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Saved 7/06/10 to The Pregnancy Posse

Car Seat Question


I'm completely confused about what size car seat to get. Friends and family have recommended the Graco Snugride, and they make one that holds a baby up to 22 pounds and 29 inches tall. But they also have one that goes up to size 32 pounds and 32 inches tall. The first one is a bit cheaper, but will a baby outgrow it before they are one year old, when it's time to move up to a new car seat? The main reason I'm tempted to stick with the 22-pound car seat is because a friend gave us some extra bases, so that would save us some dough. But if our baby will outgrow it at 6 months (I heard some can), and we'll have to end up buying the 32-pound car seat, then that would not be saving us money. Any advice?

eavalderas eavalderas 5 years 6 weeks
*******GO WITH THE BIGGER SEAT******* Once your child is 22 lbs or more he/she will prob not want to stay in the carseat once you take it out of the car, I know mine didn't. So yes it is heavier but you are able to use it longer and therefore get more for your money. We went with the Peg Perego PRIMO VIAGGIO SIP 30-30 and we LOVE IT!!! More $$$ than the average car seat but we think it was worth it. Our daughter is 18 months and weights 28lbs and still uses it! I am now looking for her next seat/booster and going with one that is good from 22-100lbs...should be the only other seat we will ever have to buy!!! GOOD LUCK!!!
chicagojlo chicagojlo 5 years 7 weeks
You should have some idea of how big a baby you are going to have by the time you register, so that should be a good starting point. If you don't, you're registering way too early! Admittedly my son is an exception being 16.5lbs at 2 months old, but he's fast outgrowing his infant carrier already that only holds up to 22lbs, and he hates it. Also don't let being able to carry the seat be a deciding factor, once that kid hits 15lbs you'll be done carrying it no matter what the weight limit is. Plus babies shouldn't be sitting in the seats all day anyway, if you're taking them out and about get them in a stroller or wearable carrier. It's not good for their lungs or their spines. Personally I'm glad I didn't get a seat with a higher limit because my son hates it regardless. You have to buy the convertible seat at some point anyway so why not buy it at 22lbs instead of 32?
katiekat katiekat 5 years 7 weeks
I disagree... DD was in her infant seat well past her 1st birthday. It was WONDERFUL to have the option of leaving the seat in the car, or quickly taking it out and snapping it on our stroller frame (without unbuckling) I say go for the bigger seat, especially if you live in an area where it is cold in the winter... it is much easier to throw a cozy blanket over the seat & zip up a car seat cover than it is to wrestle your lo into a coat...PLUS... you can put them in the seat, and have time to get your things together before you head out the door (without your LO crawling or walking away)
jenni5 jenni5 5 years 8 weeks
I personally liked the infant car seat, and so did my kids. But it does get too heavy to lug around after about 6 mths. But just think you don't have to wake a sleeping baby every time you get in an out of the car. And when you go out to restaurants and people's houses it is super convenient and baby has a safe place to nap. And assuming you will have more kids you will get more use out of it, so not a complete waste of money.
schnappycat schnappycat 5 years 8 weeks
Hey, what happened to all of the other comments posted yesterday? Was I too obnoxious?
ladygrace ladygrace 5 years 8 weeks
As long as you are OK with the possibility of outgrowing sooner than later, buy the lighter one. Plan on using the money you saved to buy a convertible seat (one that goes rear-facing and forward-facing) with a high harness height and weight limits. Google "benefits of rear-facing" to find lots of information about why your baby should remain rear-facing as long as possible, and DEFINITELY past a year. A good convertible seat will make this easy to do. Best of luck!
schnappycat schnappycat 5 years 8 weeks
Oooh, I don't want to be a you-know-what, but I hate hearing about people who switch to forward-facing earlier than a year because they are worried about their kid's legs being uncomfortable. My son's legs hit the seat, too (most kids' legs will!!), but I'd rather risk him breaking a leg than breaking his neck. Their necks really still aren't that stable at one year. The kid can cross their legs, but are so vulnerable forward-facing in an accident, even at a year. The AAP is now recommending the age of two for that reason, regardless of how tall a kid is. My pediatrician also recs it. This issue is so important to me since it's such an easy thing to adhere to and it's been proven so much safer. My son was so used to rear-facing that he actually was upset when I finally switched him (had to to accommodate the new baby's seat). Heh. I'll get off my soapbox now since I know it's not even directed at you and not related to the post! Sorry!
