..."popsicles on the porch"...what a great afternoon treat and our favorite way to spend time together! These are simple and precious moments! Princess #1 and Princess #2 along with Little Man #1 and #2 are my inspiration for most of these writings.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Car Seat Shopping

Tim and I are in the process of researching and selecting yet another car seat. This is perhaps one of the biggest purchases you can make for your baby. Because of that, Tim and I have spent quite a bit of time researching car seats, with safety being our top concern.

While there are many great car seats on the market, we have found Britax car seats, though expensive, to be well worth it for safety reasons. We’ve actually purchased one for both girls.

Elianna's in the Roundabout

and Isabella is in the Marathon

We hope to have our newest one in a Britax model as soon as possible too! I say we hope to have him in one soon because up until recently we were not aware that Britax made an infant carrier (the kind that is removable from the car seat base).

You mommy’s know that having an infant carrier that is removable from the car seat base is such a huge convenience! Sadly, at the time we were reviewing car seats,we were unaware that Britax made one. So, we went with the most popular one on the market.

A few years later, here we are again preparing for our newest addition and back at it…researching car seats! Since Britax does have an infant carrier on the market, we’re now tossing around the idea of purchasing the Infant Companion carrier below.

The other alternative would be to keep the current infant carrier we have and plan ahead (knowing that we will ultimately move the baby into Elianna’s Roundabout seat) thus moving every one over one. With that in mind, we would need to purchase the next size Britax model, the Regent for our oldest.

As I have been researching both car seat models, I came across some interesting links on car seat safety. Click here, here, here or here. I have spent the past few years researching the safest seats, but some of the information on the sites below is full of concepts that are new to me; especially those links referring to the importance of rear facing children (beyond 1 year and 20 pounds!) and the importance of children using the 5 pt harness (as long as possible) vs seat belted booster seats.

Whatever Britax model we end up purchasing next, we'll definitely be purchasing from this website I found called
hipmonkey. The proceeds from car seat purchases go to support the Kyle David Miller Foundation.

This is an organization that helps provide car seats to those in need so that all children have an opportunity to ride safely in vehicles. Go to the
Kyle David Miller Foundation to view their website or click on the video below for their story. It had me in tears, but is extremely informative and something to consider. Knowing all facts and options can help you make a more informed decision. I learned a few new things this 3rd time around that I never knew the “full extent” of before.
For example, my kids are currently in a 5 point harness system, but from time to time they ride in my mother's vehicle that is only seat belt protected and not equipped with the latch system. After seeing this video, I'm doing more research to find out about safely securing children in older model vehicles.


Erin said...

We are huge Britax fans, here, too. Jono's in a Roundabout, and will stay rear facing until he reaches the rear facing weight limit--and with that little pipsqueak, I *know* he'll be well over a year. It's so important, though, and I don't know why more people don't know! I'd much rather my toddler have a broken leg than a broken neck in a crash. Yikes! Thanks for educating!

oh, and my "baby bucket" research has led me to choose Gracos (Safe Seats or Snug Rides) over the Companion. All the ratings I've seen really show that Britax shines with its convertibles, but the Companion is not its best seat. We'll do Snug Rides for the twins, but probably move them into Roundabouts or Marathons before 6 months, like we did with Jono. Just a thought...

the hungarian said...

why are you blogging at 2am? Are you in labor yet? ;) On the car seats, I've been told the best thing you can do is make sure the car seat you do have is installed AND being used properly. TCH and other area hospitals usually have trained folks who can give a quick car seat tutorial for free.

Popsicles on the porch said...

Hungarian--2am blogging because I can't sleep! :( I've had severe back pain that keeps me up at night. I'm generally in a warm bath or propped up on pillows...uggh!

Yeah on the car seat thing that's the frustrating part...info is always changing based on new studies.

I hear ya...my doc told me the same thing which is so confusing on who to go with especially when not all info is given.

I found this sight from the American Academy of Pedatrics to be interesting. Same as what my doctor said but without the emphasis on using a convertable seat (with higher weight limit) to keep them rear facing for "optimal safety."

I just would have liked to have known or at least been given the warning and allowed to make a decision from there. The booster thing was also pretty alarming! (http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/pediatrics%3b109/3/550).

Erin--I remember reading that info on the Companion. Do you have the links for that? If so, would you mind sending to me. I can't seem to find it. Thanks girl!

Erin said...

You know, I would have sworn it was Consumer Reports (we have an on-line subscription) but I just pulled their ratings back up and they have the Companion rated (slightly) higher than the Snug Ride. Their #1 seat is the Chicco Key Fit, though. Interesting...

In order, with "score"
Chicco Key Fit 88
Britax Companion 77
Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 76
Baby Trend Flex-Loc 75
Compass 75
Graco SnugRide 74
Graco SafeSeat 72

All of the above got all "very good" or "excellent" in every scoring category, too. I'd feel good about any of them. After the SafeSeat, ratings starting dropping fast.