car seat overload--HELP! - page 2
This question is for any mother baby nurses or those who just happen to have experience with newborns. I'm trying to research carseats online and am so overwhelmed!!! For those of you who... Read More
Nov 3, '06I just wanted to add that it is actually not recommended that you place an infant car seat (or any, especially not a convertible car seat, but I can't imagine someone lugging one of those things out of the car and actually trying to fit it on the top of a shopping cart, but you never know .) on a shopping cart. There have been a lot of injuries due to the cart tipping because of the uneven weight. I know most car seats actually come with this feature now, but it isn't the safest way to go. I found this info at http://www.aap.org/family/carseatguide.htm if you scroll down about, a little before half way there is a box that says "Car Safety Seats and Shopping Carts"
It is recommended that you use a front/back/side/sling carrier or a stroller. Ofcorse a stroller is not convienent in stores because where are you going to put your stuff? So an infant carrier probably is most convienent
Nov 3, '06Quote from AlixandraI actually have this seat and love it. I had read complaints of the straps twisting but have never experienced it myself. We installed using LATCH and it works perfectly in my Honda. My daughter actually falls asleep in this seat which she hasn't done in any seat since she was a newborn. She is not a good car rider!! Anyway, just had to offer a differing opinion.Also, anyone who has ever used an Evenflo Triumph(one of their top rated seats last year) can tell you it is damn near impossible to install the straps twist like mad
Nov 4, '06Quote from AlmabellaYou can buy Chicco carseats and strollers at Babies R Us. They only had two different patterns/colors, though, so we ended up registering for the one we wanted online through Babies R Us. The universal carrier is the Baby Trend brand one - though it doesn't list Chicco as one of the brands it works for, the seat does fit nicely into the frame. It doesn't click in, but I don't know that it has to as long as it fits snugly and you use the straps to secure the seat.Thank you so much for all the responses! Gompers--where did you buy the car seat and universal carrier? Did you buy them online?
Nov 4, '06Quote from slou!This is exactly why I overlooked this "flaw" in the Chicco seat. I didn't think it was very safe anyways so now it's a moot point. I don't have a Snugli or Baby Bjorn but might invest in one if it gets to be a problem. As of right now, though, I think I'll just try to get my major shopping done when someone else is home with the little one.I just wanted to add that it is actually not recommended that you place an infant car seat (or any, especially not a convertible car seat, but I can't imagine someone lugging one of those things out of the car and actually trying to fit it on the top of a shopping cart, but you never know .) on a shopping cart. There have been a lot of injuries due to the cart tipping because of the uneven weight. I know most car seats actually come with this feature now, but it isn't the safest way to go. I found this info at http://www.aap.org/family/carseatguide.htm if you scroll down about, a little before half way there is a box that says "Car Safety Seats and Shopping Carts"
Nov 4, '06I used the Graco SnugRide. It's an awesome seat--highly rated by Consumer Reports, recommended by Baby Bargains, and the bestselling seat around. Just make sure you buy a model equipped with a strap-adjuster located where baby's feet lay. This makes a huge difference in the convenience department! Prices range (I think) from around $60-$110 depending on what kind of bells and whistles you want on it.
www.babiesrus.com has a lot of parent reviews for baby products that is pretty helpful.
Nov 4, '06Quote from GompersYeah it really doesn't make sense that companies even make them like that when they have to know it's not that safe.This is exactly why I overlooked this "flaw" in the Chicco seat. I didn't think it was very safe anyways so now it's a moot point. I don't have a Snugli or Baby Bjorn but might invest in one if it gets to be a problem. As of right now, though, I think I'll just try to get my major shopping done when someone else is home with the little one.
That sounds like a good idea. People usually buy ALL of it before hand and then come back to the store 6 times with returns, of after the baby is born, the baby didn't like it, we already got 3 of them, etc. I guess you kind of figure out what you need and don't need more once the baby is actually born. Good luck to you
Nov 4, '06It actually says in all infant seat manuals NOT to ever put the seat on top of a shopping cart because it is dangerous if the seat were to fall or the cart to tip, which is very easy due to the cart now being top heavy due to the infant seat being there.
