Posted by: DD | February 25, 2009

I LIKE/DON’T LIKE

When I finally ended up purchasing a diaper pail, I ended up with one of those filtered ones (First Years CleanAir). I’m still not sure what to think about it.

1) Why is it so damn small? I mean, it barely holds a dozen diapers, and they’re not BIG diapers.

2) The lid is a PITRA (Pain In The Royal Ass). If you don’t lift the lid ALL the way up, the mechanism that drops the diaper down inside doesn’t work right.

3) Inexperienced users end up shutting it off when they try to use it the first (or second and third) time – like our babysitter and grandma, because the power button is easily mistaken as a release for the lid.

I can’t recommend it, but we’ll keep it.

One of my favorite purchases is the mesh bumper on the crib. With ZGirl being a tummy sleeper, it’s more likely for her to smoosh her face into the bumper, and it has happened. The mesh bumpers aren’t just mesh, either. They are actually padded so while she may be mooshing her face, at least she’s not imprinting the slats of the crib into her head. My only complaint witht them is their limited color palette: white, yellow, baby blue and pale pink. Blah.

So now I need your opinion. I’m looking for a convertible carseat to replace our infant carrier. I want something that will work from infant to 60+ pounds. I’ve already checked consumer reports, but their data is rather dated. What have you heard or had success with and why?

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Responses

  1. The forums at http://www.carseatdata.org/ are a wonderful resource for finding car seats. 🙂

  2. We have two different ones. For my car, which is what we use for family trips and weekends, we opted for the Britax Roundabout. I have a Subaru Outback and wanted the smallest one. Which is what “Baby Bargains” recommended. It’s pricey, but I LOVE the seat. Best feature is the velcro on the straps so you can velcro them to the sides of the seat – they stay to either side so you don’t have to worry about digging around for them.

    J ended up with an Evenflo Titan, which is taller and narrower than the Roundabout and fits his SUV just fine. It was the best rated for its price – $100. You can get the “cheap” model for $65, which doesn’t include the retractible cupholder. We couldn’t find that one at BRU, which is where we bought our seats, so we ended up with the more expensive model. Works just fine for J’s car and is rated well for safety – including side impacts.

    Another place to look is http://www.babybargains.com. I bought the book when we were pg so I just used that, but there’s a good amount of info on their website too.

  3. I LOVE my Britax Marathon. We will be giving up the infant carrier for Tessa soon and purchasing a second one. The straps never get twisted, it is as easy to install/remove as any seat can be. It is hug and it is expensive but I love it. We decided to get 1 nice seat for each girl and just move them between cars when needed (but it isn’t necessary often). The cowmooflag is my fav cover. LOL

  4. I second the marathon. We have a marathon and a decathalon. They’re essentially the same seat, but the decathalon has extra padding with it, which is removable. The other thing I don’t like about the decathalon is that the tightening mechanism is a pain in the ass and a lot of times makes my hands sore just trying to get it properly adjusted. I prefer the marathon, and the marathon is cheaper. If you keep an eye out for BRU coupons, you can get a 15% off one and use it on that. We saved a bit of money that way. If you go for a Britax, the roundabout is smaller.

  5. I am about to buy, and I’m going for a Britax, although I’m still dithering over which one.

    You can keep her in the baby seat for awhile I bet. It’s more weight than length that does it. As long as they are backwards….you might be able to stretch it.

  6. I have the Britax Boulevard and a Roundabout. I love them both. I don’t thing the Roundabout goes up to 60lbs but I think the Boulevard does.

  7. Don’t have a suggestion for a car seat, but the baby bargains book has been great for me when trying to decide on stuff as they are kind of a consumer reports for baby stuff only. They base a lot of their recommendations on parent reports and if you google baby bargains, they have a website where there is a link to their bulletin boards and you can do a search there for more parent opinions.

    Let us know what you decide on and why!

  8. We have an Evenflo something…Triumph Advance? I like it but – there’s always a ‘but’ – The strap loosener is really hard for me to push down and it’s freakin’ big in my Subaru Outback. I pity the fool who has to sit in the p;assenger seat, even when they’re short as there is little room for their legs. The Chieftain finds it comfy, though…

  9. Britax – they are the best. You can get them significantly cheaper (yet no compromise to quality) here on albeebaby.com

    We had one in the back of our Subaru which has less room and it fit really well. Our volvo has the latch system (so does the subaru but the dog bed gets in the way) and it attaches in quite well.

  10. we used the Alpha Omega one and loved it for our daughter (who is 9) and when we get one for our son (who is 9 months) we will either go with another Alpha Omega one or a Britax model.

