Upgrading from Infant carseat. Advice?

Heather - posted on 01/31/2012 ( 50 moms have responded )

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My dd will be 1 at the end of February. She is not yet 20 lbs but will obviously be needing one soon. We plan on doing extended rear facing so looking for a good convertible seat. Anybody have any thoughts on brands or types they liked or disliked?

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Becca - posted on 02/01/2012

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we love the Graco MyRide 65. it rear faces to 40 lbs and then front faces to 65 lbs. we bought one and liked it so much we got a second one shortly thereafter. it's super user-friendly and my baby seems very comfortable in it. big thumbs-up! :)

Joy - posted on 02/01/2012

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I would stay far away from the Cosco Brand carseats, I have a couple and they are nearly impossible to tighten properly and I read an article that stated the Cosco company will do everything in their power to fight a recall. they even fought one battle for 2001 carseats until 2008 and when they lost they tried to fight the recall stating that those seat were past the expiration date so they should not have to issue the recall. If I had known that I never would have bought them but now do not have the money to replace them.

Heather - posted on 02/01/2012

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We use the Britax Roundabout. I tried 2 other Graco seats and ended up returning them. My son love the cow print on the seat cover and it is so easy to install. Plus it wasn't as expensive as the marathon.

Amanda - posted on 02/01/2012

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we got a Britax off of Amazon and have been very pleased with it. It has a high rear facing weight limit and a tether that could be used rear facing, which was important to us

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Nicole - posted on 02/25/2012

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the britax is the best, but if you're like me and can't afford that high of a price, the next best is the graco myride 65. it has one of the highest weight limits for rear facing and can be used from infant all the way to at least 65lbs i think. it is so comfortable, sturdy, two cupholders and i think retail price is $165 which isn't bad for how wonderful it is!

Alexandra - posted on 02/07/2012

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we have a britax, because it was the easiest seat belt to buckle. and it is very comfy too!

Megan - posted on 02/05/2012

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We have a britax marathon. Super sturdy, very easy to get our son in and out, my husband doesn't have to worry about breaking it where you tighten or release the straps like he did with our graco. Look at the underside where that strap goes in. make sure its reinforced with metal, not plastic. Check how it fits in your car, and if you are going to move it from car to car, look for one that isn't going to cause headaches.

I love our britax so much. Its only 40 rear facing (I believe that's the number), but our son is a skinny butt and only weighs 27# at 26 months. He'll be rear facing until he's 3 at this rate. But I applaud you for going with extended rear facing. Its such a safer option if you can do it!!

Cel - posted on 02/04/2012

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Get Britax. The best carseat. I used it as rearfacing until my son is 3 years old. My son is quite small. This is the most comfortable carseat. My son is usually a fussy kid but using this britax for a trip to montreal from toronto (5-6 hours drive) my son did not even complain with his seat compared to what he uses at grandma's car the evenflo brand. Britax is worth the money.

Jessica - posted on 02/04/2012

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My friends talk the world of Britax. They are a bit pricy, but great! They even work up to I believe 100lb, so in reality, you won't need another until your child is ready for a booster!

Margarita - posted on 02/03/2012

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Another thing to keep in mind if you want to put three seats in the back is the width and height of your middle seat. My Matrix is probably wide enough across all three, but the middle seat is raised and although an infant base could fit on it, no convertible could without wobbling.

Merry - posted on 02/03/2012

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We had a safety first model and a sunshine one and they didn't fit next to eachother so we got a second sunshine seat and sold the safety first one. Now they fit well :)

[deleted account]

Yeah, Laura and I was hoping they would I want to be able to put all the kids in the back so we can bring friends. My backseat only has 1.5 inches between the two carseats I have. According to the website the sunshine kids seats are only 1.7inches narrower then mine. I am 9 inches short on space. Bummer

Erica - posted on 02/03/2012

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Evenflow Tritan, my daughter didn't reach that 20lb milestone till she was 18mo. She's 4 now and still loves it. She's not yet able to be in a booster yet also.

Merry - posted on 02/03/2012

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Really? I think my car is a compact car......I fit two in there easily and sit back with them often. How can you tell they wouldn't fit?

