Car Seat Hell- What to get after infant seat?

[deleted account] ( 41 moms have responded )

I've been researching a new car seat for my 8 month old for the past few weeks and honestly, my brain hurts! I want to get one that is going to last a while. He will be outgrowing his infant seat soon- so it must do rear and forward facing. Plus, I have a small car so it needs to fit it. I've looked at convertible seats and trying to compare and read reviews is mind numbing. Anyone have suggestions or do you currently have a great car seat that has lasted an older child? I've been thinking of the Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite (suppose to last to booster 100lbs, but seems like it might be big), the Graco My Ride 65 (mixed reviews, but overall seem ok), and the Britax Roundabout 50 (only lasts to 50lbs, yet cheaper than the Marathon)- Please HELP!!!

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Veronica - posted on 03/14/2010

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I have a Eddie Bauwer car seat. It was soo had to chose too. I also have a small car, but this one fits ok in my car and also you may us it for a booster up to 100 lbs. Hope this helps.

[deleted account]

Jennifer,

I know in our state, Oregon, a kid has to be rear facing until they are 1 year old AND at least 22 pounds. However, from everything I've read, it is best to keep them rear facing for as long as possible. I think you can check your state's car seat requirements by just doing a general search on the internet.

Heather - posted on 03/10/2010

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I have the britax roundabout. I like it a lot and it fits pretty well in my mazda 3.

Molly - posted on 03/10/2010

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My son is just 12 months so I don't have experience with older kids, but we picked our seat so it would last a long time. We have a Britax Boulevard (but the Marathon fits the same weight and height). I like it because I can keep him rear facing till 35 lbs, and then still use the 5 point harness forward facing until 65 lbs. Most other seats, even the 3 in 1s, make you switch to a booster at 40 lbs. I'm sure I'm being over-cautious, but I like the extra safety of the 5 point harness. We have small cars too and it's big, but still fits fine in the middle of the back seat.

Debbie - posted on 03/10/2010

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I'm sure the safety 1st is great, but I chose the First Years True Fit convertible seat and am very pleased with it. My 20 month old son has been in it since last summer and we've used it rear and forward facing... rear facing it definitely impeded front seat reclinability but any seat would. We've taken several lengthy car trips (>6 hours) and he's never complained. It's what I would want to sit in if I were his size. :)

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Amanda - posted on 05/19/2011

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I have to say that I am a HUGE fan of Graco. I had a Graco travel system (with the infant seat) that lasted through both my children and to be passed onto a friend for hers. Also, when I was purchasing a crib for my daughter, I had purchased a crib that ended up being faulty and needing to be returned. I purchased another that had the finish start flaking off, finally I purchased a Graco and it is by far the best quality product. When my son outgrew the infant seat we got an evenflo high back booster and a graco booster (spare seat for 2nd car when he was older). The evenflo worked great but he was already able to sit front facing by the time we switched. For my daughter we have a Recaro that is wonderful! It will last until she is about 80 lbs. It is a little costly compared to other brands, but has tons of safety features that Safety 1st, Graco, and Britax don't. We also got her a Costco seat for the 2nd car. The major thing I don't like about the full system car seats as opposed to the boosters is that when she is 5 or 6 she won't want to sit in something that looks like a car seat and they don't have removable backs. Luckily she will be able to use her brother's boosters as he will have outgrown them. Good luck on the hunt!

Michelle - posted on 05/19/2011

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I have cosco convertible seats and high back boosters in my car. I have to have 3 in the back of my car so size was an issue for me. Cosco seats are easy to use, some of the narrowest, and easy to move if necessary. We've used Britax and we had a Graco (both in my husbands car since he only ever takes the two older ones in that car). They were both nice but a lot bigger then the Cosco ones. I've never had a single problem with any of mine. My kids are 3,2, and 5 months. Do not do forward facing until at least 1 (although they recommend as long as you can up until 2).

Lady Heather - posted on 05/19/2011

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We have the Sunshine Kids Radian 65. It's a heavy bugger, but it's nice and narrow so we can load a bunch of seats into the car if need be and it rear faces to 40lb which isn't too shabby I think.

