Convertible Car Seat: What saved our car trips

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby on. Posted in BABY, Best for Baby, New Mom Experience, PRODUCTS

I honestly don’t know where to start this post. There is so much I need to say and explain. The biggest reason why I am writing it is to help other parents not go through the hell we had to go through with our infant carseat. {If you don’t want to read our story and skip to the review of the carseat, click here}

See, when I was still pregnant and on the hunt for the perfect car seat, I was reading all kinds of guides that say something along these lines:

“You can buy a rear facing infant car seat  that is safer because it fits small babies better and then a bigger car seat once they reach 22-35 pounds depending on the seat OR you can purchase a convertible car seat that can have your infant in and then by removing a special infant pad when your baby is older, you use it as a normal car seat and then eventually you can flip it to face forward. With an infant carseat you can carry it in and out of the car without waking the baby up or attach it to a stroller frame.”

The idea being that it is safer and more convenient to have an infant car seat rather than one that is convertible. Well little ol’ me was all “We have to have an infant car seat and then we’ll buy a bigger one when she outgrows it. ” It didn’t matter that it would mean that we’d have to buy two seats. I wanted what was best for my baby. In addition to that, WHO isn’t completely used to the sight of a new mom toting a car seat with the baby in it around town?

That, in my opinion, the problem with going for what’s common/popular/traditional rather than trying to figure out what works for you – it’s not always what’s best, and most likely it’s not what’s best for YOU.

What noone else seems to tell you is that most likely ( though not in all cases) if your baby is exclusively breastfed (and sometime not), she will outgrow the infant car seat by weight in…umm well… point two seconds.
And you know what else? It’s likely that BEFORE she outgrows the car seat by weight, she will be big enough sizewise to be SO uncomfortable in it that you will want to throw it out of the window.
And finally? If you’ve got an active/difficult/high needs or, in general, curious baby, he will want NOTHING to do with anything that requires him to be reclined and squished like that. You might also have a baby that screams and screams in the car seat, so the whole “put it in the stroller frame” or “carry in and out of the car” advice becomes kind of useless. And what’s wrong with babywearing instead lugging a 20 pound container?

Ok, so maybe this won’t/didn’t happen to you and your baby, but those were exactly the issues we were having PLUS some more.

My dad bought us a wonderful expensive infant car seat by Peg Perego. It’s rated well and all. I have nothing bad to say about the brand, it’s a good company, but after the initial few weeks of being totally OK in the car seat, Alexis ALL OF A SUDDEN HATED it! With a passion! She’d scream and cry in it the second I put her there (or 5 minutes later if she was in a good mood). She was so uncomfortable, she’d get hot in an instant in that polyester covered seat and it was just NOT a good situation.  Once she got a bit bigger ( 2-3 months) it got even worse. She was cramped in it, she didn’t like being reclined like that, she couldn’t see anything. Forget using the car seat in a  stroller! Ha! What a joke! She’d sit in a normal stroller as long as it was upright and let her look around. Oh and toting the car seat around? It’s so heavy that it wasn’t even a question.

So we spent the first 3 months thinking that she just doesn’t like BEING in a car seat. She’d never fall asleep in it calmly. NEVER. She’d be sooo tired, but she’d just cry and cry until we either pull over, or I somehow get her to close her eyes for a second and shush her to sleep (or more likely she’d get too tired from crying). I never thought the blame was to be put on her carseat. I just figured some babies didn’t tolerate being in the car or whatever. I know plenty of people using this particular car seat with their kids with no problems. So one day, I googled and bumped into a thread about babies who hate being in a car seat. And a few people suggested getting a convertible car seat saying it helped their baby.

I wasn’t sure it would help, but it definitely beat staying home most of the time because your baby won’t fall asleep or stay calm in a car seat.

So I started researching. I had another concern. Besides her being cramped into the infant car seat, I felt her crying was partially stemming from the fact that she was hot. Whenever we’d get her out, her back would be soaking wet and no amount of air conditioning or fan blowing would help. So besides finding a good convertible car seat, I needed to find one that hopefully wouldn’t get as hot.

And then there was another issue. Fire retardants. UGH! MOST car seats are sprayed with BFRs (brominated fire retardants). It is one of the reasons I will NOT buy Britax until they phase out BFRs. It’s hard to get away from them, but one CAN use this resource to check whether the car seat they are planning on buying contains too much of these highly toxic chemicals. {here’s a list of best and worst car seats from the toxic chemicals standpoint. Also pay attention to where the toxins were detected. If there’s lead in the base, I’m not concerned, since the baby doesn’t come in contact with that part, just wash your hands after installing or touching it. But if there’s some in the clip, watch out – what baby doesn’t like to chew on their car seat clip?}

So after days of looking around, comparing car seats, reading reviews, checking out HealthyStuff.org, I finally decided on 2 car seats: Sunshine Kids convertible car seat and Maxi Cosi Pria 70.

The biggest reason for SunshineKids was lack of aforementioned fire retardants (and they do rate well on the safety).

Maxi Cosi’s comparable seat (they didn’t have Pria in  their healthystuff.org database) had very little fire retardants in the seat and was only rated medium due to lead in the base (which as I said earlier was not my concern). But the biggest reason why I ended up going with Pria 70 was how big and comfortable the seat looked AND after reading a ton of Amazon reviews, I discovered that the fabric Maxi Cosi used for this seat was a different type of fabric that feels and stays cool to skin. Bingo! That was EXACTLY what I wanted!

