Converting to Convertible

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Nora is at the age now when I'm starting to wonder when we should ditch the infant carrier car seat and switch to a convertible one.

I've been researching convertible car seats for a while now, and I think we have them narrowed down to two--the Evenflo Triumph Advance, or the Britax Roundabout. They are relatively similar in price, and both are rated very highly in safety, so it's pretty much a toss-up.

For the record, our pediatrician is estimating that Nora will probably be around 17 lbs. at 12 months old, and her infant carrier weight limit is 22 lbs. I'm guessing she'll probably hit that when she's oh, 18+ months old. :) So the size limit is not really a deciding factor for us. (Though it'll be interesting to see when she hits 29 inches, which is the height limit. At six months, she was 25 inches.)

The infant carrier car seats are a godsend during the cold weather months, because it's so convenient to be able to buckle up and bundle up your baby in the warm comfort of your home, before heading out into the blustery, freezing, ass-cold wind and snow. But now that the weather is warmer, that's not as much of an advantage.

The other advantage of the infant carrier is that Nora can go to sleep in it whenever she wants. In the grocery store? Sure, take a little snooze. Fell asleep in the car? Let's carry her inside and let her continue to sleep in it until she wakes up on her own. Honestly, those things are getting less and less common for her, though. Now that she's older and more aware of her surroundings, she's usually awake whenever we're out. And if she falls asleep in the car, she will usually wake up almost as soon as we take her out of the car anyway. But, on the occasion that she does continue napping, that is certainly a "pro" in the infant carrier column.

Now that Nora is bigger, the weather is better, and she is working on becoming an expert at sitting up on her own, we are taking her out of her car seat more and more. For instance, this weekend we were at the mall and instead of taking the entire seat out of the car, I unbuckled her and let her sit upright in her stroller, facing outward toward the world. She loved it. And we're likely to start taking her out during grocery trips, too, so she can sit in the cart and look around. For these same reasons, it seems like a convertible seat might be better suited for our upcoming road trip out West, too. With so many trips in/out of the car, that seems like a "pro" in the convertible seat column.

Welcome to my world of indecision.

More than likely, we'll end up keeping her in her infant seat through at least the end of May/early June (she'll be about 9 months old), but maybe we'll change our minds on a whim.

If you're a parent, what did you do, and why? Or, if you haven't made the switch yet--do you have a plan for when you will?


Eric's Mommy April 11, 2011 at 5:37 PM  

We had a Britax and it was great. Bear with me my Son is 9 now so I don't remember much about when we switched him over. He's a big boy so he outgrew the infant carrier pretty quick and he was too heavy to carry around in it.

Kristin April 11, 2011 at 5:42 PM  

Our DD is likely to max out on the height limit well before the 30-pound weight limit on our infant seat. We purchased one convertible (the Britax Marathon 70) on sale two weeks ago for our primary vehicle and will purchase another convertible seat (probably the Cosco Scenera) for our other car soon. We will likely switch her right around 9 months, so in the next two or three weeks. We have many of the same convenience factors, and the only big cons are that the carrier is getting heavier with her in it (we estimate her to be between 18 and 20 lbs. at 8 months) and that being in Florida, she gets really hot in it (we still use the seat with our Snap N Go stroller). But we definitely take her out of it a lot more because she *does* like to see what's going on around her and be part of the fun, and she's like Nora in that she rarely sleeps in it anymore, and if she does, it doesn't last long. Really, up until now the conveniences have outweighed the, uh, weight, so we haven't hurried to switch.

Anonymous,  April 11, 2011 at 5:42 PM  
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Ashley April 11, 2011 at 5:46 PM  

I have a 2 year old daughter and we switched her to a Britax Marathon at 9 months. It was just easier to use versus the infant seat, as she would of rather sit up when we were out and about. I have only used the Britax because we have 3 car seats in our SUV and it fit the best. It is very easy to install. I can get our seat in and out of the car within a minute or two. Easy to take the seat cover off and wash. What drew me the most to the Britax is the rubber strap covers that keep the straps from twisting. So I recommend the Britax

PhaseThreeOfLife April 11, 2011 at 5:54 PM  

We just switched to convertible over the weekend. Ryan is only about 6.5 months, but at his check up three weeks ago, he was 19 pounds and 27 inches. I was very close to not being able to carry him in the car seat anymore (but you should see my amazing biceps!). I think if he were smaller, I might have used the infant carrier for another month or two for all the reasons you're considering. But we've also been taking him out more to sit up in the stroller/carts, too.

