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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi,<br><br>
(nak)<br><br>
we're moving to the usa (ca) from australia and i need recommendations for baby carseats. i want one that can be set up so my 8 mo dd is facing the back of the car... and i want it to be easily adjustable and also be able to turn it around to face the front when dd gets older.<br><br>
It should last her til she is around 1.5 - 2 yrs at least.<br><br>
any suggestions anyone - any links for me to look at? mil will be buying it before i get there so i need to be able to tell her what to get
 

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You want a convertible seat. I just bought one last week for my 7 month old. Just went to the safety seat inspection people yesterday to get it checked. (you can find your local one here <a href="http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/CPS/CPSFitting/Index.cfm" target="_blank">http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/CPS/CPSFitting/Index.cfm</a>)<br><br>
Getting a car seat to fit your car is hideously confusing here. They use a variety of systems, it's not standardized like in Australia. Do you know what car you will be using here? Cause not all seats fit all cars. (see carseatdata.org) Tip: don't buy the seat online. Buy it at a store that allows you to return it if it doesn't fit. I was allowed 30 days for cash return and then a store credit after 30 days. Newer cars here (is it after 2002?) have LATCH system, a bolt anchor similar to Australia. Older cars still use the seat belts.<br><br>
You need to try it in the car first and get it inspected. I guess your MIL will be picking you up at the airport - make sure she gets the seat installation checked - apparently most seats are installed incorrectly. And both of mine were, even though dh was so sure he'd done it right.<br><br>
I went top of the line and got a Britax Wizard. It's new on the market - been in the shops about a month but is similar to the Marathon, only better. It's the only seat in the USA that's been tested for side impact crashes. And it has that protective foam that they put in bike helmets and it has head protection unlike other seats. Also it allows you to keep your baby rear facing until 33lbs (most seats only allow this to ~20lbs) but keeping them rear facing as long as possible is safer. It's forward facing til 65lbs. It cost $269. I've also heard the Cosco Alpha Omega is ok (it's $150) but I've heard the straps are thinner and twist easily. Personally I buy dd's clothes and toys in thrift shops but the car seat isn't something I skimp on.<br><br>
A good board to visit for info is <a href="http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-ppcarseats?redirCnt=The" target="_blank">http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv...s?redirCnt=The</a> Britax seats are all easily adjustable by just turning knobs. And the Britax seats are the only seats I know that use tethers. You use a tether to latch the seat to that bolt at the back of your car in Australia. Other seats here don't even have that. Well this is probably more info than you wanted <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I just went through all this in the last 2 weeks though so it's all fresh in my head. Post if you have any more questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That is GREAT information wombat!<br><br>
I cannot believe they don't use tethers in the US! I just asked DH and he said yeah, they just go on the seat using the seat belt to hold them in place!!!!!!! omg!<br><br>
I've emailed the information to my MIL - waiting to see what she has to say!
 

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I just wanted to say that the Cosco Alpha Omega does have a tether, but it's for when the seat is forward facing. I actually have never heard of a rear-facing seat with tether. However, the new cars are coming equipped with the LATCH system, which is like a tether anchor, but it goes between the seat cushions (between the back and the part you sit on) instead of above the seats like a regular tether. You have to have a new car to use them.<br><br>
The Cosco Alpha Omega is working alot better for us as a forward-facing seat. It was lousy as a rear-facing seat, but that may have just been our car. I can't be specific except that it just didn't seem secure at all, I couldn't adjust the straps when it was in the car, etc. It's better now that we are forward facing but the straps are thin and do twist all the time and the brace that goes across the chest slides down all the time.
 

