Driving Myself Nuts on What Car Seat to Buy

Updated on July 03, 2010
A.U. asks from Allen Park, MI
10 answers

Ok I think I'm probably over thinking and being ridiculous (as my husband would tell me, lol).. I'm just wondering which "infant" car seat to get for my 3rd baby girl due in October. I know I still have some time, but its been on my mind. With my 6 yr old and my 20 month old I used the same Graco Snugride car seat and everything was fine. However, we never had an accident (thank god).
Now that I don't have that seat anymore, I need to get a new one. However, after looking at ratings, Graco Snugride didn't do so good (consumer reports), and Chicco was rated #1. My 1st insinct says get the Chicco Keyfit...but then I wonder if Graco is really "un-safe" ? Graco would be much easier for me since I have a Graco stroller already and also have a Sweetpeace swing that the Graco seats will fit into. Plus Graco seats fit/lock onto shopping cats and Chicco doesn't.. I know I know ...Some say thats not safe anyway, but i never take my hand off of the seat and its so much easier to shop. Another thing is that Graco seats are cheaper. But ...of course ...Safety first.. But is graco really unsafe..... which do i get .. Opinions please :) Thank You!!
*Just wanted to add that after I take them out of "baby carrier" infant seat I do still keep them rear facing in a convertible seat until around 15 months or so and they are all BIG for their age (right now my 20 month old is in a Britax Boulevard, but she's forward facing now) I just like how much more convienient the baby carriers are in the beginning, so for that i'll spend the extra to have that for 6 months or however long she fits in it :)

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answers from Fresno on

In all honesty I would skip the infant seat and go with a convertible like the graco Myride that way you can keep them rear facing for so much longer (now recommended to at least 2 yrs old) I know that it is easier to have the infant seat to take in and out but try a sling or wrap then you have both hands free to chase the other to kiddos. Safety is the most important over convenience. So Rear face as long as possible

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answers from Los Angeles on

Graco should be fine -- I believe it's still very highly rated even if it's not #1. And about teh shopping cart thing, I read in Parenting magazine this true story in the "It happened to me!" section. Thsi mom put the carseat in the shopping cart like your'e talking about and was rolling it out to the car. Hit some sort of very tiny bump and the seat popped out and fell facedown with her little girl in it onto the pavement. The girl was bleeding and taken by ambulance to the ER and thank goodness, is perfectly fine now but can you imagine what could have happened?? Don't do it! Even with a hand on it, if it pops out, its too heave to sufficently stop it from hitting the floor. I know its easier but as you said, safety first!

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answers from Fresno on

I think a lot of the ratings have to deal with the amount of weight they can hold. The CHP lady that helped me install my car seat said the only reason that Britax gets the highest ratings is because they hold the most weight for a 5 point harness car seat. She said all car seats have to meet the same safety standards just make sure you always have the right seat for the weight of your kid. We used the Graco snugride for both of my girls.



answers from Sacramento on

Our kids used the Graco SnugRide and it was one of the highest rated seats at the time. Not sure what's changed in a few years? What did Consumer Reports say exactly about the seat?


answers from Detroit on

A., you poor thing....I know its hard worrying about this on top of all the other mommy stuff you have to do but good for you to be so diligent about it. We have the Graco (we bought it because, like your situation, our old one expired and we have a Graco stroller travel system, so we were hoping to get something that would still work with that. I love our Graco and it recieved some pretty high ratings for safety and convenience. I'll have to text you and let you know which one it is because I'm not sure which Graco it is right off hand.

I'm the same way with the shopping cart thing. With Nicklas jumping all over the place, I'm always worried he'll knock in to the grocery cart and knock his brother down. And our Graco also has the thing that "locks" it on to the front seat of the cart. LOVE that!



answers from Cleveland on

I have the Graco Snugride and have heard they are great, however, Chicco is rated as #1 currently. So if you're buying and don't mind spending more, that's fine, or would you prefer to get the most use out of it with what it is compatible with? My Graco works with my new stroller, so that is another reason to keep it for me. I never liked lugging a car seat into a store though, or trying to get the thing off of a shopping cart, so I have both a ring sling and a mei tai to carry them in, which is my preference.



answers from Detroit on

i used the Graco Safeseat. They go up to a higher weight. go to the bookstore and check out the most recent copy of the book Baby Bargains. Rates all the products based on safety and value.



answers from Wichita on

My husband would think the same of me, but you are just being a safety concious parent.
Personally anything with a 5 point harness. I'm sure Graco makes other infant seats. Go to the store & check out what they have & buckle them to see how easy/difficult the buckles are to fasten. I don't know much about consumer reports. Maybe the seat got a bad rap because the buckles were difficult. All carseats must be tested to make sure they meet the safety requirements. I know some are better than others, but they should all be safe unless they are recalled.
Make sure to have your installed carseats checked periotically. You can call your local police or sheriffs department to find out where a carseat check is going to be. In some towns an officer will come out to your house to inspect it (for free).

God bless!



answers from Cincinnati on

I checked Consumer Reports before I bought my son's carseat in 2009, and I believe the Chicco was rated better because it is considered more user-friendly and easier to install, not because it was safer. Unless something has changed considerably in a year, I'm going to assume this is still the case. Crash-tests of the various carseats are not available - carseats either pass or fail the government safety tests, and if they fail, they are not released or recalled. Make sure to take your carseat to the fire department (or some hospitals will also do it) to help you install it and re-familiarize yourself with how they work. Then stop stressing!



answers from Raleigh on

We are too due with our third in oct :) We used graco for our first 2 and doing either with Peg Perego or Britax infant this time. Thankfully ours outgrow infant ones by 4 months . To be honest no matter what infant car seat you get I am yet to see one that sits as solid as our Britax Frontier 85(or any other britax) that we have for our older boys.

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