April 27, 2010,
A.C. asks from Milwaukee, WI on April 27, 2010
Suggestion for Convertible Car Seat??
My 9 month old is outgrowing her baby car seat and I am looking for suggestions for a convertible one. I really like my 4 year old's Eddie Bauer one that she's had since she was about 11 months old, but they don't make that same one anymore of course, so I wanted to know what people thought about some of the newer ones out there. I want her to be able to fit into it soon (she is 19 lbs and 28 inches) so it has to be able to be rear-facing, but I also want it to be like her sister's so that she can be in it forward facing and eventually it's a booster seat and they can use it up to 80 or 100 lbs. I've been reading reviews on different ones and I'm just not sure. I keep reading reviews about ones I like and they say things about how it's too big and then I worry I won't be able to fit it in my car (I have a Subaru Forrester by the way). I'd love to her your recommendations, thanks!
K.B. answers from Kansas City on April 27, 2010
Graco My Ride 65 , True Fit and Radian all have a taller shell which will last longer.
They also have a higher weight limit to you can extend rear facing. The Radian XTSL has a weight limit of 80 pounds harnessed.
The carseats that go from rear facing, forward facing then to booster are not recommended.
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K.C. answers from Portland on April 27, 2010
We have an Acura MDX and we bought a Recaro because it fit better than a Britax and was useable to 85 pounds. We put our son in it at 6 months and he loves it. It sits high enough for him to look out the window which is a + in my book. Good luck! There are so many to choose from. We googled and tried to find input on what fits best in our car.
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E.S. answers from Kansas City on April 27, 2010
We LOVE our Graco MyRide65. It rear faces longer than most of them, so you don't have to turn it as early--and studies show rear facing is safer so long as your child will do it. Then it uses a 5-point harness for forward-facing up to 65 lbs, and converts to a booster after that. What a deal! And not expensive, either. There are lots of patterns, too, but different stores have different patterns. Target has one set, WalMart another, and Babies/Toys R Us yet another set of colors/patterns, so you have to shop by store. We bought the MyRide when our daughter was just a few months old because she was too long for the baby seat, and we've been very happy with it.
C.H. answers from Minneapolis on April 27, 2010
We bought the Evenflo Symphony 65 for all the reasons you mentioned above. It is RF to 35 lbs, FF with a harness to 65, and can be used as a booster with seatbelt to 100 lbs. It also is compact enough to put RF in my husband's Jetta so I'm thinking it would work in other tight cars too. It also was not crazy expensive (only $200 and we got $50 off at the BRU trade in sale) like some of the Sunshine Kids or Britax seats.
C.P. answers from Albuquerque on April 27, 2010
We have the EddieBauer Omega Elite 3-in-1 (something like that). It is rated for 5 lb to 100 lb, so we started using it when the girl was a newborn. She is almost 17 months and it's still terrific. We turned it from rear-facing to forward-facing when she was 13 months (22 lbs). It would be a little tight to have 2 of them in the back seat (when rear-facing, it has to be in the middle, because it's to big to fit behind a seat at the correct angle). But, 2 forward-facing should work. I love it because of all the removable parts--there was the head rest for newborn, side supports for bigger baby, and now it's pretty much stripped for toddler. When she is bigger/older, it can be used with the lap/shoulder belt as a booster seat, too.
I'd say to be clear on the return policy wherever you buy, that way if it doesn't fit or you just don't like it, you can take it back.
T.C. answers from Chicago on April 27, 2010
We have the Britax Roundabout for my daughter (rear-facing 'til certain lb. then forward facing 'til 40lbs.) & the Britax booster for my 4 yr. old (forward only 'til 100lb., I believe). We have been very happy w/ Britax.
B.W. answers from Minneapolis on April 27, 2010
Avoid the 3-in-1 type seats like hte alpha Omega, Eddie Bauer, Safety 1st 3-in-1, etc. They make ok rear facing seats, and only ok for forward facing because the top harness notch on the back cannot be used in harness mode, only in booster mode, therefore the seat is outgrown in height long before weight, and when kids are too small for the booster. Plus the booster portion of ALL of htose seats have failed every single crash test miserably, so they should never be used in booster mode.
For the money that you owuld spend on one of those seats, you could spend that or less and get a seat that will last in the harness longer, and will be a better purchase. Here are some seats that are great, last a long time in the harness, nad fits kids well.
Graco MyRide 65- Will rear face to 40lbs, forward face to 65lbs. AWESOME side impact protection, most kids can rear face to age 3, then forward face to around age 6. Its $150, such an amazing seat for the price.
Evenflo Triumph ADVANCE will rear face to 35lbs, forward to 50lbs. Great easy to adjust seat, fits most kids rear facing to age 2/3, forward facing to age 5. $130
The Britax seats (Marathon and Boulevard) and Sunshine Kids radian (80, 65, XTSL) seats are amazing as well, they rear face to 35-45lbs (depending on model) and foward face to 65-80lbs (depending on model). They also can be tethered while rear facing, which is a HUGE bonus. It reduces rebound drastically.
These seats will let your child remain rear facing until at least age 2, and then forward facing in the harness longer until your child is physically and mentally ready for a belt positoning booster seat (usually around age 5/6 kids are ready physically and mentally). Purchasing a higher harness weight seat now will allow your child to remain more protected for longer, and then when your child outgrows the seat at an appropriate age, you can purchase a simple booster seat.
Please google EXTENDED REAR FACING, JOELS JOURNEY, EXTENDED HARNESSING, and consider visiting a CPST through www.safekids.org to ensure your seats are installed and being used properly.
A rear facing seat is outgrown when the child goes over the weight limit, or there is less than one inch of shell above the childs head. Feet touching the seat is NOT a problem. The AAP recommends children remain rear facing until they outgrow their rear facing convertible car seat, or at least until 2yrs and 30lbs.
A forward facing seat is outgrown when one of three things happens, the child goes over the weight limit, the ears become level with hte seat back, or the shoulders go over the top harness slot. When even one of these things happens, the seat is outgrown and must be replaced.