Need recommendation for Infant Car Seat
I have a 5-month-old daughter and have been using my sister's infant car seat. She is having a baby soon and wants it back. I already have a Roundabout that I plan on using in the future, but my daughter is only 24" and I liked using an infant seat that I could "pop" in and out especially when she falls asleep.
Any recommendations on brand of infant seat?
How long can I realistically keep her in the infant seat before I move to the convertible seat?
RE: Need recommendation for Infant Car Seat
Your daughter can stay in the infant seat until she reaches either the weight limit or the height limit. The weight limit is probably 20 pounds (check the stickers on the side of the seat). The height limit is to make sure that there is at least an inch of space above her head to the top of the seat.
At 24", she may have some time yet in the infant seat. Or she may be very close to these limits.
Do you have any other friends or relatives that have an infant seat you could borrow for a few months?
If you want a 5 point harness, a front harness adjuster, and a detachable base, perhaps you want to check out the Graco SnugRide DX5. You could skip the front adjuster (just takes more work every day to keep that harness tight) and try the Evenflo Discovery 5pt, or On My Way Position Right 5 pt. I guess you can see what you can find cheapest. But the 5 point harness and front harness adjuster are my top features to look for.
You also might want to go ahead and install your RA, and see how inconvenient it really is to use that seat. It has so many features you haven't had, that you may feel it is worth the trade off.
RE: Need recommendation for Infant Car Seat
I agree with the other posting that you should try the Britax Roundabout out before buying an infant car seat of your own. I've never seen the RA, but hear that they are the cat's meow. Your daughter is close to the limit for the infant seat anyway. My seat was 22lb and 27". Olivia switched at 5 months.
If you do decide you are looking for your own infant car seat prior to using the Britax, I have a Costco infant seat (Eddie Bauer).
NICE SEAT SHAPE
What I DO like about it is the shape of the seat. It isn't hugely wide and it's not square like some are - it's nicely shaped curves where the bum and knees rest. I also feel a 5pt harness is the way to go.
POOR ATTACHMENT TO STAY-IN-CAR BASE
What I don't like about it is the snap in mechanism. The base has narrow high plastic guides on each side. The middle of the seat (where the handle bolts on) clips into these guides. The height of them may be somewhat problematic depending what vehicle you have since the whole chair needs to be lifted over when putting into vehicle.
The biggest problem with this design, though, is that these high narrow guides just don't work smoothly. It's hard to get it into alignment and we often struggled with it. Once it's jammed crooked when you snap into one side and not the other it's a real pain to free - especially when you baby is sleeping.
HANDLE IS NOT USEFUL
Our seat also features the "Turnabout" handle. I thought it would be great since I'm a leftie and my husband a rightie. He thinks it's really stupid because it's bulky. The baby seats hang so low by the handles that they hit your knees, so we and many others usually end up carrying the seats with the handles folded back - carrying it on your hip like a laundry basket. Other seats allow the handle to be snapped at various stages behind the seat, to prop it up if using as a baby chair outside the vehicle. Ours cannot do this since the handle is round rather than squared and does not rotate lower than the folded canopy.
My other beef with the handle is how it releases to fold up or down. On my seat, there is a big flat tab in each side of the handle. You squeeze them in simultaneously. However, they seem "mushy" (no firm "click" whether it's released or not). I tried the buttons on other chairs (often on the back/bottom edge of the handle) and they worked a lot better.
I'll admit. My Eddie Bauer infant seat has the gorgeous non-baby taupe/navy/green fabrics and that was a bigger feature than it should have been. It's a beautiful chair but not very functional. I bought it online. If I had examined other chairs first, I would have bought something else.
This post will be too late for you, but I hope it helps other new parents.