Several questions!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-27-2008
Several questions!
18
Mon, 06-07-2010 - 3:09am

Hi! This is going to sound all over the place. I have a few questions.

First, some background. My son is 17 months, 33-34"?, and 25+ lbs. I'll know his stats a little better in a couple of weeks at his 18-month check-up. He's in the 95th or so percentile for height, was in the 50th for weight. And he has a big head. :)

He's rear-facing in a First Years TrueFit -- the cheaper version.

We drive an '06 Ford Focus sedan. This is our only vehicle.

The car seat is currently in the center position, LATCHed.

I'm expecting baby #2 in December, when my son will be around 24 months.

We aren't sure if we want to get a bigger car that will have less cramped passenger room, or if we want to try and make it work with what we've got.

You see, I am 5'10" and my husband is 6'1". We have to have the front seats pretty far up to fit our car seat, and again that's in the center position.

Once we have to move his seat outboard, the front seat will need to go up a tad farther.

This SUCKS and is why we are considering a larger vehicle. Unless...

Are there any narrow seats that go rear-facing for 35 lbs. with a good upper height limit for tall kiddos...that isn't as huge as the TrueFit? I ask for narrow just in case we want to try fitting 3 across at some point, in some vehicle.

I also am not a big fan of the seat because I find the harness is difficult to adjust. You have to wedge your hand way down low between the car seat and the seatback, lift a lever, and pull on the straps. Of course we don't need to do this often, but it's just so stinkin' hard! Forward facing, it will be easier.

Another reason why I don't love the seat -- the crotch just seems so snug, and it's in the largest setting. We use cloth diapers, so I'm sure that's a big reason why. But still!

I won't buy a Truefit for my second child.

I probably will get an infant seat to start out with this baby, since it will be a winter birth. We skipped that with my son.

Whew! All that to ask:

1. Is there another convertible car seat I should consider for my son? One that is smaller and thus I can scoot the front seat back a little bit more? Please?

2. Suggestions for an infant seat that will also allow for the front seat rider to not be knees-to-dash? Again, I have tall babies so upper length limit of at least 25" would be nice--get me through winter!

3. Assuming baby #3 comes along while I'm still rear-facing my eldest son...are there some options for me for 3-across, or should I move on to a bigger vehicle?

I know Radians are regarded as fantastic for being so narrow and are good options for three across, but I don't know how large they are in terms of reaching the front seat. Any clarifications on that? It doesn't look like BRU carries these in stores, or I'd run over there and test 'em!

As far as budget, I don't really care. Heck, a couple of car seats are cheaper than the sales tax alone for a decent used car!

having a baby 

Pages

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-27-2008
Mon, 06-07-2010 - 3:16am

Oh, and I wanted to add:

I saw elsewhere in this board that because I have a baby with a big head, he is more likely to be at risk for injury in a forward-facing seat in a crash.

So I really do see the benefits of keeping him rear-facing until 35 lbs. (or longer, if i can find a 40 lb. seat that will fit the bill!).

At first, I just thought, oh I'll turn him forward-facing and put him behind the driver's seat and slide it all the way back when he's like 23 months...but I think it would be best if I could keep him backwards longer (and I'm sure you'd all agree).

Help me find some seats that will work so I can drive my car and ride in the passenger side without feeling so squeezed! :)

having a baby 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-27-2008
Mon, 06-07-2010 - 3:29am

And another thing! I just saw somewhere else that the TrueFit can sometimes fit babies weird in the shoulders, and they sorta slide around.

That is what is happening with us right now. It isn't all the time, just sometimes, no matter how tight I pull the harness and the chest clip is right where it should be.

What am I doing wrong?

having a baby 

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-08-2007
Mon, 06-07-2010 - 5:48pm
I don't know about the shoulder thing, as my DS is only 9 months and hasn't had any trouble. I am wondering how up-right you have your TF installed? It can go up to 35* which gives you a lot more room. I have pictures of it at 35* in my F-150 and at 45* so you can see the difference if you'd like. I can also let you know how I manage to get it to 35* if you need some help. One advantage to the Radian, if you were to go with it, is I believe it can go up to 30* which gives you even more room. I know just 5* doesn't sound like a lot, but it makes a surprising difference it the room front to back.

