Monday, June 2, 2008

Carseat dilemma update...

Thanks to all those that replied to my last post about whether there is a fuel-efficient minivan out there and what my other options are with 3 kiddies in car seats. After doing LOTs of research these past few nights (though I don't mind, I kinda like that stuff), we've decided to keep my Camry for now (though the check engine light is STILL on...sigh....don't get me started on that! ;)), and continue to explore having 3 carseats in the back of it. I didn't see it as much of a problem but some mom did remind me that kids like to explore other kids' faces a lot, esp when in such a close proximity. Then I was imagining the new baby sleeping peacefully and then *zing* Jana pokes an eye or Aidan squeezes a cheek. Doh! But I guess I'll see how it goes, eh? :)

Kev and I have been spending way to much time on this website and realized that there is really a forum for EVERYTHING!! But we learned a lot as we explored the whole 3 carseats in a row situation. Check out this post! [Some woman even managed to squeeze 3 in the back of her 2 door Honda Civic! I really had no idea this could be done! ]Anyhow, there's lots to read on there re: installation, purchase, etc. Fun stuff! Eventually, we figured out that there is no way to do it with the car seats we have: Evenflo Triumph, Graco Snugride, and a Graco booster. The Triumph is way too wide and would likely hit the Snugride, which we wanted to put in the middle for safety reasons but also because since it will be rear-facing, will need lots of room. If we do put the Snugride on the side, Kev would be super cramped if ever in the passenger side. Plus, then we have to deal with how hard it is to buckle Aidan in with the Snugride riding up next to the buckle stem. Aiyah!
So, anyhow, we decided to get a new convertible carseat for Aidan and settled on the Sunshine Kids Radian 65, because it is one of the narrowest carseats out there (you can squeeze 3 of those babies forward-facing in most cars!) and can accomodate kids up to 65 pounds. They also sell the Radian 80 but with my beanpole kiddies, I doubt they will reach past 65 lbs before exceeding the height limit. The Radian is one of the narrowest carseat available but looks like a big kid seat. Plus, since it's still a convertible, the buckles are in the front, so I wouldn't have to worry about trying to buckle him in on the side. And after reading so many different posts, we were reminded that is a good idea to keep them in a 5-point harness for as long as possible. But Aidan's had the freedom of a booster for a bit now, so we'll see what he thinks. We'll just have to play it up, I suppose. :) The Radian is a darn heavy car seat, which can be annoying, but the seat can fold up to about 6 inches for easy travel, so that's a plus. We'll just have to see when we get it. We found it on Target with free shipping and free returns to the store, so at least we can play with it to see if it'll work out without being out any money. Hehe! If it's a-go with Aidan, we'll buy one for Jana once it gets closer to the due date and see how it goes from there. It poking becomes a problem, maybe I'll put Aidan in the middle since he listens better? Haha!
Anyhow, I wish we had thought about this before we bought all those car seats so we could have saved ourselves some money. Alas. But if anyone is in the market for car seats, take a look at the Radian, too, in case you might come across a similar problem a few kiddies later. :) The Mazda 5 is still in contention, however, but we figure the longer we can hold out on buying a new car for me (and Kev's car is not doing so hot, either), the more options we'll have. :) What do you all think? Any thought?


Anonymous said...

Hey Jackie, congrats on baby #3!! I just found out! When are you due?
We just went through this whole carseat dilemma as our second big boy was outgrowing his seat, and we had to decide which new one to buy. We went with the Radian 80, since my boys are so big and heavy (Nathan's 45 lbs. and will be 3 this month), we had to get a seat with a high weight limit. It was a bonus that the Radian is narrow, so we probably will plan to get another one in the future (if/when we have a third baby, as it grows out of the infant seat). The nice thing about the Radian is that it's from birth and up, but it is nice to have the infant carrier at first.
We would like to keep our car as well (a '98 Accord) if possible, but I don't know if I could fit all our STUFF in addition to 3 seats! And forget a trip to Costco, for example, if I have to bring a double stroller as well! I'll be interested to see how it all works out for you.
PS> I posted on this here:

kevnjacks said...

Hey Sally - does Nathan like the seat? How did it go?

Anonymous said...

Hey Jackie, just found this months later...
The seat was fine for awhile, but then something started bothering him- turns out my car isn't compatible with the seat b/c of the way my car's buckle pulls away from the seat, so I ended up just selling it on Craigslist and getting the new Graco Nautilis instead. It's to 65 lbs. instead of 80, but it should last us awhile as Nathan's slowing down in weight gain (42 lbs. last checkup). He LOVES it, and often says, "mommy, something is comfortable!" Which is a great change from the complaining we heard before. I hope the seat works better for you guys!