What is the best convertible car seat to fit a large baby with cloth diapers?

Sigrid - posted on 01/19/2009 ( 28 moms have responded )

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My 5 month old is off the charts for length (28") and 95th percentile for weight (18.5 lbs). We use bum genius 3.0 diapers on him and because of this, he doesn't fit in his infant car seat very well anymore. We're looking for a good convertible car seat that won't pinch his chubby thighs and that will have the strap slack needed to fit over his diapers and snow suit (we live in cold Buffalo!) Any advice?? Thanks!

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Anne - posted on 02/04/2009

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I agree with the Britax Blvd - my son was 10lbs 7oz at birth and just grew quickly from there. He was in the convertible seat when he was 4 months old as he was already over 22 lbs. We CD and he had lots of room in the seat. He's still in it and ready to move to a booster as our youngest (who is a bit smaller) is ready to leave his infant seat.

Jessica - posted on 02/03/2009

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Re-check your manual and your seat. They don't make a Triumph that goes to 65lbs. The old Triumph goes to 40 and the Advance to 50.

Rebecca - posted on 02/03/2009

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Quoting Dawn:

I use the Evenflo Truimph Advance for my twins. I love the shoulder straps. There is a knob on the side that you turn to tighten or loosen. You don't have to reach behind the seat to do anything. If you loosen the knob, you glide the straps upward for more room (shoulder bulk). There is lots of room in these seats. I like that they are forward facing up to 55 lbs. I would have loved to get a Britax, but they were out of my price range for two seats.



I have the same car seat and it works for both my 6 mo and my 2 yo  my seat however forward faces up to 65 lbs. i have my 6 mos or my 2oy in the winter gear and they fit just fine and the seat is tight too. Both of my kids have a cloth diaper on as well and have no problems with the seat.

Jessica - posted on 02/03/2009

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I'm sorry (but not really) that I've corrupted you :). If you even get started on car-seat.org you will be hooked.

Gala - posted on 02/02/2009

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The whole car seat junkie thing is contageous...:)
I now keep on reading about them and looking for new ways to keep baby warm...
I actually tried to buckle her up without the snow suit and then I put her in with the snow suit, the belt did not close... I tried the other way around (buckle with the suit and then without )and I could fit 3 fingers between her and the harness... There actually is no point in putting the baby in the seat if you're putting her in the snow suit...
Scarry stuff...

Jessica - posted on 02/02/2009

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Yay! Another CS junkie! I love the Radians, too! Have you seen then new XT? It looks cool.

There is a work at home mom that makes some called The Car Seat Poncho (carseatponcho.com) that look really nice, but I made my own, too.

Most seats these days have a 6 year life. I think maybe the Evenflo infant seats still have a 5 year expiration, the True Fit has a 7 year expiration, and the Radians, 9 years, as you said.

Charmaine - posted on 02/02/2009

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Ooh I might go run out and get a Scenera for my hubby's car so I don't have to switch the bases so much when it's just me and the baby using his car! Thanks for the Target info!

Charmaine - posted on 02/02/2009

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I have the Radian 65 and I agree that the Radian 80 is unnecessary since the height limit would most likely be reached before the weight limit. I love that the base footprint is so narrow and can fit easily 3 across in a backseat if need be (I have a Graco Turbobooster for my 7 year old, a Radian65 for my 4 year old, and a Graco Safeseat2 for my 11 month old, and will be purchasing another Radian65 when she outgrows the carrier) The other plus is that this seat will last longer than the 5 years that other car seats are supposed to be used because it has a steel frame (vs other seats that have plastic frames which become brittle over time and why you shouldn't use them anymore 5 years after the manufacturing date)

I also use a car seat poncho because of the safety issue with bulk/compression, not to mention what a pain it is to buckle baby in with all those layers! I have a homemade one I made with some thick anti-pill fleece lined with cotton knit (t-shirt material) and my baby stays super warm!
Although these are nicer and more professional looking than mine, the one I made is similar to this: http://www.sassandfras.com/

Can you tell I'm also a car seat junkie?!

Jessica - posted on 02/02/2009

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I love the car seat coat! (well, in theory anyway. I've never seen one IRL).

Someone else mentioned the Evenflo Triumph Advance and the Cosco Scenera- the EFTA is an EXCELLENT seat. I considered it as well and it just came down to personal preference when I decided on the True Fit.

The Scenera is a great budget seat, just know that you WILL need another harnessed seat when it is outgrown since it has a 40lb weight limit and a lower shell/harness slots than these others. It does have a 35lb RF weight limit, though, so it's an excellent rear-facing seat. I might consider getting it to use until the child is 35lbs and outgrows it RF, and then get a good forward facing only seat, like the Graco Nautilus.

Amanda - posted on 02/01/2009

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Cosco - Scenera 5-Point Convertible Car Seat, $50 @ walmart.com...and it has good reviews. LOVE IT!!!

Jessica - posted on 02/01/2009

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No problem! Let me know if you need more direct links or something. I was on my ILs slow computer and didn't have time to find them when I posted the above.

Gala - posted on 02/01/2009

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Quoting Jessica:




I understand that it's cold, but there are warm options that are also safe.  There are many Canadian moms (many of whom are also CPS techs) over at car-seat.org that don't use snow suits (check out the Canadian and Internation Issues section and also the article in the "articles" section).  Actually thin fleece and layers is just as warm as poly-filled puffy snow suits.  I know there are fleece one-piece suits from Carters and others that work well in the car.  If it were me, I would dress my baby in several thin layers, with fleece being the outer layer, then carry baby to the car bundled in a thick blanket, buckle, then put the blanket over the baby, or use a double layered car seat poncho as described in the video I posted.  It can be done.  It may take a little more effort, but to me, it's worth it for my child's safety.





