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Car Seat Stress

24 January 2010

Every time we get a new car seat it’s stressful.

We were happy with the ones we got for K. Britax Marathons. I picked them because of the safety ratings and because they could go from the very beginning (5 lbs) up to when I hoped we’d stop needing them (65 lbs/49 inches). He’s almost 4 and he’s still got a way to go. He’s currently ~25-26 inches and ~33 lbs.

Little did we know that installing one rear facing in our car would require the front seat to be all the way forward. No one could ride in the passenger seat of the car for a year. In addition, the way the LATCH brackets are installed in the car means that the connector has to be turned upside down for it to fit into the bracket in the center. Oh well, it was just for a year. We were happy with how secure they were.

Once we could turn the seats around forward facing, things were great. K could stay in these seats forever! Or at least until he turned 5 and didn’t have to be in one any more. (Later the law changed. Now it’s until 8 years old.)

Then we were expecting a second kiddo. I went back and did research on the infant-seat style of car seats. I figured they were smaller so that someone had a fighting chance of fitting in the front seat. I found one that had good reviews and crash test ratings. So I ordered it. My husband hated it. He thought it was a cheap piece of crap and would not have a child of his in it. I liked how easy it was to connect the LATCH thingies and ascribed most of the problems to the style of seat. But back to the store it went. Thankfully Wal-Mart makes returns easy.

Then I was able to borrow my second choice of seat from a friend. After some travails and tribulations we got the car seat base installed satisfactorily. My husband didn’t like it much better, but he liked it enough that he was willing to use it. Thanks Hut-family! Well, it was nice at first, but we’ve gotten sick of it. Baby M is a chunk, so lugging 10 pounds of seat and 18 pounds of baby is a pain just so she doesn’t have to sit on one of our laps in a restaurant. (Y’all will be getting it back soon!) We still use it in the truck without the base. Hubby feels like she’s actually in more securely with just the seatbelt.

For the car, we decided to get a smaller version of K’s seats. Britax Roundabout. It goes up to 40 lbs and 40 inches. It came this past week. Blech was it a pain to install securely. If we used the LATCH connectors the back of the seat could fly around. I finally used the seat belt and got it in okay. D and I were both cussing up a storm while trying to get it in. BUT, it is 3 inches shorter than K’s seats and someone can fit in the front seat.

We’re really disappointed that it’s just not secure with the LATCH connectors. It has to do with where they come out from on the seat itself. On K’s Marathons, the straps start back toward the “V” part of the seat so they pull the whole seat tight down onto the car’s seat. On the Roundabout and the infant-style seats, the straps come out right near the legs and right near the upright back part of the car’s seat. The back of the seat is pretty free to move around, similar to the problems we had with the base of the infant seat.

Next adventure: I just ordered a booster seat to go in the truck so Baby M can use K’s seat in rear-facing mode. I sure hope it works out, and we all like it!

[Hi, my name is NoPinkHere, and I suck at making simple illustrations in GIMP.]

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Andrea permalink
    25 January 2010 7:38 am

    So glad I read this post! We are looking at carseats too. Our 2nd seat in the civic is the infant carrier and base. Saw the Marathon on closeout and almost pulled the trigger but am glad now we didnt. C’s first seat was the evenflo triumph so she rides in that in my car which doesnt seem huge rf but of course that is in my car.

  2. nopinkhere permalink*
    25 January 2010 10:07 am

    We really love the Marathons, but they are BIG. So I think you were smart to pass on one for the Civic. Though it would probably work in your SUV. But, then you’ll be getting a new vehicle in the near future.

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