The Perfect Convertible Car Seat

by jessicaturner on July 3, 2009


Well after several months of discussion and research, I finally decided on a convertible car seat for Elias – and it isn’t the Britax I thought I was going to get. We purchased The First Years True Fit Convertible Car Seat and I couldn’t be happier. Here is why I went with it:

  • Most importantly: it was given the highest safety rating by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  • The seat is deeper than the Britax, which allows babies to rear-face longer. (more on my rear-facing soapbox in a minute).
  • The top headrest comes off until your child is taller, making it easier to rear face and less bulky.
  • It is incredibly plush.
  • It can go up to 65 lbs (though Elias will likely move to a booster before he is that big)

The only down side is that it is a bit of a pain to install, but we don’t plan on taking it out that much, so it’s not a big deal.

Now, why am I a bit nuts about keeping Elias rear-facing. Afterall, he will be one in a week and is 21 lbs. Well, it is said that rear-facing babies are five times safer than forward-facing babies. Though in the US it is legal for babies to be forward facing at one, in many other countries, they must rear-face until age two. According to a study I read “rear-facing seats provide full alignment of the head, neck, and spine, so that crash forces are dispersed over these areas rather than centered on one site.” This makes a lot of sense to me, so Matthew and I plan to keep Elias rear-facing for another year. I think this First Years car seat will allow us to do that.

Stepping off my soapbox now… :)

Thank you to each of you who shared your thoughts on car seats over the past few months. I really appreciate it. Also thank you  for all the kind words about the new blog design. I am so excited about it. Be sure to add the blinkie to your blogs!
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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Eva Foster July 3, 2009 at 3:01 pm

We have the britax marathon and I love it. It's easy to switch between the cars and it fits nicely in our passat. We had Mackenzie rear-facing until she was about 15 months or so. Her legs were too long for her to be comfortable facing that way. That is just one thing I wanted to point out. I totally agree that we need to keep them rear-facing for as long as possible but when their legs get too long, it's time to turn around. I like the new title and look of your blog! Adorable!

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Samantha @ Mama Notes July 3, 2009 at 5:48 pm

I was going to get the Britax too, but you made some good points so I will check out this car seat!

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Jessica Turner July 3, 2009 at 6:21 pm

Hey Eva- I agree that their legs can be a hindrance. :) That was one of the reasons we went with the First Years seat. It is deeper so babies can, in theory, stay rear facing for longer. Way to go keeping Mackenzie rear facing for more than the minimum. :)

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Nancy L. July 3, 2009 at 8:05 pm

He looks so happy!
Love the new look of your blog!

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Rebecca Louise. July 3, 2009 at 8:22 pm

He looks adorable in it! Have a great 4th July weekend! xxx

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Tasha July 4, 2009 at 3:45 am

Hey there Jessica! I love your new blog design! So cute! Our little Avery turned one on May27th.I still have her rear facing in her infant car seat.(Chicco)She isn't quite 20 pounds yet(19lb 5oz)After reading what you said about how in different countries babies have to stay rear facing until age two,I am pretty sure we will be doing that also.Sounds like a wonderfull idea.Thank's so much for sharing.Hope you guys have a great holiday weekend with your little sparkler!Hugs~Tasha in Indiana~

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jayfersgirl July 4, 2009 at 6:43 am

I get up on the rear-facing soapbox, too:) It's why we got the carseat we did…so B can face backwards as long as possible. The seat is nice and deep, and her little legs are pretty short for her age, so we should be good for a LONG time:)

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Deanna July 6, 2009 at 12:42 pm

Looks like a great seat…. I had never heard of that one (haven't shopped for a convertible in awhile!) We did extended rear-facing with our boys, too and are so thankful that we did. We're grateful that we were never in an accident and never had to test out the fact that it is safer, but it only takes once…. and it certainly gave me a little peace of mind to have them rear facing!

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Simply Complex July 7, 2009 at 1:48 am

Don't you have to put the headrest back on when he hits 22 pounds?

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Laura - Ex. Dir. July 7, 2009 at 10:22 pm

So great to see you are a rear-facing advocate Jessica! How are you finding the adjustment strap on the True Fit? I have not personally installed one of these seats yet, but I've heard that the strap is so low on the front that it makes harness tightness adjustment tough. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

To Eva above – leg length is not a concern at all with rear-facing. Children sit very comfortably rear-facing with their legs crossed, out to the side of the seat etc. What looks uncomfortable to us as adults is not uncomfortable to children. Check out my blog – bombedier.blogspot.com – you will see a picture of my near 4 year old very comfortably rear-facing in his Marathon in my side bar. If your little one is still under the weight limit for rear-facing, my recommendation as a child passenger safety technician is to turn her back around for safety sake. More on why rear-facing is so much safer can be read here – http://www.kyledavidmiller.org/pages/4209/Car_Seat_Safety:_Rear-facing_is_safest.htm

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Laura - Ex. Dir. July 7, 2009 at 10:31 pm

I also wanted to note not to be in a rush to move Elias to a booster. You want to aim to harness for as long as possible. Just as rear-facing is the safer option, keeping a child in a harness rather than moving to a booster seat is also the safer option. Each promotion in a car seat cycle is a demotion in safety. The minimum age to consider a booster is 6 – below that age, children do not generally have the maturity to sit correctly in a booster seat.

On the True Fit, you need to replace the headrest at 22lbs.

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The Rowe Family July 16, 2009 at 2:18 am

Jess,

Thanks for all the great Mommy tips! I'm 27 weeks pregnant and I always print out your suggestions to purchase down the road :)! I so appreciate it :)! Emily

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