Twins & Carseats?

Updated on November 03, 2010
J.F. asks from Tonawanda, NY
8 answers

I have 10 month old twins who are still in the infant carrier seats. Our boy especially seems to be growing out of his! He still has a few months and a few pounds to go before he can be front facing (and his sister is a little smaller than him), but especially with the winter coats/clothes on its becoming more difficult to fit them in the harnesses. My biggest concern is that they're both very long babies and his head is getting close to the top of the seat and his feet are hanging over.

So we're just starting to research & i was just wondering if anyone has any suggestions of brands for convertible car seats. We have to fit two seats in a small Saturn and finances are a bit tight. Also, I take the babies to the sitter and my husband picks them up. Right now we have 2 bases for each car, but are there any convertable seats that are easy to take out of one car, leave there for the day and quickly put into my husband's vehicle at pick up? Or is our best option getting 4 seats (which would probably be out of our budget!) The only other option i see is switching cars midday with my husband (our jobs are close, about 5-10 minutes away froim eachother).

Thanks for any advice!

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So What Happened?

wow, thank you! I feel horrible for not even thinking about the dangers of coats in the carseats! its nothing anyone has ever told me before & i've never come across it anywhere, but you'd think my common sense would have told me! well, i'll definitely do that from now on... my son's still getting a bit long for the seat (his head is getting too high) & i think it's something we need to consider soon, but thank you all SO MUCH for being straighforawrd and honest with me about the safety of taking off their coats! :) and the rear facing info is good too... i have no problem leaving them rear facing for a lot longer!

More Answers



answers from Chicago on

I highly reccommend you buy a carseat that will keep them rear-facing as long as possible. Research shows that it is the safest way for a baby to ride, even after 1 year old and 20 lbs. If you are in a frontal impact crash the baby's spine can be seriously injured when facing forward because their head is not proportionate to their body. (Look at the site Joel's Journey for a good explanation) My son is 28 months old and still comfortably rides rearfacing. He will move forward facing when he reached the 35 pound weight limit. I can understand your concern about the cost of the seats. You can check with your local police or fire department to see if they give away carseats. When I went to an installation check at my police department the installer was concerned that my 4 year old was not big enough to be forward facing (he has medical problems and was 36 inches tall and only weighed 24 pounds). The carseat I had for him could not be used rear facing so the officer gave me a new carseat. If you can't find a source for a free carseat then any carseat that fits properly in your car and within the weight/height limits of your children is a safe carseat. You don't have to buy the really expensive ones. I think taking them in and out of the car every day will be a huge headache. It isn't easy to install the seat correctly quickly with two babies waiting to go home. Also, even though it is a pain, you should remove their coats when putting them in the carseat. They can't be buckled in tightly enough with their coats on. Either put their coats on them backwards after being buckled or keep a warm blanket in the car for them.



answers from Johnstown on

They do make carseat covers that go overtop of the carseats like a little jacket that you can replace the coats and such with. We always just bundled ours wee ones up with heavier clothes and then tucked blankets up around their shoulders and all and then used the covers to block the wind and extreme from hitting their faces. Don't worry about your boy's feet hanging over--his little legs bend and he can still sit comfortably in the rear-facing seat you already have. Also, almost all infant carseats come w/ seatbelt slots built into them to avoid using the bases...and with a little practice one should be able to get both seats positioned and hooked properly in under a minute. I feel your pain--we had a early model Ford Focus when we had our twins, yet had an older child as well...the cars were much smaller then than what they are now. Personally, I would get 4 seats and I wouldn't switch out cars--that just seems like alot of extra running and wasted gas to me. Do you have any consignment/resale shops that would carry carseats for you? We had a local one that we purchased our bigger seats from and spent a total of $50 for both. Both were practically brand new and were in perfect condition. I would make do with what your son has now until his head is over the edge and then I would go to a conversion seat that can still be rearfacing, but front facing as well. GL!



answers from Buffalo on

I personally LOVE the Alpha Omega's.
Big Lots has sales on decent seats too.