  11. You can’t go wrong with anything by Britax. That’s all we use now (after trying Evenflo and Graco).

  12. We also have the Britax Marathons and really like them. They are spendy, but we got the grandparents to buy them for Christmas presents a year ago.

  13. I am also a fan of the Britax Marathon. My now 5 1/2 year old still uses his and we plan to buy a new one when the baby outgrows his infant seat. Kind of pricey but worth it.

  14. We have a Britax Boulevard and a Britax Diplomat – which is a smaller version of the Boulevard. Love them both. We got the Diplomat because it is smaller and lighter and we do travel a bit so we need a car seat that isn’t too unwieldy to travel with. I would recommend either one, the only real benefit the Boulevard has over the Diplomat is that it can go up to 65 pounds. But when I thought about it, realistically by the time Ellie gets to 45 pounds and outgrows the Diplomat we’re probably going to want the forward facing high back booster anyway. Both are easy to install using LATCH in our cars (Toyota and Lexus) rear facing. We’ve installed forward facing when we had a friend’s older child with us and the straps are not long enough to install forward facing in our care with LATCH but it was pretty secure using the seat belt and forward facing. Albeebaby.com usually has the best prices and they don’t charge shipping. I’ve made all my big item purchases from them and did have to send something back once and their customer service and returns are totally hassle free.

    I’ll get on my soap box now and encourage you to keep Z rear facing as long as possible after she turns 1. Ellie’s almost 21 months and is totally fine rear facing.

  15. I didn’t bother with a diaper thingy after Maggie. The diapers would get jammed, I could STILL smell it, and by the time it was full, it weighed approx 78 pounds. I just “giftwrap” the diapers. Poopy ones get put into one of those plastic grocery bags, tied up reeeaaallll tight & put in the garbage.

    Will is in a Century something or something. He’s been in it since about 1 year.

    Real helpful aren’t I??

  16. We bought a Britax Marathon back in the day, which worked fine for us. However, we also ended up buying a booster seat (travel convenience) that Miss V. preferred (because it’s for big kids.). We handed off the Marathon to Miss V’s little cousin. So, based on our experience I would not recommend to get a big carseat up to 60lbs but rather a medium one up to 45lbs and then a good booster seat.

  17. We have a Britax Marathon and an Alpha Omega 3-in-1. I prefer the Britax because it is easier to fasten and the cover comes off more easily for washing. We got it on a good sale at albeebaby.com because of the cover – it was either discontinued or unpopular. I think we paid $180 with cheap shipping.

    I also LOVE our Diaper Genie II. We have two of them – one upstairs and one downstairs and those things hold tons of diapers. You do have to buy inserts instead of using regular bags, but I don’t feel like the cost of the inserts is greater than the cost of bags. We don’t seem to go through them very quickly. Also, our Diaper Genie II doesn’t stink ever and we don’t do anything special in that regard. I think the newest version (Diaper Genie II Elite?) is even better because it has a pedal that opens the lid.

  18. The Safety board on babycenter.com is awesome for car seat advice. Those ladies know EVERYTHING and are generous with advice.

  19. We have 4 of the Britax Boulevards in different cars (including grandparents). I liked it better than the marathon b/c of the side impact protection. LOVE them! (And there’s a carseat forum you can find on google where a lot of car seat installation techs post, almost every one has a Britax.)

    I second Suzanne on keeping Z girl rear facing as long as possible. We had Ant RF until 24 months, and would have done it longer except with the addition of Timmy and DH being tall the two seats just wouldn’t fit. MUCH safer.

  20. We have the Britax Boulevard and the reason why was a combo of reading various ratings and reports and everyone I know scaring me into thinking Britax is the only truly safe brand.

    I like it N seems to like it.

    The only thing I will say is that my friend who has the same seat went to one of those safety checks and they said (in general not per brand) that it is important that the seat fit with your car that some are better fit than others in various cars. I don’t know how you’d do that short of schlepping the model out to the parking lot and testing a bunch.

    The Boulevard is HUGE and I don’t have a small car so it works for us, but in a smaller car it would be a pain I think. But since my kid is also HUGE, I figured this seat was a good bet in the longer run.

  21. So, yeah, second coment on the post…can you tell I am support he baby store economy right now???

    Any woo, got the mesh crib bumpers in BROWN. Yeah, i was pumped since I too was less than impressed with the pastel palate. I know, you may be saying, brown for a baby?. Well his walls are brown and the the features are orange and green so it went well Plus, they kind of blend into the crib.

    Thanks for the tip.


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