[deleted account]

My car and van must have smaller backseats then, I just looked up the sunshine kids seats and I couldn't fit them in either...

Merry - posted on 02/03/2012

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That's one of advertised perks of the sunshine kids. They fit three side by side in most vehicles. I know I'd fit three in my pt cruiser if I tried.. Two rearfacing and one front facing, not all three rear facing unless I had a super short husband :)

[deleted account]

I have 2 Britax, you can get them at target for about $150 now. I love mine. And I cannot get 3 of any brand carseat side-by-side in any vehicle besides the Silverado. I have 2 britax and an infant seat all at the same time when I drive that. Both of mine are actually narrower then the carseat that my friends have for their 2 year old...

Merry - posted on 02/03/2012

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Oh nice! Well I was wrong then, idk why I had the idea they were in the $300 range...

What's the tallest height limit?

Sherri - posted on 02/03/2012

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Nope about the same cost wise. I just looked at babiesrus and they went for $160-$232.

Merry - posted on 02/03/2012

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But aren't they more expensive? We got ours for $223....

I sure most kids age out or grow out height wise before weight limits :) my nephew is almost 13 and he's not quite 65lbs!

Sherri - posted on 02/03/2012

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Laura my child was in middle school before he was 65lbs and completely out of a car seat or a booster for that matter by that point as he was 12yrs old. I love my Britax and still have my 5yr old almost 6yr old in it w/the 5 pt harness and will for a while yet as he isn't even 50lbs. I also don't find it any bigger than any other carseat I have owned. Are they bigger than the Sunshine kids sure but not any bigger than the avg. seat.

Merry - posted on 02/03/2012

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Britax seats are nice, but they are more expensive then the sunshine kids ones and they are not as good!

They only harness until 65 lbs, and they're huge! You could never fit three side by side in a car!

Amy - posted on 02/03/2012

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There is a sale going on at Babiesrus for car seats - you can get 25% if you do a trade in. I like the Britax brand because of the safety. I have a Roundabout and a Marathon.

Happy Hunting!

Hope - posted on 02/02/2012

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Thanks for the advise on the Evenflo Symphony 65 DLX. I'm getting ready to make the purchase this weekend at Babies R- Us. They have a great deal, where you bring in a used item (car seat, stroller, swing, crib) and they will give you 25% off of any new item. Jan 27 thru Feb 20

Merry - posted on 02/02/2012

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We love the sunshine kids radian xtsl.

It's rear facing up to 45lbs and five point harnessed up to 80lbs and 53 inches once forward facing.

It's literally the best seat I've found in America.

The company is now called diono and their new seat is even better as after the 80lbs harness edit càn be used as a belt using booster until 120lbs

Obviously this seat will be expensive as it will be used the rest of your child's time in a car seat but it's so worth it.

No other seat harnesses that long or rear faces that long.



It's the only seat I'd spend money on :)

Kim - posted on 02/02/2012

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I really like Saftey first car seats. Both of my Kids are in Saftey first seats. They are well padded and very comfy. Easy to do up and also to adjust the belts too. The main reason we bought them is for the comfort we do go off roading and we wanted to make sure they were going to be comfortable and safe all in one, also for the long trips too.

Ashley - posted on 02/02/2012

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I love the Britax Marathon we have. I had to start looking for a seat that had a higher hight requirement because my son is so tall when he hit 20 lbs. He was born 2 months premature and was already 15 1/2 inches at that point. He is still in that seat and is now 2 1/2 and loves it. I am expecting again and getting the same seat for our daughter. We don't have any problems either when putting the seat in different cars and is easy to do.

Diana - posted on 02/02/2012

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I cannot say enough good things about our Britax blvd. . Both of my children have used it as a forward and rear facing seat. It weight range is 5-65 lbs!! It's so comfortable for them and super safe.

One extra feature that I love is the fact that it reclines. You will not have to worry about having a sleeping child with the sad "broken neck" tilted head.

