Product Spotlight: Car seats — The Bump
January 2023 Moms

Product Spotlight: Car seats

This week's spotlight is all about Car Seats the one thing that pretty much everyone will need. 

Share your experiences/feedback/research. Infant seat? convertible?   

STM+ what did you look for/what did you like/what did you buy? Why?

FTM: ask your car seat questions here.

ALL: feel free to revive this thread as needed

Re: Product Spotlight: Car seats

  • To start we bought an infant seat, easy to get baby into the seat inside, and carry it when needed. Went with Chicco KeyFit 30, and had a base per car.  When that was out grown, went with a Dino Radian and Graco Slim type seat based on space. They were all chosen based on safety ratings, function, and size. 

    There are several groups and sites that can help you choose car seats based on car make and model, number of car seats, etc.  These can be both helpful and terrible.
  • anniez85anniez85 member
    I bought my sister a maxi cosi for my niece last year and luckily she has outgrown it so we will be taking it. The biggest thing to look out for is not all car seats will fit in all vehicles. We spent months researching slim fit car seats to make sure it would fit in her truck and it still has to go in the back middle seat. 

    When our DS outgrows this we will likely get something convertible as it’s so expensive to purchase and they have no resale value. 
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  • beccaneubeccaneu member
    We got the Nuna Pipa infant seat for my son.  It’s still in good condition so we are going to reuse it for this child.  My son’s current car seat is a Nuna Rava, which we love.  It’s super easy to install which has come in handy because we’ve had to take it in and out way more then I originally thought we would.  It also doesn’t take up a ton of space front to back when rear facing, so we can still fit an adult in the front seat.  My car doesn’t have much space between the backseat and front seats so this ended up being a big problem with a lot of seats we were considering.

    If you can, I highly recommend finding a baby boutique that allows you to try the seat in your car to make sure it fits before you buy.  Some even have employees that are certified in car seat safety and can go over how to safely install it.  
  • rtz123rtz123 member
    Anyone considering the Doona? I know it doesn’t have the highest safety rating, but we will not be driving too much. Daycare is walking distance and anywhere we do drive, we’d need a stroller once there. 
  • beccaneubeccaneu member
    In regards to the Doona just keep in mind that most babies are going to outgrow their infant seat in 9-12 months, after which point you’ll need a regular stroller.  Additionally it’s not recommended for babies to spend prolonged periods of time in their infant seats because of the risk of positional asphyxiation.  There are definitely more economical options, but money isn’t everything if you feel like the convenience of the built in wheels will add more value to your life compared to a more traditional travel system option.  Ultimately it’s up to you if you feel like it’s worth it.
  • Share your experiences/feedback/research. Infant seat? convertible?   We did an infant seat initially - the very popular Chicco Keyfit 30. We will likely use the same seat for this baby assuming it looks good when I inspect it (its been sitting in a closet). By the time he was about 7 or so months old DS was getting too tall for the infant seat, he has a long torso and his head was about 1.5 inches from the top of the seat. He was also getting harder to carry in the infant seat. Despite the limitations of a bucket infant seat, I do really like them for infants because taking babies in and out of car seats is so annoying, being able to just click the seat is easier. (Do be careful not to leave baby in the seat for more than 2 hours at a time, max). 

    We have since used a Clek Foonf and an Extend-2-Fit. Currently he’s riding in an E-2-F 3 in 1, meaning it will also convert to a high back booster. 

    STM+ what did you look for/what did you like/what did you buy? Why?
    When I was shopping for seats I was very concerned with safety ratings. The thing I only learned recently from the Car Seats for the Littles page (a great resource - https://csftl.org/ - they also have a very active FB group where you can ask for installation and other help) is that all seats pass the same basic safety tests, there is little to no data that additional bells and whistles actually make seats safer, and safety “grades” given by third party companies like consumer reports are not as meaningful as they seem. The safest seat for your child is the seat you can get a good install with in your car, and which properly fits your child. 

    Rear facing as long as possible is best practice, so when it’s time to move out of an infant seat I recommend looking at extended rear facing options. The Extend-2-Fit in my experience is very compact front to back, but also offers extended rear facing. Our Clek Foonf is narrower at the bottom but it takes up more space front to back and it is HEAVY. It also has a smaller height limit for rear facing than the E-2-F.

    Only accept a used seat from someone if you trust that person with your child’s life. Almost all seats are no longer considered safe if they are in ANY kind of collision while installed. Even if you can’t see damage most manufacturers require you to replace your seat if you are in any kind of crash. You also can’t use harsh cleaners on car seats. Because you can’t know what someone has done with a seat, it’s safest to buy a new one. The only person I would accept a used seat from is my sister, who I know knows all the rules. 


    willrunforcookiesr_kenn99
  • Oh, also adding for FTMs, car seats have expiration dates, but there are car seat trade in events.  (at Target at a minimum)  Other resources that cover all things car seats are safeintheseat and thecarseatlady. 
    cc_clark
  • I ended up hating our infant car seat (Graco Snugride 30 I think?). 

    Main thing I wish I had:
    Arm straps that can be moved with a lever in the back, rather than having to unthread and re-thread to the next level when they grow.

    I also think those car seats that can swivel look AMAZING.
  • 42lemons42lemons member
    We started our daughter in the Graco Extend 2 Fit, and it worked really well for us.  We found we didn't bring baby much of anywhere other than the doctor for the first 4 months, and would leave our cars in the garage, so it's more sheltered for getting baby in and out of the car seat.  We plan to do the same with January baby, and figure other than doctor and daycare (starting around 3 months), we won't be going much of anywhere with baby initially, so the benefit of being able to get baby into the carseat in the warmth of the house, rather than 2-3 minutes standing in the garage, isn't really worth the extra money for us.  And we got a stroller with a bassinet attachment, so being able to snap the carseat into the stroller isn't an issue.  (Again, we don't leave the house much with baby anyway, except to walk around the neighborhood). 
  • L1C4galL1C4gal member
    I'm pretty sure our infant seat is the Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35. We loved it with DD, and we'll use it again if it's not expired! She's currently riding in the Graco Milestone, which we also love. It's not one of the biggest sellers from Graco, but it gets good reviews; someone from my last BMB recommended it and she was totally right. The straps are so easy (which is HUGE), adjusting the strap height is a breeze, and it's super easy to remove everything for cleaning (helpful with puke incidents). 100% recommend if and when you're considering a convertible!
  • So I got a second hand (never used) graco snugride 35 infant seat and I actually hated it but I couldn’t justify buying one when I had gotten one for free … that being said it is definitely a lower line car seat and the reality is that newborns will likely spend some time sleeping in their infant sleep so I’ll be investing in a nicer/ comfier infant seat this time around. Anything maxi/cosi, buns, baby jogger type brands jogger more luxury infant seats. I wish I had splurged the first time! 

    As far as convertible seat I am absolutely Alove my Diono radian 3XRT and my toddler FINALLY stopped screaming every. Singly. Car ride. When we finally switched him!
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