The time has come to turn the twins around in the car from rear-facing to forward-facing. Chances are, the time has also come to upgrade your carseats to either convertibles or combination-carseats. The choices are endless, the range of prices extreme and there are so many other factors to take into consideration. Here, we’ll try to make the selection process easier for you by breaking it down into 5 simple steps. Before we do so, we must of course note that children should be rear-racing for as long as possible, per the recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics. (Our Twins were close to 3 before they outgrew their Combi Coccoro’s).
Look at your lifestyle
Covertible carseats don’t have to be massive spaceships. We have a smaller sedan and ideally wanted carseats that would allow a third person to sit in between them. With that in mind, the Diono Radian RXT’s are highly recommended. Compared to the bucket seats, we were amazed at how much space they allowed in the backseat. If we were to have a third child we could easily purchase an additional one and fit three across (ideal for families of Triplets or Twins-plus-one).
Beyond their slimmer footprint, these seats also had additional features that really suited our family. We travel a lot and have found these carseats can be easily collapsed and carried around in backpack mode; we’ll be flying with them when heading to the UK in the Summer. Ultimately, these seats checked the boxes against our family’s needs. We suggest you create a checklist of your ideals, aside from the standard safety and functionality features.
Assign a budget based on longevity
Convertible carseats are expensive! But when you look at the number of years they can accommodate growing children, it often works out better to invest more upfront. It’s common nowadays to see convertible seats starting from newborn weights – including these Dionos which we could have been used from 5lbs +. Their only drawback is their inability to be used on a stroller. When choosing, analyze the weight and height limits for both rear and forward facing options. Given your Twins size, do you need seats that can accommodate heavier weights, taller kids or both?
Get a second opinion
When you have chosen your carseats and installed them correctly, drop by your local Police or Fire Station on the designated safety-check days and have them inspect your handiwork. If you’re unsure of your local options, log on to www.seatcheck.org to find an inspector near you.
Convertible carseat installation is completely different from infant seats with bases so make sure you read both the carseat instructions AND car manual carefully, checking everything after each step.
Make it fun
Now comes the fun part – introducing the Twins to their new seats. Not only will they now have ‘big kid’ seats they will also have a whole new view, so join in their excitement to make the transition even more special. If they play with toys in the car consider buying one or two new ones to mark the occasion. Now is also the time to introduce new car rules should you wish: big kid seats = big kid rules!
Our Twins love sitting up straighter in their new seats with the unexpected bonus of a cup-holder that they enjoy putting their sippies into. It’s the little things that matter to them at this age right?
Toddlers love being assigned tasks so we followed one of the Car Seat Lady’s tips of letting them close the buckles and straps themselves, all the while reinforcing what a fantastic job they are doing (don’t worry we always check it’s done correctly). This gives the girls a real sense of accomplishment. It also means getting into the car is less of an argument as our independent girls can follow the same routine each time: climb into their assigned seat on their side, buckle their straps, Mommy/Daddy/Grownup checks… and off we go!
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