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CAR SEATS - General Child Safety Seat Questions, Help and Advice>COnvertible vs Toddler seat?
Unregistered 09:12 PM 03-19-2008
Hi,

Being a first time mom, I am new to this whole car seat experience..My son is going to be one soon and I was looking into moving him out of his infant seat..I am totally confused as to what is the difference between a convertible car seat which can be used all the way upto 100lbs and a toddler booster seat..which also serves u for a long time...Please let me knw which one of these 2 kinds provides real value for money...I was looking into buying either the Evenflo Truimph or the Britax BLVD or MArathon..Any suggestions are most welcome....ALso, if it is better to use toddler booster seats, then which brand provides the best value for the buck?
I really appreciate all yuor help!
Thanks,
Confused MOm
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Mommy2Marcus 10:23 PM 03-19-2008
Hiya Hun! The difference between a convertable car seat & a toddler car seat is that a convertable allows for you to reaf face(RF) & forward face(FF) whereas a toddler seat most always only allows for you to FF, & some are no different, just use different names. Another thing is that your DS will not be ready for a booster seat for a LONG time. The important factor here is that you get a seat that you can RF in. I would strongly suggest leaving your DS RF to the max limits of the seat & NOT turning him FF at 1 year & 20lbs. I have a 17 month old that is 26lbs, 34" & is still RF! If your DS has long legs it is not a problem as he can cross them or sit with them bent or even propped up on the seat, my son has shorter legs, but does need to cross, bend or sit with them propped on the seat! As for the seats you suggested, any of then are great. I own a Britax Marathon & a Evenflo Triumph Advance (MUST say Advance in the name!). I LOVE both seats & both were equally easy to install, so both would work for you. The main difference is that the Britax seats have more bells & whistles to make them easier to use including: built in lock-offs to replace locking clips, the ability to tether while RF, Higher harness weight limits. Both of these seats will RF your DS till he is about 2 or older! Here is a video clip of WHY RF is SO much safer than FF! Good Luck! If you're interested in seeing pictures of an older child RF I will be more than happy to share!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psmUWg7QrC8
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minismom 12:43 AM 03-20-2008
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
Hi,

Being a first time mom, I am new to this whole car seat experience..My son is going to be one soon and I was looking into moving him out of his infant seat..I am totally confused as to what is the difference between a convertible car seat which can be used all the way upto 100lbs and a toddler booster seat..which also serves u for a long time...Please let me knw which one of these 2 kinds provides real value for money...I was looking into buying either the Evenflo Truimph or the Britax BLVD or MArathon..Any suggestions are most welcome....ALso, if it is better to use toddler booster seats, then which brand provides the best value for the buck?
I really appreciate all yuor help!
Thanks,
Confused MOm
Welcome to the boards! You're right, shopping for car seats is very confusing!!! The convertible seats are the ones that can be used rear facing and forward facing. Combination seats are ones that go from foward facing to booster mode, I guess that's what you're calling toddler seats. Your son should 100% still be rear facing for at least another year and longer if possible, so a convertible is what you should look for. When trying to choose a seat that will last you a long time, look for heigh weight limit rear facing AND foward facing, as well as high top slots for the harness, as most kids outgrown the carseats by heigh before weight.. Britax MA and BLVD can be used rear facing to 33 lbs and FF to 65lbs and have 17" top slots. If you're looking at the Evenflo, make sure you get the Triumph Advance, not the regular Triumph. The advanced is a much better seat and will last you much longer.
Those are my top choices if money isn't an issue, so check those out and let us know if you need any other advice. If you tell us the weight and height of your son and which car you drive we can give more specific recommendations.
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firemomof3 05:51 AM 03-20-2008
I would recommend the Marathon, hands down!!
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Unregistered 10:41 AM 03-20-2008
Thanks so much guys!Phew, atleast i know I am heading in the right direction now
My son hates the rear facing position and thats the reason I want to turn him around as soon as he turns one next week...I wish I could make him enjoy his ride in the rear facing position itself!
Also, do handrests matter to kids? The evenflo triumph advance doesnt have explicit handrests but I guess the seat is shaped in a way that it will function as a handrest..Does that work for kids as they get older? Also does the ETA come with a cup holder?i am guessing that is an important attachment as kids get older..
I am leaning more towards teh ETA than the Britax only because its less expensive!I hope that is the right choice..
I love u guys for the insights u provide into selecting a good car seat!
Reply
Carter's Mommy 10:48 AM 03-20-2008
I have a Britax Boulevard and absolutely LOVE it! I also have a Britax Decathlon but prefer the Boulevard w/o question. Go with a convertible and keep DS rear facing as long as possible. My son just turned 2 and is still RF'ing. I've installed his seats in several different vehicles (relatives, rental cars, etc.) and can always get a good install. The RF tether makes a huge difference in my opinion be cause I can always install the seat w/o movement side to side and the tether keeps it from being able to move front to back. I can't recommend this seat highly enough and it'll last you a VERY long time, so well worth the money for all the added features (safety, ease of use, etc).
Reply
carseatcoach 10:51 AM 03-20-2008
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
Hi,

