Monday, June 01, 2009

Carseats, carseats, carseats.

I don't lose sleep over things that aren't important very often. But earlier this weekend I was seriously about to lose sleep over this! I was having a very difficult time wrapping my mind around our current carseat situation. What seats are expiring, need to be replaced, with what type, and with the new baby coming, how that fit in to the situation as well. So much so, in fact that I got my sister to help me figure it out. Thanks Elizabeth!!

I considered writing out all the details of the issue, but since Elizabeth helped me solve it and figure out what we actually need to buy, I'll spare you :) Let's suffice it to say that we have 2 carseats that will be expiring in March and need to be replaced with toddler seats with a harness up to 65lbs or more, and we also need an infant carrier that will hold a baby of 'longer length' since it appears this baby is built much like Kristopher (her foot measured near 2" at 24 weeks!) and he outgrew his carrier at 4 1/2 months. Hopefully that seat will keep baby girl for quite a while, but at the time she outgrows it, we'll need another seat for her and at that time we'll figure out what type- infant/toddler or just toddler, etc... That's hopefully a year and more down the road.

I considered for about 30 seconds saving the $ on the infant carrier and just getting her a permanent carseat that's an infant/toddler one. Then I considered not being able to take her out of the car and set her down unless I had a stroller already out and ready to get the other kids unbuckled- or even to get the other kids IN the car she'd have to be in first and they'd be running away... I'll spend the $$ on a carseat that's a carrier! LOL That is... if we find one that will work for more than 4-5 months that seems worthwhile...

Ok, I promise you that our conversation was about twenty times that long and I really did spare you tons of details!

So in the next 3 months (WOW, only 3 months?!?) we need an infant carrier. Preferrably one that has a length limit of to 32" or more. Graco makes 2 different ones I believe. Anyone else? Has anyone used these? Are they huge and bulky? Does the child seem to actually FIT in them for that long or are they just "allowed" to? Do they use a regular seatbelt to go into a second car of do you have to use the base at all times? Anyone know?? I see a trip to Babies R Us in the future...

And while I'm at it shopping for carseats, I'm doing a 'first through' on the toddler seats too. I know there are more than just the Radian that go up to 65 lbs in a harness now (we have a Radian 80 and LOVE it, but the other seats seem much less expensive and this time we don't need the seat to go rear-facing for B and M). Anyone have experience with the Graco Nautilus? I found the Apex too, but because our big van doesn't have headrests, and the manual says that it shouldn't be used if the child's head is above the back of the VAN seat (behind the carseat), thus not one that I'm willing to buy. I can't find the manual for the Nautilus online even through Graco's website to know if it is the same way. Are there other seats that go up to 65lbs in the harness?

No, I'm not losing any more sleep over this :) PROMISE! But I'd love any info you all have about any of these seats or any others that might fit our kiddos well!


  1. I have a friend who is a car seat safety expert and she has said that the nautilus is just as safe as the radian but it is wider and bulkier so as long as you aren't trying to fit a bunch of carseats next to each other it might work.

  2. Love the nautilus! I'll look for my manual, but I don't think it is a problem

  3. I just bought the nautilus for PAtrick. It's still in the box, so I will open it up and get the manual out for you. You can find it on Amazon for $140, free shipping (wal-mart was selling it for $165). I'll install it later today and measure it for you too, so you can have a better idea of how much room it will take up!

  4. Also have the nautilus and love it. One thing I love is how easy it is to install with the latch system! Super fast compared to the others we have had.

  5. britax---frontier

  6. I also wondered about the Nautilus. And I also have 2 seats that will have to be replaced before the new year. We have 2 Britax Regents for the older 2. they go up to 80 (or 85) pounds. We love them. But they are also expensive and very big/bulky and heavy!

    Glad to hear people so far like the Nautilus.

  7. We have the Nautilus and love it! You can also check out the Britax Frontier. Look online at the measurements and compare to your current Radian...that might help you know if they will fit.

  8. You should check out they have a lot of techs and very good info.

    Personally, for the baby carrier I would go with a Chicco Keyfit 30, which goes to 30lb, 30" tall. The base for this seat installs SO much easier than the Graco seats, and it has shoulder belt lockoffs so you don't have to lock the car's seatbelt (which sometimes causes the base to be tippy). The seat itself can also install with just a seatbelt.

    For the older ones I've heard good things about the nautilus, but some people say their kids figure out how to unbuckle it... so I would certainly try kids in it before buying :) Another option if you didn't need rear facing would be the Britax Regent. These harness to 80lb and are tall. They stopped making these recently, but you can still get them if you hurry :)

    Good luck, check out the website... lots of good info.

  9. We have a Graco||1+10434:4294959110||1#/1657

    And we LOVE IT!!! Our son was in it until April (He was born 12/2007) It goes up to 32lbs and 32inches :) Good luck!!!

    As for older seats We have the Britax Regent and LOVE IT!!! SO WORTH THE MONEY!!! They are a 5pt harness UP TO 85 Lbs :) DEFINATELY worth it!!!

  10. I would go with the Graco SnugRide 32, it goes to 32 lbs. and 32 in., and isn't too bulky or big at all - it fits comfortably in the back of my little Ford Escort. And it can be used without the base too.

  11. Well, I was going to post to you yesterday, but Blogspot was being cranky. Your other friends have posted most of what I was going to say. Both and are good websites. I use the first one mostly. They have a special needs handout that lists the higher weight seats. If you need any personal assistance, just give me a call. I am not far away. 407-489-7119.

    Diane Kessluk
    Fire & Life Safety Educator II
    Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician (11yrs) Instructor (7yrs)

    Worked with Cecil for 13 years. He can give you a reference!!

  12. the Natulis is good for ff but as for Rear i would recommend the True fit it harness to 65 and has extended rear facing
    another thing that may help is a fourm just on carseats