Good Car Seat for 4 Month Old?

Updated on June 13, 2010
R.S. asks from Portsmouth, VA
24 answers

My 4 month old weighs 20 lbs. now. He is VERY uncomfortable in the car seat we bought before he was born. Don't recall the brand now but we can barely buckle him up without hurting him at this point. Right now I am still looking for the manual. But I think it was for up to 25 lbs. only. It came with a base and a stroller too. Now we want a car seat that he can use for a longer time (ideally for years) and that's reliable. What do you moms recommend? We'e going to buy one come payday. I'm staying at home with the baby until we get a car seat because I never want to travel with the baby not having his seat belt on!

By the way, my husband saw an Evenflo car seat at WalMart. But I'd like to hear your opinions, please!

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So What Happened?

Thanks for the responses so far! Just to add some details, we have a Ford Explorer. So we want to make sure it fits. Also Britax sounds good from what I've read here and in elsewhere online so far. But it is just too expensive. I'm barely making ends meet and I am still paying hospital bills. I looked for the Fisher Price Safe Voyage but it is currently unavailable. We would prefer a car seat that can be used for a longer time. My son grows so fast, at 4 months he is already wearing clothes for 9 month olds! He is also very tall. Also, I'd like to know if the good car seats have a separate base that stays in the car, or do you put the whole thing on and off each time? We will take it to the Fire Department for free installation (they should have it).

Oh yeah, I think the first car seat we got is Safety 1st.

Featured Answers



answers from Portland on

I love the evenflo triumph. It has excellent ratings and it can be rear facing up to 35 lbs and forward facing to 50 lbs. My son is 5 and hasn't outgrown it yet. Also the adjustable straps are really nice.



answers from Detroit on

We have the Evenflo Triumph and have been very pleased with it. We put my oldest in it at 6 months. She is now 3 and is still comfortable in it. It is easy to install in the car with the latch system and not hard to move around.

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answers from Medford on

Go to and read the ratings and reccommendations there for carseats. You might be surprised to see a lot of the expensive brands have pretty lousy ratings.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Provo on

I am a single mom and can't afford anything! My son at 3 months was one pound away from his infant seat weight limit. I found my Britax Marathon on ebay for $170 which is about the same price as one of the most expensive Graco seats. And it was brand new. It was a girly print, but what I did was just advertise on craigslist for a sale or switch. With in an hour I had 10 offers. So It's possible to get a great carseat for cheap.
I just read the rest of your So what happened. Convertible seats do not have a base. They are stationary. PLEASE don't get evenflo. I used to work at Babies R Us and we has so many complaints about them. Their plastic feels like cheap McDonald's toy's plastic. I personally just don't trust plastic that I can bend. If you have any questions, you can ask me. I LOVE helping people pick out seats. I am thinking about going into the car seat business, I love it that much. Oh and the Evenflo's with the adujusters on the sides get stuck and caught soooo easily. The Alpha Omega's may seem nice, but ugh! They are just as cheap as Evenflo and most people that bought one I saw back a year later wanting a different one.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

We love our Britax car seat - A little pricier but it will fit your child for a long time.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Cloud on

I would go with a Britax that can go rear facing BUT can also turn around and has a high weight limit.

We bought the Britax Regent for our 4 1/2 year old daughter because she had outgrown her 2nd carseat and we wanted one that would last the rest of her "carseat years". We wanted a 5 point harness. She LOVES it but I don't think it can be rear facing........ However, it does go up to 80#! But I know they have convertible ones that do rear or front face and have like a 65# weight limit (possibly higher???).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

After the infant car seat (bucket style) i don't know of any car seats that have a base you leave in the car.
The fisher price safe voyage is a great seat, but I think it is discontinued.
When my kids moved out of the infant bucket we put them in Sunshine Kids radian 65 (65 lb weight limit) and First Years True Fit (also 65 lb weight limit). Both seats are comfy and fit in honda accord and honda oddyssey. Rear facing in accord it has to be middle seat to fit between the seats (radian, we never rear faced true fit in the accord). I would choose the radian over the true fit. the main problem is you have to buy it online since most stores don't carry it.
Find babies r us coupon for $5 off every 50 you spend....really adds up for car seats.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

One word....Britax. I wouldn't get anything else. We were in a car wreck and it was our Britax that let my 2 year old walk away from that side collision with minor injuries. My 6 month old was not in a britax and he has a brain injury. Please do not let the $300 price tag keep you from buying this seat. It is worth every penny. Get the one with the side impact protection, I believe it may be the boulevard.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