I understand the thinking of the jacket thing, but we live in Buffalo Joanne and we know how our weather is. Ok here is an example of how I wish my kids had there jacket on. I was driving to PA 5 hrs to my Mom's house in December so I wanted the kids comforatable so I had them in there warm PJ's and put the jackets in the car. 4.5 hrs into the drive my car starts on fire. Now I am running getting my kids out and running down the street to get a safe distance incase it blows up and we were freezing. I would never put them in the car with out there coats on again and have not since. I leave them unzipped but always on. Just make sure they strapped tightly. Our weather is unpredictable.

There is always times where having one thing one way may be hurtful one time but helpful another. Everything is a judgement call, it is what you feel comforatable with, oh I would like to add I have a good pair of scissors taped securly in my car just incase I need them. I have never needed them in an emergency but wow they come in handy.
Also your kids are close to being switched if the inconvenience can be tolerated for just a couple more months I would wait on buying 4 all at once because the apex 65 is an awsome toddler seat and worth it. They tell you to keep your child in the 5 point harness as long as you can and the convertable seats (most except Briax) are only good to 40 lbs and the apex65 is good to 65 lbs. My 7 yr old is still in the 5 point harness because of those seats he does not weigh much but wow my kids are tall.
Good luck my dear and I am sorry there is so much conflicting info out there that if we did everything as they all suggested we would be very confussed.



answers from Boston on

I agree with the others who said to get 4 seats... your kids will be in carseats for a long time to come, and you will NOT want to keep switching carseats or switching cars midday. Some carseats convert to boosters later, you might want to consider that.

I have twins too, who are 4 now... still in carseats, because they're not yet 40 lbs. Just wanted to mention - I had a hard time dealing with transitioning them out of the infant seats. It was soo much easier to get them from point A to point B in those seats, esp when they're too little to walk. You might feel some of the same frustrations now, but just remember - this phase too will pass in the blink of an eye, and someday you might wonder what you were so stressed about! :)


answers from Provo on

I would suggest any thing Britax (they are pricey but I got mine brand new from ebay for half the price but what you could do is buy one for you boy and then save up for another one when your daughter is older) OR the only American brand I like (I used to work at babies r us and we had more returns or parents using theirs for 6 months and hating Evenflo, Saftey First, Eddie Bauer, Costco (which Eddie Bauer is just a costo with his name slapped on) Baby trend) BUT Graco was one that parents were very happy with. They have a new one MyRide which you can keep your children rear facing till 40 pounds which others have already told you is recommended.
And i totally agree with the jacket thing. Has big of a hassel as it is, it could be deadly if you were in a wreck and the rescuers had to wrestle with a jacket to get your children to saftey.



answers from Boise on

I would recommend Britax, but since that is out of your budget, I would suggest looking at consumer reports and seeing what is their best buy. Also, if you need to switch cars, it might be easiest to have whoever gets to work last, or leaves work first to incorporate the car exchange into their routine. My husband sometimes gets off early on Fridays and if he can pick up the kids, he swings by and swaps the cars. It is more time efficient than stopping in the middle of the day and having to drive back and forth.



answers from Dallas on

I know you are on a tight budget, but that being said moving car seats from one car to another on a daily basic is going to get harder and harder. I would suggest maybe getting two for your son since he is bigger first, but leave him rear facing. Then when your daughter has reached the max for her infant seat buy her two, that way you arent having to pay for 4 seats all at once. Also you can ask grandparents to help out as a christmas gift.
My favorite seat on the market right now is the Learning Curve First Years True Fit. Check out they are the cheapest there and you can have them site to store shipped for free. Good Luck.



answers from Atlanta on

It's been quite some time since I have been in the market for "carseats". My twins are 7 1/2 years old so they are in those booster seats which are sooooo much easier. I understand about the whole exchanging of carseats-its a pain in the rear! My experience has always been that it was too much of a headache-hopefully that has changed though;())
Another thing I wanted to mention to you was the whole winter coat thing. I was advised by a firefighter as well as an inspection place at Babiesrus NOT to put your children in a car seat with the jackets on during winter. I know I know its so much easier to get them in and out of when its cold outside but the advice was to place them in their carseats and either place the jacket over them or put their arms into the jackets. Then when you arrive at your destination put the jackets on them. It's time consuming I know but supposedly this is the "safest" for your child. I just wanted to pass along what I was told a while back and perhaps its a matter of opinion and yes its a headache as well especially when you got more than one child! Good luck on your shopping ventures...wish I could give more advice on the "type" to get but I am past that stage!

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