J.B. asks from Denton, TX on February 16, 2010
Car Seat for New Beetle Convertible
Crazy I know... Anyway, I have a 12 month old who is 20 lbs and 29 inches long. Her Graco Safeseat goes up to 30 lbs but only 30 inches so time to start looking. She is only in the "bug" to go 10 minutes to daycare. Can anyone recommend a seat to fit a compact car? We have the Britax Boulevard in our SUV and love it.
So What Happened?™
Britax Diplomat it is. Thanks.
C.P. answers from Dallas on February 17, 2010
My friend who has a MINI Cooper had this same issue. She ended up going with a Recaro car seat. They are pricey but are similar to Britax in safety ratings.
B.W. answers from Minneapolis on February 16, 2010
The height limits on car seats are just guidelines, but the weight limits are set in stone. A rear facing car seat is outgrown when the child goes over the weight limit or there is less than one inch of hard shell above the childs head.
The reason height limit is just a guideline in car seats is because each child is build differently. My boys, for example, my oldest is all legs and at 6yrs old was on the same harness slot that my now 4yr old is on in the Britax Regent, because my youngest has a very tall torso.
There is, however, a height minimum to forward face, and most seats is 34" tall. So until she hits that she must remain rear facing.
Anyway, if you are looking for a convertible car seat, any will do because if you can fit the safeseat in the back, you can fit a convertible because they can sit more upright and often take up less room than the infant seat.
Cosco Scenera ($50) will rear face to 35lbs, forward face to 40lbs. Fits most kids to age 3/4 in the harness. Good bare bones seat, very safe.
Evenflo Triumph ADVANCE ($130) will rear face to 35lbs, forward face to 50lbs. Fits most kids in th harness to age 5.
Graco MyRide 65 will rear face to 40lbs, forward face to 65lbs. Fits most kids in the harness to age 6. This is a wonderful seat, great for extended rear facing, fits older kids well with lots of leg room.
The AAP recommends children remain rear facing until the rear facing weight limits of their convertible car seat, or at least 2yrs and 30lbs. You have a Boulevard in your other car, this is a GREAT seat for extended rear facing. Please google EXTENDED REAR FACING and JOELS JOURNEY for more information. Legs touching the seat is no problem, there has never been a documented case of broken legs while rear facing, but there are children who die from internal decapitation or are severely injured from spinal cord overstretching every day.
The harness should be at or below the shoulders for rear facing. THe harness should lay flattot the body, and there should be no bulky clothing (no winter jackets, buntings, etc) worn on the car seat. The chest clip should be level with the armpits.
Edited to add that the TrueFit is a great seat, but the headrest must be added at 22lbs, or when the childs head is at the red line, and at 29" tall and 20lbs, she's close enough to those limits that the headrest would likely have to be added, making its short profile without the headrest moot.
J.B. answers from Madison on February 16, 2010
I would recommend the First Years True Fit. The beauty of this seat is that the "headrest" portion of the seat actually comes off...it will give it a shorter profile RFing and you should be able to fit it easily in the middle seat.
It is a great seat. Very plush and very well padded. It RFs to 35 lbs (the new ones might RF to 40?) and it forward faces to 65. IT is also reasonably priced ($150-170)...especially considering that this seat will take a child from birth to at least age 4.
C.P. answers from Chicago on February 16, 2010
Check out this website http://www.carseatdata.org/
You enter all the info about the make and model of your car and it will suggest carseats that will fit.
Also, the hubbs had a mustang and we also have the diplomat and it fit well, even rear facing.
J.D. answers from Dallas on February 16, 2010
I drive a Mazda RX8 sports car with bucket seats in the back. I have the Britax Diplomat. It fits perfectly and you can't beat a Britax!
I have to add getting most seats in and out of a small car can be a pain in the you-know-what. Trying to get my fingers in the hooks to push down the release mechanism was not happening and I have tiny fingers. I took back another carseat because of this issue. Britax makes this easy and safe with the rear push button release on the locks.
L.S. answers from Tyler on February 17, 2010
You are not specifically mentioning, but you can face her forward now. That should really help with fitting into the car. Unfortunately, I don't know the brand name of my car seat, but it is one of the ones that "grows" with the child. There is a lever on the back that allows the back to go up and so the shoulder straps can be adjusted up. I'm planning on keeping mine in the 5pt harness for as long as possible. My 1st child (boy) was HUGE and so I had to take him out of the 5 pt harness when he was 3. I really felt like he had too much freedom of movement at that point.