Thank you!



I'll check the website for a safer alternative!

Dawn - posted on 01/31/2009

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I use the Evenflo Truimph Advance for my twins. I love the shoulder straps. There is a knob on the side that you turn to tighten or loosen. You don't have to reach behind the seat to do anything. If you loosen the knob, you glide the straps upward for more room (shoulder bulk). There is lots of room in these seats. I like that they are forward facing up to 55 lbs. I would have loved to get a Britax, but they were out of my price range for two seats.

Jessica - posted on 01/31/2009

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Quoting Gala:



Quoting Jessica:

Oh, and I must address the snow suit/bulky coat issue. They can compress in a crash, leaving way too much slack in the harness and therefore ejecting the baby from the seat.

This is a YouTube video about it. I just made my son a poncho in about 5 minutes. I just cut a hole in the middle of a square piece of fleece.





I understand how it can work in a relatively mild climate, but in Canada where it gets really cold and windy I don't think it's possible not to use a snow suit or a coat.






 






I understand that it's cold, but there are warm options that are also safe.  There are many Canadian moms (many of whom are also CPS techs) over at car-seat.org that don't use snow suits (check out the Canadian and Internation Issues section and also the article in the "articles" section).  Actually thin fleece and layers is just as warm as poly-filled puffy snow suits.  I know there are fleece one-piece suits from Carters and others that work well in the car.  If it were me, I would dress my baby in several thin layers, with fleece being the outer layer, then carry baby to the car bundled in a thick blanket, buckle, then put the blanket over the baby, or use a double layered car seat poncho as described in the video I posted.  It can be done.  It may take a little more effort, but to me, it's worth it for my child's safety.

Gala - posted on 01/31/2009

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Quoting Jessica:

Oh, and I must address the snow suit/bulky coat issue. They can compress in a crash, leaving way too much slack in the harness and therefore ejecting the baby from the seat.

This is a YouTube video about it. I just made my son a poncho in about 5 minutes. I just cut a hole in the middle of a square piece of fleece.


I understand how it can work in a relatively mild climate, but in Canada where it gets really cold and windy I don't think it's possible not to use a snow suit or a coat.



 

Jessica - posted on 01/27/2009

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Ok, the link isn't showing up so I will put spaces in it so it does.

w ww.you tube.com/ watch?v=UM1LJaOIu34

Jessica - posted on 01/27/2009

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Britax seats used to be the best of the best and nobody else compared. Now, they have some competition. I would suggest looking at the First Years True Fit (rear-faces to 35lbs, and has a tall shell so you can actually keep them RF to that weight...RF is 5 times safer, by the way, and the AAP recommends keeping them that way to the limits of the seat). and forward faces to 65lbs. Mine has a 3 position crotch buckle and my cloth diapered chunky monkey fits great in the 2nd slot. I think the newer ones have 2 positions, but still seem to fit well. It has a no-rethread harness, built-in lock-offs, and is SUPER cushy. My 17 month old is still rear-facing in his and he has loads of room. His feet are just now really touching the vehicle seat (not a safety issue). The Britax seats are much much shallower and don't offer as much leg room.
The other seats I would consider (but don't own) is the Evenflo Triumph Advance and the Sunshine Kids Radian 65. Both RF to 35lbs, FF to 50 and 65lbs respectively, and also offer good RF leg room. All of these seats have nice high top harness slots (higher than Britax) and should last until a good booster age (5 or 6). I would look at the Radian 65 over the 80 because they have the exact same harness slots and most kids will outgrow even the 65 by height before they ever reach 65lbs.

I'm kind of a car seat nerd...Can you tell :) ?

Oh, and I must address the snow suit/bulky coat issue. They can compress in a crash, leaving way too much slack in the harness and therefore ejecting the baby from the seat.

This is a YouTube video about it. I just made my son a poncho in about 5 minutes. I just cut a hole in the middle of a square piece of fleece.

Gala - posted on 01/23/2009

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Britax Boulevard!

Our little girl outgrew the infant carseat at 3 months because of the cloth diapers, and she absolutely loves her new car seat, she stopped screaming every time we put her in it and it has lots of room to grow (up to 65 lbs).

Elizabeth - posted on 01/22/2009

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Britax, all the way! We use the Marathon ( I think)-- not the one that goes to 65 lbs, because i figure he'll want to be in a booster, not a car seat by then.

Lisa - posted on 01/22/2009

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I have to ditto the Britax Marathon and Boulevard.  Lots of room to grow and our boys  seem quite comfortable in them... even on our 13 hour car trips!

Suzanne - posted on 01/21/2009

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We use both a Britax Marathon and a Boulevard now. We have also used an Evenflo Triumph, which had lots of room. I liked it best when she was little (under 8 months) becasue it has a pretty "deep" recline and I felt like she was very secure and protected.

Lisa - posted on 01/21/2009

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I use fitted diapers with wool covers and live in Colorado. I hear you on the need to fit a bulky bum AND snow gear. I'm looking into the TrueFit from The First Years. It's rated well for safety, for kids up to 65 lbs, and when I compared it to the Britax, it seemed much more comfortable for long trips.Plus, it's less expensive. I'll be buying it this week.

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It is not recommended to use snowsuits in carseats. ( I live in Ottawa it is cold here also) I used a britax Marathon and it is quite roomy.

Heather - posted on 01/20/2009

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I use the Britax Marathon, but that is also because that one of the only Britax's in Canada

Sharon - posted on 01/19/2009

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My son was off of the charts until about 6 months of age, as well.  We use the Britax Boulevard. 

Jessica - posted on 01/19/2009

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Look for one that's rated up to 65 lbs and you should be ok. I use the Britax Boulevard and I love it.

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