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  1. #1
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    Graco Safeseat- how long do people usually end up using this for?

    I have a friend that is about to have a baby and I was going to recommend to her the safeseat. If it goes to 30lbs- do people really use it that long? If the baby gets to heavy to tote around and you just leave it in the car, would a kid that is say 12-24 months be more comfortable in a SS1 compared to a RF convertible? Do they sit about the same? Do older babies prefer to be in a convertible seat rather than an infant seat?

    Secondly, I thought I had decided on using a RA for my son who is 9 months, 20lbs, torso length of 10.5" (but his head is pretty big). I liked the convenience of the snugride. Would I be silly to consider buying a Safeseat instead if he could RF in it until 30lbs just like the RA? Is the height limit the same for both seats RF?
    Which seat would be more comfortable for him? He always falls asleep in the snugride.

    Also, which seat would be considered safer? One of our vehicles is a truck with an extended cab, not much for head rests in the back so it would be facing glass.

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  3. #2
    Admin - CPS Technician joolsplus3's Avatar
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    Re: Graco Safeseat- how long do people usually end up using this for?

    I used my SS1 till about 16 months (didn't *carry* it, I put it in a stroller!). Leah outgrew it at about 33 inches and 24 ish pounds at 20 months (see the link in my siggy).
    Julie
    CPST since 2003, pu"R"ple since 2008, three kids growing too fast since 1997, 1999 and 2006

    Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good

  4. #3
    Carseat Crazy mamoomorgan's Avatar
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    Re: Graco Safeseat- how long do people usually end up using this for?

    My dd is 15 months and still has tons of room in the SS and she seems plenty comfy. I rarely get her out of the car in the seat but I like that I could if I need to. I also like that I can hold off on buying her convertible seat as long as possible (like until a newer britax is on the market!). I also find it super easy to install, way easier than the MA (for me at least).

  5. #4
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    Re: Graco Safeseat- how long do people usually end up using this for?

    it will depend greatly on the child. Currently my 10month 11day old nephew is still using the bottom slots! He will probably be one of those kids that make to it 2y in it.
    “Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes...
    That way when you criticize them, you are a mile away AND you have their shoes.”

  6. #5
    CPS Advocate lovinwaves's Avatar
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    Re: Graco Safeseat- how long do people usually end up using this for?

    Quote Originally Posted by LuvBug03 View Post
    it will depend greatly on the child.


    My son still fit in it when he was almost 2 years old, and about 26lbs. He is an exception because he is small for his age. But on the other hand he weighed 9lbs 2oz at birth.
    Melissa
    Peyton 10
    Camden 9
    And a new baby on the way

  7. #6
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus Jeanum's Avatar
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    Re: Graco Safeseat- how long do people usually end up using this for?

    My DD2 is another exception in that she outgrew the SS1 by height right before her first birthday. She weighed about 20 lbs. at the time, but she had less than 1" of plastic shell above her head due to her long torso. She was 6 lbs. 9 oz. and 19.25" at birth and all torso even as a newborn, lol. She outgrew a smaller infant seat (Baby Trend Latch Loc, not available in Canada) by height at 6 months old. The SS1 wasn't available at the time she was born or else I likely would have used one for her from birth.
    Regards,
    Jean

    DD1 Age 16, 66" Driver's Ed
    DD2 Age 12, 64" 5 steps

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  8. #7
    Carseat Crazy mimieliza's Avatar
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    Re: Graco Safeseat- how long do people usually end up using this for?

    If it goes to 30lbs- do people really use it that long?
    I think we'll make it to about 18 months in it (will be outgrown by height). DD is now 15 months and about 23 lbs. It is our secondary/travel seat and when we're using it, I leave the seat in the car unless she falls asleep.

    would a kid that is say 12-24 months be more comfortable in a SS1 compared to a RF convertible? Do they sit about the same? Do older babies prefer to be in a convertible seat rather than an infant seat?
    I've also been able to install it fairly upright, but still okay according to the level indicator on the side of the seat. This seems to have made it just as comfortable for my DD as our Britax Boulevard (convertible seat).