Being a first time mom, I am new to this whole car seat experience..My son is going to be one soon and I was looking into moving him out of his infant seat..I am totally confused as to what is the difference between a convertible car seat which can be used all the way upto 100lbs and a toddler booster seat..which also serves u for a long time...Please let me knw which one of these 2 kinds provides real value for money...I was looking into buying either the Evenflo Truimph or the Britax BLVD or MArathon..Any suggestions are most welcome....ALso, if it is better to use toddler booster seats, then which brand provides the best value for the buck?
I really appreciate all yuor help!
Thanks,
Confused MOm
Just a note -- there are no seats which harness to 100 pounds. Most seats that advertise "to 100 pounds" are seats which become belt-positioning boosters above 40 (or 65) pounds.
Reply
joolsplus3 10:53 AM 03-20-2008
He's *Really* too young to forward face. He doesn't hate rearfacing (he doesn't know any better!), he hates being reclined in an infant seat, or he hates being strapped down, period (kids love to get up and climb at this age, carseats don't exactly allow that). Once he's sitting more upright in a comfy wide open convertible seat, he'll be much happier . Forward facing is about 5 times more dangerous to his head and neck in a crash, you want to put it off as long as posssible, at least age 2 if he's under the weight limits of a convertible seat, because rearfacing is SO much safer... see this article about the lastest research and AAP recommendations : http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9916868

PS, not trying to sound too harsh, but really, forward facing IS that dangerous for babies, I'd no more sit quietly while your baby crawls in the street without saying something, know what I mean?
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melniemi 10:55 AM 03-20-2008
It is likely the recline that your son hates more than the rear facing position. In a convertible seat, you don't have to have the 45* angle, the seat can be as upright as 30*, making the ride more enjoyable for him. I would recommend trying that before putting him forward facing. I would much rather have an unhappy baby than one at risk for internal decapitation if you happened to get into an accident. Every step up in car safety is a step down in the child's safety - rfing to ffing, harness to booster, booster to vehicle seat.

Your son may also just be uncomfortable in his infant seat. A new, bigger, roomier seat may make him much happier.

The Evenflo Triumph Advance is a great choice and will allow your son to rearface to 35#s and offers lots of legroom and lots of padding for comfort. If his seat is always rearfacing until he reaches the limits, he will not know that there is another way to ride in the car.

Good luck and post back with any other questions.
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CandCfam 10:55 AM 03-20-2008
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
Thanks so much guys!Phew, atleast i know I am heading in the right direction now
My son hates the rear facing position and thats the reason I want to turn him around as soon as he turns one next week...I wish I could make him enjoy his ride in the rear facing position itself!
Also, do handrests matter to kids? The evenflo triumph advance doesnt have explicit handrests but I guess the seat is shaped in a way that it will function as a handrest..Does that work for kids as they get older? Also does the ETA come with a cup holder?i am guessing that is an important attachment as kids get older..
I am leaning more towards teh ETA than the Britax only because its less expensive!I hope that is the right choice..
I love u guys for the insights u provide into selecting a good car seat!
I would strongly encourage you to reconsider.
FF will put him at much greater risk for severe injury or death.

Some ideas to try to make his RF ride more appealing:
  1. Install the seat more upright. 45 degree angle is only needed for babes without good head and neck control
  2. Give him some soft travel toys to play with
  3. Stickers and paper to play with

Reply
Carter's Mommy 11:14 AM 03-20-2008
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
Thanks so much guys!Phew, atleast i know I am heading in the right direction now
My son hates the rear facing position and thats the reason I want to turn him around as soon as he turns one next week...I wish I could make him enjoy his ride in the rear facing position itself!
Also, do handrests matter to kids? The evenflo triumph advance doesnt have explicit handrests but I guess the seat is shaped in a way that it will function as a handrest..Does that work for kids as they get older? Also does the ETA come with a cup holder?i am guessing that is an important attachment as kids get older..
I am leaning more towards teh ETA than the Britax only because its less expensive!I hope that is the right choice..
I love u guys for the insights u provide into selecting a good car seat!
Not sure how much the ETA is, but albeebaby.com has the Fisher Price Safe Voyage for only $129.99 with free shipping and no tax. It is almost identical to the Britax Marathon (different fabric and can't tether RF'ing) but it's actually made by Britax under the FP label for less.

