switching to a convertible car seat

Nude Lips


We switched David into a convertible car seat over the weekend.

Prior to cruising in this sweet new seat, we had him in the UPPAbaby Mesa car seat. I go back and forth on whether or not I really like that car seat. It’s high quality and safe, without question, so we’ll use it for the next baby without a doubt. My biggest complaint was that it’s heavy, but I think the weight is due to how sturdy it is! I loved that it had a built in canopy, and was super easy to tighten once David was in the seat.

Anyway, not only does David have thigh rolls that won’t quit, but I found his shoulders to be getting a bit cramped in the Mesa here lately. I also rarely carry him around in the car seat anymore, so it was time to switch him into a convertible.

I was dreading starting the search for another car seat because there are so many great options on the market and it’s hard to decide which one is right for you, having never used one.

I browsed Buy Buy Baby and Babies R Us a few times, and always found myself going back to the Chicco NextFit or their new NextFit Zip. I liked that it wasn’t absolutely huge, but had a lot of the features I was looking for in a convertible car seat.

I got seriously spoiled by how easy it was to tighten the harness in the UPPAbaby Mesa, so I wanted something that was as simple. I wanted David to be able to grow into this car seat nicely, and it hopefully be the last one we buy before he’s in a booster seat when the time comes.


I loved that this seat has 9 recline positions! He rarely sleeps in the car seat anymore, so I like having him more upright. It installed like a dream, and I love how secure he is in the seat, without his shoulders being smashed.


“let’s go mom.”


diaper bag: the Linda by Better Life Bags (LOVE this bag) 

Last month was “car seat safety” month, so as I was chatting with Chicco they sent over these basic tips.


So far, David seems to really be comfortable in the seat. I love how easy it is to get him in and out, and how fool-proof it is to tighten the harness and keep him safe and secure.

If you are hunting for a convertible car seat, I hope this information is helpful!

*I was not compensated for this post. Chicco NextFit Convertible Car Seat was given as a gift.


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Clair Jenkins says · 10.01.14

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for giving the guidelines. I cringe when I see kids not properly restrained and turned around too early. I hope others really read the guidelines you posted and apply them! My son is 19 months and still rear facing but that is not the norm around where I live at all!

Adelia says · 10.14.14


Kari says · 10.01.14

My husband and I were in a high speed (going 70) roll over accident just in August. And our baby was with us, she was 7 WEEKS at the time. We landed upside, my husband has to get out baby girl out woke she was dangling from her carseat. The cops were surprised that we actually had her in her seat (they said it’s surprising how many people take their babies out of the carseat to feed them when they drive and continue driving). All of the nurses and firemen were less worried about her than making sure my husband and I were ok. They all said “those things are fortresses. It’s very rare for babies to get hurt their in their seats” thank you for posting the carseat rules, I’m fairly paranoid about her safety in the car more!

Lisa says · 10.01.14

Just a heads up for the next car seat you buy… When the new baby out grows the Mesa she/he can go in this seat and David in the new one. That way you’ll be buying a seat with the new features you need. Still harnessed but possibly with the ability to convert later on to a seatbelt booster. I work at BRU and that’s what we have to explain to people the most 🙂

Briana S says · 10.01.14

Thank you so much for sharing those car seat safety tips! There are way too many parents out there who do not strap their kids in right and put their lives at risk.

Emily says · 10.01.14

So glad to see he’s still rear facing!!!

Whitney says · 10.01.14

We also have the Nextfit and it’s an amazing seat! We love it! Just a suggestion, David might be even more comfortable if you move the shoulder pads down and put the chest clip over the bottom of the pads. Like in the cutout part of the pad where the bottom is longer than the top. Then the clip might be a bit more comfy on his chest. Does that make sense? Sorry if that was confusing! lol!

Krystal says · 10.02.14

We have it, too! And love it. We had the Keyfit to start and now use the Nextfit. It’s great! I cannot tell you how many times we have switched this thing in and out of my car and into the grandparents’ cars; that sucker installs super snug every time.
And ditto on the shoulder straps. I give the shoulder pads a tug down just so the underside pads the chest clip a smidge; this also gives you a little more room to give the belt another tug to snug kiddo in more since the pads aren’t right against the belt feed holes behind kiddo’s shoulders.

Of note, I’ve also washed the cover a few times – yay for sick toddlers… – and it still looks great aside from the warning label fading some. (I have the same color/fabric as you, sweet Kate!)

And to Amy below, the belt gets easier to tighten with use – it’s just hard with the shoulder pads (try keeping those further down and pull them up into place?) – forward facing is MUCH easier to tighten the belt if y’all haven’t got to that stage yet.

Amy says · 10.01.14

We have this seat for our 15mo old. I’ve liked it pretty well, but our harness is SO hard to tighten. I have to pull with all my strength to tighten it. So I usually try not to listen it unless I have to.

Amy says · 10.01.14


Brittany says · 10.01.14

We have this car seat too and I love it due to the safeness of it and durability but I agree it is so hard to tighten it. It’s slowly gotten better over time but I still struggle with it.