    I think it is a great seat to suggest to someone trying to choose a seat for a new baby.

    I liked the convenience of the snugride. Would I be silly to consider buying a Safeseat instead if he could RF in it until 30lbs just like the RA? Is the height limit the same for both seats RF?
    Which seat would be more comfortable for him? He always falls asleep in the snugride.
    You could get the Safeseat to get a little more time with the convenience of the infant carrier, especially if your son still falls asleep a lot in the car and you like to carry him inside. A Britax convertible will be just as comfortable for sleeping, but you would not be able to carry him inside.

    The height limit on any rear facing seat requires one inch of hard shell over the child's head. The Safeseat shell is shorter than the roundabout shell, so your son most likely would not make it to 30 lbs. RFing in the Safeseat.

    Also, which seat would be considered safer? One of our vehicles is a truck with an extended cab, not much for head rests in the back so it would be facing glass.
    For this situation, I would definitely want my child in a seat that tethers rear-facing. In an accident, an untethered rear-facing seat could hit the glass. While your son is small, he would most likely hit the seatback, which is okay, but as he gets bigger, he may come closer to hitting the glass if the seat isn't tethered. Britax and Radian seats can be tethered while rearfacing. I would consider a Britax convertible, like the Roundabout or Marathon. The Marathon is similar to the Roundabout, but it has a taller seat back, and a higher forward-facing limit, so your son could use it much longer.
    michelle mama to
    dd 10.30.06 graco connext & recaro performance booster
    ds 5.4.10 sunshine kids radian xtsl & graco nautilus safety surround
    riding safely in a 2014 mazda 5 and a 2002 subaru forester


  9. #8
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    Re: Graco Safeseat- how long do people usually end up using this for?

    Thanks for all the great information.

    I wish I had bought the safeseat in the first place. I will definitely recommend that one to my friend.

    And if only I had found this forum last year when I was shopping for my first carseat! I didn't know to check expiry dates. Can you believe that the one that I bought from cosctco.ca in Jan of 2007 had a DOM of April 2004?? Can they even sell seats that old? I don't even know if I'll be able to use it for a second child before it expires. It has the lower 20lb limit on it, not even 22lbs. I am just figuring out all of this now, otherwise I wouldn't have kept it. But I didn't know any better then.

    Anyways, thanks again for all of your information. I have learned a lot from this forum.

  10. #9
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    Re: Graco Safeseat- how long do people usually end up using this for?

    Quote Originally Posted by PrairieGirl View Post
    Thanks for all the great information.

    I wish I had bought the safeseat in the first place. I will definitely recommend that one to my friend.

    And if only I had found this forum last year when I was shopping for my first carseat! I didn't know to check expiry dates. Can you believe that the one that I bought from cosctco.ca in Jan of 2007 had a DOM of April 2004?? Can they even sell seats that old? I don't even know if I'll be able to use it for a second child before it expires. It has the lower 20lb limit on it, not even 22lbs. I am just figuring out all of this now, otherwise I wouldn't have kept it. But I didn't know any better then.

    Anyways, thanks again for all of your information. I have learned a lot from this forum.

    Well, if your snugride will expire before you have another child than that's another reason for buying an SS1 now, if you like the carrier feature. It will start to get quite heavy though.
    DD 5.5yo, 38lbs, 43" - FF in a Radian XT and Frontier85 SICT
    DS 3yo, 33lbs, 38" - RF in Radian XT and Britax MT

  11. #10
    Carseat Crazy mimieliza's Avatar
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    Re: Graco Safeseat- how long do people usually end up using this for?

    That is too bad about the old date on your Snugride!

    Yeah, if you would need to get a new seat when you have another child anyway, it might be worth the money to get a Safeseat 1 now. Just keep in mind that you will still need a convertible seat when your son outgrows the Safeseat. Even if he makes it to 18 months or so, that still really too young to forward face.
    michelle mama to
    dd 10.30.06 graco connext & recaro performance booster
    ds 5.4.10 sunshine kids radian xtsl & graco nautilus safety surround
    riding safely in a 2014 mazda 5 and a 2002 subaru forester


  12. #11
    CPS Technician CDNTech's Avatar
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    Re: Graco Safeseat- how long do people usually end up using this for?

