New Car Seat Suggestions?

Updated on March 02, 2010
D.V. asks from Milpitas, CA
11 answers

My baby boy is moving on up in the world! His feet are hanging out of his car seat, so its about the time we get another car seat (the next size up from his current one). Any suggestions on they type? i don't mind spending money on a good car seat or does it matter the type do they all do the same purpose? Also, here is the next problem. I have a car, my husband has a work truck, and my Mother in law has him during the day. i drop him off in the morning in my car, my mother in law has him during the day, & my husband picks him up. So what am I suppose to do, buy different car seats for each car? take it from car to car? The one he is in now has base's so i just carry him in, and we use the bases in our cars..

thanks ladies!

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answers from Stockton on

It is unfortunatly that time when it is probably going to be time to buy at least two car seats. I have the Britax Boulevard for each of my boys and LOVE them. They adjust for height, and have the side protection for side impact crashes. The only downside is they are very tall. They work in my SUV very well, and are a little harder to manage when in dad or grandma's car although they still work.

Good luck

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answers from Minneapolis on

His infant car seat is outgrown when there is less than one inch of hard shell above his head or he goes over the weight limit. Legs hanging over the end of the seat are not a problem, so until he outgrows it in height (less than an inch of shell above his head) or goes over the weight limit, he's fine. :)

Now, that being said, you will have to invest in a new seat eventually. Here are a few I would recommend. What you want to look for is a high rear facing weight limit and a higher forward facing height and weight limit. the best seats in my opinion right now are---

Graco MyRide65- Will rear face to 40lbs, forward face to 65lbs. It runs about $150 and will hold most kids rear facing to age 3 and forward facing to age 6. Nice deep seat with amazing side impact protection, fits small babies and big kids well. I really like this seat and really recommend it.

Evenflo Triumph ADVANCE- will rear face to 35lbs and forward face to 50lbs. Its around $130 and will hold most kids rear facing to age 2/3, and forward facing to age 5. This seat has infinite adjust, meaning no harness rethread, you just turn the knob to adjust the harness height! This is a great seat as well.

Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL- will rear face to 45lbs, forward face to 80lbs, and runs around $300. Will fit most kids rear facing to age 4, and forward facing to 6/7. This is an all around amazing seat, and I wish it had been out when our kids were smaller to keep them rear facing longer. Has a steel shell, folds up for traveling, and is the highest rear facing weight limit in the US! Can also be tethered rear facing (reduces rebound in a crash).

Britax Marathon- will rear face t o35lbs, forward face to 65lbs. Runs around $170, fits most kids to age 2-3 rear facing and 6/7 forward facing. This seat is a breeze to install so if you want to move it between cars, this is a good bet. Can be tethered rear facing (reduces rebound in a crash).

First years Truefit- will rear face to 35lbs, forward face to 65lbs, runs between $150-$200. Fits most kids to age 3 rear facing, and to age 6/7 forward facing. I havent used this seat so I can't comment much on it, but everyone who has one loves it. And its rcommended b yCPST's.

You want to keep your child rear facing as long as possible. The AAP recommends children remain rear facing until they outgrow their rear facing convertible car seat or at least age 2 and 30lbs. The BARE MINIMUM is 1yr AND 20lbs, but extended rear facing is recommended by every CPST and by every car seat manufacturer. Please google extended rear facing and Joel's journey for more information.

A few more things you may not know, or is still helpful to read even if you do!
When rear facing, the hraness should come from just at or below the shoulders. THis prevents ride up in the car seat, keeping the child in the seat as best possible when rear facing. A rear facing car seat is outgrown when there is less than one inch of shell above the childs head or the child goes over the rear facing weight limit.

When forward facing, the harness should be at or above the shoulders. this prevents spinal compression, keeping the child from being crushed down in a crash. A forward facing car seat is outgrown when one of three things happens, the child goes over the weight limit, the ears become level with the seat back, of the shoulders go over the top harness slot.

The harness should lay flat on the body, no twists in the harness at all. THe harness should be snug, and the chest clip should be level with the armpits NOT down by the crotch buckle.

Both buckles must be buckled, the crotch buckle and the chest buckle. The chest buckle is a pre-crash retainer, and will likely break opne in a crash, but its there to keep the harness on the childs shoulders. But they work together, so keep both buckled at all times.

No bulky clothing in the car seat! n owinter jackets, no Bundle Me covers, no buntings, no snowsuits. These items compress in a crash, leaving the hrness too loose, subjecting baby/child to being ejected from the car seat, or being severelyi njured from being thrown forward too far. Many crashes of dead babies are found with hte car seat and the baby bunting or snowsuit still strapped into the seat, but the baby was ejected. If you doubt this, put your child in the seat with the bunting or Bundle Me or jacket, and buckle up as usual, tightening the harness so you think its safe. Then take your child out, remove the jacket, and put him/her back into the seat. All that slack in the belt is what it would look like in a crash. Use a blanket, turn the jacket backwards after buckling, these are safe things to do.

What I would do in your situation is purchase on good car seat for your main vehicle, the one he rides in most. One that is comfy and can be used a long time like one I recommended above. Then purchase a cheaper, but still very safe, seat for the other vehicles. A great back up seat is the Cosco Scenera. ITs $50 at Wal Mart and will rear face to 35lbs, forward face to 40lbs, and fits most kids rear facing to 2, and forward facing to 3/4 yrs old.

