Thursday, April 10, 2014

Transitioning from an Infant Car Seat to a Convertible Car Seat

Someone once said, "Hug your kids at home, but belt them in the car." Making sure that your preemie or full-term baby is riding in the car safely and comfortably is incredibly important. 

Goodbye Infant Car Seat

For the last 15 months, Emily has been riding rear-facing in the back seat of my car in the Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat.

We bought the car seat, along with the matching stroller, because it had the lowest minimum weight recommendation that we were able to find. The minimum weight recommendation for this particular car seat is four pounds. 

Emily came home from the hospital weighing only three pounds, 10 ounces. Since the car seat was a bit too large for Emily, the NICU staff was able to roll hospital towels in and around our preemie's shoulders and head so that she fit snugly and securely into the car seat for the car ride home.
 

 
We kept the towels in the car seat for months to ensure that our preemie fit well in the car seat and was provided with ample protection. Emily gradually grew into her infant car seat and we were able to remove the hospital towels.

The infant car seat has taken her to many different places. Emily travelled from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to her very own home in her infant car seat.  She also rode to and from her first pediatrician appointment in the infant car seat -- and even took a road trip to the Outer Banks in it.

However, she recently started to surpass the car seat's parameters. Although Emily is nowhere near the car seat's maximum weight of 30 pounds, we noticed that her head was almost touching the car seat's sunshade and her legs were dangling well below its frame. 

We also found that carrying Emily in the car seat was becoming quite a work-out. When Emily first came home, it was easy to carry her in the car seat and not even bother with the stroller. But, when she hit the double-digits, her weight combined with the weight of the car seat was a bit much for my wimpy arms.

So, we decided to retire the infant car seat and buy a convertible car seat.

Hello Convertible Car Seat

There are many different types of convertible car seat brands and models -- and prices run the gamut. We did a ton of Internet research and checked out many different kinds of car seats at various local baby stores.

We decided to purchase a Britax car seat, but also had to determine which model to buy. After debating the merits of the Boulevard and the Advocate, we decided to splurge and purchase the Britax Advocate G4, which was my personal favorite.

The Advocate features bumper-like side panels, which I think will provide Emily with extra protection in the event of an accident. My rocket-scientist husband didn't think this feature was needed, but it makes me feel better to know that these side panels are there.
 

We gathered up all of our loose change around the house and took it to a self-service coin counting and processing machine to turn our coins into cash. Surprisingly, we almost had enough change to pay for the car seat in its entirety.

We've only had the car seat installed for a couple of days, but I think Emily is enjoying it. She appears to be much more comfortable in the convertible car seat than in the infant car seat. She also sits up higher and can see herself in the rear-facing car seat mirror that I attached to the car's headrest. 

I'm still getting used to having Emily in a "big girl" car seat. I wonder where this car seat will take her.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this blog post.  I have no material connection to the brands or products that I have mentioned.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255:  "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
 

 

 

15 comments:

  1. I had the chicco key fit too and was sad when my daughter out grew it. But she is now nice and comfy in her convertible car seat.

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    1. Thanks, bxcrochet! It's hard to put away the infant car seat, but I'm trying to view it as a new beginning! I'm glad that your daughter is enjoying her convertible seat!

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  2. It was a happy day in my life when my daughter went to her convertible car seat! I didn't have to carry it anymore!!

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  3. Jan Rose, Thank you for your comment. I'm sure it's nice to give your biceps a rest! I'm looking forward to it!

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  4. I hated carrying those car seats around. I think they were heavier than the kids. We used a convertible very early.

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    1. Our Family World - Your right! The car seats are very heavy to carry around! I'm glad to hear that you solved this issue early on with a convertible seat.

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  5. Those infant seats sure get heavy at the end! Now only my youngest is in a booster and I have say the seats and the straps are one thing I don't miss about having little ones.

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  6. I used Britax too and so much easier to get them in and out!

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  7. Such a cute car seat. My boys face backwards until they were 2.

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    1. Thanks for your note, Tara Pittman. I'm guessing that Emily will be rear-facing for quite some time. She's 15 months old (12 months adjusted) and 18 pounds. At least the convertible seat will provide her more comfort as she faces the caboose!

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  8. This was very helpful, soon we will be transitioning to a front facing car seat. I can't wait to transfer to the convertible car seats. What a happy day it will be!

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    1. Fabulous Perks - I'm excited to hear that you will be transitioning to a front-facing car seat soon. That will be quite a milestone.

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  9. Happy that your baby is doing so well. Happy to grow into a new car seat

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Beth@FrugalFroggie. I really appreciate your enthusiasm and support. Take care!

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  10. Sometimes, it really becomes tough to travel with a tiny toddler safely, so it will be better to get the best baby car seat that’s easy to fix and comfortable for the baby.

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