    I would skip the Roundabout and go straight to the Marathon. At nine months old, your son no longer needs a 45 degree angle. Anywhere between 30 - 45 degrees is fine. The Marathon will allow *much* longer use, both rear facing AND forward facing.

    Since you are wanting to put the seat in the back of a truck facing glass, I would probably lean towards the Marathon and then make sure you tether it rear facing (allowed on this seat).

    If the child restraint is going in a position where the vehicle has headrests, then I would be comfortable getting the SS1 and using it in that position.

    My son outgrew his snugride (20lbs model) at 5 months and would have outgrown the SS1 at about 22 - 23 months old. Check out this link on how to correctly tell when a seat is outgrown rear facing by height...
    http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=30201

    What are the vehicles year/make/model that the carseat would be going in? The Radian may also be an option depending on this answer as it also has the ability to be tethered rear facing.
    Jen, Former CDN CRS Tech
    DS1 /02, Seatbelt in the driver's seat now!
    DS2 /05, Seatbelt

    DS3 /12, Britax Frontier/Parkway SG
    DD1 /15, Rfing Peg PVC

  13. #12
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    Re: Graco Safeseat- how long do people usually end up using this for?

    Yes, I did think that I might justify getting a safeseat by knowing that I would use it again. It sure seems handy. I wonder if I should be thinking at this point which two seats would fit side by side in the future. Or would 2 seats just go in the outboard positions anyways. Say a safeseat or snugride and a Marathon or Roundabout. Maybe that's gettting ahead of myself. *Maybe* I will have another kid in time to use my snugride again....so I am going with getting a convertible.

    The vehicles are a '89 Chevy Corsica (main) and a '95 GMC Sierra extended cab.

    Since all carseats in Canada RF only until 30lbs is it an issue which seat I have for RF?
    If he is on the bottom slot in the RA right now, has a 10.5" torso, are you saying he could outgrow the RA by height before he gets to 30lbs? I understand that the MA is quite a bit taller so I'm sure it wouldn't be outgrown by height, but I can only use it to 30lbs RF anyways.

    The push button to tighten the straps on the RA is so nice. It is so smooth and easy to do RF. And I can use it for a 2nd child later. (This is how I am justifying the RA).

    How about width on these seats. We tried the RA in my car in the center and it doesn't look very comfortable for anyone else to sit in the back. My DH tried sitting there and he says you get the seat in the ribs. I don't know how my dog is going to manage. So I'm thinking that the MA would give my dog (or a person) even less room. Our truck is wider so there is more room on the seat there for the dog or a person.
    We tried the MA at TRU in our truck and it looks like it would fit RF if we put it in the center of the truck but outboard behind the passenger seat, the passenger seat needs to be pushed all the way forward- not comfortable or safe. The lady at TRU told us that she would install a seat wherever we had shoulder belts, so not in the middle where there is only a lap belt. Why would a shoulder belt be safer? Do you think she meant for RF and FF or just FF? She also told me not to use the tether RF, that it was not safe, and Transport Canada doesn't advise it. I think it is safer to use it.

    We bought an EFTA but it's sitting in the box right now, I might take it back. It is so heavy and bulky and wide. I was thinking about using the RA in the truck and the EFTA for my car but I really like the RA better and would want it for my car. The truck should have the seat that tethers RF though. (DH wants to know why can't he tether the EFTA RF the same way as the RA, I said you just can't...there must be a better answer.) For now, I am leaning towards keeping the RA and then just moving it to the truck when we need it there. Unless I can be convinced that a MA would fit the same, width-wise. I know it would last longer.

    Ideally, since I seem to be stuck on the RA, I would love for it to last DS until 30lbs RF at least. After that, a second child can use it and I can buy something different for DS for forward facing, like the Evenflo Triumph advance or maybe something even newer and better. If I figure out how to post a picture of DS in the RA would that help?