As he is only 4 months old he still needs to be rear facing , despite the fact he weighs 20lb already (he needs to be 20lb , sitting up unaided and at least 1 yr old to go forward facing). There are many convertable seats on the market , and you can pay anything from $100 up to almost $400 , what you need to take into consideration is the size of your vehicle , bare in mind that a convertable seat in a rear facing posistion can take up quite a lot of room , so go around stores now and look and see what is available within your budget and ask to try a few in the car to see how it fits , babies r us probably has the biggest selection along with Target , then once payday is here you will already know what you want and then can buy it , also if you know in advance what you want then you can shop around online and find some deals.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Your infant car seat may only be good until he's 22 lbs, a common max weight for these. You could look up the style online and can probably find out exactly which weight it's rated for.

At this point, your car seat will stay in the car (i.e., it won't have a base). You won't be taking it in and out. (Which is just as well. At this time, lugging both a car seat and your 20 lb infant would be really heavy.) It should also be able to face either forward or backward. You'll want to install it facing backward until your son is _at least_ 1 yo, longer if you and he can stand it.

My 6mo dd is big, too, but not as big as your daughter. I'm hoping to stretch the infant seat to last until she's 9 mo or so.



answers from Seattle on

Go to babies r us, you'll be able to look at all the options side by side for comparison. We have the britax marathon, really comfortable and super high safety ratings. Harnesses them to 65 lbs! My tall 5 year old still fits in it. It's a convertible carseat, so it works backward and forward, because you need to keep them backward at least to one year old and 20lbs, longer is better. Babies r us often has 20% off coupons and sometimes does trade in discounts, or there are often discontinued prints/colors on sale at or cheaper new ones on eBay. Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

Evenflo, yes!! They are the best. Get the Triumph Advanced Deluxe with the adjustors on the side. Make sure it goes to 50 lbs. It will last for your little (big) guy. :)



answers from Portland on

Given how big your kiddo is I would spend the extra money and get one that at least goes up to 65 lbs, so it can last a while! Britax is awesome, but as you have noticed very expensive. Some up to 65 lb car seats include: Britax Advocate, Evenflo Symphony 65, First Years True Fit and True Fit Premier by Learning Curve and Graco MyRide 65. There is also the Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL that goes up to 80 lbs. All of these car seats are rear & forward facing, so should last you a long time. Hope this helps.



answers from Phoenix on

We have a Britax Roundabout (goes to 40 lbs). We love it could be rear facing and forward facing. One really nice feature is that the cover is very easy to take off and wash (in fact you can buy a new cover also). Also it seemed more comfortable (more cushion, softer material) then the other car seats by evenflo, safety 1st, and Cosco. It was more expensive than others, but we actually got a previous year's model on clearance (they had only changed the cover style). Look online for deals or look for coupons like previous post had mentioned.
The other seat we have is a Britax Regent, which is forward facing only (must be at least 1 year and 24 lbs). That seat is great for our large SUV, but is not one we move around much because it is heavy.
We have found the britax seats to be incredibly easy to install using the latch system in our vehicles.



answers from Portland on

I had the same problem with my little girl. I found a barely used Graco 32 infant seat on craigslist with the stroller and base for $70. The stroller had never been used at all. I love this car seat because it has a base that stays in the car, but it will last her until she reaches 32 pounds and 32 inches. The problem with the carseats that last a long time is that they stay in the car and you have to take the baby in and out of them all the time. You really can't take it in and out with the baby in it unless you want to seat belt it in and out when you do. (At least that I know of.) I would highly recommend getting a bigger infant seat, Chicco 32 also does this, but they are a lot more expensive. Emmanuel hospital has a carseat program that is free for families in need and they will fit the carseat to your car and make sure that it will work for you. They don't give out the infant seats though, only the other kind that last for a few years at least. I hope this helps! Good Luck!



answers from Flagstaff on

Whatever you buy, just be careful and research the seat if you can. I bought an Evenflo for my 3rd boy. It was great, so comfortable, but he the chest clip fell apart. I bought another one to fix it but found out I can't replace it. So I had to trash my nice carseat cause it wasn't safe anymore due to not being able to replace a $2 chest clip. That burned me up, I spent nearly $200 on that seat and Evenflo didn't want to work with me.



answers from Seattle on

We have an Evenflo Triumph. When I bought it, what I found said that it was about even with the Britax on the crash ratings (even ahead in some scores) for about half the price.
It is a convertible seat (can be installed facing backwards) and will hold children from 5 - 50 lbs.My daughter is 32 months and 30 lbs now, to I expect to use it until she turns 5 at least... their growth does slow down once they are toddlers.
The Triumph is very easy to use. I love the infinite slide harness, that allows you to adjust the shoulder height without taking the entire seat apart.
Also the harness is tightened with knobs on the side instead of pulling a strap in the front. This is VERY helpful when seat is installed rear facing.

