Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

Convertible car seat advice please

I am looking for advice on what the best plan of action is for transitioning from an infant car seat to a bigger one where multiple cars are involved.  The baby is in 3 different cars every day getting to and from child care.  We want to transition to a bigger car seat but having a base in each car has been a luxury. Do we need 3 car seats or is moving the car seat from car to car actually an option?  

Re: Convertible car seat advice please

  • In my experience so far, moving convertible car seats is a pain. It is really not something you want to be doing three times a day. It can be done, of course, but it will be inconvenient and much more time consuming than snapping an infant seat into a base has been. Without knowing the specifics of the situation and assuming you absolutely can't condense pick ups and drop offs to one or two cars as opposed to three, you are really much better off getting at least two, and preferably three, seats. You can get a really nice one with all the bells and whistles for whatever car you have baby in the most outside of daycare pickups and drop offs, and get one or two more bare-bones ones for the lesser used cars. They all meet the same safety requirements, they just have different features.
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  • Thank you, that is super helpful!  I was hoping for a different answer but figured this would probably be the case. I guess her birthday gift is gonna be a super glamorous set of car seats!
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  • No problem! One thing I forgot- There IS one convertible seat on the market that can be used with a base. It's the Graco SmartSeat. I have no experience with it so you'll have to do the research but if you like it it may be just the thing for you! We have only used Graco car seats and have had no complaints.
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  • It's an option, but probably a pain in the ass. Our convertible seat was kind of a tough install, to get it in there and solidly tightened down properly. I certainly would not want to do it multiple times a day, or even multiple times a week / month.

    I agree with pp, you would probably do better to get 3 separate seats, it would be more convenient, anyway. Assuming one car is yours, the other is your SO's, and the last is grandma's... you could phase the new seats in, having the remaining cars use the infant seat. And I was also thinking you get the spiffy seat for the car baby spends the most amount of time in, and less posh models for the other cars. 

    But hey - now your in laws / other family members know what to get you for the holidays! :)
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  • Thanks for the advice!  I definitely don't want to hate my life every morning trying to get a car seat reinstalled while it is freezing outside and I'm running late for work. Any advice on less expensive but still great car seats?  I am definitely not worried about name brand or fancy stuff on it, she just needs to get from point a to point b safely. 
  • We have two seats.  My DH wanted to just have one.  He drops off and I pick up.  I said no way.  I thought it would be big hassle.  Anyway, we bought two of the evenflo brands.  They had a great rating for safety and not super expensive.  In addition, it should be the only car seat son needs as it converts for every stage.  I would look for that option so you don't have to buy 3 more seats later on 
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  • I agree with looking into a seat that converts to different stages, so you don't need to buy three new seats every time your child outgrows it. We have the Graco 4Ever which goes from rear facing - front facing - booster - backless booster. We love it, but it is pricey. For about $100 less, the Graco Milestone is similar except it doesn't go to backless booster mode, but that's not a huge deal since you can get a backless booster for about $30 when the time comes.
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  • Thank you, thank you!  
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  • One thing to consider is that high back boosters and backless boosters can be super easy to install as opposed to a regular car seat, so you may want to consider getting 3 car seats that just cover rear and front facing and then just getting one high back booster and transferring that from car to car. It might be cheaper that way. 
  • We also have the Graco 4ever and LOVE it!  In my opinion, it actually isn't that hard to move from car to car.  It's a little heavy, but all you have to do to install it (at least when it's rear facing) is clip it to the metal clips by the seat belt buckles.  When you want to move it to a different car, you press the button on the 2 clips and out it comes.  It takes like 30 seconds to get it out and maybe two minutes to put back in (depending on if you have to adjust how long the straps are from car to car.  We haven't tried it forward facing yet, but so far we love everything about it!
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  • We also have the Graco 4ever and LOVE it!  In my opinion, it actually isn't that hard to move from car to car.  It's a little heavy, but all you have to do to install it (at least when it's rear facing) is clip it to the metal clips by the seat belt buckles.  When you want to move it to a different car, you press the button on the 2 clips and out it comes.  It takes like 30 seconds to get it out and maybe two minutes to put back in (depending on if you have to adjust how long the straps are from car to car.  We haven't tried it forward facing yet, but so far we love everything about it!
    The only difference forward facing is the latch in the back. 
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  • Evenflo makes great affordable seats. Check Amazon. $50-60 for great looking ones we got one for grandparents car. Then we have the symphony version which was around $150-200 for our car. 
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  • You'll definitely want a car seat that rear-faces for a while, since a child should rear-face until at least two, preferably 3-4.  I agree that it is best and easiest to have three different seats in this situation.  I will say any of the Britax Clicktight convertibles are very easy to install with the seat-belt.  However, I still wouldn't want to install and uninstall three times a day.  
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  • I would get 3 seats :)

    The evenflow sureride has tall harness slot heights, so it will last your child a long time- hopefully until an inexpensive booster can be used.
    http://carseatblog.com/36380/evenflo-sureride-dlx-convertible-review-the-affordable-birth-until-booster-carseat/



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  • 4N6s4N6s member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    We have a car seat in each car. I couldn't imagine moving it multiple times a day. 
  • We just bought 2 online today. 1 that's rear-facing, front-facing, and then booster Diono brand it's on sale until tomorrow on a bunch of sites. We also got one that is rear-facing and then front-facing, the Evenflo Sureride which is regular $100 on sale on Walmart's website for $69 right now.
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  • For anyone still reading this thread and if you're shopping for a car seat, you may want to check out baby gear lab dot com.  They have extensive reviews on a numbers of seats (and other baby stuff).  I also use the car seat blog site to help guide me.
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