my arms or a sling, I just don't see much point in a "baby bucket."

At the same time my friend bought her daughter's seat, we ordered DS1 (who is SEVEN, yes) a Regent as well and he'll ride in that until he outgrows it (I don't care if he's 10!).
we are teh same way. my kid have all been almost 9 lbs. and are tall (as am i). i posted a link in another thread about potential issues of using car seats outside of cars also, so i worry about that alot.

im just curious though....you know that your regent has a 6 yr expiration, right (im sure you do but i couldnt figure it out from your post and didnt want to pass up saying something just.in.case. ).

my 10 yo is in a booster right now. We originally bought him a Britax Monarch but it didnt fit him well. Unfortunately his torso is too high to be in a 5 pt. harness! lol! I have found that most 10 yo's dont meet the 5 pt. test for using only a seatbelt and he's OK w/ it.

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DD2 is in a Marathon, she was in a Roundabout. We got the Marathon b/c of the higher weight limit, but I don't like it. It won't install rearfacing correctly (I've tried everything) which stinks b/c DD2 is so petite, I would have preferred her to remain RF for awhile.
what is the problem you are having? ive honestly never heard of a MA not installing correctly (not saying its not..i believe you...im just saying its rare for that seat not to install correctly). Have you tried taking it to a certified car seat tech to see if they can help you. I have learned a few tricks to getting a ROCK SOLID installation in our cars w/ both a MA and a BV (one of them being to recline the seat (if you have a minivan or SUV) that you are installing it in, basicallly putting most of my weight on the car seat and tightening the LATCH (if thats what you are using). After i get it attached, the seat goes back up b/c you cant leave the seat reclined....but i dont know if that helps you are not.
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#14 of 67 Old 07-07-2008, 09:56 AM
 
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We have a Snugride to start in even though I expect this baby to be at least 8 lbs at birth, I think the bucket is safer for little ones and this won't be our last so it's worth it. I didn't go with the Safeseat (with the higher weight limit) because I HATE carrying the bucket and don't do it much. Ds1 was in a rear facing convertible by 6 months. After that this babe will be in a Graco ComfortSport ds1 is in a Britax Boulevard and when we need to we will get another one for baby Z.

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#15 of 67 Old 07-07-2008, 10:08 AM
 
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We went with the Chicco KeyFit 30 this time. It was either that or a Safeseat and I didnt like the color choices combined with the lack of padding. I'm really picky about it being squishy and comfy for them, lol.

I hated the Snugride because my kids outgrew it at 3-4 months old! And at that point, I still wanted the infant carseat. So I got the Chicco and a Trevi stroller to match, which will actually be used more by my 2 year old until he starts getting heavy. But the system is very smooth, compact, the carseat goes in and out of the stroller very easily. And the carseat base as well. Its very nice so far, I cant wait to use it

I also use Britax convertables, I had a Roundabout up till now, getting a Marathon for the next one (because again, dd outgrew it before I really wanted her in a booster). COWMOOFLAUGE WOOOOOT!

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#16 of 67 Old 07-07-2008, 10:15 AM
 
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We really wanted to start with a convertible Britax, but then found out we are having triplets. We just bought a house and cannot afford a new car right now, so we need something that will fit 3 across the bench seat in my Honda CR-V. That meant no Britax, plus our babies will be very small when they come home and I have read that tiny babies really do fit better in buckets. We have 3 Graco SafeSeats and are planning to upgrade to Radians when they outgrow the SS. If the Radians won't fit RF in my car, we will upgrade at that time.
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#17 of 67 Old 07-07-2008, 10:29 AM
 
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We have one tiny car that gets great gas mileage and we don't want to buy another! So, since space is a huge issue (three car seats across is a challenge!) in the back we're limited. We were looking at the Chicco keyfit b/c it's surprisingly slender, but it has a hefty price tag and we're on a huge budget right now. I think we'll stick with the snugride.

Jamie, parenting w/ DH , DS1 (02/04), DD (06/06), DS2 (09/08) and DD2 born 8/04/10 9lb 1 oz
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#18 of 67 Old 07-07-2008, 10:36 AM
 
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Dropping in from another DDC...

We have the Graco Snugride and the Britax Boulevard. A colleague of mine is a nurse who has special training in car seat installation, and she said that pretty much all of the seats today have the necessary safety features, but the problem is that most car seats are not properly installed.

The Graco seat and the Metrolite stroller came with the most poorly written and useless instruction manuals, so I was glad that my colleague could help me properly install the seat after I spent a whole day messing with it.
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#19 of 67 Old 07-07-2008, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not too fond of the baby bucket idea...but since this is our first, we have no idea of sizing, I'm hesitant to just put them in a convertible seat in case we have a wee one. I've also found the SnugRide in a discontinued pattern, so I can get it for under $100.

Plus, this way I'll be able to take her to the gym with me and can set her down beside me while I run on the treadmill.

