Product spotlight: Car seats — The Bump
August 2021 Moms

Product spotlight: Car seats

emmylou78emmylou78 member
edited January 20 in August 2021 Moms
Let’s talk car seats and travel systems.

Common considerations when talking car seats are safety guidelines, travel systems, deals, different styles for different stages, car seats with small frames for smaller cars, etc. 

Also share your resources about car seat safety! 

Link to previous and upcoming topics:
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Re: Product spotlight: Car seats

  • I had a Chico system and hated it. I know others really like their Chicco stuff so I’m probably and outlier here. The stroller did not glide well and had horrible shocks (I don’t think any) which made using it on our terrible roads and sidewalks annoying and uncomfortable to push. It did fold up well which I liked. My only complaint with the car seat is you had to push tabs on both sides to get the bucket handle down. That was really tough if you were carrying things and trying to out the handle down one handed. We already have all the Chicco bases so I assume we’ll use the same car seat again and just get an adapter for the Vista stroller I bought recently. 

    Also, FTMs learn from our mistake and make sure your car seat fits in your car! At the time DS was born my husband had a Toyota Corolla and the seat could not be behind him or in the middle (where the manufacturer suggested putting it) because of his seat placement. It had to go on the passenger side. I could barely fit in the passenger seat with the car seat behind it and I’m 5’1 and very petite. If you or your spouse is tall this will be a problem.
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  • grogugrogu member
    With our first we only used a convertible seat, so no infant bucket seat. 

    We had a diono and I hated it. It was massive front-to-back and so hard to tighten, I never understood what all the rage was. 
    I switched to a Britax Boulevard and it is my favorite seat out of the ones we have. It has pretty high rear facing limits and it fit in our Mazda 3 really well. 

    Definitely check to make sure the seat will fit in your car, we didn't and ended up losing the front passenger seat for almost a year. 

    This time baby will be in the Britax right away and my daughter will move into a harnessed booster.

    Married: 2011
    DD: 2016
    MMC : Nov 2020
    DD#2 due August 28 2021

  • I love baby wearing, but I really appreciated the infant bucket seat for that first year. Especially for winter. It was a nice place to dock a tot during doctor appointments, dinner, etc. I’ll be getting another infant seat. 

    Not car seats exactly, but I have a SUV with captains chairs in the 2nd row, with a walkthrough to the third row. I’m thinking it’ll be nice for 2 car seats! 

    The infant car seat bases are amazing— Just snap and go. I bought extra for my moms car, so I wouldn’t have to worry about her strapping in the car seat correctly and tight enough. 
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  • We have a Britax infant bucket seat. But...I’m pretty sure it will expire right around when baby arrives. So, I’m in the market! Give me your recommendations! 

    BFP #1: 12/1/14
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    DD born 1/7/16
    BFP #3 4/26/17
    EDD: 12/30/17
    DS born 1/3/18
    BFP #4 12/4/20
    EDD: 8/15/21
  • I've been reading a bunch of different blogs and of course everyone recommends the Nuna Pippa, but it's one of the most expensive ones I've seen yet.

    Has anyone bought/used it? Is it worth the hype?
  • I'm personally of the mindset that expensive car seats are never worth it...all car seats in the US have to pass the same safety standards to a certain extent. Yes steel frames might be preferable, and some of the features are nicer for the parents, so you can look out for those things, but hyped up car seats don't seem worth it at all to me. I've had like 3 or 4 different kinds of seats and while some are better than others, they all get the job done. I don't ever wish I had spent more.
    Baby Birthday Ticker TickerMarried DW <3 08.2013; AI 2x; IUI 6x; IUI #7 05.2015; DD born 2.2016 o:); Reciprocal IVF FET #1 on 11.18.2020 
  • We have two Clek Fllos, which is a convertible seat, suitable from birth with the infant insert. I really like that the Fllo has extended rear-facing capacity. We just turned our oldest to front-facing and he will be 4 in two weeks. It is also narrow at 17" so we are going to be able to fit three across...when we get a bigger car. We have a Kia Forte—which we love—but it is just going to be too small for our family's needs. We're going to look this weekend :# Does anyone have an SUV with third-row seating or a minivan they love? (This is related to car seats, right?!). We are thinking Kia Sorento with third-row seating.
  • A cheaper option with high safety ratings is the Costco Scenera from Walmart. I bought one as an extra for when I had my friends toddler and I liked it. 
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  • @claireloSC That's an interesting perspective. Which car seat did you use? 