In my opinion one of the best infant seats there is would be the
Graco Safe Seat (sometimes referred to with a step 1)($129.99 without a boot, and $149.99 with one at BabiesRUs)- it is an infant seat that is good to 30 lbs and 32 inches tall so it will last 90% of children until they are 1 and possibly longer. I know several people who have these and they love them and they do fit in any car seat frame/stroller that a Snugride will fit in. One person I know has her 18 month old in this seat and he still fits comfortably in it. It is also super super easy to install and install correctly and has a built in lockoff in the base and is one of the easiest carseats to install correctly.
Trust me the price is worth it when you consider that most children never even make it to 6 months in normal infant seats either outgrowing them by weight OR height(they have outgrown the seat once there is 1 inch or less of hard plastic shell above their head) long before the age of 1. My son(he's now 4 and in a harnessed seat that goes to 80 lbs with the harness, Britax Husky, now called the Regent) outgrew his Evenflo infant seat by height at the age of 3 months when he weighed 11 lbs, he would have made it to at least 14 months before outgrowing the SafeSeat by height and that is going by 'standing' height which really doesn't say if he really would have outgrown it by then or if he would have fit in it longer, as each child carries their height differently.
The Chicco Keyfit is another highly recommended seat due to ease if installation and ease of use and the fact that it has a 4 lb starting weight when all of the others that have a 5 lbs starting weight. It also has an infant insert for babies under 11 lbs so it helps preemies and other small babies fit better in the seat than other seats without the insert. It sells for $149.99 at BabiesRUs. Personally unless I had a preemie or a small baby I would go for the Graco over the Chicco but that is just my personal preference as my child only made it 3 months in a traditional infant seat, so logic says that my next child would most likely also be long torsoed.
I will also say that the longer a child can rearface the better, the AAP recommends a child rearface to the rearfacing weight limit of the seat because rearfacing is a lot safer than forward facing. Her is info on why rearfacing is safer:
In fact if we could all ride rearfacing we would all be safer. There was a study done that showed the between the ages of 1 and 2 children who were rearfacing were 4x less likely to die in an accident than children who were forward facing. Here is ther link to said article
Also the bare minumum for forward facing is at least 20 lbs(even though most new seats have ther ff weight beginning at 22 lbs, check your manual to find out what it is on your convertible seat) AND 1 year, it's not an either or thing both have to be met but longer is better. Be sure to read the manual since some seats also have a minumum height requirement for forward facing. Also their feet touching the back of the seat is perfectly fine, there have never been any reports of leg injuries due to that and even if there were I'd rather my child have a broken leg than a broken neck. Broken legs are fixable broken necks aren't but as I said there have been no reports ever of a child breaking their legs due to rearfacing with their legs touching the seat. Here is an album of children rearfacing past the age of 1, I think there are a few 4 and 5 year olds in there.
My own son rearfaced until 18 months which is when he outgrew the seat he was in by height for rearfacing. Had I known better I would have bought either A Cosco Scenera($40 at Walmart or KMart) which had a higher shell and 35 lbs rearfacing weight limit(the highest there is) it also forward faces to 40 lbs and this is about the cheapest car seat there is and it comes highly recommended by people who know their carseats. My son had the identical seat under a different name and it lasted him forward facing until he was 3(which is when he outgrew his other more expensive forward facing seat and was moved the his Husky) and he has a long torso. I might have also bought either a Britax Marathon($269.99 at BabiesRUs), Britax Boulevard($299.99 at BabiesRUs, it has true side impact protection and an infant body pillow insert), or a Britax Decathalon(284.99 at BabiesRUs, it just has the infant insert pillow) all have very tall top harness slots(17 inches) and all rearface up to 33 lbs, and with the deep shell almost all children would be able to rearface in them to 33 lbs(including my really long torsoed skinny son, who just reached 33 lbs 5 months ago), and forward face to 65 lbs which is very excellent, it lasts most children until they are around 5-7 and ready(weight and maturity wise) for a belt positioning booster. I would have gone for one of Britax seats as they are the best seats there are to buy and they really do last the longest out of any carseat you might buy.