Once it was shipped, the seat seriously couldn’t come fast enough. Every car trip was torture and I put ALL my hopes in this new magical seat. When it came in, we quickly put Lexi into it just to see her reaction. She usually starts fussing right away when she is put into our  infant car seat. So here was her reaction:

Cute, but not necessarily what she’s going to think of it after she’s been in it for 20 minutes. So the next test would be taking her out in it.

Then I removed all the fabric and washed it immediately (or maybe I wiped it down, I don’t remember now whether it comes off or not. I’m pretty sure it does).

As soon as it was ready to be installed, I had Andrew go install it, which he said was as easy as any other seat. And then we took our first car trip. We went for a little outing into a neighboring town. Alexis was just fine in the seat getting there and I could see how wide and spacious and comfortable it was for her. We spent a few hours walking around the center of town, grabbing a sandwich, taking pictures. Then it was time to go home. It had been 4 hours since Lexi last slept at that point ( the normal is 1.5-2hrs), so I was dreading the car ride but hoping she’d do better in the new car seat. Usually the worst of her crying in the car is when she is too tired, but can’t fall asleep in it.

To make a long story short, a few minutes into our ride, I noticed her slowly closing her eyes. KLOP! KLOP! KLOP! She was blinking fast trying to stay awake while staring at the window. The smaller her eyes were getting, the bigger mine were becoming. I was in shock that she wasn’t crying- she was clearly very sleepy. And then within a minute or two, BAM! She was asleep!

To explain to you the shock, relief, joy that went through our heads at that moment – I don’t think you can understand it unless you’ve dealt with a baby that hates their carseat and won’t fall asleep in it.

From that moment on, we were SOLD and we were so grateful to Maxi Cosi for having made a comfy car seat and at the same time SO MAD that we had waited so long to realize that our old car seat what was causing all the trouble. I am still mifted at myself for not doing it sooner and at Peg Perego for being hot and uncomfortable (lol).

As far as fabric goes, the reviews I read were spot on. It’s this smooth, breathable cover that JUST DOES NOT GET HOT. Seriously, we would drive for 3 hours non-stop and I pull Lexi out and her back would be her body temperature and the seat would be cool to touch. It’s an ABSOLUTE MUST for hot climates but I am sure even northerners could use a seat that doesn’t make their baby sweat.

So from that point on, I can count on 1 hand the number of times when Alexis had a breakdown in the car. However, I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count how many times she’s fallen asleep in it, with either minor fussing and help from me or completely on her own. A complete 180 on our situation prior to getting the new car seat. We’ve been able to go places, take trips, drive for 3-4 hours to Disney with relative ease. She still gets sick of sitting in one place like any normal baby would, but it’s manageable.

I think this huge of an improvement is due to a lot of things: the spaciousness of the seat, how comfortable it is, how well padded it is, how cool and pleasant to touch the fabric is, the perfect recline of the seat and some of it, at this point, I am sure, is due to Alexis growing up and not needing as much help falling asleep. Those, who follow me on Instagram, know how many times since getting this car seat, I’ve posted a photo of Lexi sleeping in it with the words: “I can’t believe this is happening!”

 

So a few more things about the seat that is worth mentioning. It features a TINY FIT system, designed to fit the smallest babies ( 4lb +). When your baby grows out of it, you simply remove the insert. The car seat works in both rear facing and forward facing positions, fits babies up to 70 lbs in forward facing ( up to 40 lbs in rear facing). It has a FlexTech™ system for multi-directional energy management , as well as Air Protect advanced side impact protection.

It takes up little space in our car, but we do own a large SUV, however according to reviews, it has a pretty nice fit even in smaller cars.

In all the reviews I have done,  I have never really felt like something was such a MUST that no other product existed. This is a first one. As far as car seats are concerned, I am a Maxi Cosi customer for life.

For a cheaper alternative, check out the Safety 1st  Complete Air seat, it’s made out of the same breathable fabric, rated well, and is about $100 cheaper. The shape of the seat is a bit different, it looks like it’s not as wide, but without having tried it, I can’t really tell.

If you are still feeling strong about buying an infant car seat first, I’d suggest you take a look at their new Prezi infant carseat that looks stinking cool, comes in awesome colors, looks comfy and has the same type of fabric that doesn’t make your baby hot. Looking at it, I SOOOOO wish I had known about it when we were first buying a car seat. Though even then I’d probably get the convertible one from the get go, knowing what I know now.

In the near future I will be doing a 2 week trial of Clek’s brand new Foonf car seat (for 6+ months), which promises to be fabulous.  However, it would need to be mind blowing to outdo Pria 70.


Pria70 Convertible Car Seat Giveaway from Maxi Cosi

LEARN MORE ABOUT Maxi Cosi

*** WEBSITE *** FACEBOOK *** TWITTER ***


BELOW ARE THE GIVEAWAYS RULES
and Mandatory Entries: {read carefully}

There are  3 mandatory entries , after which you will have additional entries available.
This giveaway is open to US  residents only.
The winning entry will be verified and the winner disqualified if the action is not found or if the mandatory items are not fullfilled.
Each giveaway has specific rules, so read them on the widget (including which countries are eligible)See the rafflecopter widget for additional terms and conditions.