Beaner Beaner 5 years 8 weeks
schnappycat - yes that makes sense. I know they can switch to the convertible car seat before 1 yr old and still be rear-facing, but thought I might as well get good use out of the infant car seat for at least a year, since they'll be in the convertible car seat until they are up to 65 pounds. I guess you're right - you just don't know how your baby will grow. My friend's baby hit 29 inches at 6 months, so they had to switch to the convertible car seat then. But they also had to switch the convertible car seat to be forward-facing before he hit one because they said his feet were hitting the seat.
schnappycat schnappycat 5 years 8 weeks
I should clarify that babies/kids still need to be restrained in an approved seat for years (I think it's 8 years now?). I'm sure you know that, but upon re-reading my response, I didn't want anyone to think that I thought it was OK to have them out of seats entirely after one year. Obviously, they have to be in a convertible seat after the infant seat and finally a booster. I wasn't very clear! :)
schnappycat schnappycat 5 years 8 weeks
Beaner, you wouldn't ever NEED to buy another infant seat, regardless of how big the baby is. Infants aren't required to sit in an actual infant seat. If your child outgrows the carrier or gets too heavy to lug it around, you can at that point just purchase a convertible seat for him or her. They just need to remain rear facing in an approved seat until at least a year and 20 pounds (although it's now recommended for much longer--my son rode rear facing until 26 months), but can safely do so in a convertible seat. Does that make sense? To answer your question, your child may not outgrow the infant seat before a year unless he or she is on the larger side. My son was just around 20 pounds at a year. However, like I mentioned, there is no way I would be lugging a 20 pound 1 year old in a carrier. Plus, he really preferred the convertible seat where he was more upright and could see everything well. But of course, all babies and families are different, so it's totally up to you. You'll probably just have to make your best guess. There is no way of knowing ahead of time, but some babies LOVE the infant seat and might happily ride around in it until the upper weight/height limits of the seat. And you might not mind lugging it around. But for me and many of my friends, it was just easier to switch the baby over to a convertible seat before 1 year and save our arms the workout! ;)
Beaner Beaner 5 years 8 weeks
Totally - I didn't think I'd be carrying the car seat around after the baby got too heavy. But will they outgrow just sitting in the 22-pound car seat before a year? I'd rather not have to buy another infant car seat (the 32-pound one) before having to buy the one he or she would need at 1 yr old.
babysugar babysugar 5 years 8 weeks
I have to agree with schnappycat! We were "suckered" into buying the bigger car seat and it is one of my biggest regrets. It is so heavy to begin with - and then you add a 15 pound baby to it and it is literally a workout to lift it.
schnappycat schnappycat 5 years 8 weeks
In my experience, the baby gets too heavy to carry the infant seat much past 6 or 8 months. They might not technically outgrow the seat weightwise, but many people around that age opt to either just keep the infant seat in the car and take the baby in and out, or just move the baby up to a convertible seat at that point (which you CAN do because most good convertible seats are rated for infants and can be installed rear facing--there is no rule that says an infant must be in an actual infant seat until a year). It's just really cumbersome to lug around once the baby reaches a certain weight. I honestly can't imagine trying to carry a 22 pound kid in a carrier, let alone a 32 pound kid. No way. My 2 1/2 year old isn't even 32 pounds, so this makes me laugh. Also keep in mind that not all kids like the infant carrier, especially after a certain age. My daughter loves her so far (at 2 months), but my son HATED it from day one. He was ok in the car, but really didn't like to be carried in it or put in the stroller with it. So we really didn't use it much aside from the actual car. And then we switched him to a Britax convertible seat around 8 months (still rear-facing, of course). Sorry this got so long!