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Thanks Piglet68 - yep you're right, some seats do have tethers for forward facing. The Britax are the only ones with a tether for rear facing. The Cosco Alpha Omega rated very well in terms of safety in the Consumer Reports magazine I read - but everyone mentions the hassles with the twisting straps - it's not a safety issue so long as you untwist them all the time. I think straps that are thinner will twist more easily.<br><br>
If you have a newer car with LATCH system, you use tethers not the seat belts. But I noticed in my Britax manual that after 48lbs (21kg), you shouldn't use the LATCH anchors anymore, have to use the seat belts (and the seat is rated to 65lbs ff). It says you have to contact your vehicle manufacturer to find out the maximum weight rating for your LATCH anchors. You can read the Britax manuals online at their website.<br><br>
I think you can fit the seats like you do in Australia cause I hear it referred to as the 'Australian method' here. Although I've heard the 'Swedish method' is better. But I have an older car and don't have LATCH so haven't<br>
dealt with that.<br><br>
And the safest seat is the seat that fits best in your car, even if that's on the outboard side. I'm really glad I got our Wizard to fit in the center though. I hate baby seats on the outboard side.
 

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I have a Britax Marathon and I love it, but be sure that you test it in your car because it might not fit rear facing in a smaller sedan. I have a Subaru Forester - not exactly a compact - and my marathon does not fit well rear facing unless the people in front are very short! This isn't an issue since we got it when dd was 18 mos and I felt comfortable having her forward. I love the Britax straps! It seems like every other seat (of all my friends lol) I see has straps that are sooooo twisted and messed up. The Britax has things to keep the straps straight. Really a great seat and I think it will last dd until she's ready for just a belt positioner. GL with the move - I lived in Sydney for a year and I desparately want to go back...
 

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I also highly recommend the Britax! We had the Alpha Omega for over a year and the straps drove me bonkers. DD does not like to be in the car as it is and taking the time to untist those darn straps was a PITA.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">:
 

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I just bought a new one for my dd the other day and after much research, got a "triumph 5" ( i believe its made by evenflo???). It is EXACTLY like a britax. It is forward (to 40 lbs) and rear facing (to 30lbs), has the helmet foam stuff, its VERY padded and comfy, has front and rear tethers, it reclines to 5 different positions, its extremely easy to adjust ( by turning a knob), has 5 point safty harness, a lock for the seatbelt. I sat it side by side with a britax marathon and couldnt see the difference, except for the price--$119 compared to $199. HTH!
 

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I really looked seriously into car seat safety after we had an accident last year. (one of my car seats practically flung around and everyone had bumps and bruises so i was definitley stresses) It was something I never gave to much consideration too as long as everyone was buckled in to their seats.<br>
For a baby the best car seat available in my opinion is the Britax or the Fisher-Price, they both have lots of foam for shock absorption, great straps,can face backward for along time ( my son is 20 months and i just turned him forward) they are easy to get in and out of the car. The bad part is they are hard to find because they stopped manufacturing them last year i beleive so they are on Ebay and some are still kicking around toy'r'us.. you have to look but you can find one. If you have been in an accident it is recommended that you replace all your car seats because they could have fractures in the plastic or stressed out parts that could not hold up in another impact. Make sure your insurance company covers it because they will try not to but the are SUPPOSED to. Mine gave me a fight about it and then I noticed on their site that they are the national campaigners for car seat safety clinics.. So I called the rep and asked if i should replace my seats if they had been in an accident and she was like ooo yes for a whole list of reasons, and i said hmm thats funny im insured with your company and they wont replace them for me, 5 minutes later someone called me and said to go out and buy all new ones, (even my sisters that was in the car) ha<br>
sorry off topic but important!<br><br><a href="http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2343990575&category=2987" target="_blank">http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...&category=2987</a>
 

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I will also chime in about the Britax RA! Check the lumbar support on other car seats and you will see a difference. I have never had a problem and I love the straps.<br><br>
Our RA fits comfortable rear-facing and tethered in a 2000 VW Golf too!<br><br>
Jen
 

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Speaking about replacing car seats after accidents, I noticed on the Britax website that Britax will do this after a "serious" accident, one that causes structural damage but you need to get a police report, fill out some paperwork and send them the old seat. Sounds like they do it for data collection. It's good to know cause they aren't cheap seats.
 

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We also have the Britex but we have the Marathon. We received the Roundabout as a shower gift but then after researching it we discovered that the Marathon would last us longer. It's weight limit goes to 60 pounds and the Roundabout only goes to 45pounds (I think can't remember but I know the Marathon has a higher wight limit). HTH!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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