Now that Baby D is one year old it was time to move him into his convertible car seat. While he had not out grown the weight limit on his infant seat yet, he was close to the height limit, and since we rarely if ever removed the infant seat to take him around it seemed like the right time to switch to a convertible seat.
While we have several convertible car seats (for different cars) in my car we decided to use the Graco Head Wise 70 with Safety Surround Protection.
There were many reasons we decided to go with this one, but the main was the fact that Baby D is pretty tall and we wanted a seat that he wouldn’t outgrow before we were ready for him to be out of the convertible seat. I also asked my friend who is a CPST (child passenger and safety technician) what her favorite seats were and she recommended the Graco Head Wise 70.
Baby D is 22 lbs and 1 year old, but we will continue to rear face him as long as we can. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently revised their recommendation (in March of 2011) and now recommends that babies rear face until at least 2 years of age.
The Graco Head Wise 70 has a 40 lb rear facing limit and I plan on keeping him rear facing until at least that point. This car seat rear faces from 4-40 lbs and FF from 20-70lbs. (But please – don’t forward face your child at 20 lbs.) The seat has a FF height limit of 52” which is the average height of a 6-7 year old. This all means that at $199 this seat can take you from birth until 6 –7 years old! (It has a 7 year expiration date).
The things I really like about the Graco Head Wise are:
- The Simply Safe Adjust harness system, which automatically adjusts both your harness and head rest height. No re-threading necessary!
- 8 position adjustable headrest to accommodate your growing child. (This is nice because I swear they grow over night sometimes!)
- The easy LATCH attachment featuring right LATCH for quick installation.
- The spots for storing your FF and RF LATCH when not in use.
- 3 position recline (1 rear facing and 2 forward facing reclines)
- An easy to read level indicator which shows me (or anyone installing the car seat) that it is installed properly.
- Integrated cup holder – I’ve had several seats without cup holders. It really is a nice feature to have.
- Safety Surround side impact protection that moves with your child as they grow.
- My favorite feature of this car seat is the price point. At $199 it is priced less than many of it’s competitors on the market, but has all the features to make it a top rated convertible car seat.
The only complaint I have would be that it can be hard to get the straps to tighten. I had to pull the straps tight in the back, then pull them tight with the tether. Not a big deal if you can leave the straps tightened for an older child, but with a little baby this can be difficult.
All in all I am very satisfied with this car seat. Baby D is also very happy with it. 5 minutes after I put him in his seat he fell asleep which I believe is the Baby sign of approval!
I feel like I should make note that the Graco Head Wise is very similar to the MySize 70 and Size4Me70 (both retail at $179), but it costs $20 more than those models. For that $20 you get the Safety Surround Side Impact protection which is worth the $20 in my opinion.
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