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For those who have done their homework (I have not and just cannot get to doing it). Can anyone recommend a SAFE infant seat that is affordable. Safety is first priority. However, I don't want to overpay if there is a really safe one. Some are $300. Ellianna is definitely our last child. She will use the seat for 1/2 a year (give or take). I need to purchase 2 extra bases as well (My parents watch our kids while DH and I work, and DH and I take turns with pick ups). So $500 for 1/2 year is crazy unless really needed for safety.
I'm a huge fan of the Graco SnugRide. It isn't outrageously expensive and it has great safety ratings. My kids are on the small side and tend to be slow growers but both my kiddos were in theirs until close to their 1st bday or after.
We did the graco snug ride with ds1 & ds2 and the baby trend with ds3. All were very reasonable. But dh doesn't like the snap closure in the baby trend & I thought the Graco's were awkward to carry and heavy since ds2 was a big baby. So I'll most likely be looking soon too. My parents have bought all the carseats before so I don't want to pick out something expensive, but I'm looking for an light, easy to carry, safe seat, that doesn't have a hard buckle & that gets difficult.
I got the Britax Chaperone. It's a bit on the heavy side and kind of pricey tho. Cheapest on Amamzon. I got it free for buying the B-Ready stroller during their free ride event last year. The bases run about $65 a piece on Amazon. I really loved the safety features for it and when I saw the free ride even for the stroller and car seat I wanted, I bought them... Even though we were not even TTC yet.
We got a graco last year on clearance from babies r us. The pattern had been discontinued. It was 70 dollars I believe. We dont use infant seats for very long so we didnt want to go out and spend a fortune either.
I would definitely recommend the Graco Snugride as well. The Britax & Radian's are also at the top of the list, but on the more expensive side. The Graco is just as safe and gets as many great reviews for a lot less of a price tag!
Those would be the top 3 safest/highest rated seats IMO.
We have the Chicco Keyfit 30 that we used for our other kids, so we have plenty of bases. I only plan to use it until DD reaches 45 lbs and we can front face her though, then baby will probably go into the Britax convertible seat we have. If you wanted, you could skip the infant seat altogether and just get a convertible seat, although it would mean you'd have to transfer the seat everytime you switched cars (unless you know you'll want more than one eventually).
Lisa, mom to Alie and Christian