{If you’re not sure how to use to enter, feel free to watch this video tutorial or email me at contact {at} prebabyblog {dot} com
Otherwise, make sure to read everything carefully. Click the DO IT link first, then I’VE DONE IT once the action is completed}

I was not compensated for this post. Maxi Cosi  provided me with a seat sample to review. All opinions are 100% my own.

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Comments (91)

  • Amanda

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    Oh.my.goodness. I totally understand you with this post!! My 8 month old also HATED the infant carseat with a passion and it was the same one you have – the Peg Perego!! Is it the carseat brand then?? Oh how I hated car rides…absolutely dreaded them. For a while I didn’t take him anywhere it was that bad. He too would refuse to fall asleep in it, no matter how tired he was. Same thing, as soon as we upgraded to the bigger carseat, he tolerated it much better! Haha…I too was in shock the first time he fell asleep. And now? If we’re going somewhere an hour+, we time it during his nap and he sleeps the whole way!! Wow…totally get ya!!

    Reply

  • Stacey

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    If your baby can get the chest clip from the seat in her mouth, you probably need to tighten the straps a bit :) the clip really shouldn’t be able to slide.

    Reply

      • Nina T.

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        I can tell you why she cried in the first carseat. Because it was RED. Red up on you colors you will see red is not a calming color just the opposite. Ever been in a restaurant? Check out the colors most have red one does not feel comfortable looking at this color they do this so you eat and leave so they can get more customers. Same with us red is not a calming color it raises blood pressure.

        Reply

        • Amanda

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          Red actually increases appetite FYI

          Reply

      • Nina T.

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        Clips are made in China. You do jot care she is sucking on it lol?

        Reply

  • Elizabeth Gaudette

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    Hi I am a CPST, Certified Passenger Safety Technician, I could not help but notice that it looks like you have your carseat tethered. If that is correct you need to undo that and store the top tether. Maxi Cosi does NOT allow for their seats to be tethered when they are rearfacing. I would recommend getting your seat checked by a technician ASAP! You can go to http://www.nhtsa.gov/cps/cpsfitting/index.cfm to find a CPST near you.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Thanks for the heads up! I went and checked and yes, you’re right. It says to store it. Hubby installed it and since it was moving, he figured he’d attach the tether, since it was there, to “make it safer” lol.
      Again thanks for the heads up!

      Reply

      • Elizabeth Gaudette

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        Glad you got it fixed. Make sure both you and your husband read the manual and know how to install the seat. There can be movement at the “head” of the seat when rearfacing. You only want to check for movement at the belt path. There should be less than 1 inch of movement when you gently shake the seat side to side and front to back (at the belt path). Again I would strongly suggest getting it inspected by a CPST. :-)

        Reply

  • Helen

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    Just a heads up – Lexi’s seat needs to be an inch away from the front seat! In the photos it looks like it is touching and that is a huge safety issue. We had our carseat installation inspected by a qualified car seat technician and they stressed this.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Oh good to know! I think someone moved the seat back when they were riding in front ( i ride in the back). I’ll adjust that.

      Reply

  • Jaclyn Armstrong

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    I wish I had read this a year ago! I was also convinced that an infant seat was mandatory for a newborn, and it was the first purchase we made for our little one. Now that he is 8 months old I have told my husband so many times what a waste of money it was. It has never left my car because it is so heavy and I’ve been baby wearing from day one. I wish I had known that a convertible seat was an option! I will never buy another infant car seat for our family.

    Reply

  • Julia Babs

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    Oh goodness…this post brought tears to my eyes because I SO resonate with the dread for car rides. My 6 month old HATES car trips…even a 5 minute one down the street has him crying and anything longer usually leads to a meltdown. I feel stuck and trapped at home because I can never go anywhere with him for fear of my poor little guy getting so upset. It has me feeling somewhat depressed, but the thought of driving with him (especially without my hubby) makes my stomach clench up. I’ve been thinking about getting a convertible car seat, but it’s not in our budget at the moment (my husband is finishing up his Ph.D. so finances are tight)…I entered the giveaway and I really hope I win! We’re going on an 11 hour car ride in a few months and I’m already dreading it…

    Reply

    • Elizabeth Gaudette

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      You can get a Cosco Scenera at Walmart or KMart for less that $50 and all seats meet the same safety standards. :-)

      Reply

  • Ashley

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    So did you pick this out and order it, or did the company send it to you to review? I’m confused.

    Reply

  • Megan

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    i swear it’s the Peg Perego Infant seat! Just looking at it, it looks very uncomfortable compared to the Graco Safe Seat we used. I have had a few friends now whose little ones HATED the Peg Perego Infant seat and would either scream as soon as they were put in it or just would never really settle in their seat, and would never fall asleep in it. They all tried their little ones in different brands of seats and amazingly, they were fine in them. At the same time I do know a couple of people whose babies were ok in the Peg, but it seems like a disproportionate amount don’t like it. Glad you found one that worked for you though.

