One of the most crucial decisions you will make for your baby is which car seat to use. If you spend as much time in the car as I do, it is important not only that your child is safe, but also that he is comfortable. Having a baby screaming in the backseat at deafening levels as you drive is enough to make any mom lose her mind. Believe me.
As we began preparing to get a front-facing car seat for our son, we started looking at seats that had a great safety record and were comfortable. We wound up with The First Years True Fit SI convertible car seat. Oh, how I wish we had this seat from the beginning!
The seat was super simple to put together; all that was required was to snap the upper seatback into position. After finally finding the instruction manual in a camouflaged side pocket on the seat, I discovered that it was very easy to install in the car. The manual is pretty easy to understand and the illustrations are clear. I did find myself having to refer to different pages quite often to find the options that applied to our car and baby. At times I felt like I was reading a choose-your-own- adventure book. It would have helped if I’d read the manual before jumping right in to installation mode.
I prefer to use the LATCH option in my car, and once I figured out that I had to move the latches from the rear-facing to the forward-facing position, it took no time at all to secure the seat. Installing the seat as a forward-facing seat was pretty straight forward, but when we use it as a rear seat for baby no. 2 we will take the upper seatback off until the baby is 22 pounds and can adjust the angle of the seat as the baby grows. The True Fit also has a rebound bar that leans up against the seat back to ensure the correct seating position when rear-facing. Anyone who has had to fiddle with a child’s seat to ensure the correct angle and elevation can appreciate this feature, which makes adjusting these things a no-brainer.
This seat does not come with a base, so it will be necessary to unharness your child and remove him from the seat when exiting the car. We’ve had a system with a base up until now, and while it was mildly useful in the first months, as we discovered how uncomfortable he was in the seat, we found that we were more likely to take him out of his seat and carry him anyway rather than unhook the seat and carry both baby and seat inside. For our next baby, I am placing a premium on comfort, and this seat exceeds in that respect.
The straps are simple to adjust; you just have to pull on the yellow release handles at the back of the seat and the straps easily slide to the desired height. To tighten the harness, you simply pull on the tension adjuster at the foot of the seat. I was amazed at how easy it was to adjust to my toddler’s specifications. We were ready to roll in a matter of minutes!
As I was installing the seat, I had to unsnap the cover, and I found that it was very easy to take off and reattach. It is hand-wash only, so I imagine I’ll rely more on spot cleaning, but it’s nice to know that if I need to take it off to wash entirely, it’s easy to replace.
The True Fit has padding that is incredibly soft and cushioned. The infant padding seems extra comfortable, though my son is too big to use it now. Truly, this seat has changed our traveling experience with our child. He used to cry almost as a rule in the car, but in this seat he is happy and falls asleep without any trouble. I thought our son was just a bad passenger, but now I realize we just had a bad seat. The True Fit changed all that! Because this seat is appropriate for children up to 65 pounds, I look forward to using the seat for many more years.
To buy: walmart.com