There is also the Fisher Price Safe Voyage Deluxe which is a stripped down version of the Marathon(it doesn't have a few little features like easier lock offs for the seat belts and las a dififerent harness adjuster but it's the same seat and sheel as the Marathon made by Britax but with the Fisher Price name) that rearfaces to 33 lbs and forward faces to 55 lbs, it sells for $179.99 at BabiesRUs.
There is also the SafeGuard, which I wouldn't buy even if I was made of money, it costs
$449.00(http://www.safeguardseat.com/child/index.htm) simply because it wouldn't last any longer than any of the Britax seats I mentioned above, but it's said to be a really nice seat. The Cosco seat is mentioned because I understand that people are on budgets and you can't get any better seat on a budget than a $40 seat and it is better liked than any seat, which are all more expensive) other than the Britax ones(and the Fisher Price which is recommended to those who want a Britax but can't afford the Britax prices) I mentioned. These are actually the only convertible seats we ever recommend to people on the car seat safety board at BabyCenter because these 3 seats are the best. Also never ever ever buy one of those 'all in one' seats, they have very low harness height so most children outgrow the harness by height(as you can not use the very top harness slot it is for booster use only) on average at age 2 or 3 and they make really bad boosters. They are never the last seat you'll ever buy and a total waste of money.
Also, the longer your child is in a 5 pt harness the safer they are. That is why Bobby is in a Britax Husky(which is now called the Britax Regent) which is a seat that uses a 5-pt harness to 80 lbs. %-pt harnesses are safer than regular seatbelt which is why racecar drivers use them.
Ok, I have written a novel but I think carseat safety is very important and as healthcare professionals I'm sure you agree with me that anything that can help save a child from injury/death in a car accident(which is the leading cause of death for children under age 15) and keep them safe in cars is a very good thing. Still, sorry for the really long post. I hope it was informative and gave some of you further information on carseat safety, I know I didn't know half as much of this when my son was born and when he was young and I really wish I had.
TarynLast edit by Alixandra on Nov 5, '06
Nov 5, '06Quote from AlixandraThe problem many people have with the Safe Seat is the same reason we didn't buy it - it was way too long and we couldn't fit it in the backseats of our compact cars. We measured it out and the front seats would have to be all the way forward to even wedge the thing in there! So we opted for a more traditional sized seat. The other thing is that once my kid gets bigger, I am not going to be carrying him/her around in the infant seat because we live on the second floor and I don't want to be lugging a 10 pound carseat around PLUS a huge baby. So why not just switch to a convertible carseat at that time since we're going to be leaving it in the car anyways?In my opinion one of the best infant seats there is would be the Graco Safe Seat (sometimes referred to with a step 1)($129.99 without a boot, and $149.99 with one at BabiesRUs)- it is an infant seat that is good to 30 lbs and 32 inches tall so it will last 90% of children until they are 1 and possibly longer. I know several people who have these and they love them and they do fit in any car seat frame/stroller that a Snugride will fit in. One person I know has her 18 month old in this seat and he still fits comfortably in it. It is also super super easy to install and install correctly and has a built in lockoff in the base and is one of the easiest carseats to install correctly.
I'm surprised that companies continue to make carseats that fit so nicely in shopping carts if they themselves recommend NOT to do that. I get nervous every time I see it!!! Plus I'm only 4'10" and wouldn't be able to see over the carseat anyways...
Nov 5, '06Yeah, I understand the not fitting in the car thing. I drive a 4 door Saturn SL-2 and even getting Bobby's Evenflo infant seat with the handle down to fit was a nightmare. The main thing with the Graco either the snugride or the safe seat(and I think the keyfit might also but I can't remember the manual would say if it can) is that the carry handle can be kept in the upright position instead of having to be put down. Most manuals for seats say that the carry handle has to be in the down position in the car since the handle is not reinforced and in an accident it could shatter and injure the child.
