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Hey all. So I left Arthur for a few hours today (for the first time) it was hard and blissful at the same time!
Anyways, I was participating in my first ever car seat clinic today and saw a lot of one particular issue come up again and again and so I wanted to just post here on the off chance anyone here is in a similar situation!
When installing a seat, using the lower anchors (UAS in Canada, LATCH in the US) OR using the vehicle's seatbelt are both good and equally safe options! HOWEVER using both is not safe! As well many car's rear centre position do not have anchors and generally speaking, "borrowing" from either side is not allowed!
Of the 3 expectant mom's I saw today all of them had installed their base with both methods, one claimed that her instruction book allowed her to do so, and I can understand how it is confusing. Instructions were given on how to install both ways, just not together!
As always, an in person inspection is going to provide you with more info and there is nothing to lose! Even the "perfects" we saw today managed to find ways for baby to be happier and more comfortable!
Awesome! You helped out on seat check day! Thanks for the tip. are you on car seat for the littles on Facebook?
I had a really great time doing it! I am looking forward to doing 1 more in Nov! Yes I am on that group! The facebook page contains lots of great advice! and the group is an excellent place to ask for advice... however I find many who are giving advice on there are not techs... BUT a tech usually comes along to straighten things out!
I think we're going to switch to a convertible seat for Claire soon. Any recommendations on good ones?
And I have a stupid question...do they come with bases, so you can move them from car to car easily? Or do you have to install them each time?
Honestly any seat that fits your child and your vehicle is going to be a good match. That said I'm not particularly fond of 3 in 1 seats... only because they take up so much room at this stage for an appropriate recline and very rarely do they make good booster seats!
That said, they often give the most height for extended rear facing, and a seat that will rear face to 40+ lbs is your best bet for keeping them safest longest!
The seat we use is The First Years True Fit Premier. It only rear faces to 35lbs, but we expect to pass it down to our next child by the time Arthur reaches that weight, and give him a higher weight limit seat so he can continue rear facing to the maximum!
As far as I'm aware most convertible seats do not come with bases. The only exception may be (and don't quote me on this because I'm not very familiar with the seat) the Clek Foonf. My understanding is that the base changes between rf and ff. However it is a VERY heavy seat and I believe the seat is what gets installed, not the base. It may be worth looking more into, but I don't think that will quite meet what you were looking for.
When moving back and forth between vehicles using the anchors (LATCH) is usually the easiest way to get a proper install in less time.
More info: We plan on trying for another baby when Claire is around 18 months, so our next baby will probably be using the convertible seat we purchase, and we'll switch Claire to forward-facing by that time (she'll be at least 2 years old by then).
Budget isn't an issue...although I'd feel more comfortable staying under $300.
I can share with you our full plan/thought process:
We started with the True Fit from birth (it fit Arthur but if he were much smaller I don't think it would have worked out quite as well)
That particular car seat we chose because it has a removable headrest that allows the seat to fit well at a 45 degree angle (needed for newbies) in my small car (08 Honda Civic). When he reaches 22lbs we simply add the headrest, and he will be old enough to sit the seat a little more upright. He can stay rear facing until 35lbs, which honestly he could be close to 4 years old before he reaches that, and that's our goal! A child's body really isn't physically developed enough (bone ossification) to be as safe as possible FF until they are 4 years old. 2 Years is just the guideline given to stop people from turning their babies around at the very minimum 1 year, 22lbs and walking (as is law where I live) I highly recommend allowing your children to reach either the maximum height or weight for their seat before turning them! There is no good reason not to!
Should Arthur hit some kind of radical growth spurt and hit the max or we have another baby we will move him to another seat (possibly the Foonf, or a Diono Radian, or see what's available on the market at that time), that allows for more height and weight rf. When he's met that seat's maximum, we will swap seats, so he will go back to the True Fit forward facing and give baby #2 the seat that allows more height and weight rear facing.
Lab Lover- Looking for a seat that may have ridged latch, or independent latch may be helpful for quick and easy installs, as well as lock offs for either the lower tether or seatbelt! We switch our seat back and forth between our 2 vehicles, and after figuring out the best way to install (side position with UAS in my car, centre with seatbelt in Dh's truck) it's a 5 min job!