L.P. asks from Rio Rancho, NM on March 20, 2009
Infant Car Seat Dilemma
My son is almost 11 months and is about to grow out of his infant car seat. I would love some recommendations of what kind of convertible car seat to get now. However I have a twist-We LOVED the base and car seat system for infants because he is shuttled around by myself, my mother, my mother-in-law, and sometimes others as well. We have a base in each of those three cars and loved that we could just put the car seat into the base each time. Now that we are needing the bigger type of carseat I am wondering if anyone has any advice of how we can make it as simple as possible to get it in and out of cars. Or is there really no other solution than to buy three or even four carseats? (I would prefer not to have to spend too much money) The last twist is that my car does not have the LATCH system, I am not sure if that makes a difference of how hard/easy it might be to install the convertible carseat, it made a pretty big difference with the base system though.
Thanks for any advice and suggestions!
K.I. answers from Albuquerque on March 27, 2009
The Cosco Seneca is working fine for me. It is bare bones. I got it for $49 at Sears and bought two, one for my car, no latch, and one for my Husband's truck. I had trouble installing it but my Husband was able to get it in tight. I also saw a seat at Target the other night that was only $19 and it looked nicer than the Seneca. Anyway...I am happy with it. He sleeps in it a lot and although his head tips forward sometimes, he is able to sleep fine. I live in Albuquerque and the seat was at the Rio Rancho Target. Good luck!
B.B. answers from Phoenix on March 21, 2009
I'm a big fan of the Britax Marathon. Used those for all of my kids. They are expensive but I think well worth the money! Good luck
J.R. answers from Albuquerque on March 21, 2009
I'm sorry to say there is no way around the multiple car seats. I believe it has something to do with the poundage, since the base is what is strapped into the car rather than the entire carseat. Anymore than 20 lbs. could make it unsafe in an accident. There are some good inexpensive seats & you can even check places like Big Lots or Resell stores (just make sure the seat is not expired - even tho I think it is illegal to sell expired seats. Google Carseats. There's a website (don't know what it is right now) that deals solely in carseats & their features & ratings. Good Luck!
D.S. answers from Albuquerque on March 21, 2009
Sorry to have to tell you, but car seats are a pain, they're expensive and there is no way around it to make it a simple process! There are really no "easy" carseats once they get out of the infant seats. One important thing to remember is that safety needs to come first, not your convenience. If you have to get three car seats, then so be it. Isn't the money worth getting three seats that are safe than to move one seat around and possibly not be securing it properly because you're in a hurry? It takes a lot of manpower to tighten those seats, especially when you're securing them with seat belts. Have your mother and mother-in-law buy their own seats if they're transporting your son regularly, so that you don't take up the entire expense. Just keep the importance of safety first above all the rest. You don't want to regret it later. Good luck.
A.L. answers from Phoenix on March 21, 2009
Welcome to the world of huge, combersome carseats! This stage really is the most frustrating. My advise is to select a car seat that fits well in your car. All cars are different and so are the car seats. Most places like babies are us will allow you to take the floor model out to try it in your car. We do not have the latch system and found the Britax seats worked very well with or with out the latch. They are a little on the expensive side but if I remember correctly mine goes to 65 pounds and was well worth the investment. Another suggestion is to make an appointment with your local fire department for a car seat check so that they can show you how to properly install the seat. I learned a lot of tips from this. I have also used the Mighty Tight and while it is convienient (and I loved it) I was told by my fire fighter who did my seat inspection that they do not recommend them as they are another mechanism that can fail. Good luck with your search!
J.C. answers from Phoenix on March 20, 2009
We have used the Cosco Alpha Omega Seats for both of our children. I really do like these seats and you can find them in a wide variety of styles.
We liked it because it is really easy to adjust the straps and it reclines. It is fairly padded and is easy to move from car to car. Whenever our in-laws needed to take our kids somewhere, we just unbuckled the seat and transferred it with ease. Not the most convenient, but definitely easier than some. We do not use the latch system either.
The only complaint(and my kid's complaint) about the carseat is that when they both reached a certain height, the buckle between their legs began to dig into their legs(they aren't chubby, just long in the torso) so we are currently looking for a new carseat for my daughter since she complains daily about this. Other than that, we have loved our seat and it is not very heavy to move to other vehicles.
They have one at Costco right now for under $90!
C.R. answers from Las Cruces on March 21, 2009
I have not seen any of the bigger convertible seats with bases. My former car did not have the LATCH system, my husband's does but we had the Britax Marathon for our son in both cars. It was really not that difficult to install without the LATCH system. It's a BIG seat though so if you went that route, you would want to make sure that the back seats of the cars involved could accommodate that car seat. It fit great in my husband's Honda Civic, not as well in my Toyota Rav-4, and great in my new Dodge Caravan. The Britax seats are pricey. Friends who have multiple car seats have Graco and Evenflo seats that they are happy with. I don't know which models through.
D.H. answers from Santa Fe on March 21, 2009
There is no easy solution! My kids are shuttled around by many as well. What we have done is my husband and I use the Britax roundabout (we have one we move into whatever vehicle we are using) and my mom has a less expensive model Graco seat. If my mom is going anywhere far, I will move the Britax into her car. It is just a bit more of a solid fit. The seat moving is cumbersome, but the Britax holds up well and is easy to install. If you want to use the whole tether system then you will need to have a seat for each car. Good luck!
S.G. answers from Albuquerque on March 20, 2009
Hi L., bigger car seats are a little less convinient. As far as types, I'm not too sure.
The only idea I have is to get a mighty tight by sunshine kids (babies r us). I just bought two for my daughters seats. They turn the seat belt into a rachet strap and make it very tight and safe. Even though I do have the latch system, I prefer these because it makes transferring the seat much easier. The mighty tight goes on and off VERY easily.
Good luck and hopefully you find something that works for you.
M.M. answers from Phoenix on March 21, 2009
My only concern with transfering a seat from vehicle to vehicle would be the safety of doing a full install each time it is moved. Especially of you are not the only one doing it.
Each time a carseat is installed there is a window for error. If a carseat is installed once, checked by professionals, and then left alone, it is that much safer.