That is another reason why the keyfit is liked because it is a smaller seat and can fit in situation where a safe seat might not.
The reason I would try to get the larger safe seat to fit would be that the regular infant seats can be outgrown when the child still needs to be reclined at a 45 degree angle(like my son at 3 months old and 11 lbs) where as an older child(6 months+) doesn't need that much of a recline as they have much better head control. However most convertibles, even at a 45 degree recline will fit if you can get an infant seat to fit.
Most smaller cars just aren't carseat friendly as far as getting them to fit and still having a useable front passenger seat. Putting the seat in the middle might help but I know that in some cars this isn't allowed or you can't get a good fit. Also most cars do not allow you to use the LATCH anchors the middle seating positions. The car's owner's manual should say if this is allowed.
The problem is that years ago infant seats were made to fit in carts and now that they have realized that that is not safe they have changed it but no one seems to realize it since almost no one actually reads the seat's manual. I think they need to put this warning on the seat itself so that people realize that this is not a good or safe option.
Nov 6, '06Yeah, I think the same notch in the back of the seat that enables these seats to fit snugly on top of a cart is the same notch used to snap the seat into the base or stroller. So now it's part of the design and they can't change it at this point. They should put a warning on the seats, that's a great idea. I saw a baby the other day in a carseat (looked at least 10 years old and kind of generic, very poor quality, was basically one of those old white carriers) teetering on top of a cart - it didn't even have the notch to hold it in but I don't think the mom realized it. She just probably saw everyone else doing it and didn't know any better. Very scary stuff.
Our seat will fit up to 22 pounds, so the baby should be at least 6 months old by that time and should be able to sit in a reclining convertible seat. Even reclined in the rear-facing position, most of them looked like they'd fit fine in our cars. The Graco Safe Seat was just too long, period, no matter what position the carrier handle was in.
Our cars only have the LATCH system on the side seats, not the middle. We definitely want to take advantage of the system and not use the seatbelt, so we're forced to deal with squeezing a carrier behind the front seats. Question is, what side? I keep hearing and reading different things. Some say to put it behind the passenger seat so that you can see the baby, others say behind the driver so the baby doesn't distract you...Last edit by Gompers on Nov 6, '06
Nov 6, '06Either side is equally safe as far as safety is concerned. When Bobby was first born my parents had installed it behind the driver's seat thinking it would be easier for me to get him in and out so I wouldn't have to go to the other side of the car but I really didn't like it because I couldn't see him.
I had a very scary experience with him on the driver's side of the car. My MIL watched Bobby while my husband(now my ex) and I worked on Satudays(the only day that we worked together.) Well, we had gone to San Antonio to visit my husband's dad(the only time I ever met his dad, and the only time my husband saw his dad is the 8 year were were together, 4 1/2 of those while married, and the first time he had seen him since he was around 16.) We show up at MIL's house(late on a Fri) and she had a horrible stomach flu. I think it was a Corona virus that was going around at the time. Well she had not informed us of this and it was too late to for one of us to call into work so we had no choice but to leave Bobby(who was 3 months old at the time) with her for her to watch him. That Sun she called me to meet her in Hillsboro(the 'halfway point' between Temple, TX(she was a MICU nurse at Scott & White) where she lived and the Dallas suburb we lived in) to pick up Bobby. So I pick him up, MIL was feeling better by this point. On the way home(it was a good 90 min + drive home from Hillsboro), Bobby starts fussing and screaming about an hour into the drive. I figured he was just being cranky so I start trying to soothe him a little by talking to him, being unable to