The seat is very bulky though. In our little Kia, no one else can sit on the rear seat with it installed in the middle.

If you drive your car to toys R us, they will let you try to fit is on your car...

Good luck!



answers from Anchorage on

I have a Grcao Snugride 35, and it will fit any baby in it for a while. If you are looking for another infant seat, and you will be having more children I would look into a larger capacity infant seat. If not go to and ask a certified technician about what to get! I highly recommend you find a seat with a rear facing capacity to 35 punds and keep him in it until then. Height is a less concern since babies are comfortable with their legs curled up anyways.



answers from Washington DC on

We LOVE the Alpha Omega! Our son never liked the infant carrier so we switched him at 5 months. They are around $140 and we will NEVER need another car seat! They are rear facing to 30 lbs, forward with a harness to 50 lbs and then a booster to 100 lbs.

We kept our son rear facing until 15 mos. He's actually still within the weight guidelines at 2 yrs old to be rear facing, but he's tall and just wasn't comfortable.

We've decided that next time, we are skipping the infant carrier and going straight to the convertible seat!



answers from Seattle on

My first son was 20 lbs by the time he was six months, so we switched to an Evenflo Triumph convertible seat, which is really nice as it reclines when rear facing enough to make baby comfortable when he falls asleep in the car. For our second sons (twins), we are using Graco (can't recall the name, but it was $80, I think) convertible seats. They are okay, but not as plush as the Triumph. I would recommend the Triumph because it is comfortable and I know it will go a long way for you - my first son is 3 and a half now and is very comfortable in it. He will be in this car seat until he moves to a booster at 40 lbs or so...



answers from Cincinnati on

The bigger carseats do not have a separate base to stay in the car. Sorry - only the little pumpkin seats have those, and it sounds like that is what your son has outgrown. You have the carseat installed in the car and then you leave it there, and take your son out and strap him in each time. It's a big of a pain, but you get used to it.

I have a Graco MyRide 65 and love it. They sell them at Walmart, Target, BRU, and possibly Kmart too, and they are side-impact tested, which I like. I highly recommend you go to a couple of stores, get down their models, and actually try strapping your son in them to see how easy or hard they are to use. That's what we did, and it's the reason we decided on the MyRide. It's good up to 40-pounds rear-facing, and then I think 65 or something forward-facing. We also couldn't afford the Britax, but the MyRide had the same safety rating on Consumer Reports. Good luck.



answers from Kansas City on

It probably goes to 22lbs...most carriers do. Britax is the best, but they are very pricey. If you can't afford one of those, look at your options. My brother is a certified car seat installer and he basically said that pretty much all the car seats are the same in terms of safety, the problem is with the user. You have to find one that is the easiest and most understandable for you to use. Read the manual. Also, take it to a fire station and have someone there install it...they will do it for free. We bought a Cosco Alpha Omega Elite for our daughter and an Evenflo Triumph for our son. I really liked the Cosco a lot and almost bought another one (but it wouldn't fit very well when we had it rear facing in the passenger side, my daughter's could fit in the middle when she was an only!) but went with the Evenflo with the hand crank. It is awesome! You turn a crank to tighten it and I love it. If you look on Target's website for car seats you can see people who have reviewed different models and that should give you a good idea.


answers from San Francisco on

Evenflo makes a decent car seat. You want to try and get one that buckles near the abdominal area, as well as in between the legs. This way they are safe. So in one sense your looking at an X when the straps are done up. Two clamps at the abdominal area and then one between the legs. When putting it in the vehicle, push your hand down on the seat, prior to buckling the seat belt. This way you know that its tight to the vehicle seat, then buckle him up. Good luck, I'm sure you will find a good one!!


answers from Seattle on

I bought one at Babys R Us. The one I chose goes up to 100 lbs. I bought this one because the safety reviews were wonderful and I wouldn't ever need to buy another one. It was $160.00, but safety was #1 and knowing this would be the last one, that was important too! :)

It's on sale now... here's a link for it.

Good luck...

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