Margarita - posted on 02/02/2012

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I'm partial to the Radians by Sunshine Kids (1 in my car and 1 in hubby's) but definitely agree you should try to go to an actual store so you can test if they work with your car (I was fine with it RF in my Matrix, but hubby felt it brought the seat a little too upright for his taste).



All are fairly safe, so you should look for: 1) a high weight limit (most brands have one or more models that can RF until 40 or more and FF 65 or more), 2) wings - I didn't bother with my Radian 65, but once I bought the Radian XL for hubby's car (he drives a coupe, so we went straight for FF after she outgrew her Snugride 32), I realized why they made a difference. It's not as noticeable RF since they recline, but when FF, their head tends to bob less if they have wings to lean on. I'm not a fan of the padding and neck pillows as my munchkin sweats profusely in her sleep, so wings would work better. 3) Fit in your car! Different car seats fit different cars differently (say that 10 times fast!) and the best rated car seat won't do squat if it won't sit securely in your car. One of the nice thing about the Radians is their new "superlatch" that actually allows you to keep them latched up to their maximum weight capacity - 65 or 80 depending on the model (many latches are no good after 40 lbs and you need to switch to seatbelts) provided your car will handle the weight (you can check your owner's manual or call their customer service to make sure. 4) Your kid's comfort (maybe this should be #1). Bring the wee one along and have her sit on a few to see if she gets cranky or uncomfortable, loves it and falls asleep, etc. Mine for some reason hated the Britax Frontier, which I was considering for hubby's car as it becomes a booster.



In addition to BRU's trade-in event, Buy Buy Baby takes Bed Bath and Beyond coupons (they won't take them if expired and you should read the exclusions) as well as competitors and off-course, their own. If you have one near you, I find they tend to have some of the carseats you can usually only find online.



I remember there was a website where parents posted how a particular car seat fit in particular cars, but for the life of me can no longer find it. Maybe you will have better luck.



Definitely keep her rear facing as long as she's ok with it, but once she starts dangling her legs on the sides because she doesn't feel like bending then when her heels hit the seat, it's time to flip her around =)

Kalinka - posted on 02/01/2012

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My son has always been very skinny, but normal length. So I was in doubt as well whether to put him into the next car seat. I am very happy with my Maxi Cosi Tobi, it's a little bit narrower than other car seats and the head rest can be raised. My son fits perfectly in this car seat even with his winter coat on. He is now nearly 3 years old and still fits in it. I will wait until he is 4 before getting the next car seat. Hope this information helps.

Anne - posted on 02/01/2012

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We used the Britax Boulevard brand. It has side air bags? It was recommended at an info session I went to done by a Police officer. She also said that having your child rear facing as long as you can is best. In Sweden they keep them until age 4. My son is 17 months and doesn't seem to mind being backwards so I'll keep him that way as long as I can.

Amanda - posted on 02/01/2012

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For my son we've been using the Britax Boulevard since he grew out of the Snugride (He's 3 now). For my little girl we bought The Safety 1st Air Protect but we haven't switched her over to it yet. Both of these are highly rated for safety and can be used rear facing for a long time. I like that both of these have the head protecting sides which make them safer and also makes them comfy when they fall asleep in the car.

Benchinique - posted on 02/01/2012

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if u can i would suggest buying your new car seat from babies r us since they are having their trade in event and u will get 25% off, and it doesnt matter what u trade in as long as its o the approved list so if u have an old walker or cheap umbrella stroller then u can get a great deal

Dorothy - posted on 02/01/2012

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I like the Britax Marathon, but, pretty much any seat with a high RF height and weight limit will do.



I had a $60ish one for my sitter with a 35 RF weight limit.It's this one with different colors. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Evenflo-Tribut... It's cheaper now too. :)



It's easy to use once installed, but a pain to install RF. Of course it's super easy to install FF. @@ If cost is a factor it's a decent full time seat

Dorothy - posted on 02/01/2012

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I like the Britax Marathon, but, pretty much any seat with a high RF height and weight limit will do.



I had a $60ish one for my sitter with a 35 RF weight limit.It's this one with different colors. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Evenflo-Tribut... It's cheaper now too. :)



It's easy to use once installed, but a pain to install RF. Of course it's super easy to install FF. @@ If cost is a factor it's a decent full time seat

[deleted account]

I have a Safety First something or other that rear faces to 35 pounds. My son was rear facing til 3.25 even though he's just now 35 pounds at 3.75.