    Reply

    • Pixie

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      I never had a problem with the peg perego. She didn’t start fussing until a year old when she out grew it due to length. I loved mine and never had a problem with it.

      Reply

    • tarynkay

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      We had a Graco infant seat and I agree- the fabric on those seems to be cooler (temperature wise) than the Peg Perego. My son was fine in the infant seat, but grew out of it by 4 months. But he is huge. Most of my friends have been able to use their infant seats up to at least 10 months, often a year or more. We actually started out w/ a convertible Britax, but this was difficult to use in the floppy newborn stage for us b/c we have a two door car. With the infant seat, we could click the whole seat into place with the baby already in it. This was really helpful for us and made the infant seat worth it, even though it didn’t last us long.

      We were also told that the safest place for the carseat was the middle. This isn’t an option in our little car b/c my excessively tall husband needs to be able to put the seat far enough back to be able to drive, but if you can, it’s supposed to be safer.

      Reply

  • Heather

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    I totally get it. We switched our daughter at around 6 months to her convertible and she loved it. We wet with Britax though. Also, she HATED her Maxi Cosi Mico infant seat. Maybe the new one will be much improved since we travel a LOT and plan to with the next as well.

    Reply

  • Rachell @Adventures of a Wee Brandon Lee

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    I had the same experience with our infant seat. We switched to a convertible at 5 months and it has been an drastic change to the positive since then. If I had to do it over again I would have just skipped the infant seat and went straight to the convertible.

    Reply

  • lara

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    Just FYI –

    “What noone else seems to tell you is that most likely ( though not in all cases) if your baby is exclusively breastfed (and sometime not), she will outgrow the infant car seat by weight in…umm well… point two seconds.”

    Our seat went to 30lbs – even Lexi hasn’t reached 30lbs, has she? My kid was in the higher percentiles also – not as big as Lexi, but 85% ish from birth (weighed 9lbs even when she was born). But she still had plenty of weight left to go when she outgrew it by length. I haven’t ever heard of anyone outgrowing it by weight before they outgrew it by height (the Chicco Keyfit 30 and Graco Snugride 32 are the two most popular infant bucket seats and go to 30/32lbs).

    That said, I wouldn’t have traded our infant seat for the world. I still miss the ability to take her into stores when she fell asleep in the seat! It’s definitely about finding out what works best for each individual baby – for Lexi it was a convertible right away, but for a lot of babies it’s still the infant bucket seat!

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Peg goes up to 22 lbs. At 4 months she was at around 19 lbs, so it wasn’t going to be too long until she hit the top weight limit for it. The biggest issue was the fact that at that size/weight she just didn’t fit into it comfortably. I can’t imagine a 22 lbs baby ever riding comfortably in that seat.

      Reply

      • Claire

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        Yeah, I was going to say that your main issue (Lexi outgrowing the seat by weight) is an issue very few people will run into – since Lexi’s in, what, the 97th percentile for weight if I remember right? Then only 3 percent of moms will have the same issue! ;) Our daughter still fits happily into the Chicco Keyfit 30 at 9.5 months old, and I can see her still using it for quite some time. But she’s only 50th percentile for height and 25th for weight, so we’re in the normal height/weight range (although she is also breastfed on demand as well).
        I’m glad you found a seat that works for you. I know a lot of moms whose babies hated the car until 3-4 months, so it may have been just her growing up a bit and getting used to the car.
        We were recently and unexpectedly gifted the new Peg Perego convertible seat (by a doting grandparent), and we love it, so I wouldn’t write off the whole brand. It looks very similar to the seat you posted. Although it is so pricey! We wouldn’t never have bought it ourselves, but we do really like it. I also like the fact that it’s rated to 45 lbs rear facing and 70 lbs forward facing, the highest on the market (my husband is a firefighter, so safety is obviously our number one concern). It is also much cooler than the Chicco Keyfit infant seat, but I think all bucket seats run a little hot, and since we’re far north of Florida, it’s not really an issue for us!

        Reply

      • Pixie

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        No the Peg actually goes to 30/30.

        Reply

        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          I seem to remember the manual saying 22 lbs. Either way, we would have switched regardless. I cannot imagine a 30 lbs baby sitting in that crammed of a space.

          Reply

          • Pixie

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            No, even on the website it states that it is for 5lbs. to 30lbs. I did a lot of research too:) My niece has the Maxi and they love it. It is a nice car seat.

            Reply

          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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            Ha! Yeah you’re right! I think I might have convinced myself it was 22 lbs, because I really really hoped switching to a convertible would help her car seat hatred.

            Reply

          • Megan

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            They used to go up to 22lbs and then they recently re-designed them to go up to 30lbs.

            Reply

          • Amanda

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            My Peg only goes to 22lbs…but it’s a Canadian one so that’s probably where the confusion comes in.

            Reply

          • lara

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            We stopped using it at about 6-7 months, but I loved it during that time. I’ve got some weak-ass arms and I still had no problem carrying my big chubby baby in it up to that point! :) A convertible works for a lot of poeple, but my goodness I would not have wanted it during those first few months especially….I know Lexi never has been a great sleeper, but most newborns sleep so much it’s a huge blessing to be able to pop them in and out of the car without waking them!

