***Thanks to cars.com for sponsoring this post! As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.***
Baby Grey is by far the chubbiest of my 3 babes. He’s got thigh roles and chins for days and I could just eat him. BUT we also ended up switching him into a convertible carseat sooner than we had with the other 2 kids as a result. He became far too heavy to carry in an infant seat, this making the transfer to convertible seat an easy choice.
First of all, a convertible carseat is one that both rear and forward faces. Thus, they are a worthy investment – your child should be sitting in it for a long time. I don’t know if I’m weird or not… but I’ve always thought that carseat shopping was kind of fun. Maybe I just think all kinds of shopping are fun? Ahem… I digress.
But I have purchased FIVE convertible carseats now. Far more than most shall ever buy. haha. But here is a list of things that you should consider when finding the convertible seat that is right for you.
1. First and foremost: DO NOT just assume that you know how to correctly install a carseat.
It’s nothing personal… but you probably do not.
Did you know that approximately 90% of carseats are installed improperly? YES NINETY.
Logically; this would come last on my list; following all of the other tips. But it’s so important that I have decided to put it first. Get your carseat installation checked. Also cars.com has a cool new resource where you can search the year, make, and model of your vehicle and read up on how the vehicle accommodates different types of car seats! Pretty cool.
2.) Consider Weight Limits
Now that we got the important stuff out of the way… we will resume the normal order of things to consider when shopping for convertible carseats. 😉
| Third kid life is the truly gender neutral experience. I could only find a pink hat on the fly that morning. 😀 |
As I mentioned before; Grey is of the “chunka monka” persuasion when it comes to babies. As in… he was burning weighing in at a whopping 9lbs 8oz and he’s weight in at about 27lbs now that he’s 11 months old. To give you some perspective… my 7 year old only weights about 45lbs.
I also extended rear face my children (you should too 😉 ) But most convertible carseats only rear face up to 40lbs. Zoey sat rear facing until she was almost 4. Grey will certainly weigh more than 40lbs by then. So I ended up with the Graco 4ever All-in-One Extend2Fit which rear faces to 50lbs! This might not be necessary for everyone (it certainly wasn’t for my first 2 kiddos) but it’s definitely something to consider.
Some convertible carseats “convert” more than others. Sometimes you can get a seat that will convert all the way to a regular booster seat for your child. Meaning, you never have to buy another one if you don’t want to. Seats like this usually cost a bit more up front, but you don’t need to repurchase seats each step of the way.
I opt for these types of seats now. Zoey and Grey both use a Graco 4ever option. The first two convertible carseats that I ever purchased for Jace and Zoey were not. We had to replace their carseats after our car accident in 2014, and Zoey has been in a Graco 4ever ever since. And she’ll probably use the same seat until she’s at least 10 because it breaks allllll the way down to a backless booster.
| Another reason convertible seats are pretty cool… you can flip them from front facing to rear facing in a jiffy when you need to fold one of your seats down. 😉 |
4.) WAIT for the Sales.
Target has carseat sales like ALL THE TIME. I pretty much never pay full price for anything… but even saving 10% on a very pricey item, helps! Also, most stores price match each other AND Amazon. So bring your phone.
And that brings be back to my first and final point.
Car seats matter.
But they don’t matter until they matter.
People can tell you all day that “they never sat in a carseat and they’re fine.” “Look at the carseats from the 70s and their mom is fine!” And sure… if you happen to never crash your car, it won’t ever have mattered whether your carseat was installed properly, or if your 18lb 12 month old was forward facing or not.
But if you’re like me and you do happen to be in a car accident with your 1 and 3 year olds in the backseat, you will be SO THANKFUL that you took the time to research about keeping them safe (and alive.) You will cringe when you look back at photos of your improper carseat usage before you knew better. And you will be so grateful that the accident happened after and not before.
I didn’t make this post about all of the things that you’re most likely to do wrong when installing/using your car seat. But there is SO much information about it online, if only you seek it out. I really like this site:
Also, the cars.com link is pretty cool too, if you’re looking for vehicle specific information!