Crystal - posted on 05/19/2011

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i would look for a convertable as he still needs to RF for some time yet please dont buy a nautilus he is not old enough for that if you look on the side of the seat it say they must be 1yr AND 20lbs wich is also the law there legs are not an issue RF is 5 times safer it's about the development of their spine and an infants spine is not strong enough to with stand an impact FF 1yr AND 20lbs minimum FF mine is 22 months 24lbs 32in and RF in a britax roundabout 50 the myride 65 and complete air 65 are also good and both RF to 40lbs and FF to 65lbs

Theresa - posted on 04/12/2010

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I have the Alpha Omega Elite for my 18 month old. I really like it so far. I like that you can adjust the seat back height without rethreading the straps. It makes it really quick and easy.

Nicole - posted on 04/12/2010

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Marathon is the BEST! Lasts along time and is expensive but will last you for years! My oldest was in it for about five years. It is worth the money.

Erin - posted on 03/15/2010

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As long as your child fits the weight and height requirements it may be safer to face them forward. My sons legs were smashed up against the seat when rear facing and he fit all the requirements. Make sure that your child fits the particular car seat as well. We had a hard time choosing, but in the long run we bought the Graco Nautilus 3-in-1, which we are very happy with so far. We will get another for our younger son when he is old enough. The car seat fits kids 20-100 lbs (when you convert it)

[deleted account]

Hi there! At the time of my research for the convertible seat back in 2005 for my older child, the one they were recommending was the Britax Roundabout and that was what we got. It really is a good car seat. We love it. I used the "Baby Bargains" book by the Fields to do my research. Now that we have a second child (he's 9 mos right now) we're using it again the second time around. Still as good as ever. I highly recommend it.

Krystal - posted on 03/14/2010

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hi jennifer kirkpatrick if you live in the uk you can have your baby forward facing at 9 months old and weighs 20lb. our son is 10 months old and weighes 21lb 4 1/2oz and we've just brought him his first forward facing car seat we brought it from halfords and they fitted it for us free of charge and as they do training for this they know the law very clearly. our son loves his new car seat and is very safe and well protected. its a group 1,2,3 car seat. the car seat we have is recaro young sport, its from 9 months -12 years and its from 9kg-36kg the seat grows and your child grows. hope this helps:)

Nicole - posted on 03/14/2010

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I love the Britax. I had 3 kids and they all were in them. They stayed in them until I felt they were too big and needed to be in a booster (I think they were 5+) I love the Marathon! Also They are so comfortable in it and it's great when they fall asleep bc there heads do not drop forward. The sides hold them in!

[deleted account]

Thanks everyone for your responses! We're actually going to try out the Graco My Ride 65, as it seems to be a good seat for the money and really well reviewed on numerous websites. Thanks again!

Mandy - posted on 03/13/2010

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My husband and I just bought the Graco my ride. There was good reviews and not very expensive. We too have a small car and it fits well! not seats had to moved and our son loves sitting up and being able to view his surroundings!

Sally - posted on 03/13/2010

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I have the Marathon and love it. My one word of caution to the 3 in 1 models and other convertables is people tend to forget carseats expire, laws change & things just plain wear out. It is much safer to buy a new seat. This is a childs safety at stake. I want the best and newest for my kid and if I buy a seat that is a 3 in 1 then I am not getting it. By the time they are ready for the booster, the seat in expired or so beat up it just is not safe.

T - posted on 03/12/2010

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I forgot to mention that the Evenflo seat will last your child until he/she is 40 pounds, approx 4 years old depending on your childs size.

T - posted on 03/12/2010

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I have an Even flo Triumph 5 point seat buckle. I love it and so does my daughter. It is comfy and great to adjust each time in and out. Check it out,

Morgan - posted on 03/12/2010

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i have my son in a evenflo forward/rear facing carseat. i love it! it has twist knobs to tighten and loosen the straps and even better my son loves it. its very cushy and soft and still has plenty of room. its rear facing up to 35 lbs and forward facing up to 50 lbs. mine has the easy latch system which is awesome so i dont have to fight with hook and look things all day just push a button and it releases. the bad thing is that the button is very hard to push in all the way to actually get it to release but its still better than the other option. the cover is easy to get off and wash as well. when my husband and i bought this one it was a tight fit rear facing in my pontiac vibe but it did fit. it is a very wide carseat in my vibe it took up a full half of the back seat. we have a cosco seat in my husbands work truck and i hate it so does our son. the seat is hard and he cant get comfortable. and the straps get all tangled up very easily im also not a fan of the pull strap to tighten it because my son grabs it and then sucks it in so tight we have to pull over and loosen it just so he can breathe. good luck!