            Reply

          • lara

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            Man, I did NOT complete my thought. Haha. We stopped using it around 6-7 months, wellllllll before she outgrew it by weight. I honestly don’t know any babies who hit the weight limit before they hit the height limit. I agree, a 30lb baby would probably be pretty squished, but even if you use them until a year, most babies aren’t close to that. :) That said, again – whatever works for your family is awesome. It’s just important to note, I think, that not all of the cons listed are necessarily applicable to most people. :)

            Reply

          • Pixie

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            Well, I purchased mine in April 2011. My daughter is 16 months so it couldn’t have been that recently that they redesigned it. I guess you must have gotten on of the older ones.

            Reply

  • Irina

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    I did the entire Maxio Cosi travel system: Infact car sit (Mico, because Prezi was not on the market yet), stroller (Quinny) and just purchased the convertable Pria 70. It is perfect. The stroller is a little on the heavy side (11lbs) but folds great and works with the infant car seat. no special adaptors to buy, or anything. it is not overly expensive – cheaper than peg perego – and you get what you pay for. Stroller is on the high side (around $575) but worth it for me.

    You and your husband are both “big” people (and by “big” I mean TALL, of course), so Lexi is a big baby. I have a tiny baby. Exclusively breastfed, eats solids by the handful, poops great, healthy, just small. She is still in the infant car seat and loving it. We have to transition her to the convertable because she is going to outgrow the infant seat in length at some point, but I will still be using the tiny fit insert for her. I find infant car seat to be invaluable for us, and she does not mind the reclining, and I provide a lot of intertainment/toys in the seat. It is impossible to predict how big the babies end up to be, unfortinately, so it is hard to recommend one over the other. It is always a little bit of a gamble.

    Reply

    • Megan

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      Great review!
      Vivien is still small for her age (18 lbs at 11 1/2 months) so she’s been loving her Eddie Bauer infant seat still. But I’ve been looking everywhere for an awesome convertible car seat. This one is on my amazon wish list, for sure.
      For infant seats, it’s awesome, because it accommodates kids who are taller because it’s 4″ deeper, and the weight goes up to 35 lbs. At that point based on weight, she may start kindergarten in it. ;-)
      (kidding, of course.)
      I can’t believe that the Peg seat only goes to 22 lbs. That seems really low, and I know lots of “infants” that would outgrow that in a hot minute.
      xoxo I hope I win!

      Reply

      • lara

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        It doesn’t…it goes to 30lbs. :)

        Reply

  • Review: Lollacup | The Memoirs of Megan

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    [...] Also, speaking of reviews that are amazing, my bloggy friend Elena is having a review and give-away of an amazing carseat, and as much as I am dying to win it, I thought I’d pass along the info for that. Click here. [...]

    Reply

  • Mrs Loquacious

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    Cannot wait for your Clek Foonf review! It is back ordered here until Nov. but I can hardly wait to get one! Baby Loquacious likes her Orbit infant car seat but it is getting way too small now, and the Orbit toddler car seat isn’t approved in Canada :(.

    Reply

  • Rebecca

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    Since you have a Pria and are trying a Foonf, I’m guessing you already plan to rear face past two years, is that correct? Lexi should be able to rearface either seat for a LONG time, even if she’s inherited your height she’ll probably make it to at least three years old.

    As another poster mentioned, yes the Pria does not allow RF tethering. I second the suggestion to set up an appointment with a CPST. Lots of people have their seats “checked” by firefighters and police officers who mean well, but aren’t actually car seat techs. It’s really important that the person be a CPST.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Agree about firefighters/police checking. We went to a local fire department to check our first seat and while he was nice, he really didn’t know much. It looked “good” to him.
      Tried to find a tech but the one in the area wouldn’t return phone calls. So that was that. :)

      Reply

    • Claire

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      My husband is a firefighter, and now their policy at the fire department is to send people straight to CPSTs since they themselves aren’t certified. You definitely want a CPST to check your carseat!

      Reply

  • carla g

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    I want to win because we are in need of a convertible seat for our son and this would be great

    Reply

  • Corinne

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    Is the winner selected at random? Or does the answer to the question make a difference and you select the one you like best?

    Reply

  • Claire

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    I know this sounds kind of knit-picky, but when you say “What noone else seems to tell you is that most likely ( though not in all cases) if your baby is exclusively breastfed (and sometime not), she will outgrow the infant car seat by weight in…umm well… point two seconds.” if you actually look at the statistics (http://kellymom.com/health/growth/growthcharts/) after the first 2-3 months (when breastfed babies do tend to be bigger) breastfed babies tends to be much SMALLER than formula-fed babies. So Alexis really is an anomaly (a very large breastfed baby). I would hate for other moms reading your blog to start to feel bad that their exclusively breastfed 8 month olds are smaller than Alexis, when, if fact, that is the norm and it is perfectly healthy! Either way, Alexis is just adorable!

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      That is knit picky lol
      All mothers should think for themselves and not compare sizes or feel bad. That’s just ridiculous. Like I said in my Mojo post, I am done being concerned about how “other mothers” might perceive anything I write. I write about my experiences. Period.

      Now as far as Kelly mom article, it’s very much spot on. After the initial 2-3 months of growth Alexis has gained less than a pound a month and continues to slow down. But she will always be a big baby, at least in height.