Rachel says · 10.01.14

We moved our guy up about the same time. His seat was good up to 30 inches, but most of his length is in his torso, so his head was within the top restrictions. Your post about David’s comfort is a good reminder that just because baby technically fits within restrictions, check to make sure it’s actually a good fit for his/her body type! Best way to keep baby happy (and mommy sane) in the car!

Alisha Landreth says · 10.01.14

Thank you for posting some extra car seat safety tips! Love it! I am very avid about car seat safety and admire that you are planning to rear face. We have the Maxi Cosi Pria 70, it was between that and the NextFit. Love love our seat though too.

Theresa @ AMomInTheMaking says · 10.01.14

I love that it reclines in 9 different positions 🙂 I think that could be super helpful… we went from the carrier to big boy car seat… but I think what you have would have been a nice 🙂

Leigh Ann says · 10.01.14

We moved to the Nextfit at three months to try to stop the screaming in the car. I love this seat. For me, the only gripe to be found is the higher bucket like sides. But they really don’t get into way much. The install is easy, the recline options are unparalleled. Great choice, Kate!

Liz says · 10.01.14

So glad people are more aware of carseat safety ,its best to rearface to 2 and closest to 4 as possible, with this seat you will be able to do so!! you could even buy another and have new baby in it as well. My almost 3 yr old tall daughter is still rearfacing happily and will until she reaches the 40lb weight limit which probably wont be for awhile!! so glad david is comfy and safe. mommas doing a great job!!

Caroline says · 10.01.14

Love this! I am a huge believer in rear facing as long as possible- and it’s only possible with a good seat! We have one that rear faces to 40 lbs and forward to 60 lbs and love it! My son was rear facing until 2 and harnessed until 4.5 and he’s still only 45 lbs (and in the 90th percentile for height and weight). Love the ease of the belt positioning booster now but keeping my little girl rear facing literally as long as possible. My goal is 3yrs unless she outgrows it by weight/ height. Had a friend flip her kid forward facing recently at one year and I thought she was crazy. Her kid her choice but still! The statistics are staggering!

Sara W says · 10.01.14

David is adorable! I LOVE my britax car seat, it’s the easiest Car seat to install and tighten correctly into the latches. As for the advice to buy a seat that converts to a belted booster, I found that with my older boys, when they left the five point harness, it was worth it to buy the simple backed booster for a seatbelt only that converted to a backless booster because by then you just don’t need a big old bulky seat anymore. (My two in boosters are 9 and 6, with a 2 year old just now facing forward in the britax)

Jenny Silva says · 10.01.14

Thanks for posting. My husband always laughs when I give the dirty look to parents who put the car seat on top of carts. Not Safe! Same with front facing when they’re not ready. Hopefully people will ready this post and start carting their tots around safely.

Natalie says · 10.01.14

Love this post, so happy you’re creating awareness about extended rear facing !!

Sarah C says · 10.01.14

yes on the car seat safety tips. Sometimes when I see someone with their infant on the front of a shopping cart I want to say something, but most times I just cringe and say a little prayer that the kid doesn’t fall off.

Tara H says · 10.01.14

We absolutely LOVE our Chicco NextFit!! We actually used the Chicco version of the infant carrier and loved that too. Can definitely tell they have great safety and quality!

Leigh says · 10.01.14

I have never heard of this seat so thank you! I’ll have to look into it. I have a 3 month old that will be needing a convertible seat sooner than I would’ve imagined. He’s in a Chicco Keyfit 30 and is quickly outgrowing it with his over 97th percentile height and weight. I have a 3 year old son who is in a Britax Boulevard 70CS (which he’s been in since he was 8 months old) and we love it but they don’t make that seat anymore. When my ped told me to leave our son rear facing until 2, that’s what I did and will do it with my second one too.

Theresa says · 10.02.14

What does it mean that you were given the car seat as a gift. In the past I feel like you have been incredibly transparent. If the company gave you the car seat it seems like they were compensating you for your post??

Leigh Ann says · 10.02.14

Oh for the love of Pete, why spit hairs? The Nextfit is a *great* seat, suitable for keeping kids rear facing longer. Whether Chicco gave her the seat or a family member, she’s not only endorsing a recommended seat, but providing awareness and education on car seat safety that so many people lack. You’re not seeing the forest for the trees IMO.

Lee says · 10.02.14

Relax Leanne

Leigh Ann says · 10.03.14

Leanne? Seriously? The correct spelling of my name is *right there*. And car seat safety is serious business in my book, so I stand by my reply.

Theresa says · 10.03.14

I completely agree with Leigh Ann that car seat safety is very important. But I don’t think that assertion has anything to do with my question to Kate about how she came to own the car seat.

I first started following this blog when it was mostly a make-up blog (not a dig I understand that Kate’s life has changed and with it her blog) and at the time she felt like a “real” person who was sharing how she spent her “real” money on beauty and hair finds. And I really appreciated that.

