The Big Boy Carseat

Jasper still technically had 2.5″ to go before growing out of the height limit of his Graco Snugride Lotus carseat, but because he is long in the torso the crotch snap was uncomfortably tight. I found myself wincing every time I would buckle him in thinking to myself this CAN’T be comfortable!

So I began the arduous process of researching convertable carseats. The standouts seemed to be the Evenflo Triumph Advance and the ubiquitous (and pricier) Britax Marathon.

Keeping in mind Jasper’s history of contempt for his carseat, I decided we’d let him make the final judgement based on his reaction to sitting in them at BRU. (An option unavailable to us when purchasing the Infant carseat prior to his birth!)

I thought for SURE he’d pick the Triumph because it’s so much more plush and padded looking but he started fussing in it almost immediately. It seemed to curl his body into more of a C than an L position, whereas he had no seeming complaints about the Marathon. Or maybe he just wanted us to shell out as much $$ as possible. Either way, we ended up taking home the Britax Marathon.

Yesterday was a snowday, so today was his first ride ever not in his little snugride with the bundleme… mommy got all sentimental because she’s a weirdo like that.  The 10 degree temperature and  lack of a bundleme necessitated all sorts of other firsts like his first time wearing shoes to daycare:

His firs time wearing the coat we bought him months ago at Old Navy (it was way too big to fit in the snugride!):

And finally his first time buckled up in the Marathon – not fussing at all surprisingly:

He fell asleep on the way to daycare, so I’d say that the Marthon has Jasper’s highest form of approval – five snores!


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Jenna says:

I know you guys made this transitions awhile back, but I’m currently in the middle of this overwhelming, stressful search. A couple of questions…1) Are you still happy with the Marathon? 2) Just out of curiosity, did you consider the Boulevard? If so, how did you finally decide on the Marathon, other than the fact that the Boulevard is more expensive?

I can’t decide between these two!

Cat says:

Your son is beautiful, and that’s a great seat choice.

Please remember that the chest clip needs to go at armpit level, not on the belly, to properly position the harness. Also, the harness seems very loose. You should not be able to pinch any slack at the collar bone, as shown here:

If his coat is either too thick or too stiff to allow a tight harness, it needs to come off. Try putting him and tightening, then leave the harness tight, take off his jacket, and put him back in to see how much slack the jacket is causing. If it’s enough to fail the pinch test, it is too big/stiff for the carseat. Try these coat tricks:

Hope you get many good years with the Marathon!

Sara says:

The Britax is a great deal in the long run! Lucy has been using hers for over 4 years and we are going to upgrade this summer. She won’t reach the weight restriction (60 lbs.) until she’s 12, but she’s almost too long in the torso. We are going to get a Britax Frontier because it becomes a booster once she’s 40 lbs.
What a sweet big boy you have! I too am sentimental about those little shifts. The don’t stop coming…

Kath says:

Thank you for reminding me to check the height limit on my own Graco seat. Yep, 2.5 inches to go here, too! I wonder how long it will take for our babies to grow that “tall”??

Sarah says:

Awwwwww!! I know how you feel about all this seating arrangement happenings in our lives. Who would of thought we would get sentimental about riding in a different seat? Kaity took her first trip sitting in a shopping cart the other day. It was really sad for me because we aren’t having any more children. It was the LAST time for the “first time in a shopping cart”. That stage in their lives is huge for me. Now she is making her way around the house by scooting! My little girly is growing up too fast! Is there some way to stop it?? :~) Hope your week is blessed!

Jen says:

He looks like such a little boy! Love the pics. My little guy is not so little and I’m afraid we are going to have to bust out the Marathon sooner rather than later. I don’t even have a winter coat for him – didn’t even think about that since we, too, have the Bundle Me!

Thanks for all the Photoshop tips, too. I print everything out and play around every chance I get!

Jill says:

OMG, he’s just a darling little boy! I can’t believe how big he’s getting! He’s looking so mature!!!

ariana says:

TheRightWife, Jasper cried the entire time he was in the snugride from months 2-5. It was torture riding to daycare and back everyday with Jasper screaming in the backseat. Boy was I glad when that stage ended.. it will for Mikey too I hope!

Jbhat, lucky indeed :) So yes, funny story about the Ikea highchair.. we bought it this weekend ($19.99!) and the damn thing came without the seatbelt restraint thingy it’s supposed to have. They are mailing it to me so at least I don’t have to go back. Things like that drive me nuts about Ikea (though it doesn’t seem to keep me from buying most of my furniture there!)

vtjill, exactly! A hat was all we used to need too. Poor Jasper was a little stunned by the minus degree windchill factor.. he’s used to the little plastic hood that shielded him from such things in the past. It also makes me have to be religious about starting the car a while in advance.

I can’t wait until spring!!!

Rox, I don’t know when you will get to see him next but you won’t BELIEVE how much he’s changed since Xmas, let alone by then – he’ll for sure be crawling and god knows what else :)

auntie Rox says:

so cute! I love those pics. He’s starting to look like a little boy! Awwwww!

vtjill says:

What a cutie! I’m like you in that once my daughter moves out of her Chicco Keyfit 30, I won’t know how to dress her without the Bundle Me! We have even been places before where we had to carry her inside and realized she had no coat, shoes, mittens, etc because she usually only has to wear a hat. Oops.

jbhat says:

Oh, what a big step! I cried a little when our kiddo moved up to a booster seat. Thank goodness I am expecting again, so that I can relive all of these milestone moments myself one last time.

We have that highchair too. It’s the BEST! So plain and simple and not at all tacky/fussy like some of them out there. Easy to clean, too. And gosh, wasn’t it like $14.99 or something crazy like that?

TheRightWife says:

Jasper looks so adorable in his jacket and big boy carseat! I’m looking forward to the big boy carseat as well because Mikey just hates his infant car carrier. Most car rides involve him screaming for at least a 1/2 hour (he basically has to cry himself to sleep).

Also – thanks for all the great photoshop and picture tips. Now that I’ve got my Canon Rebel and figured out how to turn off the flash, I’m having a blast!

ariana says:

I’m so glad you like the camera, I’m always worried when I recommend stuff.. These shots were taken with my Lumix :)

The marathon is not huge, what you see is a Nissan Altima, so smaller than your Subby for sure.

Kari, I would have totally gotten cowmooflauge except that BRU doesn’t carry it and we get the employee discount there!

Morgan, thanks for the tips! The high rear facing weight limits is one of the reasons we went with the marathon. His coat isn’t thick so much as stiff if you know what I mean.. it’s not down, I think its flannel on the outside and fleece on the inside. He does look like Maggie from the Simpsons in it though – with his arms all out to the side!

Morgan says:

Just some safety tips….keep the carseat rear facing for as long as you can stand it. Google why to stay rear facing and you will find lots of testing and facts.
Also, try to keep him in a light coat not too thick. Fleece is best because its warm but thin and put a blanket over him.

kari says:

we got the marathon too! (we got the cowmooflauge…i couldn’t resist!) it is still sitting in its box… i am a little sentimental about moving him up, but we will this weekend i am sure.
:) k.

tryingin2007 says:

he’s such a cutie! I’m lovin’ his hat. nice job!

we’re still playing with the camera (not much time these days.) but so far it has been a joy to take photos. the quality of the shots is dramatically different. thanks again!

b and I were looking at the marathon as well. is it huge? I’m wondering if it will fit into our subaru outback. what kind of car do you have?