see him as he was strapped into the carseat right behind me. All of a sudden, I hear a huge retch followed by a puking sound and the smell of soy formula vomit fills my car and then total and complete silence by a child who has never in his life been quiet in the car(he grunted non stop, even when sleeping, for the first 3 months of his life.) Now, as I said, I had no way of seeing him and I'm driving down the highway going 65 or 70 mph (can't remember what the speed limit was along that stretch of road.) I don't know if he choked on his vomit and now can't breathe or stopped breathing or something else is really wrong with him for some other reason related to his vommiting. I could not get off the freeway quickly enough and I was at a stretch of road where there wasn't an exit for a few miles(I was in a construction zone so the road had no shoulder or I would have pulled over at once), I was very distracted trying to get Bobby to make any noise or trying to see if he was moving at all, the last thing my mind was on at that moment was driving. I get off the freeway, stop at the gas station which was the earliest point where I could safely stop my car, hop out and rush to the backseat of the car, fearing the worst but hoping for the best, and find Bobby perfectly fine, albeit covered head to toe in vomit. I ended up changing his clothes in the bathroom of the gas station and taking him home where I spent the longest 24 hours of my life taking of a very sick 3 month old who can't even keep Pedialyte(ped told me to give him that since formula certainly was not the thing to give him) down and is having explosive diarrhea. I ended up calling my husband at work frantic and he came home and I called the ped at least 4 or 5 times during the night worried sick about Bobby. MIL had been nice enough to share the Corona virus with Bobby. I didn't catch the virus but my husband did(still not sure how that worked considering I was the one who took care of Bobby while he was sick.) Yet another reason why I didn't feel too guilty about 'giving' now ex-MIL the Norwalk virus last week when she flew down to visit Bobby.
I ended up installing his convertible carseat rearfacing obviously, once he had recovered, on the passenger side of my car. He had finally outgrown the infant seat by height(and as I said he weighed 11 lbs, most children outgrow infant seats by height before they do by weight.) That way I could always see him in the backseat to make sure he was ok.
That experience was the scariest experience I ever had in my life, and even now with Bobby forward facing his carseat has always been installed on the passenger side of my car. I still have nightmares of what might have happened had he stopped breathing or been really ill and needed immediate attention, had I got the car off the freeway fast enough that he would have been fine, would I have not totally lost my head in the crisis thus rendering myself perfectly useless to him, etc.
I prefer the passenger side, it also makes it easier to retrieve dropped bottles, pacifiers, toys, etc and eaiser to hand toys, cups, bottles, etc to the backseat, even when the seat is rearfacing. It also enables you to see the child in the backseat if nessesary.
Also, there is no safety difference between installing the with LATCH vs the seatbelt. It is whichever one gives you the tighter install and whichever one is easiest(and most comfortable) for you. I have never ever been sucessful installing a carseat using LATCH(and I have tried to in no less than 4 cars with LATCH), I prefer the seatbelt. I can get a rock the car solid install with any of Bobby's seats(in just about any car) using the seatbelt and it, to me, is a lot easier than messing around with LATCH, which I find a total PITA. I can get Bobby's current Husky rock the car solid install in less than 2 minutes. The last tiem I tried to install it with LATCH(in MIL's minivan, I have a 1997 car, so pre-LATCH) I messed around with it for 10+ minutes before giving up and taking the 2 minutes to get it rock solid installed with the seatbelt.
Also, just so you know carseats expire after 6 years. They are no longer safe to use due to the plastic deteriorating. Here is a crash test involving a 10 year old carseat. Notice how it fails to restrain the dummy and the harness actually rips out of the harness slots on the seat.