Also, I DO worry about how often he'll spit up on me when I'm carrying him to the car now...

About Melissa April 11, 2011 at 6:12 PM  

We already switched- Rowan HATES to lean back, so she loves that her convertible seat is more upright and is much happier in the car now. We got the Triumph Advance for Grandma's car and it's nice, so that is what we will get for our second car. I have the Britax Marathon 70 CS in my car and really like it.

basebell6 April 11, 2011 at 6:28 PM  

I already own the next seat up but am keeping my son in the infant one until he outgrows it. He's almost 9 months old and 17 lbs. My main reason is I drive a 2 door car [a mustang] and I have NOOOOOOOO idea how I'll get him in and out with the huge carseat back there. Hopefully that will resolve and I'll get a new vehicle before "the switch".

denise April 11, 2011 at 7:49 PM  

We switched out around nine months. Look at how the seat tightens--you don't want it to tighten between the legs, it makes it hard to do rear facing. Also a consideration is how easily the seat cover can be taken off to be laundered. Something to know how to do on a road trip! We had the evenflo for two kids and wore it out! Also try Nora in both seats, some don't adjust as well for your kid.

Erin April 11, 2011 at 10:03 PM  

We switched around a year (we had one with a 32lb/inches limit) and got the First Years True Fit because it's got a tall shell so can rear face for a long time. Denise is right to check out how the straps adjust - ours is in the middle of the bottom so it's a pain to adjust rearfacing - we just keep it tightened and never loosen the straps until we can't strap her in at all anymore. You can also just keep the infant seat in the car and not take it in and out too. We did that for awhile after it got to heavy to carry.

nikinikinine April 12, 2011 at 7:07 AM  

I just bought the kids' convertible CS's last month. There was a fantastic Britax sale at AlbeeBaby and I had enough BBB credit for the other seat. We went with the Boulevards. And the decision about which to get was made easy by actually sitting the kids in the seat in BBB and seeing how they fit. Having skinny, long babies made some of the seats fit them oddly.

I'm thinking our kids will transition to the big kid seats at the beginning of July - so 6 months-ish? Carrying the carriers is already hard for me now and my kids are under 10 and 12 pounds. I can't imagine them getting bigger. The weight for me/us is definitely the determining factor!

Adela & Josh April 12, 2011 at 9:20 AM  

We switched our son to a convertible around 8 months. He is a small baby (he's 11 months and is probably the average size of a 7 or 8 month old baby). We have the Evenflo Triumph and the Britax Roundabout. We bought the Britax because the Evenflo SUCKS. Unfortunately, we still use the ET in our 2nd car and I feel like I battle with that damn thing everytime. The knob is a POS. Also, the straps loosen from the bottom and sometimes the knob sticks. So, if you aren't careful or baby is moving around it's possible to knock them in the face trying to loosen the straps.

Get the Britax. It works wonderfully and is one of the best brands in the market. You won't look back! I actually considered selling the Evenflo so I could put the $ to getting another Britax.

Adela & Josh April 12, 2011 at 9:23 AM  

Oh, and I'd like to add that I've never actually knocked my son in the face trying to get him out. Thankfully I've been cautious. :)

Blessed with Boys April 12, 2011 at 10:33 AM  

We have had both those car seats. We bought the Evenflow and loved it until our friends got the Britex roundabout. Hands down the Britex is better. It feels more sturdy and its easier to get to fit properly in the seat. We still have 2 evenflow's which are in my husbands car and we ended up buying 2 roundabouts for my car. My dad is a race car driver and he said the Britex seats are better built than his racing seat!!

Carrie April 16, 2011 at 12:07 PM  

We didn't switch DD until she was about 1 and bought a Britax Marathon. The Britax seats are a breeze to install.
I did miss the convenience factor of letting her sleep in her infant seat, but she was much happier in the Marathon.

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