May 18, 2009

Adventures In Installing A Carseat

Alternately titled: Um, that was easy. Or: Help. I can't get out of my car.

I was sent a really nice (reaaaally nice) car seat for Ivy. Britax let me know they had a brand new style out with super side impact safety features (the safest of all their car seats) called the
Advocate™ CS [$369], and, perfect timing- Ivy is ready to move out of her infant car seat.

Did they have something girly, maybe? Oh yes.


So, the car seat came and Safety is its middle name. We call it Ivy's throne.

It's been sitting in the living room for a week now, as I've put off installing it. Dreading it actually. Car seats are so confusing and fumbly and what if I can't do it right and despite all its awesome safety features I still put my child in danger because I don't know how to hook it up properly?


It just felt like a big mountain ahead of me.

But, alas, a nicely coordinated naptime took place (Ivy sacked out on Daddy's chest) and I snuck out to get it over with.
I even had the car in the driveway so I could see better in the sun. (And so that the neighbors could see my big fanny sticking out as I wrestled the lovely beast.)

I had already watched the video online and did exactly as it was instructed. Those LATCH things are pretty nifty I must say.
And then I was done.

Just like that.

I adjusted the LATCH straps and then I grabbed the manual again and triple checked that I did it right because how can it be that easy?

As I was leaning in to the car I stepped on my keys and heard the automatic lock click. I made a mental note to remember that, so that I didn't lock my keys inside. Then Gray climbed in and wanted to see what was going on. And he got a hold of my keys and went to pretend drive up front.

But in Gray-style he dropped my keys somewhere. And in my car there are many places for them to hide. So I am still in the backseat now leaning up front to see if I can find the keys in the cracks and see no sign of them. I try to open the door to go up front and I can't get out of the backseat. Child safety locks.

Grrr. I wonder who is watching and laughing. It's a sunny day. People are about.

I climb into the driver's side and find my keys under a pile of clothes. Of course. And go grab the Ivy girl for a test drive.

I love the side knob to make the head rest go up or down. Soooo easy. It also has the Click & Safe harness adjuster that gives an audible click to insure proper snugness. This car seat has extra side impact cushions and bells and whistles that keep Ivy safe as well as the other passengers. And the fabric is not only cute, it's like the softest thing you'll ever touch. And ok yes I'm still excited to have a car seat that has pink flowers. She is seriously now always riding in style.


Rear-facing, the Advocate CS accommodates up to 35 lbs which is quite nice as the AAP is now recommending children remain rear facing until age two. (Only until age 1 is required but if it's safer, we might be keeping her rear facing longer.) Forward facing, it can be used until the child is 65 lbs. This thing and I are in it for the long haul!



Please note that I took this picture before adjusting her chest straps (I started to second guess myself at where they should be positioned so we came inside and looked it up.) The black chest clip should be higher.

And then we filled out the warranty/recall card and actually stuck it in the mailbox (that's important.)


And now we're going for a ride. To Starbucks, of course.
After I find my keys.


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38 comments:

  1. Looks like she is loving it! So adorable. Love that pic!

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  2. She is such a doll! And I love the carseat! We already have Audrey in her Britax convertible one too. It is sooo much easier, room for her to actually breathe. I ended up with the coowmooflauge (sp?) print.

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  3. I am seriously impressed! We always just take our cars to the fire department to have it done because I don't think I could do it.

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  4. How lucky! That's wonderful for your family.

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  5. Britax is a very decent seat. Glad you like the new one! Way to go with extended rear facing. We just recently turned Adlai (he's an insanely fussy car rider). I was planning on 2 years, but we made it to 18 months. We have the First Years True Fit convertible seat. It's basically the EXACT same thing as the Britax Marathon (same features and everything) but a LOAD cheaper. Just make sure with your install that you don't have any more than a half inch of movement at the belt path. If you ever need tips with install, feel free to contact me. I've been through the car seat safety courses. (-;

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  6. Oh my you are a lucky lady! :) We have 2 Marathons and will be needing to get a new Britax soon for Liberty. I love how happy Ivy looks in there. Love it!

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  7. Too cute! It is SO important to make sure it is installed properly, thanks for the head's up!

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  8. I am so proud of you! You are super mom! How blessed to receive and review this. I LOVE it. You made it sound so easy. Ivy looks simply adorable sitting on that Throne! I can picture you sitting in the back locked inside. You need to start wearing your keys around your neck.

