when we got our new minivan with all the bells and whistles, we purchased the built in seat with 5-point restraints. It's great because the size range is huge, and so is my son. And, he feels practically like he's in a real seat, plus instead of moving his big feet 3 inches closer to the back of the passenger's side chair (for kicking purposes) it moves him a couple of inches back.
But not real comfortable for anyone else to sit on when it's folded up.
Hello! I have bought many carseats over the past nine years. If you are looking to save money then you should get a convertible carseat.(newborn to booster) However, when you have a newborn or a baby too small to sit up, the newborn carseat is priceless. Even if you are just running to the grocery, you have a safe, clean place for baby to relax. :cloud9: Yes, you could use a front carrier for this purpose but I have found that the baby quickly becomes too heavy and large to carry easily.
Anyhow, seven children later and they have all had atleast two new carseats each. #1 TIP--- buy it from a store that will let you try it out in your own vehicle first or allow you to return it without any penalities. Not all carseats fit properly in all cars. (one of the big reasons we've had so many new carseats )
The infant carrier is nice. But after the 1st child you will find more utility in a car seat that has everything. I have tried many of a seat. My first two children were very large at birth (10 pounders) and they were out of the infant carrier by 4 months. I found that the Alpha Omega (get it...the beginning to the end) has been a great value. It's range is I believe 5 pounds to 70 or 80 pounds. It is made by Cosco. It has a five point restraint and converts to a booster. How ever one problem that I have ran into is my 5 year old, who now sits in the back seat of the mini van...with less leg room (the two younger ones are in the mid seats) he stands 4 feet 4 inches and 60 pounds so I had to purchase another seat the Graco booster. In the state of illinois a child is supposed to be in a booster until 70 pounds. Being a pediatrician and knowing the consequences of poorly restrained kids, I am pretty strick about being belted in the car.
I have the Cosco Alpha Omega that's convertable for use from a small infant to an 80 pounder. I paid almost $180.00 when I purchased it many years ago and my daugter STILL uses it today, as a much safer version of a booster seat (she's 8 years old.
I personally don't like the booster seats that go across the lap for older children because they do poorly in car crashes.
Definitely loved my alpha omega. Good side support for sleepy kids and very flexible to accomodate growth. Otherwise, I would have owned even more car seats. We should have a contest: who owns/has owned the most car seats and strollers? Widest variety? Probably 7xmom would win.