Infant Carseat for 2006 Hyundai Accent (Super Small Car!)?

Updated on August 30, 2010
C.N. asks from Chicago, IL
12 answers

We just brought home a Graco Snugride 35 to realize that it doesn't fit in our small car (unless my husband and I, both tall, adjust our seats so that our knees are crammed into the dashboard). It seemed in the store that other Snugride models, like the 22 lb max, are not significantly smaller.

Does anyone have a recommendation on infant carseats for tiny cars like ours?

Also, is it possible to use the carseat without the base? Or is that less safe or a hassle to deal with?

Thanks =)

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your advice and suggestions. We use our seat with the base, and I've gotten accustomed to the cramped seating arrangement. It helped me to take the head rest off my seat to allow for more head space! I do sit in the back with our daughter sometimes, even though my husband hates when I do that! Our daughter is already 19 pounds and 28 inches (5 months), so I'll be glad to transfer to the convertible carseat!

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answers from Chicago on

You most certainly can use the car seat without the base, but as others said it is not as convenient for getting in and out of the car. I lived in Manhattan where many people don't have a car and travel by taxi and using the infant seat without the base is the only way I could travel (you can't exactly be carting the base with you around town). And certainly the hospital let me leave like that.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Kansas City on

It's okay to use it without the base, in fact that's what I was going to suggest! I would have it installed by a certified car seat installer. My daughter's is without the base, it fits so much better, especially when it's rear facing. To my knoweledge it is not any less safe without the base. Plus, you have to consider that it's not particularly safe when the driver of the car is uncomfortable and can't move easily either! You can go to the fire station and they will do it for free. I notice a BIG difference when we install the car seat and when they install it. When a "pro" does it is so much tighter, it's crazy.

*I wanted to add that you will definitely have to look at your state laws, but it is not illegal to use your seat without a base. It's not as easy or convenient, but not illegal. Most people use the base, but I believe they are designed to be used with or without for people who don't want to or can't financially afford the base. If you feel like you don't want the carrier option, you can just go ahead and buy a convertible car seat and have it rear facing. You can get ones that are for newborns (like 6lbs and up) through 30 or 50lbs. Honestly, go talk to the firefighters and they can help guide you if you don't have another resource. They install seats all day in all types of cars.

*I also wanted to add that I didn't really clearly read your answer was more talking about a convertible car seat, not a carrier. I would recommend using the base just for ease of convenience b/c otherwise you would probably just keep it installed as opposed to reinstalling it every time you put the baby in the car. Michelle did have a good point about putting it in the middle, that will save on space for sure.

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answers from Chicago on

Using the car seat without the base is absolutely NOT less safe as people have suggested if the manufacturer provides instructions for using it without the base, as the Graco Snugride has. There are instruction for with OR without the base both in the instruction manual as well as on the side of the seat itself. They ARE made to be used with OR without the base at least for the Graco, as well as Evenflo I remember off-hand. So the base makes it easier to not have to install the seat each time you get in or out of the car, but there is the possibility of using the seat without the base if you need to for space (child needs to sit at a 45 degree angle...can use the level on the car seat to be sure the child is at the correct angle) or if you are going in a different car than you usually use. Maybe you could look online at dimesions to see if there is a smaller seat itself?? I'm not sure. Best wishes to you!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Eugene on

We've been there--we had this same car. We got a convertible car seat rather than an infant car seat because it was clear that it wasn't going to be coming out of the car (ours was 2 door). Frankly my husband and I aren't that tall he's 5'8", I'm 5'6" and we shoved the convertible car seat behind the driver seat and then jammed the seat back as much as possible and we could both drive it this way, but I think if we were any taller it would have been really uncomfortable. Then, we counted the days till we could turn the car seat around (1 year) so we could actually breath and drive at the same time! We have pictures of us trying to install it--me 9 months pregnant in the back of the clown car--it's funny now :).

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answers from Chicago on

try seraching for european brands. they are smaller and many times safer. We have a Maxi Cosi for my small car.

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answers from Cleveland on

I have a Hyundai Accent 2005 and putting the pumpkin seat and base in the car was horrible. My fiance and I and both tall too. The Accent was mostly my car so it wasn't so bad with just me and my baby in the car. Those times where all 3 of us had to be in the car I usually sat in the back next to the baby so I could actually sit semi normal. You could use the seat with out the base but it would be so much harder to get the seat belt around the pumpkin seat. The base you can just snap the seat right in to place with out climbing in to use the belt.
Don't worry it get's much better once the baby is in a "big boy/girl carseat". Way more room.
Good luck!! Get used to the back seat!

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answers from Chicago on
this one is VERY skinny and can be used for newborns up to 65 lbs so it will be the ONLY seat you need. I have two because I do daycare and need to fit lots of kids in the car. I used it for infants, toddlers and preschoolers and I like it a lot. The ONLY negative is that it is VERY heavy. But it is safety tested and better performing then the Britax.
As far as not using the base, read the manual, all seats are different, but almost always it is fine

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answers from Chicago on

A lot of people are giving good points to both sides of the debate on base or no base. Outside of what the law is in Chicago, I think it boils down to your own decision on how safe is safe enough for you and what is your comfort level.

For example, the minimum weight to turn the car seat face-forward is 20lbs. but there are recos out there to keep babies in reverse for as long as possible, which is up to 30-35lbs with some car seats. So there is a lot of wiggle room for you to decide. We have made the decision to keep our baby in as long as he is comfortable and not crammed up into the seat. Our doctor suggested at least until 15 months.

So as long as you both feel good about what you decide, it seems possible both ways. My only suggestion is to maybe check with a local safety organization to make sure it is installed properly. Here's a few:

Northwestern Memorial Hospital



answers from San Francisco on

Do not use the carseat without the base! Very unsafe. As far as smaller carseats, the maxi-cosi is very small and compact-extremely safe and stylish too! Peg perego is a possibility too. Good luck and hope this helps!




answers from Minneapolis on

DONE NOT use a carseat without the base... it is so unsafe. There is no way to properly install the carseat without the base. Try putting it in the middle in the back, that way it is between the 2 front seats. If you stick with the Graco 32 you will be able to use the seat till the baby is about 2 rearfacing. If you go with a seat that is up to 22lbs than you will probably have to buy a convertable carseat at about 6 or 7 months old and install that in the back rear facing. If you have a Babies R Us in your area they will usually let you try the floor model out in your car... that would be your best option. I would play around a little more with the one that you have, see if it will fit in the middle. Please just make sure that you use the base as you really don't want to see what could happen if you didn't.



answers from Dallas on

You can use the car seat without a base. It's not only unsafe, It would be incorrectly installed and illegal. (at least, in my state. I think most states car seat laws are the same, though) It would not pass the car seat inspection leaving the hospital, if you have one. If you were to be pulled over, you could get a citation. Most of all it's designed to use the base. It's not appropriate and very unsafe EVEN in emergencies. There is no time, in which it is a good idea.
Are you putting the car seat in the middle? I have a Hyundai Elantra (I don't know how that compares to the size of an accent) and our graco fit fine in the middle. The Combi Coccoro Convertible Car Seat is supposed to be a great option for small cars. It is NOT a carrier though, so you can't take it out of the car with you and carry it into the grocery store, for instance. It stays in the car and you must carry baby. It has a minimum weight of 5 pounds, so it safe for an infant. Evenflo carseats always look pretty small to me.


answers from Provo on

You can use a car seat with out the base, but I wouldn't as a permanent thing. Only in emergencies.
Have you checked out chicco? Or Combi?

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