Timora - posted on 02/01/2012

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I have an Evenflo Symphony 65 for my daughter and I really like it. She is still rear facing in it at 3 years and 30 lbs. The rear facing limit is 35 lbs, harness to 65 lbs and booster to 100 lbs. I find their quick latch install system very easy to use. I can switch it between cars in less than 5 min. It fits in both of our cars (Honda Civic and Toyota Prius) and her babysitters Honda van (an Odyssey I think). We did have trouble getting it tight in one of my mother-in-law's cars though.

Kim - posted on 02/01/2012

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I have a Britax Marathon and I love it. We had a cheaper Evenflo one for my son(not sure exact one) and after using the Britax I would never go for cheaper again. The straps are easy to adjust, never twist, fits in our truck perfectly without loosening up all the time, and seems very safe to me. We were in a bad accident and hit on my daughters side when she was a baby and she was absolutely fine.

Kristi - posted on 02/01/2012

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honestly i like the cosco ones they are probably the most decent priced aand easiest to handle ive found the more exspensive carseats tend to have too much padding that it just gets in the way and they tend to make the straps etc more complicated to work and adjust i like my daughters cheaper carseat then the mre exspensive one we have

Millie - posted on 02/01/2012

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Edie Baur Convertible Car Seat. For about $100 bucks you get rear facing to 40 pounds, then converts to 5 point harness for forward use and then converts to booster seat up to 80 pounds. One car seat that will take you from infant all the way to 2-3 grade when they are tall enough (New rule is 4 ft 9 inches tall) to not need a car seat/booster anymore. Keep an eye out for it at Costco or Sam's Club. They generally have the best price for it. If not, I know Target carries it for about $130. Mine made it through both of my children and are now being used by best friend's twins. No recalls to date.

[deleted account]

I'm saving up for a sunshine kids car seat for my daughter and unborn baby. They go rear facing up to 45lbs and convert from infant to toddler to booster seat. So you only need one car seat for the whole 9ish years they will be in it.

Dana - posted on 02/01/2012

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At Babies R Us and Toys R Us, you can bring in your old seat and get 20% off the next one. They also have comparable prices.

Kara - posted on 02/01/2012

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Radian 80xtsl. Great seat! Narrow seat path, FAA approved for air travel, and will last awhile.

Heather - posted on 02/01/2012

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Thanks for the info! I think I'm going to go to babies r us since they let you try it in your car to see if it fits. Doesn't mean I'll buy it from them (lol) but if we know what one fits then I can look for a good deal.

Medic - posted on 01/31/2012

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I have the britax marathon in both cars for my 2 year old and my 5 year old is still in his alpha omega elite. I love both but when each was born I bought the number 1 rated seat.

Sherri - posted on 01/31/2012

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Sunshine kids -RadianXTSL or Britax Marathon that go rearfacing till 40lbs and the Britax can use the 5pt harness to 65lbs.

Nikki - posted on 01/31/2012

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We have the safety 1st 3 in 1 it RFS til 40lbs i think we love this car seat bc we found it gave us the most room for the front passenger as well/ It is also reasonably priced and when i was rear ended then pushed into another car my son didnt even notice we even got hit, we have since bought another one as its one carseat per accident but Im happy to say this carseat has done an amazing job and cross my fingers I dont have to test it out again for an accident

Kay - posted on 01/31/2012

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We are using the Graco Smartseat. It was pricier than some of the others we looked at, but we decided the convenience of having a carseat that still used bases was well worth it, since it is constantly getting shifted between vehicles. It is huge though--in my car, it can't go behind the driver's seat if my fiancé is driving (I have a Malibu Maxx). We saved a good bit with a coupon and a sale they had in store that day. It is rear facing to 35 lbs.



If you have a Babies R Us nearby, they will let you take them and try them in your car for fit. Highly recommend it. The fit of the carseat--both to your car and to your child--are your most important considerations.

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