If the blog has changed and become more of a business and she is being compensated by companies, good for her. I would just like that to be more clear.

I think stating that the car seat is a gift is ambiguous at best. If the company provided her the car seat I think there is a much more clear way to represent that. And I was surprised that Kate didn’t represent it in that way.

Kristin says · 10.02.14

We also have the NextFit for our 2.5 yr old. We got it right when he turned 1 and have loved it ever since. We have the first model so ours doesn’t have the removable strap pads or the washable cover (which sorta sucks bc it’s a pain to spot treat it) but my son has always loved it. I love how the sides are higher because I know it’ll protect him well if there was ever a side impact. He just looks so cocooned in it and protected well. It was totally worth the $$$ and I’ve never regretted getting it. It’s easy to install, very nice looking, and because it doesn’t weigh 10 lbs I know it’s solid and durable. Glad you chose the NextFit!

Jamala says · 10.02.14

I’m sure the fact she got it free has a lot do do with “choosing it”.

Leigh Ann says · 10.03.14

You can call Chicco and get the newer model straps. They have a video on their site on how to remove the old ones. I started out with the older ones and much prefer the less stiff newer ones.

Christy says · 10.02.14

Awe, David looks like such a big boy. I can’t believe he will turn 1 soon.

Brooke says · 10.03.14

Would you consider skipping the infant seat and starting in the convertible seat? The convertible are good for infants as little as 5lbs. Expecting our first in May and trying to decide if we want to do the B-Agile travel system from Britax or skip the infant seat and get a convertible off the bat.

Leigh Ann says · 10.03.14

Some people do it, but by far most parents prefer starting with the infant seat. It’s a lot easier to get them in and out of the house that way. Plus little babies sleep so much, it’s nice to not have to wake them at every little stop.

Alison says · 10.03.14

I wish this was still a hair blog 🙁

lindsay rothwell says · 10.06.14

David looks to be strapped in perfectly, don’t change a thing! You can tug the pads down a bit if you want, but the clip should remain snug against his body with no excess padding under it. We used the Chicago Key fit for our infant seat, and LOVED it!

Becca says · 10.08.14

Thanks for this post. Its so very helpful. I am currently researching convertible car seats as my son seems very tight in his current Chicco infant car seat, but he’s only 5 months old. I’m wondering when is the best time to transition to a convertible car seat. Any suggestions? Also from your photos it looks like you want with the regular Nextfit. I was just curious on your reasoning to not purchase the seat with the zip? I have a spit-up boy, so I was thinking the zip version might be better, but not sure. I would love to gain your thoughts. Thank you.

Nicole says · 10.08.14

I have to agree with some of the posters above on the changes that seem to have been made to your blog. I’ve been reading your blog for a few years and access it via Feedly. For some reason, it has not been giving me current content for the past month. I just noticed this (I’m also pretty busy with a 2 yr old and 4-mos old at home!) and I’ve been catching up on posts tonight.

What used to be more informal posts about hair, outfits, crafts and yes, even babies seems to have become more of a business. All of the posts I’ve read so far have been sponsored in some way (Mustela, Birchbox, etc.) and none of them seem very spontaneous.

I understand your blog is your business and if this is the direction you need to go to make staying home with your children a reality, then that is what you have to do. But if you keep doing posts in return for gifts or sponsored posts, I really don’t see myself sticking around for long. I find it hard to trust any opinion that was reached because an item was given to you for free even if it is on an important topic like car seat safety.

No hard feelings and I wish you the best on your second child!

Melanie says · 10.14.14

I think it’s really unfair for people to criticize Kate and the direction that this blog has taken. Yes, it was once a hair and make-up blog. But Kate’s life has changed, and, if you recall correctly, she was always very upfront about it no longer being her priority (fair enough). If you don’t want to read about her life now, remove it from your feeds and find another hair and make-up blog. I also think it’s unfair for someone to automatically assume that my indicating something was a ‘gift’ means that it was given to her by that company. That may or may not be the case (perhaps she got it from a family member, or perhaps she registered for both an infant and a convertible seat). Either way, she has disclosed that. I have used a Chicco infant seat and know firsthand that they are well made and have a number of safety features. It’s not as though she was is recommending something that is unsafe and poorly made – clearly she would not use it for her son if it was, regardless of the means by which she obtained it.
People are so hard on bloggers, but no one is making you read anything on this page – it is a choice that you have made. It is entirely Kate’s prerogative as to if she wants to blog, and about what she wants to blog.

D. Anthony says · 12.01.14

I am very much thankful to you that you have shared such great information here. Being a mother I was looking for something like this and finally you did the good job and also shared the best information. Lots of love and likes to you.

Recaro Bucket Seat says · 12.30.14

It is a good decison in the end to switch to the convertible car seat that can give your kids extra comfort and keeps them secure on a long drive.

Josh says · 02.18.15

Good post. There is a lot involved in knowing which seat is right for your child.