Car seats and Strollers..

Keela - posted on 02/11/2009 ( 13 moms have responded )

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So I went looking at car seat and strollers and it was completely overwhelming. How do you know which one to get?? Is purely based on vanity? They all seem to pass safety regulations, so how do I know is there a secret I don’t know about? Is one brand better than another and what about when you fly do you need a certain one? Any info is much appreciated!!! Cause I am confused! Does it matter what type if car you own??

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Darci - posted on 02/16/2009

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A friend recommended Graco to me when my daughter (now 3 years old) was born.  I have stuck with the Graco brand for the 4 cars seats (SnugRide, ComfortSport Convertible, CarGo, and TurboBooster)  we own now.  We have typically used the SnugRide for the first 6 months (about the time our kids grew out of the SnugRide); if the baby falls asleep while driving, the seat & baby are easy to move.  It is also great for when you're out & about and the baby isn't big enough to sit in a high chair or shopping cart yet.  My son, who is almost 2, is fitting in the Convertible seat still.  And my daughter is in the CarGo most of the time.  We have the TurboBooster in my husband's vehicle for shorter trips with just her... she's big enough to ride in it all the time, but she still fits in the CarGo and the CarGo is the safest place for her.  We bought the travel system (stroller/car seat - SnugRide) when she was born, and I have definitely got my money's worth out of it.  We call this stroller the Cadillac... we also have a Jeep and a Limo (sit 'n' stand double).



As far as umbrella strollers, I would say Jeep is worth the extra money compared to the regular umbrella stroller with smooth wheels.  The wheels on the Jeep allow you go through rough terrain (or bumps/cracks on the sidewalk) more easily.  We use this one when we travel after the kids are big enough.  I've also liked the fact that it's a pretty light unit around too.

Jessica - posted on 02/16/2009

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Okay, so here's my advice if you don't want to spend too much, but want a good, safe, easy to use seat.  Check out Wal-Mart.com, and also BabiesRUs.com...they have reviews on their seats from REAL MOMS who have used them, as well as travel systems.  Mom's will let you know pros and cons, how easy it is to use, and if it's really worth the price.  Consumer reports are good, but of course the ones that are "the best" are also a couple hundred dollars more expensive...sometimes that's just not possible!  Ask around in your circle of friends, and maybe even try a couple of your friends strollers and car seats, and see what you think- that way maybe you'll get a feel for what you like. 

[deleted account]

I did a lot of research on car seats.  We looked into Consumer Reports and the top rated car seat in America is the Chicco KeyFit.  It's based on safety and how easy the car seat is to use (how easy it is to install and move in and out of the base.)  It's more expensive though.  The other car seat that was highly recommended was the Graco Snug Ride.  It is less expensive, but still safe and easy to use. 

Kara - posted on 02/14/2009

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I've been looking around at alot of them lately now too (mostly the duel strollers) and the best thing that we've come across was a graco brand. I did alot of reading up on different ones on web sites, read reviews, then went out to the stores (Sears/Bay/Zellers etc) to take a look at them first hand, to see how they handle, how the wheels are. Everyone is going to have a different opinion on different strollers, so just do a little research on them, then header on out to the stores to see which one you like, or would best suit you (weight wise/size wise/style wise)

[deleted account]

I've actually been looking at these and wondering the same thing.  I did some research earlier, looking at Consumer Reports and at the satisfaction ratings of different seats on multiple websites (Amazon, BabiesRUs, etc.), and it seems that the Graco seats are really popular.  Consumer Reports seems to favor Chicco, but they are fairly expensive in comparison with what you would spend for one of the Gracos.  I also haven't been able to find a stroller frame that fits the Chiccos so far, and I've heard that those can be really convenient, particularly with smaller cars that have a limited amount of space to carry accoutrement (I'm driving a VW Beetle, and we can't afford to switch to a larger car just yet.)  There is a website called carseatdata.org that rates the ease with which different brands of car seats fit into different vehicles, and the site appears reliable to me (it says basically the same thing about the Chicco and Graco seats that Consumer Reports does), but enter with caution, as with any internet source.

Allison - posted on 02/13/2009

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Quoting Brenda:



Don't waste your time with those car seats that are convertable from birth and onward, I had one in my mother in law's car when my son was born and they didn't want to let me take him home in it because it wasn't an infant seat.  