      Reply

      • Claire

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        Yeah, I know it was nitpicky, it’s just that a number of times you’ve mentioned that Alexis is so big because she’s exclusively breastfed, where the research actually shows the opposite – Alexis is big DESPITE being exclusively breastfed! And of course no one should feel bad about the size of their baby, whether they are in the 10th or 90th percentile! I have a friend whose boy is under the 10th percentile and she feels bad about it because she gets SO many comments on it, and “helpful” family that suggest she should give him formula to “fatten him up.” It’s rough when there’s a lot of judgmental people out there!

        Reply

        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          Well actually, she IS big because she is EBFed but also because her parents are “big”. That applies to height primarily, though. I expect her to be in the 50-75 percentile weight wise when she is over a year old. But because she was EBFed, she gained like 18 lbs in the first 4 months and that was that. ;)

          Reply

        • Christina

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          I agree with this comment. Everything I’ve read is that EBF babies are smaller than formula babies, which is why there’s a whole separate growth chart for EBF babies that documents lower weight gains than the standard WHO charts. My son was EBF for a year, and was a little chunky monkey and everyone commented that they were surprised to learn he only got boob juice! But like Alexis, he fed nonstop so I think that’s more of the reason vs what type of milk he was getting.

          As for the car seat, we switched to a convertible at close to a year, and he totally loved his new view! I agree that I should have totally switched sooner because while he technically fit, he was uncomfortable at being so reclined because he always wanted to see what was going on. Now he’s in a Diono Radian and loves life. However, I would still use a bucket seat for the early months – he hated being worn despite me trying out five different carriers and wraps – so we would still need to transport him anyway. I purposely got the Graco Snugride because it was the lightest infant seat I tested…even so those things are a pain to carry. :)

          Reply

  • Anna

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    I also was gonna go for the Maxi Cosi Pria, but I couldn’t find crash tests on that back then. So we bought the Peg Perego that you had :)
    I’m seeing now Pria has only TWO stars in RF position, aren’t you worried about that?

    Reply

        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          Consumer reports (which i dont put much stock in) and this one, too. But none of these are crash tests. These are only ease of use ratings if you read the previous page carefully. “Securing the child” in this case means: how easy it is to secure (fasten) the child in it. Not how safe the child in it.

          And since ease of use isn’t really my concern, I don’t go by these numbers.
          Like the Car seat tech above said, all seats are safe, as long as they fit your child and are installed properly.

          My biggest reason for going with pria was the fabric that doesn’t retain heat and size of the seat, plus relatively good rating on healthystuff.org

          Reply

          • Anna

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            You’re right, those are not crash tests. I still, though, cannot find crash test on Pria (ADAC doesn’t have it) :(

            I would disagree with the person saying that as long as the car seat fits your baby – it’s safe. I don’t think chep, plastic, supermarket car seat are safe (even when they fit perfectly). I suppose there is a reason why some seats fail crash tests.

            I do get that the toxic is very important for you, we just have different priorities :)

            Reply

          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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            I was under the impression that if a car seat fails a crash test, it can’t be sold… Am I wrong? Let me know where you can look up actual crash tests

            Reply

          • Elizabeth Gaudette Payne

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            Once again, crash test results ARE NOT released to the public in general, the only brand that does is Diono. A carseat CANNOT be sold if they do not pass the tests. A $40 Cosco Scenera passes the same tests as Britax, Maxi-Cosi or any other higher priced seat. All you are paying for is comfort and bells and whistles.

            Reply

    • Elizabeth Gaudette Payne

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      Only one manufacture releases crash test ratings and that is Diono. The only rating there are of carseats is ease of use, comfort, etc, NOTHING to do with how safe the seat is. All seats meet the same safety standards. The safest seat is the one that fits your child, fits your car, and is used correctly every time.

      Reply

  • Lauren

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    Definitely to each his/her own. My baby is 8 months old we just switched over to a convertible carseat to give him a bit more room. I loved the infant car seat- so easy to transport him when sleeping and made errands much easier on days we were in and out of the car a lot. I’m really missing it now! I do like having him in a bigger seat though…he is definitely comfortable and enjoys the ride, as the convertible carseat is higher and he can see a bit more out the windows. :)

    Reply

  • Amanda

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    Just want to let you know I’m super excited for tomorrow’s post. Breastfeeding has been rough for us lately so I would love to hear how it’s going for you! I don’t know anyone who BF for more than a few months so I have no one to consult with lol

    Reply

  • Amber

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    I researched forever to find a carseat I really liked. I still don’t know if the one we have will work. I hope so, though.

    Reply

  • Anna

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    No, Elena, I’m afraid they are sold. First, go to Wallmart and see the car seats there. No brand, or unknown brands. Those never get any review on safety. Than, there are brands that usually make good car seats, like Peg Perego. The one in group 0 (up to 30 lbs) has good reviews, the following size has good reviews, but the convertible failed! Please check ADAC (that’s German automobile club): http://www.adac.de/infotestrat/tests/kindersicherung/kindersitz-test/default.aspx?tabid=tab1

    What happens with most convertible is that they fail to protect in the 4-30lbs size, but are ok for bigger babies.

