Thursday, June 18, 2009

car seat advice

As I had mentioned earlier we are on the verge of needing new car seats for the babies.

We have started doing some research on car seats and we are a little overwhelmed at the options. My first inclination was to find the car seat that would last the longest, thus saving us from having to buy yet another set in another year or so. Some seats have weight limits from 5-100lbs. Meaning that your child can go from the hospital and them almost to college all while sitting in the same car seat. This seemed a little extreme. According to most growth rate charts, most babies will not reach 35 lbs until they are about 3 years old.

In our research we have also found that the AAP is now recommending that, while 1 year old and 20lbs is the minimum recommendation for moving a child into a forward facing seat, children should stay rear facing for as long as possible.
  • Read the AAP article.
  • Click here for an article explaining the benefits of keeping a child rear facing for as long as possible.
What else should I take into consideration when choosing a car seat? What have been your preferences, etc?


  1. Alisa,
    Not all car seats are made equally, as I am sure you have found out. We started with evenflo, and then had some problems when I tried to take off the cover to wash it.(a little vomiting episode in the car) I had to take the whole seat apart, and then the foam fell out and broke and the filling in the cover bunched up and made a very uneven and uncomfortable ride for emma. So, I broke down and paid the price for the Britax Marathon. We have had them three years and I love them.(easy to intall well, easy to clean, comfortable for napping and riding-no head bobbing) Amelia just turned 5, so we just put her into a booster {pink}(Sunshine Kids Monterey)and I love that too. Emma will ride in hers another year, so they have really been worth the investment. I got a discontinued fabric,so it was on sale, and there are many websites that will ship for free...saves lots of hassel. happy shopping

  2. Hey Alisa,
    I saw your blog on facebook. What cute babies. Twins are great. They always have a friend!

  3. I haven't even STARTED looking for car seats and other "baby gear"! I should really get in the ballgame!

  4. Don't buy a Evenflo Triumph Car Seat. They are awful. I bought a graco and love it. If you can afford Britax, that was my favorite. The only problem is if you are in a small accident, you have to replace them. That really adds up.

  5. I LOVE our Britax Marithon. It's awesome, and found it pretty inexpensive online. If you want they can be rear facing in it up to 35 lbs.

  6. Alisa, those are DARLING photos of Maya with the globe! I haven't been here in awhile and need to go look at all your photos. They are beautiful children.

    Britax. Period - seriously. I haven't had the Marathon (I think that must be a newer model??) but I have TWO of the Roundabout (can turn both ways - we were given the first one by a friend and then decided to keep Lizzie in it and bought a new one when C. was born so soon after). They are now 4 and 2 and both still in their Roundabouts. LOVE THEM!

  7. As a former car seat inspector, I think it is better to ensure that the car seat is properly installed. We did not buy super expensive car seats since nothing unsafe can be sold. (Make sure to register your seats so if there is a recall you can be contacted). Since we are not dealing with twins but knew we would have two babies close, we had a strategy after the infant seat(bought a convertible one at first for Colin that could then be used for a sibling then a 5 pt harness than can be a booster too for when Colin is ready for that). I know child safety is very important, but from Brian's reading Freakonomics (I think, he read two similar books at the same time), he is a lot more skeptical of the entire child safety industry. It is important to find seats that work well with your car and seat belt system. Need to go, Jane is playing with plugs.

  8. And I know it is less safe, but we turned Jane forward even a little before a year. She was close to 25 pounds and like 32 inches and I am sure she had the skeletal development of a 1 year old. We had a long drive back in May she was more more happy to see us.

  9. I love my Graco. It's big and comfy and safe and has lots of straps to hook into the car and seat belt and what not. Buying a 350 dollar car seat was never an option for me so the Graco has been awesome! I agree with your friend up there, just make sure they are installed properly. And it's too bad they want me to turn Livy around until she's two, that will NEVER happen!! ha! it actually made me laugh when my ped. told me that!

  10. Britax, if it's in your price range. I think most car seats on the market are probably equally safe if installed properly. But we have really liked both our Britaxes because of the ease of use--they are easy to install, adjust, clean. There really is a difference. Other car seats (Coscos, Evenflos, some Gracos, etc.) drive me crazy--especially day in and day out. (Think about how much you put your babies in and out of the car seat. It's nice when that goes smoothly.) We have both a Marathon and Roundabout. I actually like the Roundabout better--the Marathon is a beast--but that means it will last longer.

    We try to leave our kids rear-facing past 1 year/20 pounds for as long as we can stand it. Which I think has been all of an extra month! We have ended up turning them around right before a long road trip (because it's so much easier on everyone that way).

    Also, I love the pictures of Maya and whole world! So cute!

  11. I'm glad you posted this. I was thinking of turning Gabe's seat around, but think I'll wait awhile now.

  12. I read all of your friends comments. Some were pretty funny. "Nothing unsafe can be sold"?! yeah, right.

    also, "The only problem is if you are in a small accident, you have to replace them. That really adds up."

    How many accidents is she planning on? (you may not want to drive in a car with her)(jk)

    I love it when my kids turn front facing. I did read that rear facing is safest for children and adults. You might want to consider one for Lonnie.

    Things I do know: You are not suppose to keep a car seat longer than 5 years. The DI does not accept used car seats (we tried to give Bron's old one to them). If any carseat is in an accident you are suppose to get rid of it.

    I agree with your one friend who said the most important thing is that the car seats are installed correctly.

    I love your pictures!

  13. We are all about the Gracos. Had an Evenflo once. It sucked.

  14. After doing lots of research (Lonnie loves to read online reviews and government safety websites) we decided to buy The First Years True Fit car seats. They are one of the favorites of the pro-rear-facing crowd. They are also wider in the shoulders so kids up to 65lbs sill feel comfortable in the 5 point harness.

    I know a lot of you said that you didn't think your kids would stay rear-facing. Our kids don't really complain too much about it so we aren't going to give them the option. They have each other and they also have mirrors on the back out the car seats that allow them to also see us.

    We ordered the seats on Amazon because it was the cheapest place and installed them today. They are a tight fit (while rear facing) in our little car but it looks like they are going to work well.

    Thanks for all of your input.