Karlyn - posted on 03/12/2010

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I have the Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 Car Seat for my now 4 year old. It cost about $ 180 new. I absolutely LOVE this car seat! It is a little bigger than a regular booster/converter car seat but it easily fit into our super TINY Plymouth Sundance, and now fits perfectly in our Minivan! I recommend this car seat to anyone wanting a super safe car seat without the huge sales price. The weight limit is 20-65lbs as a 5-point-harness, then from 30-100lbs it easily converts into a booster with adjustable back with the holders for the regular car seat belt use, can use with highback or use backless. Amazing car seat, I will never switch to anything else. Hope this helps, good luck!!! :D

Melissa - posted on 03/12/2010

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i have the Safety 1st b/c they go up to 100lbs. The buckles do seem to get twisted very easily and my 3yr old gets frustrated. This might be the same on other seats though. I got mine at a very good price at Walmart. We go on 4 hour trips often and both models seem comfortable for the girls. They aren't easy to wash though so we keep the kids from eating in the car as much as possible. Also, what sold me was a mother wrote a review that said she was in a wreck and these seats saved both of her kids b/c of how tall they were. WOW -good luck.

Laura - posted on 03/12/2010

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We went with the Britax Roundabout 50. It fits Well in the center of our Ford Focus. We can even use the Versa tether. The Alpha Omega Seemed like it wouldn't fit height wise and we tried the Safety 1st Uptown Convertible. That one needed way too many towels to get the right angle of recline when rear facing. As for not having all the bells and whistles the roundabout is just fine; our daughter was 27" and 18lb when we got it and she fit very well without all the infant inserts that the other models have. Good luck and you might check out Carseatdata.org I found it helpful.

Kelly - posted on 03/12/2010

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We LOVE our Britax Marathons! But if you have a smaller vehicle, the Roundabout is also a good choice. My daughter is very small (she's almost 5 and only 5th percentile) and I wanted something that was going to be very comfortable for her since she will be using it for quite sometime before she can booster. Definitely worth every penny! In my husband's car we have two Cosco Convertibles and the kids hate them, but they very seldom go in his car, so we didn't want to have to spend a lot on seats for his car. Ihate the way the harnesses adjust on the Coscos. Definitely check with your state regs, because some of them can be really strict about weights and ages. The Britax can be both forward and rear facing, so we keep both our kids rear facing for more than a year since there was plenty of leg room.

Theresa - posted on 03/12/2010

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Jennifer, you need to check with your states laws on car seats. Yiou should just be able to search "car seat laws, (whatever state you're in)" Most doctor's offices also have a pamphlet they can give you. Just ask.

Jennifer - posted on 03/12/2010

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when do you know when it good time to put you baby face forward in the car seat my son only 20 pound can he safty seat forward in the car seat i talked to other family and they say yes so im confuss about it been almaost seven years since we a baby so iknow the laws have change any help would be nice thanks

Molly - posted on 03/11/2010

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You should think about how big your son is now to determine how many pounds you need your seat to go up to. My son is 12 months and 24 pounds so it will take him less time than other babies to reach the 40 pound limit of some seats. If your son is big, you may want to consider a seat the goes to 65lbs in a 5 point harness. If your son is smaller, than you could get away with 40-50lbs.

Amanda - posted on 03/11/2010

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I got a convertible seat from Target it's made by Graco. I have a geo prizm and can fit it behind the drivers seat and still sit comfortably. It goes up to 40 lbs. and that will last for quite awhile. My sister's son is about 30lbs and he's 2 1/2 so that gives you an idea of about how long you should get use out of it. Hope this helps

Laura - posted on 03/11/2010

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I have this one (The First Years True Fit Convertible Car Seat):

http://www.amazon.com/First-Years-True-C...





It's amazing! I bought it before my son was one as a rear facing and now he faces forward. It's so safe.. it has every safety feature you can think of. Plus, it really comfortable for baby. It comes in many colors. I paid over $200 for it and the price now is much more afforable. It goes up to 65 pounds.



