One of the most important things we buy for our children is a baby car seat. This is a safety item and care should be taken when purchasing one.
When I got pregnant with my daughter I received a car seat as a gift. At that time, of course I knew that a quality car seat was important, but I did not realize just how much difference in quality there was between baby car seats.
The baby car seat that I received as a gift was one of those car seats that has the handle and pops out of the car to become a carrying basket. This type of baby car seat means that you do not have to take your child out of the seat. The seat comes along with you. There is a base to the seat that stays in the car and the seat just clicks in and out of the base. This type of baby car seat is a convenience for parents. When your infant is asleep, you do not have to wake them to take them out of the car. The seat also usually clips into a stroller that the companies sell as part of the “system.”
I found that the all in one system that I mentioned above was actually very difficult to manage and carry. It is obvious that the companies that make these baby car seat systems are aware of the difficulty in carrying the seat because they have tried implementing all different types of handles to make it easier to carry. Well, I do not think they work. I was not impressed with this type of car seat nor the entire stroller system that went along with it.
The icing on the cake for me was when my baby car seat was recalled. The recall was for the handle. The handles on the baby car seat I had were breaking, causing the car seat (with baby in it) to fall. With the weight of the baby in the car seat, it meant that the babies were landing on their face when the handle broke and suffering in some cases severe head injuries. That is all it took for me to get rid of the car seat and start hunting for a new, better quality car seat.
Now I realized the importance of the car seat. I realized that there was a significant difference in quality and safety between the car seats. So the research began. I checked Canadian and USA safety websites to see what their test results and findings were. One baby car seat name kept coming up as a safe car seat, Britax. I had not even heard of Britax before. The model that kept getting a great review and safety rating was the Britax Marathon.
Now my research focused on finding this Britax Marathon seat and why it was apparently so good. I looked up the Britax Marathon on the web and within minutes had a picture of one and the specifications. Just from looking at it I could tell it look way more significant than the last car seat I had. It looked like it was built with the safety of the baby in mind. It was the cadillac of baby car seats.
So off I went to the store to buy the Britax Marathon. Now you have to realize to get a great baby car seat you are going to have to pay a pretty price. So when I woke up from passing out after seeing the price tag, I pulled out my wallet and paid for the cadillac of baby car seats. The Britax car seat was so popular that I was paying for one in order to make sure I got one of the seats that was coming in on the next shipment to the store. There was a Britax Marathon baby car seat waiting list. It was a hot commodity. So I paid my over $350 and joined the list of waiting parents. (We will talk about price later because I found where you can get it for less).
So I waited and waited and about three weeks later I received my Britax marathon baby car seat. Now this car seat comes in many different materials and colours, but I knew as soon as I saw the choices that the denim would be the most durable (and I was right, it is durable). When I ordered my Britax seat I told them I wanted the denim, but I also had to give a second choice. It was like I was buying a car. I got to tell them my first choice in colour, but they could not guarantee it. The car seat was in such high demand they were really not sure what colours and materials they themselves would be receiving. Well was I happy when I picked my Britax up and it was the denim. I felt like I had just won the lottery.
Now this car seat is amazing. I would never buy another car seat other than a Britax. It is good for birth (from 5lbs) till they are out of a car seat. It wraps around on the sides a bit so it offers a lot of protection and a place for them to rest their head when they sleep. It is rear and front facing depending on your child’s weight and height. It angles easily for rear facing. It has wide and substantial straps for the seatbelt system. The belts have a lever to pull so you can easily loosen the belts to comfortably get your baby in and out. The Britax attaches with the universal clipping system or the seatbelt so it will attach to basically any car. The cover removes easily so it can be washed (but hang it to dry). You need to be able to wash the cover especially if your baby throws up or spills something!
So the down side if you think this is a down side, is that you have to take your baby in and out of the car seat. Personally I found it so difficult to carry my daughter in the other child seat that I would rather take her in and out of the car seat. Plus, the increased safety of the Britax car seat made it worth taking my daughter in and out of the seat.
So let’s talk about price. If you buy one of the car seats like I first had and got rid of, you will eventually have to buy another car seat anyway. So you are looking at having to buy multiple car seats. That will no doubt end up costing you a pretty penny. If you buy a car seat like the Britax, you only ever need one car seat. So it is a bigger bill up front, but probably cheaper in the long run I would think. So I recommend just spending the money up front and getting one car seat that will be the only one you need.
Now where is the best place to get a Britax Marathon? I found it on Amazon for less, with free shipping! Here is is pictured with the fancy, durable denim material I was telling you about.
If anyone knows where you can find this car seat cheaper, then let us all know about it please.
Overall, you need to do your research to find the baby car seat that you feel comfortable with. I was happy with what I found out about the Britax Marathon and I remain happy with this car seat till this day. But do your research. Make sure you follow any recalls too. My Britax has not had any recalls that I have found.
I hope this review of car seats has given you food for though.
Happy baby car seat shopping.