    Thanks for answering all my questions. I seem to keep coming back with more and more questions.

  14. #13
    CPS Fanatic Lea_Ontario's Avatar
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    Re: Graco Safeseat- how long do people usually end up using this for?

    I'm about to have to move Bear out of his SS1. He's 28.5 lbs clothed, and has to be closing in on that 1" of shell rule too.

    He's a week shy of 14 months old.
    Mama to :
    Boo (2002), apramo backless booster
    Bug (2004), Parkway SGL
    Bear (2006), Parkway SGL

  15. #14
    CPS Technician CDNTech's Avatar
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    Re: Graco Safeseat- how long do people usually end up using this for?

    The Roundabout will give you an extra inch of growing room when rearfacing. It's pretty much the same as the SS1... kids outgrow it in height right between 20 - 26 months old as an average.

    If he follows his same growth curve, he won't be 30lbs until just before his 3rd birthday. If you are wanting to rear face to the maximum weight limits, the RA will not do that for you.

    It is absolutely safe to tether the Britax seats rear facing. It is in the manual and approved by the manufacturer. It is *not* allowed on any other seat, *except* the Radian (which is also tested and approved).

    We have no way of knowing how other seats will perform if you attach a rear facing tether. There is the possibility that their shells were not made to withstand those crash forces and could potentially crack/fail in a collision. *Never* attach a tether rear facing unless your carseat manual approves it.

    The Roundabout and the Marathon are the same width... the Marathon just has a taller shell. The Roundabout is easier to adjust than the Marathon, but you get used to it pretty quickly. It really comes down to how long you want to use the seat rear facing and whether you want to buy a second seat down the road.

    Locking seatbelts only became mandatory on vehicles in 1996, so I'm guessing your '89 does not have locking seatbelts. The Britax seats would be perfect in this situation as they have built-in lock-offs that make installation easy and do *not* require you to use a locking clip as all other seats will require.

    I'm not positive about your '95, it may or may not have locking seatbelts.

    You will also need to have top tethers installed in your vehicles, so keep that in mind and be ready to get that done *before* your child needs to go forward facing.
    Jen, Former CDN CRS Tech
    DS1 /02, Seatbelt in the driver's seat now!
    DS2 /05, Seatbelt

    DS3 /12, Britax Frontier/Parkway SG
    DD1 /15, Rfing Peg PVC

  16. #15
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    Re: Graco Safeseat- how long do people usually end up using this for?

    Thanks,
    I'm going to have to rethink the RA. Or use it RF while I can, then pass it on to a second child at which point I would get a MA for my son.

    I might go to Sears and see what he looks like in a Safeseat, too.

    I might also try to post a picture of him in the RA and then maybe I can get opinions on whether he looks like he will outgrow it sooner than later.
    Can you tell that I was really hoping for some better news on the RA?

  17. #16
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    Re: Graco Safeseat- how long do people usually end up using this for?

    My son is small for his age. I used the SS1 (with the Maclaren Easy Traveler) until he was 26 months. Personally, I prefer the RA/Diplomat over the MA/BV/Radian. The RA has a really smooth harness adjuster; and I love the pushbutton harness release. FYI, the Diplomat, BV, and MA all fit in the Mac Easy Traveler (but tips easily so keep your hands on it).

    If you can wait, I'd start with the SS1 and then see what the reviews of the TrueFit are like.

  18. #17
    CPS Technician CDNTech's Avatar
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    Re: Graco Safeseat- how long do people usually end up using this for?

    Quote Originally Posted by perltea View Post
    My son is small for his age. I used the SS1 (with the Maclaren Easy Traveler) until he was 26 months. Personally, I prefer the RA/Diplomat over the MA/BV/Radian. The RA has a really smooth harness adjuster; and I love the pushbutton harness release. FYI, the Diplomat, BV, and MA all fit in the Mac Easy Traveler (but tips easily so keep your hands on it).