And, when I bought it, I had a two door Infiniti G35, so I know it will fit in a smaller car!

Jamie - posted on 03/11/2010

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My daughter is 18 months old and she has a Graco Comfort Sport - Marissa. It is a convertible car seat. It has a lot of latches on it which I really like. It helps to get it strapped down really tight...she's not going anywhere in that thing. You can use it up until 40 pounds. I wouldn't stress too much on the weight capacity. I did at first...but my daughter is still only 24 pounds. To an adult 40 pounds seems like nothing...but for your little one it will take a lot of time for them to get up to that weight! P.S. the carseat works great and it also very affordable compared to some of the others. It is a girly carseat...but I'm sure they have another style perfect for your little man.

Rebekah - posted on 03/11/2010

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I love my son's Britax Marathon. He was rear-facing until he was 26 months old and at age 3 still fits comfortably in it.

We're purchasing the Sunshine Kids Radian for his sister though b/c it can be rear-facing to 40lbs, and is one of the narrowest car-seats on the market (and I need to get three car-seats across in my Honda CRV).

Jessica - posted on 03/11/2010

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i have the alpha omega car seat 3 in 1 and its awesome, its a 5 point harness and it goes into a booster seat as well as forward and rear facing if you need that too

Elizabeth - posted on 03/11/2010

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Britax Roundabout is the way to go!! I started with the Britax with my first daughter (after the infant seat, when she was about 9 months). When my twins were ready for bigger car seats, I bought the Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite (for my daughter) and another Britax for the twins. I hate the Safety 1st, as does my daughter. She complains about it daily and always wants to sit in the twins' seats. It is also huge and heavy. The cover is a pain in the neck to take off and clean...whereas the Britax cover is super easy to remove. Spend the extra $ and go with Britax!!!! I give this advice to all moms who ask!

Theresa - posted on 03/10/2010

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I have the Alpha Omega Elite. My daughter is only 17 months, so haven't gone to the real old child yet, but so far I love it. I have a Minivan, so space wasn't such an issue.

Medic - posted on 03/10/2010

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I have two of the Alpha Omega Elites and I absolutely love them. My son is 3.5 and has used it since he was 4 months. They are big but when I first got it I drove a little Lancer and it fit just fine(I'm tall so I had to have my seat all the way back and it still fit). Now we have one in my Xterra and one in my hubbys Frontier and they fit well. I would recomend these seats to everyone.

Stephanie - posted on 03/10/2010

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it doesn't go into a booster seat, but we like the evenflo triumph. we've had one for each of our 3 kids and will get another for this new kidlet. it goes birth through 40 lbs., rear and forward facing. then we'll get a little booster seat-prolly the $20 graco one.

Jess - posted on 03/10/2010

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best 1's 2 get are the booster and carseat all in 1 . i had the same problem as you, and i have twins ! . you can get a seat like a car seat but it is a boster , it has the inbilt harness exactly the same as the harness in a normal car seat and wen child is big enough u can easily remove the straps and turn it it2 a booster, they are the best thing out, and the other best thing doesnt take up much room and the backrest can change in height, for tallness .

Erin - posted on 03/09/2010

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i like the saftey 1st seats, i like to get seats that over lap. i have 3 kids, each of them had a different carrier, but my youngest is currently using my oldests first seat. it is a safety 1st 2 in one. it has a 5 point harness and rear as well as forward facing capability. after that i have a seat, my middle daughter is in, that has a 5 point harness, then converts to a high back booster. i personally like having 2 stage seats because i have kids of different ages and sizes. if you are only going to have the 1 then a seat that goes from rear faceing to forward faceing to booster may be a better opption for you. if you ask, some stores will allow you to take the seat out to your car to try it for fit.

Andrea - posted on 03/09/2010

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I have 2 different Safety 1st seats and i love them both.. I have had 3 in total.. But was not able to use the one as it was in an accident in october when i rolled my van with my 6 month old daughter and 2 year old son it.. I would say go with the safety 1st ones... As this held my son in place and he didn't have a mark on him at all... The cops told me that none of us should have lived.. Hope this is helpful... take care and best wishes.. it is a hrad one to pick whats best for our kids...

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