Car seat positioning, as to which side, as I said is a personal preference thing. No side is better than the other safety wise. Some people think it's easier to get the baby out of the car on the driver's side. I never found that any easier and I liked being able to see Bobby while I was driving and stopped at a red light or in traffic or just to take a quick glance back while driving to make sure he was ok. Also I really like it now since it's colder and I can put Bobby in the car and buckle his harness inside the car and not have to stand outside and do it. I could also do this when his seat was rearfacing by climbing into the backseat and then climbing into the front seat using the space inbetween the seats, I couldn't do that when he was right behind me because I had to have my seat moved forward a little too mcuh. I will say I'm not a short person. I'm 5'6" and at this moment about 104 lbs(I lost weight due to having the Norwalk virus last week)normally I'm around 108-110 lbs, but when Bobby was rearfacing I'd say I was around 110-120 lbs so I am thin but I'm certainly not short and I can do it no problem. I also liked it because I could have my seat a little farther back and I really didn't like being that close to my airbag. It was also more comfortable for me since with the seat behind me my legs were a little cramped when trying to drive. As I said it's a personal thing and most people don't know which they prefer until the baby is actually born and they are actually using the seat with the baby getting in and out of the car fairly frequently.
Nov 6, '06Taryn, you covered everything I might have! Do you post a lot on the Babycenter car safety board? I love that board! I'm looking to get a new car tech cert- my last one expired a couple years ago but I still stay current.
Highlights- Chicco Keyfits are easy to use. Saferides are great, too, as is the SafeSeat- higher weight limit but big. I'd skip the travel system (actually, I did) I know a lot of people who loved them with the car seat then realized what a cheap, bulky stroller they had.
My personal opinions- car seats belong in cars, babies need wiggle time, and I do love a good pram. I got my pram for less than many of the travel system strollers and have used it for a 4 y/o. Actually none of the infant seats installed nicely in my car and we went right for the convertible (Britax Boulevard for side impact protection and easy, easy use) My 8 lb + newborn fit in it very well.
Consumer Reports knows washing machines and lawn mowers but not car seats. There are a few unanswered questions about how they came up with ratings- different order 2 years in a row but many seats were only tested once?? Also the slightly negative finding on the Britax (expensive seat) was seen when the seat was not teathered rear facing as it is designed to be. (most seats are not)
Anything all-in-one- Cosco or Eddie Bauer is a waste of money! It is a very short harnessed seat and kids typically outgrow the harness before they are really old enough or big for a booster. It also does not make a good booster.
Look for a convertible with a high weight limit as a car seat- some go well above 40. You want to keep the rear facing as long as possible and the harnessed forward facing as long as possible and then booster as a last resort for BIG kids! Maybe if I stick to my rules about car safety my friends can stick to theirs. I'll ignore the whining "But Hannah doesn't have to use a booster" and maybe Hannah will hear "look how Libby is still comfy in her booster" Usually there isn't much whining,, though!
I hate hearing "they all pass the same standards so they're all as good" C'mon we're nurses right? Look at the doctors you work with- they all passed the same standards. Would you let you loved one see any of them? Or do you think some are better than others? Standards are a minimum and sometimes the minimum is not enough for my kid!
Bottom line, too, is that the safest seat is also one that is installed correctly. (Just like the best Dr does no good if the pt doesn't take their meds) Get a tech to check your work and give you some tips. And make sure it's a tech, some fire companies/ police stations have techs, others check anyway but are not certified and I've heard some bad advice given out this summer at some of those checks.
Nov 6, '06Well, after looking over the advice here and at babycenter, and doing some online research, my husband and I went to try a few seats out. We decided to try both the snugride and the safe seat step 1.
After trying them both we decided to go with the safe seat. It is a little bigger and heavier, but it actually fits nicely in the middle back seat of both of our cars (even the 2 door honda civic, which we don't plan to use much with the baby). It fits perfectly in the back of our 4 door, although I don't think we had the base installed correctly so I'm working on making an appt with a tech at the local police dept.
We also decided to just go with the graco stroller frame. I didn't really like the strollers that the travel systems came with. They're so big and heavy and I felt like they had a lot of unecessary features. The car seat and stroller frame will suit us fine along with our baby bjorn. I'm also looking into getting a maya wrap, but they're pretty spendy considering it's a piece of fabric with a ring attached to it. I think they look so nice though!
So, when the weather warms up sometime next spring I plan to buy a jogging stroller and maybe that will take over as our main stroller. We'll have to see...but thank you all for all of your wonderful and helpful advice! :kiss