That's not quite accurate: many convertible seats are good from 5 lbs up to 50 or more (depending on the manufactuer's specifications) and start as a rear facing seat for infants up to 30 or 35 lbs, then can be forward facing for older children (over 1 year and over 20 lbs), and some will also be a high-back seat belt-positioning booster. I don't know who "they" were who expressed concern over your seat, but if the manufacturer's specs covered birth and up and baby fit properly, then it *is* an infant seat.



There are some approved methods of using a seat for a smaller baby - like rolling up a towel and putting it by their legs to assure proper fit. When in doubt, talk to a certified car seat technician - they have to take special classes to get certified and they really know what they are talking about.



Also another thing to keep in mind: the infant bucket seats often are good up to at least 20 lbs, maybe even 35lbs depending on the manufacturer. HOWEVER, you also have to check height specs, too. My 4 month old outgrew the bucket seat at 4 months - not because he was 20 lbs, but because he was too tall for the seat straps to fit properly. 



Finally, when you start thinking of car seats as an investment (and want to use them for another child down the line), keep in mind that all car seats expire - typically 5 years after their made-on date. Most seats have the expiration date printed on the plastic in the back of the seat. 

Ann - posted on 02/13/2009

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Brenda you said not to use the ones with a bar in front and I loved the one I had that had the bar. Saddly one of the arm broke but it was time for my son to go up to the next level anyways. But anyways I loved it b/c it was like a little soft table there for us to us. he would eat off it and everything. we live 30 from everything and so we are in the car a bunch and I would love to get another but I this one was a gift and i can't seem to find any more,



:)

Brenda - posted on 02/13/2009

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I buy a travel system.  It covers both.  Then I switch to the umbrella strollers when the baby's big enough.  Don't waste your time with those car seats that are convertable from birth and onward, I had one in my mother in law's car when my son was born and they didn't want to let me take him home in it because it wasn't an infant seat.  My recommendation to any mom is start with a regular infant seat, at twenty pounds, switch to a convertable seat (NOT with the bar in the front - those are a nightmare) that can be rear/forward facing if baby is under a year, then as soon as they can forward face get one of the nice ones that go from a five point harness up to the backless booster seat.  I had one like that (Eddie Bauer I think) but it got lost in a moving mess up and its a shame because I loved that seat.



My son grew really fast, and I yanked the harness out as soon as he hit 40 pounds, and as soon as he is 4 I'm changing to a backless booster.

Allison - posted on 02/12/2009

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I found that a stroller was pretty pointless, as I wore my kids in a sling or wrap or mei tai most of the time, and that was easier to take with me and put the kids in and out of that a stroller. Also, the infant bucket seat was nice for a couple months, but both my kids outgrew them way before a year (Talia at 8 months and Trip at 4 months) so with the next one we're not getting an infant seat - just a convertible that can be rear-facing up to 35 lbs and forward facing up to 50 lbs (we got a Triumph LX).

Brittany - posted on 02/11/2009

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I agree! I want a travel system, the stoller and car seat combined. I've decided on the Evenflo Aura. I was going to get a pink one from walmart.com for 179.00 but decided on a neutral one from the store for 140. I don't think 40 dollars is worth the color pink. The reason I'm getting the evenflo one is because it has the cup holder for adult, the kid's tray, large wheels for tougher terrain or something, and most of all... it has the one handed steering. My friend had that with her baby and i loved it when i pushed her.

Rebecca - posted on 02/11/2009

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I should of said that I have flown alot with my son, not traveled alot with my son, Just wanted to clarify.

Rebecca - posted on 02/11/2009

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Hi Keela,



   I don't know if I can help much but from my experience I think it is just pretty much your preference. I have a graco, which seems to be very popular, I bought the combo traveling system because it comes with the car base the carrier and the matching stroller. Actually, we bought the metrolite because I noticed that alot of the strollers are very heavy and you have to consider carrying it around. I have traveled alot with my son and it doesn't matter what kind of car seat you have as long as it can be straped down with the seat belt. If you have a carrier it has to be in the base on the airplane. As far as the car, I don't think it matters. Most cars now a days have the latches between the seats to hook the car seat in. I hope I helped a little.

Ann - posted on 02/11/2009

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Some of the newer cars do have hooks for car seats which are said to make the car seat even more secure. But I'm with you there are just so many seats out there on the market that its crazy. I'd go online to read reviews and see if anyone found a cerin one to be more difficult to work with and install or not. Personally the one I got for my 2 year old was a gift so I didn't need to worry about untill he was 25 lbs and I needed to go up a level or size.



Good Luck :)

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