Car Seats....

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alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483
Car Seats....

Since I saw the thread about registering it reminded me of a high school friend who is due in October who asked me opinions on her registry.....and turns out she only registered for a booster seat because she had no idea there were different car seats for different stages! I know there are a lot of BTDT mommies on here, but I thought I'd go ahead and share the recent info on car seat safety. What you decide to do in the end is ultimately your decision, but I feel that it's always great to be informed about these types of matter so that you know you made an informed decision for your family. Smile

1) The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) and now the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommend that kids stay rear facing till 2 years of age or beyond depending on the limits of your car seat. There are many rear facing seats that go to 40-45 pounds now. (Do note that this came along with recommendations to keep a child in a high back booster until "4 foot, 9 inches, AND 8-12 years old.")
http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/03/21/car.seat.guidelines.parenting/index.html
http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/aaps-new-car-seat-guidelines-change-rear-facing-booster-rules-2466904.html

2) Why Rear Face? by the car-seat.org blog (car-seat.org btw has fantastic forums for searching for info on different car seats and which ones fits better in which cars - even includes information for others countries especially Canada).
http://carseatblog.com/5168/why-rear-facing-is-better-your-rf-link-guide/

3) Why used car seats may not be the best idea. It's a blog, but there's an interesting picture of car seats looking fine after a major car crash.
http://carseatnanny.blogspot.com/2011/03/why-i-do-what-i-do.html
Quote: "Anne said aside from the dirt, the carseats looked perfectly fine. THIS is why you can't buy used carseats, you won't know if it's been in a crash. Even though they look fine, they have done their job and must be replaced."

4) 11 Deadly Mistakes You Didn't Know You Were Making
Okay the title of this blog post is a bit sensational IMO, but it does contain great information about using car seats properly.
http://treadingragingwaters.blogspot.com/2012/02/11-deadly-mistakes-you-didnt-know-you.html

I know in NZ and AUS there are VAST differences from the US when it comes to car seats. Unless you have a tiny child, chances are you'll struggle to find a car seat that allows a child to rear face till a year. Sad

jgriffith's picture
Joined: 08/20/10
Posts: 420

I'm really hoping I'll be able to keep Ellie rear-facing after this baby comes (she'll be 18months). I am not sure I can get both her myride 65 and the baby's snugride 35 in the car rear-facing in my MDX. I need all five seats, so one of the seats will have to go in the back. I really hope I can make it work! I am going to try to put the myride in the very back RF.

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

It's definitely not easy to puzzle car seats in correctly! I know that there's some good info on that on car-seat.org though. When we bought a new car a few months ago one of the requirements is that it eventually be able to fit 3 car seats. The poor salesmen thought I was nuts when I tried out our two car seats in various positions in the vehicles. Lol

jgriffith's picture
Joined: 08/20/10
Posts: 420

I actually posted the dilemma on car seat.org a couple of weeks ago. No luck Smile I'll just see if I can make it work! We would like to hold off on a bigger car until we get Ellie through chemo and get rid of these medical bills.

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

I'm sure a new car isn't in the budget for y'all! That stinks no one answered. I had a ton of replies when I had asked a question on there previously. Sad Just play around and see what you can do. I'm sure there's some way of puzzling them safely just no easy answers. The smallest seat width wise is now poor redesigned (radian), so I think their go to answer is gone.

Joined: 02/17/12
Posts: 230

Good info! I need to figure out what we are going to do. We need to fit 3 kids in the back row of our Mazda MPV. I can get two back there just fine, that that leaves my 9yo with about 6 inches of space in the middle, and that's not ok with me! We've been looking at the Sunshine Kids radians because they are so skinny. But spending $900 on carseats is crazy!! It is cheaper than a new car though!

Kier's picture
Joined: 03/12/12
Posts: 1973

"argylefrog" wrote:

Good info! I need to figure out what we are going to do. We need to fit 3 kids in the back row of our Mazda MPV. I can get two back there just fine, that that leaves my 9yo with about 6 inches of space in the middle, and that's not ok with me! We've been looking at the Sunshine Kids radians because they are so skinny. But spending $900 on carseats is crazy!! It is cheaper than a new car though!

we also have a mazda MPV. We were able to squeeze all 3 kids in the back seat for our road trip so that we could take out the 2 bucket seats for extra storage space.


best pic that you could see the bottoms of their car seats... taken the day before we left and before DH took out the extra captain seat


all 3 snug in the back

This was just how we had it for that week. DD is usally in one of the captain seat. We have the other one taken out right now for extra space. Soon we will leave the other captain seat in and put the infant seat on there. I did buy this car seat (http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=chicco+keyfit+30&hl=en&prmd=imvns&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1366&bih=681&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=3988114614159316866&sa=X&ei=m3kDUOiXJYr48gSA8JyECA&ved=0CHEQ8wIwAw) because of the narrower base... with the other 3 I had Graco's and the bases were SO wide... so that if we need to fit 3 into the back seat of DH's car, or on the back seat for some reason, it will be more do able Smile

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

We've noticed it was easier to puzzle seats together if you don't use the base with the infant seat. I don't know if I'm going to bother using it or not this baby since we don't really plan to take it out of the car 95% of the time.

Amy, the sunshine kids radian is very narrow (I think it's the narrowest seat for a convertible) and has a high rear facing limit for both weight and height. A bit difficult to install at times, but it's not like you'd ever want to move it once in place. Wink They are now the diono radian and they've been redesigned (so the sunshine kids are actually older seats as in not made past last year if my information is correct)....and not well IMO since the rear facing height limit is less than the britax convertible seats (which used to be one of the shorter limits) and it's no longer as narrow. It's not as wide as the Britax Marathon, but the marathon is wide up high so you can at times puzzle a low riding seat to go under the wide wings without safety being an issue.

I HATE HATE HATE how difficult car seats can be at times to find the right one for your car! It drove me nuts trying to decide on a convertible seat for DS because I couldn't find the ones I was interested in to try out in our cars to make sure it was a good fit. Sad

Honey3.14's picture
Joined: 04/07/12
Posts: 2094

This is going to be a challenge... My little SUV is a Mazda tribute and while I purposely bought a 2001 up because of the mandatory buckles in the back, finding a carseat is not going to be the easiest thing. My friend brought her baby into the office on Friday and I loved hers but holy cow, when I looked it up yesterday the stroller/car seat combo was close to $800. I think I can safely cross that one off my list.

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

We were able to buy our nice stroller on clearance because it was an "old colors" even though there had been no changes made to the stroller between the clearance one I got and the new ones. Something worth looking into. The nicer strollers put out new colors every year so the old ones are pushed out for cheaper. Wink

jgriffith's picture
Joined: 08/20/10
Posts: 420

There is no way the my ride is going in back ff or rf :(. I went to look at double strollers today and pulled Ellie's seat put to try it. I think I am going to leave hers rf where it is and I'll just buckle the baby seat in and out when we load an unload (without the base) I'll be carrying him in it through the winter anyway. Once we get to summer we can come up with a new plan!