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Car Seat Must-Haves

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One mom of three offers you her list of the five must-have car seats that will take you from newborn to 8 years old.

Guru Mommy Linda Meadow: I am on my third child, and wondering how I could not have an appropriate car seat for my 3-year-old. I discovered that the laws have changed since my 9-year-old was born, and now I have to start all over again!

The new law (according to AAP.com) is that booster seats (seats that use the buckle from your car rather than a "harness" attached to a car seat) are for older children (at least 4 years of age), while many children may grow out of their infant or forward-facing car seats well before 4 years of age. Therefore, there is now an "in between" seat necessary for children younger than 4 years of age who are too big for their car seats.

Sound confusing? The best advice I can give is to have some foresight and buy a car seat for your child that has a longer base and a higher weight restriction as they grow out of their infant seats, thus negating the need for an "interim" car seat before a booster (such as the Britax Marathon or Boulevard (holds up to 65 lbs.), as opposed to the Britax Roundabout (which holds up to 40 lbs).

So without further ado: here are my five must-have car seats that will take you from newborn to 8 years old:


Car Seat Must-Haves

Graco SnugRide 32 Infant Car Seat

I like this car seat because the handle is easy to slip on your arm, making it easy to carry around. Plus it is compatible with most strollers as a "click in," so your baby can go straight from the car to the stroller without being moved or woken up.

gracobaby.com

Sunshine Kids RadianXT Convertible Car Seat

The only car seat that can be used both rear- and front-facing, thus it can be used for an infant up to a toddler. This is not the ideal seat for an infant, as it is not compatible with strollers. The RadianXT is best used when your infant has outgrown the infant seat but is not ready to be forward-facing.

sunshinekidsbaby.com

Britax Frontier Combo Harness-2-Booster Seat

This seat is the perfect seat for a child that has outgrown the infant seat and is ready to face forward. It still has a 5-point harness system and is not as big as a convertible car seat, so you can squeeze more into your back seat.

britaxusa.com

Maxi-Cosi Rodi XR Booster Car Seat

While these are the easiest to use, as they don't have to be installed (they just use a shoulder seat belt), they should not be used until your child is at least 4 years old and weighs at least 30 pounds. They MUST be used with both a shoulder and a lap belt.

maxicosiseats.com

Clek Oobr Booster Seat

These boosters click into your car's "LATCH" system, and are both comfortable and easy to use. They can be used for children up to age 8, or children up to 57" in height.

magnaclek.com




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12 comments so far | Post a comment now
Kristen September 20, 2009, 4:59 AM

I have the sunshine kids radian carseat and it’s amazing. My oldest daughter was able to stay in that seat until she was 6yrs old. I have a girlfriend that has the britax frontier and her 7yr old son(who is very tall) is still in that seat. Both of these seats were well worth the money:)

A September 20, 2009, 5:52 AM

I can’t believe you only have ONE convertible listed on here!! That’s the seat a child SHOULD be spending the most time in. Children should rear-face until the maximum limits of their convertible seat. Which, soon for the Radian XTSL will be 45lbs! My daughter is so tiny, only 23lbs at 2.5. She is still rear-facing in a Britax Marathon. She will probably be able to stay rear-facing to 3 or 4. 30lbs is WAY too small for a booster seat.

m September 20, 2009, 8:22 AM

There are MANY car seats that face both forward and backward, they are called CONVERTIBLE SEATS why would you think there is only one?

SEO Expert September 21, 2009, 12:54 AM

Choosing a car seat is a little like choosing a dentist — it’s painful..I love this post it would help me a lot.

anonymos September 21, 2009, 10:26 AM

since when is there only one car seat that can do rear facing and forward facing with the same seat? There’s a million of them on the market, that’s what makes it so difficult to choose one. The author doesn’t even list the reason she chose this particular seat like safety features or ease of use. Not a very helpful article at all.

jonnjenkind September 29, 2009, 12:46 PM

LRYVo9 I want to say - thank you for this!

lilikindsli September 29, 2009, 3:12 PM

bhxDps I want to say - thank you for this!

lilikindsli September 30, 2009, 5:02 AM

Eoa0pU I want to say - thank you for this!

Globals October 2, 2009, 3:43 PM

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Romase October 3, 2009, 2:18 PM

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Wegas October 4, 2009, 12:16 AM

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Julie Howell February 2, 2011, 11:03 AM

Thanks for the article. I really agree that your focus really determines your reality, and by seeing and appreciating the success and abundance in others lives really opens up the potential for your own success. Resenting things only brings you down.


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