Sunday, January 25, 2009

I need a little help.....

I've been looking at carseats. A few of our kids will most likely need a carseat, if not all. Here's my dilemma: They may be using the carseats for quite some time. Do we use "preowned" carseats which may expire (thus leading us to find another one) and which may have unknown age defects, or do we just buy brand new ones from the get go?

Second, I've looked at some recommendations, and the "good" ones are very expensive. Are they really that much better at protecting the child than the ones half the price?

Third, carseats brought up the question of airplane travel. What did you do? Did you take a seat with you for your little one to ride back in?

I figure I have the time to think about these things now, why not?


Darcy said...

My opinion -- the cheaper carseats are no different than the more expensive ones. I have never owned a pricey carseat, but I do work in the baby department at Target, and while some people do turn their nose up at the Graco or Evenflo and head straight to Britax, I've never heard someone come in and say how much they hated the cheaper one they owned. We have bought a $50 (on sale) carseat for our car, and a $40 for the babysitter's car. Delaney doesn't seem to have a problem with either.

The Derrs said...

First, congratulations on your dossier being sent to Colombia! You go paper pregnant Mama!

As for the seats, we actually chose to use a second-hand one that we knew a bit about (history like not having been in any accidents or having gone past the safety date). We began using the second hand one not really knowing what we wanted in a seat. Once Jonatan was home and had ridden several months in the second hand one, we knew right away that there were several features that we would like included in the next one. Jonatan was going on 2 at the time, so we decided that we wanted one that was a bit more plush for those longer rides...extra comfort meant less fussing. We also chose one with a side cup holder and added space for a small container of snacks as this also helped with us not needing to pass so much stuff from the front of the car. I think the only other detail that we wanted to make sure that we included was one that would be able to grow with him.

All told, we spent about $80 on a seat that was on sale and discounted because of overstock. The seat normall ran about $160. I would say that it is not necessary to buy a high-end model that may have more features than you need. If you know anything about the history of the second-hand ones that you are considering, you may want to try your hand at those first and then buy what you think you need once the kids are can even take the kids with you to try them out. Hope that helps!

Brody's Mom said...

We used the 'baby bucket' from Graco at first, and then transitioned to the Britax pricey one. I loved them both. The Britax would have worked when he was itty bitty, but I wanted the portability of the bucket.

The Britax's we use are very easy to use, seem to be very comfortable for Brody, and will hold him all the way up to 65 lbs. We didn't want to have to buy new seats all the time, and with these we are looking at having to buy one booster, tops, though these might get us through. I can't remember the height/weight requirements.

Spending the extra on the car seats was a decision we made with several factors in mind, not the least of which being that we were only buying for one child. If we had multiple kids in seats, the ones we have would have been hard to justify.

That said, my personal philosophy is that you should buy the safest one you can afford. Britax exceeds the US safety standards, which is why we chose them. Graco, etc., though are great seats, too!
I wouldn't recommend a second-hand seat unless you KNOW that it has never been in an accident - even a fender bender. I wouldn't buy one from a consignment shop. It just seems to risky.
One site to check for discounted seats (we saved $75 each on ours) is

As far as plane rides go, so far we've held him in our lap, but we weren't going all that far! I would check out something called the baby b'air. You can find it in a lot of places, one of them being It looks like it might be quite helpful for plane rides. I would avoid a car seat on a plane if at all possible. You'll have enough to deal with.

If you ever want more suggestions for travel gear or general gear, let me know! I tend to shop a lot :)

Hugs and love,
Meredith :)