**update bought two seats and ***!!!! Help me with a carseat issue!!

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by Natalie's Mommy, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. Natalie's Mommy

    Natalie's Mommy Mouseketeer

    Mar 11, 2011

    SO i bought two grace natalius at toys are u because they were $50 off this weekend, got them home and put them together and one of them has the total WRONG harness and buckles with it. they look like they go to a smaller carseat, but it's everything, the straps are shorter, the latch and tether adjustments are different (and i NEED the latch and tether adjustments that are supose to be on the natalius to get it tight enough in the hubby's civic, the crotch buckle is the kind you push in instead of with the little ledge to push down (which was a HUGE dissapointment!!!) and of course because it's sunday i can't just call, and i did call toys r us and they sold the 3rd carseat they had in that print so i cant just take it back and swap it out.

    im sooooo fricken annoyed right now, the two carseats were made 3 days apart for crying out loud! what possibly could have changed since the 15th-18th of april!

    I'm having a huge delema and i need some help, reassurance, guidance BUT NO FLAMING!!! If you get to the end of this i thank you!

    Emma and Natalie are currently in Radian 80's in my car and evenflo carseats similar to the generation 65 in my husband's car. Emma is 6 years old, weighs 45lbs and is on the the top harness slot of her carseats. She has some room to grow in the Radian but not much, and she is going to very shortly outgrow the ability to use the harness in the evenflo. Also the evenflo's (both) were made in 2006 (if someone could find out if these seats are good for 5 years or 6 i would really appreciate it!) and are getting to the end of their life. In the radian she can no longer use the latch since it is not suggested for use over 42lbs and they are not the super latch version.

    I also need a bigger carseat for Grace (my daycare baby) since she is quickly going to outgrow the comfortsport that i currently use for her.

    In a perfect world i would buy Emma 2 new radians with super latch (one for my car and one for Jeremy's) and that would be the end of it but at $200+ a pop that is just not in the budget, and then i'd still have to buy Natalie something for my husband's car in the next year or so.

    so what i'm leaning towards is getting Natalie a Graco Nautilus for my husband's car and getting Emma two graco turboboosters (one for my car and one for Jeremy's) but i'm having a really really really hard time with this decision. I really wanted to keep my kids in a 5 point harness until they were out of carseats but financially it just isn't lookling like it's going to happen. i know plenty of people put kids younger than mine in booster seats so why is this such a problem for me.
  2. Lstar311

    Lstar311 Mouseketeer

    Aug 12, 2008
    Its so hard for you because you are a good momma who wants to do the safest thing for her children. I'm sorry my oldest just turned 4 and is still in his 5 point harness so I don't really know all the stats for a booster seat because I'm not thinking of one yet so I can't really help you that much.

    Is she in one car more than the other? I don't know if at 6 I'd be wanting to buy another carseat though. What about one of the boosters that has a high back and converts to just the seat? I wish I could help more but I haven't done any booster research yet. I think if she meets the height and age requirements you are ok though.
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  4. QVCshopper

    QVCshopper DIS Veteran

    Dec 8, 2008
    I have giant children and they were moved to boosters at 4; they just didn't fit in the five point harness anymore and were well above the height and weight limit. For example, my DD is also 6, and she is 53" tall and weighs 65 lbs. We have the Graco turboboosters and the kids like them.

    BTW, car seats have expiration dates on them. Just look at your seat and I'm sure you can find it.
  5. sookie

    sookie DIS Veteran

    Jun 21, 2010
    look into the CLEK boosters. expensive but could be well used for your 6 year old.

    MSSANDRA DIS Veteran

    Sep 14, 2006
    Sometimes you can get the graco nautilus on sale for less than 150.00. Your child is smaller at 6 than our 4 year old is and he has a lot of grow room in his GN. Perhaps look for the best deal and then cut back somewhere else. Truth is a LOT of our friends kids do ride is high back belted booster younger and smaller than your child. I could not make that choice but sometimes you do what you have to do.
  7. allison443

    allison443 DIS Veteran

    Mar 13, 2002
    Do you really need to get seats for both your car and your husband's car? Does one of you drive them to school and the other one pick them up or something? Unless it's really necessary, you could get by with just one seat per kid. That's what I always did. Yes, it's not as convenient but it can easily be done. :)
  8. aprilgail2

    aprilgail2 Guest

    Wow-your daughter is tall! she is the same height and weight as my 7th grader LOL.
  9. DisneyAndRedSox

    DisneyAndRedSox I still call it a WEDWay PeopleMover!

    May 15, 2007
    Target is starting to clearance one of the colors. This is how I got mine 50% off 2 years ago.