Also, my son ABSOLUTELY HATED being in his infant seat! He would scream like someone was back there poking him w/ needles or something. Even very short trips (like to the grocery store) he would scream bloody murder. I moved him into a convertible RF'ing before he outgrew his infant seat. I think it may have helped some, but the truth is he just outgrew his hatred of being strapped down at about 14 months. At 24 months he's still RF'ing and I actually look forward to car rides because he's contained and content. I highly recommend trying to keep him RF'ing since he doesn't know any different. I've actually driven around with him on several occasions to get him to take a nap in his car seat--what a huge transformation! hope you're able to stick it out. Good luck!
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CandCfam 11:20 AM 03-20-2008
Be careful about FPSVD. It's been discontinued, and current stock has older DOMs, also, getting replacement parts for it is proving to be difficult for some people.
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Victorious4 11:22 AM 03-20-2008
A convertible carseat *is* a toddler seat (convertibles are intended for infants/toddlers/preschoolers).
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
convertible car seat which can be used all the way upto 100lbs
This describes a 3-in-1 seat: not highly recommended for various reasons.

Click HERE for detailed information on why it is soooooo important to keep kids rear-facing until the limits of a convertible seat & click HERE for help determining the best seat for your needs -- use the links provided therein, but also keep coming back here so we can address any further questions/concerns you may have

What we really need to be able to better help you narrow your choices down are: the actual age, weight, height of your child ... the vehicle year, make, model ... your budget & whether you travel frequently and/or if kiddo will frequently ride in alternate vehicles
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pippi2077 11:26 AM 03-20-2008
Also, wanted to add that your son has outgrown his infant seat by height when he has only 1" above his head and by weight when he reaches 20/22/30whichever is the max weight for your seat. What infant seat is he in now?

We have a just turned 2 year old who forward faced from Aug-Dec. and then I rearfaced him again. He had no problem with it. We didn't have 2 convertibles and I had no option, because we couldn't buy another convertible for those months. I am so thankful to have him rearfacing again.

Having his seat more upright is great. He can see out the windows and see his bro and sis in the 3rd row.

Also, the convertibles that go to 100 pounds are all the 3-in-1s. Stay away from them. They have low top slots and therefore kids have to move to booster mode to early or have to buy another carseat.

Stefanie
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Unregistered 08:41 PM 03-20-2008
Wow! Thanks to all of u..I will definitely rear face him in the new seat and pray that he likes it better than the infant seat! I cant thank all of u enough for ur suggestions...I promise, I will Rear face him for a few months atleast and hopefully it will be fine and we can continue that way..
And to answer papooses, my son is 3 days short of turning 1 year old!He is 22lbs and height is about 31 inches..I dont travel long distances frequently, but yes, he will be in the car seat everyday as soon as I find a daycare shortly..he will be travelling in either a nissan altima 2006 model or a nissan sentra 1997 model..the sentra is a really small car!(but he will travel in a sentra only to or from the daycare, otherwise he will always travel in the altima).
Budget wise, we are fine with upto 250$ i guess..all that we care abt is the comfort and safety of our son and value for our money
Once again, u guys are awesome!
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Mommy2Marcus 10:48 PM 03-20-2008
Hiya Hun! I know that listening to him scream while in the car is hard, but it is SO much SAFER to RF them. I also wanted to show you a picture of my 17 month old RF in my 2 door Subaru Impreza in an Evenflo Triumph Advance installed pretty much at a 30-35 degree angle. I would install him with very little recline, just enough that if he falls asleep while in the car his head will not flop forward, that is about what I have this seat installed at. BTW: The seat still has to be in mechanical recline, but it is easy to get a more upright install, one thing is to not use anything to help it recline, then move it back from the crack of the seat & then install it tightly & when you're finished he will be more upright! These are to show you how much more upright a seat can be installed!

Here he is in his Marathon in DH's 2001 2 door Cavalier


Here he is in his EFTA in my 2 door Subaru!


Here he is in his EFTA in my mom's 4 door Crown Vic! This shows the more upright angle better than it does in my 2 doors!

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Carter's Mommy 11:43 PM 03-20-2008
In that case, I'll add that we have the Britax DC (same shell as the BLDV and Marathon) RFing in the center back of a Toyota Corolla, which is about the same size as a Sentra...and my husband is 6' 2" and still fits in the drivers seat. Also, the Britax seats often go on sale online and come with free shipping. I'll keep an eye out for deals to post about.
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Carter's Mommy 12:14 AM 03-21-2008
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
Budget wise, we are fine with upto 250$ i guess..
http://www.tinyride.com/Britax-Boulevard-P435.aspx?src=GGL&cpn=btx_boulevard&s_kwcid=britax %20boulevard|993917905

http://www.albeebaby.com/br20macocars12.html
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Unregistered 07:56 AM 03-21-2008
Thanks Marcus's Mom, the pictures were heartening to see I wish my son looks as calm as urs does in the new car seat in RF position
And Carter's mom, thanks for the link..am looking into it..
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