    Reply

  • Thalia

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    Wow, Elena, there are some rude people here!
    When you were talking about your daughter being breastfeed and huge-I completely get you. Our son weighs about 14lbs at four months, he’s breastfeed/formula fed, but he’s tiny because his father and I are really small ourselves. So every baby is different, trust me our baby is huge for his age regarding our family.

    I Was so stalking the seats you were talking about! So glad you got them, because the maxi cosi lasts longer than the others, so it’s worth the price, also I’d be hesitant about the infant seat, since it would last very long-and it’s price.

    Reply

  • karen johnson

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    I had no idea half these car seats were made to face backwards for younger babies! My son was a car seat champ, but my daughter absolutely hates hers… definitely need to look into this :)

    Reply

  • hillary

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    I am coming back and reading this more carefully because I am currently pregnant and am getting harassed by my family to work on a registry and if I don’t they will buy whatever they find on sale! ack.
    So I was one of those convinced I need an infant seat people but now I am wondering. But my question is if we don’t get an infant seat what do we do with the baby in say a restaurant. (I don’t know why I picked that I barely eat out) but I live in New England and my baby will be born in winter and I wonder what to do if I get a convertible seat which I keep thinking is better once I take the baby out and go in a store or restaurant or whatever. I mean I know a carrier for some but do you wear the baby while you eat? I totally would fear spilling I am not known for my grace.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      I think it depends on a person and the baby and there is really no way to know how things will work out, but I’ll tell you what worked for us. Life with a newborn (unless you get on that sleeps all the time) is rough in the beginning, so most likely you won’t be going out too much. Whenever we did go out and Lexi would fall asleep in the car after crying her poor eyes out, we’d simply sit there and wait till she wakes up anyways, rather than attempt to take the seat with us and risk waking her up. Once she was able to sit straight ( 3 months, I believe), she could sit in the high chair or a stroller next to the table. But mostly, really just in my lap and we’d take turns eating.
      I don’t think it’s safe to eat hot foods with the baby in a carrier. So what I would do in your case is maybe play it by ear. Get a convertible seat and see if you find that you need an infant seat. Or get an infant seat with a 365 day return policy ( amazon does that) and a convertible and if you end up not using the infant seat, return it.
      There’s really no way to know and that is the suckiest part. Every baby and situation is so different that we all kind of stumble around until the baby grows into someone more reliable :) God luck and congrats on having a girl! :)

      Reply

      • hillary

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        Thanks that is super helpful. Like I said we don’t go to restaurants really with my husband’s celiac (I have no idea why I even picked that example. I blame baby brain) but I know we will HAVE to be in the car right away and often because we have one car and need to bring husband to train daily.
        That 365 return is a great idea! thanks so much!! You should rent yourself out for people STRUGGLING with their registry later on when lexi is older. seriously like baby concierge.

        Reply

        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          Oh I’m glad it helped ( it didn’t seem very helpful to me lol). If you don’t have to get out of the car or can wait for the baby to wake, then I wouldn’t even concern myself with an infant seat. I’d love to help people with their registries. Soon I think I will actually be able to do it, since I have tried so man products. So great idea :) lol
          P.S. Don’t feel like you’re alone because I had the hardest time picking out gear because there is so much and you have no idea what your baby will like. I found that the hardest!

          Reply

  • Stef

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    Sounds like us exactly. I researched and reseaeched before baby arrived. Had to have the infant travel system. Baby arrives and was ok for first 2 weeks. She is now 10 weeks and has screamed every time placed in it since then. We’re in FL too and today when I pulled her out after a 5 minute trip, her back was sweltering. We’ve GOT to find something that works for her! And so funny, I haven’t put the carrier in the stroller but for a foolow up OB visit where I couldn’t hold her. Everywhere else, I’m wearing her. So much for needing that travel system!

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Try this seat! If it doesn’t work, well you’ll need a convertible seat soon anyways. I’ve had a few people email me and tell me that either their LO loves this seat as well, or that they bought it after they read about it and magically their baby stopped crying in the car. I wish you ALL the best, I know first hand how horrible it is to have your baby cry everytime you go somewhere.

      Reply

      • Stef

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        Good grief, I’m kicking myself for taking so long to get this seat!!! We’ve been using it for two weeks now and it was well worth the purchase! I didn’t want to buy another one without figuring out why she hated the Chicco so much. After waiting and never quite figuring out the problem I finally broke down and went for it. Thank goodness!!! She’s whined a little bit in this one but she was tired anyway. Full blown tears and the heart wrenching cries have not happened though. She actually is able to entertain herself now with toys and loves to look out either side of the car now. So one thing I am certain now that she hated was the recline of the Chicco. One thing I find odd on the Pria is the lack of padding directly behind the head, but it isn’t bothering her. Thanks so much for turning us onto this seat! Such a wonderful difference, as you know.

        Reply

  • Eliza

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    Elena,

    unfortunately the Pria is not sold in Canada yet :( we are using the maxi-cosi infant right now but my son is now 22lbs and reached his limit in this seat.
    We are looking to purchase Clek but we don’t know if it is free of chemicals as this is not state anywhere on the website. Also, I considered the Diono.
    Have you tried the Clek yet? If so, what’s your opinion?