    Just an FYI, the nautilus has only one position for the crotch strap. My 5.5 year old (solid kid, close to 60 pounds) really started to complain that the buckle was bothering her. I had to stop using the nautilus since I have a narrow back seat and the car seat is so wide I couldn't use it with the seat belt. The car seat actually sat on top of the buckle in my car. I think my car is the exception since I had the same problem with a turbo booster. It was a tough decision but she is now using the seat belt with high-back booster. But she is the same size at some kids 2 years older than her. So, I am now using a turbo booster in DH's car (04 Rav4) and the Harmony Dreamtime in my car (05 X3)
  10. NYEmomma

    NYEmomma DIS Veteran

    Dec 5, 2010
    I'm not very familiar with the seats you currently have so maybe my suggestion won't work for you, but what about the Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite?

    We just got this one for my parent's car for DD since it can be a RF'ing & FF'ing car seat AND converts to a booster.

    They're only about $140-$150 at BRU.
  11. Swimalie

    Swimalie DIS Veteran

    Sep 11, 2009
    Is there any way you can get away with 1 seat for both cars? I know it might be a pain but you could get a good seat and save money, too. Our son is 6, 42" tall and about 43 pounds. He is in the Britax Frontier. We just got a new car last weekend and changed him from the 5 point harness to the seat belt booster. The back is still on it although it will convert to a backless booster eventually. The Britax Frontier is a great seat that has several positions for the center clip if needed. It is .3 inches shorter in the shoulders than the Nautilus, however. The frontier goes to 100 lbs and 7 years, too. It would be one that you could use for your oldest and possibly pass it down to Grace one day as well.
  12. TandLMommy28

    TandLMommy28 DIS Veteran

    Jun 7, 2010
    Totally crazy because my kids are in Radian XTs in my car and Evenflos in my husband's car! :) We bought her Evenflo in 2006 (and I'm just about positive it's 5 years on those). And she weighs 45 pounds... she is super tall though, over 4 feet at her 6 year check!

    I would go with the Graco Nautilus, honestly. Because it converts to a booster, you aren't shelling out MORE money later so the long term savings is there. And do you have to buy them both in one shot? Can you buy one now and one in a few months? Spread out the cost, ya know? But if you caught a good sale, you could get Britax Frontier 85 seats because those last to a taller height and they also turn into boosters so in the long run you are covered.

    Good luck deciding. I am struggling, too, with when to move my 6 year old to a high back booster. It's such a hard decision after I started reading about Kyle (KyleDavidMiller.org). Kyle changed my life (he died the day after my 6 year old was born and that fact rocked my world a little!).
  13. lmbcdb

    lmbcdb DIS Veteran

    Oct 11, 2009
    I know you want to keep them in 5 point harnesses, but if she is 45 pounds and over 40", then she is big enough to just use a regular booster. The seatbelt will keep her safe - they wouldn't make the reccommendations on the height/weight if they weren't. You might want to consider it - it would be a cheaper option, and she would still be safe. I did quite a bit of research before switching my kids on American Association of Pediatric's website.
  14. lovemy4sweeties

    lovemy4sweeties Mouseketeer

    Apr 12, 2008
    This is where I go to for all of my car seat questions:

    How tall is Emma? My dd was in her Radian 65 until she outgrew the height at almost 8 years old. My ds outgrew it at about 7.5. We bought them both a Sunshine Kids Monterery Booster which they are both currently using. My dd is 9.5 and my ds turned 8 in April. We want to keep my dd in her booster until after our trip to WDW in Oct/Nov. We're driving 22-24 hours each way, and we feel much safer with her in her booster. After the trip we will consider allowing her to just use a seatbelt as long as she meets the 5 step test (this is to go from booster to regular seat belt, so you most likely wont need this info for at least a few years. I thought I'd post it anyway so you'd know. I had no idea there were guidelines to follow when going from booster to regular seat belt:
    The 5-Step Test
    1. Does the child sit all the way back against the auto seat?
    2. Do the child's knees bend comfortably at the edge of the auto seat?
    3. Does the belt cross the shoulder between the neck and arm?
    4. Is the lap belt as low as possible, touching the thighs?
    5. Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?

    I would 5 point harness as long as possible, although like you said, most people move their children to boosters younger than age 6. I had a friend move her very little 3 yo to a booster because it was more convenient for her. I agree with pp's suggestion of just buying one car seat for now and just move it when she is riding in the other car. It can be a pain, but we've done that for years and we have 5 kids to switch around. It's not usually all 5 moving to the other car all at once.