So the Roundabout, it has a lower weight limit than the Marathon, right? It's been recommended to us, but I'm hesitant to commit to something that has just a 40lb limit.

We have a Honda Pilot (but it's our only car so don't stone me! ) so hopefully size won't be an issue.

kati , wife to josh , mama to j&d (7.31.07) marion (9.18.08), feeder of nanuq and gracie lou
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#20 of 67 Old 07-07-2008, 12:25 PM
 
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So the Roundabout, it has a lower weight limit than the Marathon, right? It's been recommended to us, but I'm hesitant to commit to something that has just a 40lb limit.

We had originally planned on a Marathon but I had a hard time finding one "in stock" around here. I like to try things and play with them before I buy. Honestly though it is amazing how long it takes kids to get to 40 pounds. My oldest was in the Roundabout until 3 and a few months and then we only moved him up to a Britax Husky (huge mother car seat- we call it the Barcalounger) because I had another little one to put in the Roundabout. I just moved Connor, who just turned 3, out of the Roundabout because he was 39" tall (he only weighs 36 pounds). My issue with the Roundabout is never my boys getting too heavy just too tall.

AP crunchy homeschooling mama to Henning (1/4/03), Connor (7/1/05) and Elijah (9/21/08) Forever holding my 3 lost little ones in my heart.
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#21 of 67 Old 07-07-2008, 12:32 PM
 
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So the Roundabout, it has a lower weight limit than the Marathon, right? It's been recommended to us, but I'm hesitant to commit to something that has just a 40lb limit.
The roundabout does have a lower weight and height limit than the Marathon. If I were looking for one convertable seat to get me through all of babyhood, it would be the Marathon (or if I had smaller babaies, a boulevard because it has the baby inserts) because it goes up to 60 pounds (my 7 yo DS doesn't weigh 60 pounds) and 40-something inches. The roundabout goes to about 41 inches and 40 pounds. DS2 is only a whopping 34 pounds at 5 years old. Given that I have two kiddos who have grown like this, I'm hoping it's safe for me to assume that DS3 will grow similarly. The only reason I'm okay with the roundabout is that when DS3 outgrows it at 4 (or so), we'll be able to put him into DS1s Regent (which, while it will expire in 6 years, will still have just about two years of life left...yep, I've thought of that PassionateWriter ).

Another option, if I had to have just one seat and I had a vehicle that could accomodate the massive amount of space it takes up rear facing, is the Sunshine Kids Radian 65 or 80. It would certainly accomodate from a tiny baby (a friend/client put her 7lb 4oz baby in one at birth and he fit!) up to a 6 year old (the same friend has very small children and has her 9yo, 7yo, 5yo and 2yo all in Radians, for a total of 5 of them in her Chrysler Aspen).

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#22 of 67 Old 07-07-2008, 12:36 PM
 
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I am just curious how much people know about the whole "car seat expiration" date thing. I have been doing lots of research and I am at a loss for who to believe. We have very nice, bought new Britax seats. They have never been in an accident BUT they are approaching that 6 year "expiration date". I have read MANY places that this date if it really exists should be closer to 10 years. I wonder if i should chuck the seats and spend hundreds on new seats for our last child? I am not someone who compromises on safety but if it is all a scam (like the 3,000 mile oil change) I don't want to buy new seats. We won't be passing the 10 year mark.

AP crunchy homeschooling mama to Henning (1/4/03), Connor (7/1/05) and Elijah (9/21/08) Forever holding my 3 lost little ones in my heart.
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#23 of 67 Old 07-07-2008, 01:04 PM
 
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Plus, this way I'll be able to take her to the gym with me and can set her down beside me while I run on the treadmill..
i would be cautious about using the car seat outside of the car. thats one of my fears w/ infant car seats....i dont think they are unsafe inside cars but babies have had difficulty breathing in them over time and car seat manufacturers actually advise against using them outside of teh car seats (other than the ones who make them for strollers too, which is a whole other issue).

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The roundabout does have a lower weight and height limit than the Marathon. If I were looking for one convertable seat to get me through all of babyhood, it would be the Marathon (or if I had smaller babaies, a boulevard because it has the baby inserts) because it goes up to 60 pounds (my 7 yo DS doesn't weigh 60 pounds) and 40-something inches. The roundabout goes to about 41 inches and 40 pounds.


the MA and BV actually both go to 65 FF (35 RF) and 49 inches (really depends more on torso height though). The Roundabout is actuall 40 lbs and 40 inches. sorry, this is a bit of an obsession of mine.

i was confident you were aware of the expiration dates but woudl have kicked myself if i hadnt said something.