I hope this information helped and that you take the time to google extended rear facing to keep your little guy safe!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

We love, love, love our Chicco car seat! It's really comfy and it's super safe (my hubby's a firefighter and very picky about safety - he did tons of research). We've got a base for each of our cars, and will be getting one for my mother-in-law, but just the one seat.



answers from Dallas on

I got the Britax Boulevard for my car since that is what we use most often. It is around $300, but Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby often have them on sale and you can use your 20% coupons on them. It is top of the line and always gets great reviews. It is rear facing up to 35 lbs and studies now say you should have your kid rear facing as long as possible, and it is front facing up to 65 lbs. It is really easy to install and use and it is really comfortable for my daughter and has tons of padding so she can get some sleep. We are also about to buy the Evenflo Triumph which is around $60. It doesn't have any bells and whistles, but we are getting it for my husband's car and when we travel so we don't have to take the big car seat and if the airlines destroy it, we aren't out a lot of money. All car seats go through the same safety tests and they all have to pass, so you are paying for comfort and durability.



answers from Nashville on

Ditto what Becky said. I personally have the Evenflo Truimph Advance, and love it. In all my research it was very comparible to Britax but not near as expensive.

If you can afford to buy multiple seats, I would highly recommend it. I only have one since I am the primary driver, but I wish I had one in my mom's car for backup. Switching over carseats is a pain and although the Evenflo is pretty easy, but it mostly depends on the cars you are putting them in. And one of the biggest dangers about carseats isn't the type you have, but using them incorrectly. At seat checks, the majority of carseats they inspect are installed incorrectly. If you do switch it back and forth, be dilligent every single time, never rush through it. And make sure your mother is very comfortable with installing it herself. With your situation, it is only a matter of time before you are running late for work and can't install it for her before you leave him. At least with me it would be, I seem to be always running late.



answers from Los Angeles on

My son is just about to outgrow his car seat & I'm going to buy him the air protect from safety 1st. It has the air cushion on the sides of the head to protect from head injuries. If you go on their website there is a video about how it protects your child's head in the event of an accident. It's about $250 & totally worth it!



answers from Detroit on

I was going to echo the advice that Becky W gave about the height of your child (babies outgrow seats when they are w/in 1 inch of top of seat; feet are allowed to overhang), but it looks like she gave great advice about car seat safety. We have one of the seats she mentions: the First Years True Fit. Aside from having FANTASTIC reviews (multiple colors in Top 10 sellers consistently on Amazon), and being rated 5 stars for ease of use, we bought it b/c the cover comes off easily for washing, the shell is completely made of thick foam, it has one of the highest weight limits for RF and FF (=long lifetime), and it is cushioned well for our little guy. In terms of your situation, we switch it between a Saturn Ion and Ford Explorer a handful of times per week, with minimal struggles, and I've shown both sets of grandparents how to safely install the seat, and they got it on the first try (took less than 15 minutes for demo and a "test":) ). Good luck choosing! There are a lot of great reviews (some with photos) at, and some certified installers have tested this seat and commented there. I suggest that you visit a store localluy that carries the seats you barrow your list down to and test them out on the sales floor. We were deciding between a Britax Boulevard and the True Fit until we went to a local baby store to do just this. The shell of the True Fit was a little taller and the seat was more cushioned, which made our choice.



answers from Modesto on

Another vote for Britax! This brand tends to cost more, but when I purchased ours (2 yrs ago) it had the highest safety ratings, which was the greatest motivating factor for me. I compared seats using the book "Baby Bargains" by Denise & Allan Fields (check it out from the library if you don't want to buy). We also have the basic model: Roundabout. We love it, it was so much easier to use than our infant seat (Graco's smaller model, which I also liked). We routinely move it between three full-size vehicles in our family and it's a breeze to install in each, even one vehicle that doesn't have the Latch system. My mom did buy her own, but she bought one of the larger Britax models (larger than Marathon), and it doesn't fit well in her smaller car; also it's more difficult to use the restraint in that model for some reason. My sister has a Britax Marathon for her daughter, and she's happy with it. It's a little larger than our Roundabout, but the restrain works the same way, and I find it just as easy to use when I'm babysitting my niece. I would highly recommend either of those models. My daughter is very tall for her age (she's 2.5, and over 99 percentile for height), and she's still not even up to the highest restraint setting in the car seat, so I can see us using it for at least another year if not longer. I also used it rear-facing for a short time between when she outgrew her infant seat but was not yet 1 yr old, and it was great then too. She seemed so much more comfortable in that seat, and still is!



answers from Detroit on

I have to say I love the britax daughter went from her infant seat to the marathon rear facing...she is now 5 & has almost outgrown has lasted this long...but she loved it the moment she sat it seemed very comfy to her. We've had in a Saturn, Impala a Trailblazer now a Tahoe. Very easy to install.



answers from Sacramento on

I would just take the carseat from car to car if you want to save yourself $100 plus. It's not really that bit a deal.



answers from San Francisco on

I highly recommend the Britax Round About. It's their tried & true basic model that can rear- as well as forward-face for kids newborn to 40 pounds. We had one each for our boys & loved them! They used them starting at 6 months. They usually run about $200 or so. I recommend this over the Marathon cuz the Marathon is heavy & if you'll be transferring it between 3 cars, it can be cumbersome. If all 3 cars are 2000 or newer they all have LATCH which makes installation fool-proof & a breeze. You canalso call your local CHP for an appointment beforehand, tell them your situation & they can recommend a car seat as well as install it for you.

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