    Also, I know this isn't about strollers, but in my mind, my car seat decision goes directly with my stroller choice, since I will want them to be compatible. So that further complicates everything for me. 

    Me: 37 DH: 34 Baby #1 EDD: 8/1/2021
    Infertility History:
    DX: Possible blocked Fallopian tube, otherwise unexplained infertility
    -First RE appointment: July 2019
    -3 IUIs, all unsuccessful
    -Changed REs in May 2020 to participate in an IVF clinical trial
    -Egg Retrieval July 2020: 15 mature eggs, 10 fertilized, 1 day 6 blastocyst frozen
    -PGT-A on one surviving embryo was inconclusive
    -Workup for Balanced Translocation and DNA Sperm Fragmentation was normal
    -FET November 13, 2020

  • I’ll likely buy a travel system @shoogapoff. I’m not set on any brand. 
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  • @shoogapoff
    We had a Chico Keyfit gifted when DD was a baby. It was ok I guess but I didn't love it and she outgrew it very quickly (she was a big baby). The bucket seats are sooooo heavy and it was just a pain to carry everywhere. And that's a relatively expensive seat that everyone had when she was an infant, so I feel like I had the nice seat experience and it wasn't any different. I had a different brand stroller (hand me down) and I think it had an adapter but stroller systems are big and annoying in a lot of places. It can be a real pain to try to deal with groceries and a giant stroller and what have you. Plus DD grew too tall for that kind of stroller around 2 or 3 or so, pretty early. So I'm not a huge fan of the travel system. It was easier to baby wear a lot of the the time until the first 6 months at which point they can use a normal, lighter stroller.

    Eventually I got an OXO Cubby stroller which has been great and she can still use it at almost 5 years old. It's really light and I can open it one-handed so it's just way easier. Then after the baby seat I got an Evenflo Symphony LX Platinum because it's made in America and fits pretty well in our small cars. It worked fine until eventually DD ripped the cupholder off by using it as a handhold to climb in (took a few years) and I didn't feel like it was safe, so then I got her a FF seat, the Evenflo Maestro Sport. It's kind of hard to install but I am an expert by now. My only regret is that it doesn't recline enough for her to sleep in it, but she rarely does sleep in the car anymore anyway. It feels more like a big girl seat to her. And we also have a Graco Contender 65 in our other car which is fine, and it's pretty cheap. Don't hate it don't love it. I don't know what a car seat would have to do for me to love it, but I haven't met one yet. Like others said, the big thing is that it fits in your car so research the heck out of that.
    Baby Birthday Ticker TickerMarried DW <3 08.2013; AI 2x; IUI 6x; IUI #7 05.2015; DD born 2.2016 o:); Reciprocal IVF FET #1 on 11.18.2020 
  • We used chicco fit2 (wanted the european path and extended time but yeah that didn't work and it was way too heavy) and have clek fllo which I like. I think the stress is only with infant bucket seat (if using) to make sure its light enough to carry and fit into the stroller etc. By the time you're in the toddlerish car seat they're all pretty similar so whatever fits your budget and car!
  • Albee Baby has a ton of car seats and travel systems on super sale right now. Purchased from them before without issue. Usually they sell like last year's model of stuff but otherwise it's great. 
    Baby Birthday Ticker TickerMarried DW <3 08.2013; AI 2x; IUI 6x; IUI #7 05.2015; DD born 2.2016 o:); Reciprocal IVF FET #1 on 11.18.2020 
  • I had a chicco keyfit for my 1st and second but it expired so I need to buy a new one.  I was shopping around but realized that I have adapters for my city mini and bob duallie and I should probably just buy a newer model of chicco keyfit.  