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I am just curious how much people know about the whole "car seat expiration" date thing. I have been doing lots of research and I am at a loss for who to believe. We have very nice, bought new Britax seats. They have never been in an accident BUT they are approaching that 6 year "expiration date". I have read MANY places that this date if it really exists should be closer to 10 years. I wonder if i should chuck the seats and spend hundreds on new seats for our last child? I am not someone who compromises on safety but if it is all a scam (like the 3,000 mile oil change) I don't want to buy new seats. We won't be passing the 10 year mark.
there is a big thread on teh family safety forum re: the expiration issue. no one knows for sure what would happen but most seats are 6 years. you void your warrnaty and risk serious injury or death when using an expired seat. its just not worth the extra $100-200, depending on your seat, IMHO.
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#24 of 67 Old 07-07-2008, 01:46 PM
 
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the MA and BV actually both go to 65 FF (35 RF) and 49 inches (really depends more on torso height though). The Roundabout is actuall 40 lbs and 40 inches. sorry, this is a bit of an obsession of mine.
I totally understand. It's a bit of an obsession of mine, too, except that once I've decided what I want, I can't remember the numbers for anything else. DS2 was 41 inches when his shoulders were too tall for his Roundabout...his height is in his legs.

The one thing I don't like about the Marathon (and I'm assuming I'd dislike it about the BV, too) is that it seems too narrow for a 4, 5, or 6 year old to sit in comfortably. I guess that most 4-6 year olds are too big for it in other ways too, but my 4 year old's shoulders just seem cramped in it. The Radian is also narrow, but doesn't come up as much on the sides, so he is less encased (some people don't like that about the Radians, BTW) and the narrowness of the seat isn't as much of an issue. I could definitely see, though, with a thicker kid, it might be an issue for them. All in all, for the 40+ pound range, we're happy with our Regents (although we don't ever uninstall them b/c unlike the other Britax seats, the Regent is a bear to install properly!!).

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#25 of 67 Old 07-07-2008, 02:04 PM
 
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i would be cautious about using the car seat outside of the car. thats one of my fears w/ infant car seats....i dont think they are unsafe inside cars but babies have had difficulty breathing in them over time and car seat manufacturers actually advise against using them outside of teh car seats (other than the ones who make them for strollers too, which is a whole other issue).
I'm just starting carseat research now and admittedly don't know much. since you are so knowledgeable, can you elaborate on the issues with using carseats with strollers? living in new york city and having to think about taxis makes this a big question for me.

also, anyone know anything about the Maxi Cosi infant carseat? it is compatible with Quinny strollers and I've read some excellent safety reviews online...
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#26 of 67 Old 07-07-2008, 02:08 PM
 
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I wouldn't want to use an expired seat, we had one that was going to expire in a few months and it had a few stress marks on it.

We want a Radian this time, if I could afford 3 of them I would. We have the little Snugride for the first 2 or three months, and I had been using a Comfortsport, but we can barely string that out to one year. DS2 outgrew the strap length on it and then the 30 pounds at 11 months.
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#27 of 67 Old 07-07-2008, 02:49 PM
 
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I've been told that the bucket seats are better for newborns because you don't want their head to flop forward and cut off their breathing. That is what I was told by the tech when I went with my friend to have her car seat installed. It's important that they are semi-reclined. I assume that's why newer bucket seats have the level guage on it too.

So that being said, I'll use the Graco Snugride I had w/ DD until the baby is 6 mo old or so. (I don't use it as a carrier anyways, I keep it in the car and put baby in a sling). Then I'll get the Britax Boulevard for the baby (I like the SIP and it's great when they fall asleep...they have somewhere to rest their wee heads ). And when DD's Britax Wizard expires (she's no where near outgrowing it), I'll get a Britax Frontier for her.

Tina - mama to DD1 10yrs, DD2 5.5 yrs and DD3 22 mo and wifey to DH.
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#28 of 67 Old 07-07-2008, 03:11 PM
 
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Yeah, the weight limit hasnt been our problem for ANY of the carseats, its been the height. And we dont have super tall kids or anything. But at 3-4 months the harness was too tight and couldnt go any longer on the infant carseats and the same thing happened with the Roundabout. I think dd was like 33 pounds but she was just too tall for it. Then the weather turned cold and there was no way I could get her in with even a thin jacket on.

Cari-mama to Eriq, Lile, Paikea, Kaidyn, and Mieke is here!! 2/9/10
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#29 of 67 Old 07-07-2008, 04:11 PM
 
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So I just went and checked my car seats and it looks like my SnugRide is good for another year or so. We only usually use it a few months so I guess it is fine. BUT my Roundabouts are both over 7 years now. UGH!!! I guess I am buying a new Britax. I think I may wait though in case I have agirl case then I could buy something girly!

AP crunchy homeschooling mama to Henning (1/4/03), Connor (7/1/05) and Elijah (9/21/08) Forever holding my 3 lost little ones in my heart.
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#30 of 67 Old 07-07-2008, 04:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alyssatuininga View Post
I guess I am buying a new Britax. I think I may wait though in case I have agirl case then I could buy something girly!
p.s- I seen someone post somewhere that the Britax goes on sale in Sept (they last had one in Feb I believe) but I don't know that forsure.

Tina - mama to DD1 10yrs, DD2 5.5 yrs and DD3 22 mo and wifey to DH.
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