    If you can wait, I'd start with the SS1 and then see what the reviews of the TrueFit are like.
    The TrueFit is not coming to Canada.

    The Roundabout will only get you another inch over the SS1, so I think it's a bit of waste of money just for that inch of RFing use.
    Jen, Former CDN CRS Tech
    DS1 /02, Seatbelt in the driver's seat now!
    DS2 /05, Seatbelt

    DS3 /12, Britax Frontier/Parkway SG
    DD1 /15, Rfing Peg PVC

  19. #18
    Senior Community Member unityco's Avatar
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    Re: Graco Safeseat- how long do people usually end up using this for?

    Quote Originally Posted by PrairieGirl View Post
    The lady at TRU told us that she would install a seat wherever we had shoulder belts, so not in the middle where there is only a lap belt. Why would a shoulder belt be safer? She also told me not to use the tether RF, that it was not safe, and Transport Canada doesn't advise it.
    The lady at TRU has no idea what she's talking about. Lap belts are great for carseats (in fact it's about the only thing they ARE good for.) The only exception to that is if the seatbelt doesn't lock. Locking clips cannot be used on lap-only belts. And, as aidensmom02 said, it's absolutely safe to tether a RF Britax or Radian.

    I'm sure if you cruise around here a bit you can find all kinds of horror stories about misinformation spread by TRU employees.

    Glad you came here!

  20. #19
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    Re: Graco Safeseat- how long do people usually end up using this for?

    Quote Originally Posted by unityco View Post
    The lady at TRU has no idea what she's talking about. Lap belts are great for carseats (in fact it's about the only thing they ARE good for.) The only exception to that is if the seatbelt doesn't lock. Locking clips cannot be used on lap-only belts. And, as aidensmom02 said, it's absolutely safe to tether a RF Britax or Radian.

    I'm sure if you cruise around here a bit you can find all kinds of horror stories about misinformation spread by TRU employees.

    Glad you came here!

    The thing is, I had purposely gone to that Toys R Us that day to try the MA because they had a "Baby Fest" going on and I was told that there would be someone there that day who had "taken a course" and knew lots about carseats and could help me with my questions.
    She told me that I ony needed to worry about RF for another few months and then I could turn him FF (since he is 9 months old now.) I told her that I'd prefer to keep him RF longer because it is safer. Anyways, she came out to our truck with us because I wanted to see what she thought about the MA fitting in there. I was concerned about how it fits FF because it hangs off the seat, and I'm not sure if enough of the whole seat is in contact (80% of the car seat including the back and the base should be touching the seat according to information I got by calling Britax). It doesn't seem to touch the back very much...the seat in the back of the truck is bench like, and the back is quite upright (90 degree angle) to the seat which is not very deep. (I'm trying my best to describe it.) She said that the MA looked like it fits fine, and looked better in the outboard positions (it did look like it sat on more of the seat in those positions). However, I am now questioning everything that she said. Maybe it doesn't fit very well in our truck at all. Mind you, it wasn't installed, just sat in there. So I thought the RA would fit better though the MA would be a better purchase if it would fit properly - which I still don't know.

    Here is my main question: Why do these places sell car seats without really knowing that much about them? How is the average person buying a seat supposed to know these things? Why does it have to be so hard? Is it just me? Other people I know just went shopping in one day and picked up one of the 3-in-1's without any deliberation.
    When I mention to people about not wearing bulky winter coats in car seats, or how I found out how much safer it is to to keep your child rear-facing as long as possible, I see their eyes kind of glaze over and I can tell they are not listening. Or they are thinking in their heads "Here she goes again with some information that she found on the 'internet' again."

    Why does this stuff seem so "out there" to people?
    Have I stumbled on some type of 'car seat' cult here? :P

    I guess I just needed to vent. Learning about car seats is good, it's just taken up so much of my time lately. Of course I like to gain all the knowledge I can about keeping my son safe, but maybe I am becoming obsessive about it. No one else I know invests nearly as much time in this as me.

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