As for the infant seat I have no clue, as I skipped it. All I can think of is to look for one that will let you leave the handle upright when it is in the car, as not all of them do.

Here is a site that might help you compare how the seats are built at least http://sites.google.com/site/carseatmeasurements/
Photobucket


Photobucket Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-18-2004
Mon, 06-07-2010 - 6:06pm

Do you have your infant seat still? Which one and would you consider using it again? If so, I would suggest starting with that in the middle to see if you can puzzle a seat next to it.


I do think you'll want to try a Radian at least for a test run. Do you have USA baby or buy buy baby near you? If so, you should be able to try out the Radian there. The Radian will be the solution for 3 across. Sometimes it fits well between the two front seats so that would be the first place to try it. If it fits well, you could consider it for the baby in the middle seat. I think you' would want the middle spot since it needs the 45 recline for newborns. You'll also want to see how upright you can install it behind the passesnger's seat for the older child. I do think this is your best option, but you need to see if it is a realistic one in terms of front/back space. My friend was able to get 2 Radians ff and one Graco Snugride rf in her Honda Civic.


If you can't find the Radian locally, you might buy return insurance from the company that you order it from. Some will charge an upfront fee (like $5, I believe), but that makes it easy to return if necessary.


Other seats to consider - Complete Air (40lb rf limit, 50lb ff limit) and the Safety First Avenue (rf 35lbs, ff 40lbs.) Both of these seats are narrow and fit in smaller spaces. You would be passing either of these seats from ODS to the baby down the road.


Narrow infant seats include the Chicco Keyfit and the Baby Trent Flex Loc. The problem with the Baby Trend is that you HAVE to put the handle down in your car so it does take up more front to back room.


09-Melanie.jpg Isabelle and Marcus picture by MathMelanie


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-27-2008
Mon, 06-07-2010 - 7:35pm

We didn't have an infant seat with my son but maybe I can borrow one to test and see how it fits.

I just looked and there is a USA Baby on the other side of town, so I'll call ahead and see if they have Radians in stock. That might be a good option!

having a baby 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-27-2008
Mon, 06-07-2010 - 7:39pm

I didn't realize the TF could be at 35* rear facing -- that's good news! I thought it had to be even with the horizontal line.

I'll have to look into that some more or see if I can track down a car seat specialist near me who'd be willing to help me out!

having a baby 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-18-2004
Mon, 06-07-2010 - 8:04pm

We might be able to help you find a CPST. We have a few on this board and we have other connections. Where do you live? (email me via my profile if you would prefer not to post this on a public forum.)


You might also call USA baby and see if they know any CPSTs in your area that they recommend.


09-Melanie.jpg Isabelle and Marcus picture by MathMelanie


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2004
Mon, 06-07-2010 - 8:13pm

I bought my Radian 65

Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-27-2008
Mon, 06-07-2010 - 10:02pm
I'm in Pittsburgh, PA. South, if there's more than a few experts. Thanks!
having a baby 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-27-2008
Mon, 06-07-2010 - 10:11pm

That is a good point about other vehicles not necessarily being better than what I've already got. Before we buy anything, we will for sure test out our car seats in it!

I'll just have to try a Radian or something slim in the center position for DS1, at a pretty upright angle and see if I can also get an infant seat in the car and close the door.

We skipped the infant with my son because I could squeeze in the back seat and put him in my sling and zip him up around my coat before getting out of the vehicle, but i don't think I'll be able to do that with this baby -- and again the baby is due in December. Brrr! So that's why I think an infant seat might be handy this time.

I wish they weren't so bulky!

I'd be fine with switching Baby to a convertible fairly early on -- once we get through the bobblehead months and the yucky winter, so I wouldn't need an infant seat that had longer than normal rear-facing capabilities.

Thanks for your help, everyone! Keep the thoughts coming, if you have 'em.

having a baby 

Pages