    Good Luck with your decision :) . I think it's great that you're inquiring about this. Most people just do whatever is easier for them.
  15. Momto4boys

    Momto4boys Mouseketeer

    Jan 22, 2008
    I am often in a similar situation. My son is almost 6 and not a lot over 40 lbs. We have a mixture of Radians, Monterey and a HB Graco Turbobooster. I don't mind him in the booster when we're just driving around our very small town. He's not going to fall asleep on those drives. For the longer drives that it's hard to keep in a good position for I make sure he's in the Radian no matter what. Is that an option? Have the Radian in the vehicle she is in mostly and a TB for the 2nd seat? I'd say my son uses the booster 10% of the time he's actually out in a vehicle but it's good training time! We discuss how to sit and how it works.
  16. Diegosmom

    Diegosmom DIS Veteran

    Feb 18, 2011
    A little confused on the ages of the kids lol...

    But just wanted to say I know money can be tight but if something were to happen (car accident) and you child was injured because they were only in a booster and not in a 5 point harness would it be worth the savings?

    Please dont take this the wrong way (as there was a bit of time I was researching when my 4 year old could sit in the front so it would be easier...yeah its a long way off...lol).

    I just think you must be a good mom (obviously since you are posting here) and for younger children the 5 point harness really is the best place for them.

    Good Luck
  17. tinker&belle

    tinker&belle DIS Veteran

    Jan 25, 2006
    Remember when you buy a Nautilus, it can later be used as a highback and low back booster. We got older dd one for grandma's car. She rides in a frontier in mine and a Regent in Dh's. It is a good budget choice when you consider the it becomes both types of boosters.
  18. cheap traveler

    cheap traveler DIS Veteran

    Oct 24, 2005
    In NY your kids have to be in carseats until they are 8 years old, there is no way they could be in a harness until they are out of carseats. My 2 girls are: DD almost 5, 43", 42lbs - in a turbo booster. And DD7.5 is 51", 62lbs and in a backless booster.

    If it gives you peace of mind, spend the extra money and get the seats with harnesses. You can't put a price tag on peace of mind. I felt fully comfortable moving my younger DD into a booster 2 years ago because 3.5 years ago both my girls were in a rollover car accident, and older DD was in a booster and came out of it with not so much as a scratch or bruise.

    As for how long your current seats are good for, check the bottom of the seat - they print expiration dates on them. It's a pain to get it out and buckle it back in, but you will know exactly how long they recommend you to use it.

    Good luck with your decision :goodvibes
  19. Natalie's Mommy

    Natalie's Mommy Mouseketeer

    Mar 11, 2011
    yes we need carseats for both cars, i have 3 carseats across the back of my car and once they are in they don't come out because it usually takes some work to get it back in

    i would not feel comfortable moving my kids to booster seats at 4, they still fall asleep in the car alot, and the rule of thumb is 5 point harness until they can maintain the proper position and my kids are such monkeys i know they wouldn't :banana:
    Sorry i thought i put ages, Emma is 6 and Natalie will be 4 next month. so she has well outgrown the alpha omega elite, which btw most kids outgrow in height before they get close to the weight max

    i need to replace the two evenflo's in the very near furture, i could wait on the radian for my car a little bit, but my daycare baby is outgrowing her comfortsport (man that was a porrly thought out construction!) so my plan was to get something new for Emma and move Grace into Emma's radian

    actually it is reccomended that if your children still frequently fall asleep on trips in the car they are safer in a 5 point harness. and seatbelts often can fail in a crash, especally if the child is able to keep themselves in the proper position, or if the seatbelt dosnt fit in the proper position in their carseat

    the kids actually ride in both cars equally, and now that it's summer i would actually say that when we don't have all 3 of them we take my husband's car more. the radians have to stay in my car so i can have 3 carseats across the backseat (i go places with my daycare baby often)

    thanks! im just sooo torn, im going back and forth on this decision. i was actually gonna go look at carseats today but i woke up with the worse stiff neck and upper back so taking 3 kids out and about is not something i want to do!

    it is possible to 5 point harness them until they are 8, if you buy the right seats, but i need to be able to have 3 carseats across the back of my car (because even when i dont have grace i often take my mom and grandma places)

    The bottom of the carseat is the one place i didn't check, and now its at work in my husband's car so ill have to get him to do it :lmao:
  20. Swimalie

    Swimalie DIS Veteran

    Sep 11, 2009
    Keep in mind that you can get a high back booster. When we changed our son's Frontier this past weekend, all it did was take off the harness straps. The same seat is intact with the side impact protection. He can fall asleep just as well as he could with the 5-point. Sounds like you need to find a seat that will still offer some body support then. I know the Frontier does that in high back booster mode. It also converts to a no back booster but we're a long way off from that one!
  21. scrapquitler

    scrapquitler DIS Veteran

    Aug 15, 2007
    Well, it's not ideal because with many car/carseat combos it is very difficult to get the seat installed properly. If you move a seat on a regular basis, chances are that it is not installed properly. I went to a car seat thing where the techs checked the carseats for you, and they told me that very few people actually have their seats installed snugly enough and properly. If you want to be as safe as possible, it's better to have it professionally installed and not switch it.

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