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  9. We own FIVE Britax carseats (and thankfully a minivan big enough to hold them all lol), purchased after we received our tax return 2 years ago. We changed out all of their seats when we saw a crash test video showing what happens to kids in an accident with a lap belt alone. Scared the bejeebus out of me, and suddenly I felt like all of our carseats weren't up to snuff, and I made the switch after much research - Britax pinged the highest in safety ratings everywhere I looked. It may have cost a bunch but safety is the name of the game, and with seats made with that bike helmet foam, heck yes! My list of seats: 2 Britax Parkways "boosters" for my 8 and 9 year old (from Target) good to 100lbs, 1 Regent for our almost 5 year old (from a lady selling it on carseatsafety.org) 5 pt harness good to 80 lbs, one roundabout for baby dude good to 40lbs, and one marathon good to 65 lbs for my toddler. Spaced well enough to move each child up if need be when needed, but I'll only buy Britax if we need to buy again.

    Seriously wishing I had a supercute girl print for my daughters seat, we bought everything neutral because we knew we'd be handing stuff down. Damn it! lol

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  10. As always, super adorable! It looks like Ivy is enjoying her new ride :)

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  11. Well, if it wasn't a Starbucks sort of day yesterday. Cute seat...glad she's safe and sound! Have a great week!

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  12. I LOVE my Britax car seats...I have one for both my girls!...so easy to install and adjust...just great!

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  13. Thanks for pointing out the new carseat recommendations. I just went and looked them up because I hadn't realized they'd changed!

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  14. Another great one popular with the internationally adopting crowd! It's great to have a rear-facing/ forward-facing, birth to 65 pound car seat when you have no idea what the age and development of your child will be.

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  15. Ack! She is so dang cute and girly! Lovin' her new throne.

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  16. I LOVE our Britax. They are ridiculously easy to install... and I wish we would have started with it. George grew out of the infant seat at 6 months!
    I love the pink. How cute is that!

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  17. I heart Britax! We have the marathon. LL loves his cow print. I will have to check out this new seat. I must say I love the pattern. V. pretty for Miss Ivy.

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  18. We just moved to our 2nd booster seat for Emma and I was so, SO glad to get that carseat out of the car.

    That carseat is too cute!! And so is the little one sitting in it!

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  19. She looks adorable in there, but then she always looks adorable. What a cute seat too! Hope you found your keys! : )

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  20. What an AWESOME looking car seat. I keep wanting to stick my fingers in my ears about the 2 year rearfacing rule. I was so looking forward to turning Baby Sister around come August.

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  21. it IS a thrown, and she is a beautiful princess!

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  22. What a fantastic car seat! Ivy looks adorable, as always, on her pink and brown throne! There will be no confusing that with her brother's seats. Our 6Mo. old has outgrown the length requirements on his baby carrier. I am having trouble as I am not quite ready to give up that convenience and the bigger seats are going to make our 3 car seats in a row vehicle even more crowded...but I guess it's time! Good luck finding your keys!

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  23. We are loyal Britax buyers in our house, too. I'm grateful that we found some great deals on such good quality seats.

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  24. What a dollbaby! There is nothing like a Britax. I almost miss it. ;-)

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  25. She really does look like a princess sitting on a throne :-)

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  26. I have a feeling whenever I do have kids, I'll never be able to figure out the car seat. I'll have to come have you do it for me!

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  27. That is so cute! How girly :) And good for you for making sure everything is as safe as can be!

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  28. Hi Steph,

    What about height? Does it say anything about that? We're going to have to evaluate seats to take into account our extremely tall but not very heavy girl :)

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  29. She looks adorable on her throne! Seems like little boys have a knack for losing keys. My little one lost mine recently. It took me nearly a week to find them.

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  30. We have a Britax Marathon, and we LOVE it! This one looks even more impressive!

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  31. Wanted to add that it's been proven to be 5 TIMES SAFER to remain rearfacing (referenced here: http://aapnews.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/30/4/12-a.) My 21 month old rides rearfacing and will until he reaches 35 pounds. :)

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  32. MY WORD is she ever cute.
    She even matches her sweet little seat!

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  33. I LOVE the girly car seat!! She is too cute!

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  34. To whoever has the TrueFit - that is my favorite car seat ever. And it is freakishly easy to install. Even for me, with my little spaghetti arms.

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  35. I was SO scared that you installed it forward facing-and I am SO glad you didn't - so many people turn their kids WAY too early-my daughter is almost 26 months old, but only weighs 22 pounds, so she will be rear-facing for another couple of years-I might think about forward facing her car seat when she is 4 or so...so THANK YOU for reading the instructions and keeping her SO much safer by rear-facing that DARLING daughter of yours in that darling carseat!!

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  36. What an adorable picture! I love how easy the Britax seats are to install, though I think the instructions are horrendous - I'm a vehicle safety engineer and they even managed to confuse me! I'm glad you were able to determine the chest clip should be about armpit level. Happy cruising, Ivy! :)

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  37. We love our Britax. Zoe and Ana both have Marathons (Zoe forward facing and Ana rear facing). The are truly the easiest to install... and it really is too bad that all car seat manufacturers don't follow their lead. I'm much more confident installing the Britax.

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  38. Aren't those locking clips so awesome??? I'm always annoyed by carseats too, but those make it easy.

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