Toddler seat me
August 12, 2016 10:39 PM   Subscribe

I need to switch up to a front facing toddler seat for a tiny car. Too many options. Going insane. Help!

I have a small two-door car, and the back seat is...toddler sized. I need a car seat for a toddler that is light-weight and front-facing, and will fit in the small backseat without completely taking over the back seat. Also, the cheaper, the better. There are so many options, I need some help.

I found other posts on AskMe, but they were about traveling by air with a car seat and finding an easy to clean one. This is question is about size.
posted by Toddles to Travel & Transportation (12 answers total)
Best answer: Try the Car Seat Lady.
posted by k8t at 11:25 PM on August 12, 2016 [3 favorites]

Depends on your toddler size. If they are heavy enough they might be able to go into a high sided booster seat which just gets held in with the seat belt... Much lighter and smaller
posted by KateViolet at 12:48 AM on August 13, 2016

Best answer: We chose a basic maxi cosi that was on sale and are happy with it. It doesn't take up the whole back seat and we were glad we didn't shell out a ton of money.
posted by catspajammies at 1:58 AM on August 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Car Seat Lady is the website you need. She has listings/categorizations for every need.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 4:00 AM on August 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm still rear facing my tall, long torsoed toddler. Because it protects their spine. Until four is ideal. Can you just leave your tot as is? 40 inches is the limit on this for most seats, not head at the top of the chair.
posted by Kalmya at 5:36 AM on August 13, 2016

Do you have Babies R Us near you? They let me try some seats in my car to see if they would fit before I bought one.

I got my little girl (age 4) an Evenflo Maestro for her grandparents' car. She seems to like it, and it's not too big (we turned her rear facing seat forward in our car). The Maestro has a five point harness, it's not just a booster.
posted by Anne Neville at 6:32 AM on August 13, 2016

The Safety 1st Guide 65 is one our kid likes. It's cheapest if you stroll into Walmart and buy it although it's also sold online. It is very good value.
posted by w0mbat at 8:29 AM on August 13, 2016

Best answer: We also have the Evenflo Maestro and I've sat with it and a second car seat in the back of a Subaru Impreza. Bonus is that it is a pretty affordable seat.
posted by rozee at 11:42 AM on August 13, 2016

We use a high back Graco Nautilus with 5 point harnesses. My oldest is still in it with the regular seat belt now (7 years old). My youngest is still in it in the 5 point harness (4 year old). It's good up to 100 lbs. It's fit well in all cars we've had to use and it has a lot of flexibility with head rests, etc.
posted by zizzle at 2:11 PM on August 13, 2016

Diono Radian is a great narrow seat, as is the Harmony Defender. I've heard good things about the new Safety 1st Hybrid but haven't used it. Are you not interested in just turning the seat that you already have?
posted by checkitnice at 2:35 PM on August 13, 2016

Consider getting one that is easy to return. I bought a Combi Coccoro and found that although the kid was well within the stated height and weight limits, he apparently had a long torso, so the top of his head was too high on the seatback. (Once bitten, twice shy, I returned it and bought the most ridiculously large seat I could find that will probably fit until he can drive himself...)
posted by SandiBeech at 2:49 PM on August 13, 2016

Find a Child Passenger Safety Technician and ask them this question. They'll need the year, make, and model of your car, as well as the age, height, and weight of your child. Any child under 2 (and ideally, under 3 or 4) should be rear-facing; if your toddler is under 2, a tech can help you figure this out. If your child is over 2 and you'd like to forward face, a tech can help you select a seat that will work well in your vehicle.
posted by pecanpies at 3:18 PM on August 13, 2016

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