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Diono is a very good brand and good with chemicals ( or lack thereof)
      I haven’t tried Clek but will very soon. My guess is that it’s very comparable to Maxi Cosi. I would imagine that a company as good about recycling as Clek is would make sure that their seats are not toxic. If you check out Oobr on healthystuff.org, it has no chemicals and metals detected in the seat. That’s all I can go by right now. But I will talk to Clek and report back.

      Reply

  • Eliza

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    I called Diono multiple times and I don’t have an answer yet about the differences and safety of their fabrics for LTX and GTX. They state that LtX Storm and Rugby fabrics doesn’t use BFRs, but is the same valid for GTX?
    I’m in Canada and Clek being a Canadian product I’m more inclined to trust its safety and “green” approach. Though I only started researching it and calling the manufacturer today.
    I need to get a new car seat this week so I’m a little stresses now :( Where I am it started to snow

    Thank you.

    Reply

  • Eliza

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    I’ll check to see when you review Clek. Most likely I will purchase one by end of the week …

    Reply

  • Shannon

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    Hi there!
    So glad to have found your reviews on this seat! But sorry to be joining the discussion late. Hopefully you are still answering questions about it. Yours is the most comprehensive report I have found BY FAR. I have been going back and forth between this seat, and the Recaro ProRide convertible seat and I am going CRAZY trying to decide. Like HOURS and HOURS of research. I’m ready to be done already! I am satisfied with the safety ratings and major points of both seats, so now it’s down to the nit-picky stuff :) Like how easy is this fabric to clean? Does it snag easily? I am anal when it comes to things looking as neat as possible and I will go the extra mile to keep this clean. Does it come off to wash? We have to travel 11-17 hours to visit family, so comfort is a major factor. I loved your in-depth review of your Lexi being comfortable and cool in this. Also, when she falls asleep, does her head slump forward? Does it recline well (or at all) in the forward position? My girl is 17 months old and graduating (coincidently) from the much-hated-but-incredibly-expensive Peg Perego infant carrier. She is tall but very below average in weight. Also – did you “stick” with this carseat for good? Or do you now use or recommend a better one? Thanks so much!

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

      |

      Ok I hope I remember to answer all your questions in the 2 seconds I have.
      It is really easily washable fabric (smooth and nice), it comes off to wash, it could potentially snag but I haven’t had a problem with it.
      I’ve never used it FF so can’t comment on recline.
      Head DOES NOT slump over when sleeping.
      I am currently trying out Clek Foonf for the blog. They are very comparable with its own pluses so you really can’t go wrong with either one.
      The biggest thing I like in Foonf over this is how high the seat sits. But maxi cosi has more pleasant to touch fabric and is wider (so possibly more comfy for bigger babies).

      Reply

  • Katie

    |

    Okay, I just wanted to leave a comment that your review was very informative and I have no idea why people thought they needed to belittle every thing you had to say. Calm down folks, she is talking as a mom with her experience, not as an expert whose every sentence needs to be nit-picked for viability. Sheesh!

    Reply

  • Lindsay

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    Great review I really want this car seat but am having a hard time determining if it is available in Canada! agree with above poster not sure why people were picking on everything!! I enjoyed the review and story immensely :-)

    Reply

  • Lauren

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    Thank you for this review! Going through the screaming with my son who is 2.5 months and already 14 pounds (and EBF so I agree, and my pediatrician does, FWIW, that generally speaking, EBF babies get wayyy bigger faster than other babies) Anyway- he screams in the carseat every time we are in the car, unless I am sitting back there with him and shoving the pacifier in his mouth, but sometimes even then doesn’t help. My daughter went through this a bit, but not to the extent that my son is. I have a Britax convertible for her which we love (she can’t get the latch in her mouth) but my son is much sweatier than she ever was so I wonder if its the seat? We have the 2010 Graco Snugride 22. Debating already switching him and I wonder if this seat might help, despite my love for Britax. Thanks again!!

    Reply

  • Sasha

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    How did you get Maxi-Cosi to send you one to try? Was it at no charge to you? Was it unused? Did you have to pay to return it to them?

    Thanks!

    Reply

  • Charlene

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    Thank you so much for this review. I have been stressing out about getting convertible car seats for my child because I feel so paranoid! I am currently using Sentinel II convertible car seat that I got from this site ( http://www.safety1st.com.au/ ) and my child loves it so much. I have to get another one for my second child, and I might be looking into getting Britax.

    Reply

  • Lucia

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    Hi I’m searching for a solution to the “screaming carseat hatin’ baby” problem and found you article to be very useful. I was just wondering what’s the name of this wonder fabric used on the maxi cosi and on the safety first? Do you know of other carseats using this same textile. I’ve been looking at reviews in amazon and have found no mention of the textile. Thanks for any help on this!!

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      I have no clue. It’s some synthetic fabric that’s really pleasant to the touch. I’m sure if you call dorel or maxi cosi directly they will tell you.

      Reply

      • Lucias

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        Hmmm…then how do you know that safety first uses the same fabric?

        Reply

  • Nadia

    |

    Do you know anything about the differences with the Pria 85 apart from the lowe weight limitation being 14 pounds? My son HATES his infant carseat so we want to get a convertible..

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

      |

      It has different fabric. Bamboo, so it’s supposed to be moisture wicking and less hot. Though personally I like the previous fabric more (at least to touch)

      Reply

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