    Seems nice to have in august/ September with a newborn if it’s really hot.  They overheat so easily. I just hope it’s good as it gets colder.  I like that it has an attached muff, because the covers that are safe and don’t go under never stay on well.  
  • I loathe bucket seats and my kid was tiny (5lb10 oz). I planned on only getting a convertible (graco 4ever) which I love and seats 4-100 lb going from RF to FF to back booster and backless booster. Everyone told me I'd regret not getting a bucket and a close friend I trust gave me hers as her daughter grew out of it. DS was in his convertible by 2 months and I have my mom the bucket as a car seat for her car. We will be using it for #2 as DS is still in his seat at almost 2 and not getting out of it anytime soon. Plan to wear the baby like I did with DS.

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  • I have one from DD2, it’s a Graco snugride snugfit 35 with a jogging stroller. I’ve been looking at other brands but will most likely stick with this one since I already have it. DD2 is now in a Graco SlimFit and it’s worked for us. 
  • We have the Britax BSafe infant seat, and 2 Britax Boulevards. In terms of convertible seats I love the Clicktight system Britax has because it's soooooooooo easy to install. I don't really have any experience with other car seats to compare to though.

    I do know a great money-saving tip is that if you're considering getting a second infant seat base for a vehicle that will only be used occasionally, just go ahead and buy a convertible seat instead. You'll need to get one in the future anyway, and really the biggest convenience to an infant seat is attaching it to the stroller/allowing baby to stay asleep moving to/from the car. But if it's not being used regularly in the 2nd vehicle, it might be worth the savings.
    June2017-boy, November2019-boy, August2021-?

  • doodlemom131doodlemom131 member
    edited April 4
    We just bought ours! We were talked out of an infant seat and just got a convertible with an insert. We have 2 cars and need to be flexible. I figure once babe gets here if I hate taking them out of the seat I can always get an infant carrier for the other car.
    Edit: we got the Clek foonf, it's a Canadian brand, highly recommended. And consumer reports has it listed as the safest car seat available. 
  • Pretty sure we are going to go with the Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-one car seat...but I'm wondering if we need to get two? We have two cars. But I'll be working from home so we definitely need one in my car if I need to take the baby anywhere during the day. But my husband's car is much newer/nicer so we always use his if we are going somewhere together or for long trips. Car seats are just so expensive...I hate to need two but am I just going to regret not having a second one and needing to move the one between cars?
  • @dancingnarwhal I always just switch the carseat, however we only have one car. When we get two cars (in the next month or two) I think we will look at getting a second carseat. My advice is to get a cheaper one. You can always do that if you hate transferring the seat. 

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  • edited April 5
    @dancingnarwhal no question, you’ll want two. I also have the Graco- however we used a Chico bucket seat when DS was an infant. The Graco is an absolute beast to move. I literally dread having to install it in a sitter’s car. Also you never know when you’ll be in a situation where you need to leave and take the baby with you only to realize you don’t have a car seat.

    My suggestion is to get the more expensive seat for your primary car and have a cheaper back up for the car you drive less.

    ETA- Graco 4Evers are on sale right now through the Graco site. 
  • We have two because we share responsibilities in picking up and dropping off DD1. Not per se planning on getting two for the baby since between the two of us we will be taking almost a full year off with baby so probably won't need that second baby seat so much. But obviously can just go out and get another one if it becomes a pain. We are probably just going straight to a convertible, so I imagine we will end up with two eventually.
    Baby Birthday Ticker TickerMarried DW <3 08.2013; AI 2x; IUI 6x; IUI #7 05.2015; DD born 2.2016 o:); Reciprocal IVF FET #1 on 11.18.2020 
  • I second what @surrenderdorothy says.  That’s what we currently do for DD- the heavy seat is in my car since I cart her around the majority of the time and the lighter one is in my husbands car.  The one from his car is also the first one to be moved into a different car if needed because it isn’t as heavy or as much of a pain to move. 

    I am clueless about what to get car seat wise this time.  I had a hand me down infant seat and was eligible for a free convertible seat from a community based program, so I didn’t have to choose with DD.  This time around we don’t have those available so we’ve got to make decisions. 
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  • alexa_94alexa_94 member
    edited April 7
    If anyone is doing the car seat trade in at Target stores for 20% off select baby gear someone in another group shared that anyone can walk by the display and scan for 20% off.

    She shared this image and it worked for me. I just sent it to my email then opened up my computer and scanned the barcode from my app.

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