It was time to buy a new carseat for our little guy. We'd had the Graco Safeseat since we brought him home from the hospital, and it was finally coming to within 1" of the height limit for usability. So our search was on. I combed the internet for reviews, reading both American and Canadian*. That led me to three top choices: the Graco My Ride 65, and two from Britax.
We intended to go to a shop called Baby's World on the way home from physical therapy today in Vancouver, get a ton of customer service with expert advisors, and then go save a ton of money by buying it down the road at Baby's-R-Us where you get good pricing but horrid customer service. Well.....
Baby's World is routinely more expensive on the same products I can find in other stores. But this time, they were running a sale on Britax of 20%, plus they were subsidizing over half of the HST. We spent a ton of time there narrowing down our options, and then headed to Baby's-R-Us to check out the Graco model and see their prices.
Less than five minutes in the big box store told us we were NOT giving them our business. Not only did their sale end yesterday, but it was still advertised and when I asked the clerk about it, she took the flyers away and told us the prices we saw on retail would have to do. They were WAY more than Baby's World, and an average of $50 more than their own online prices. And the Graco model sounded better online than it looked in person. So we walked out of there after telling them we were headed back to Baby's World with some smug satisfaction.
Call us crazy, but we are the happy and ecstatic owners of the Britax Advocate CS. I love the pattern, and the way it fits in our tiny little Jetta is amazing. I LOVE the fact that we can raise the shoulder straps with a simple turn of a knob to get an incremental and perfect fit. No more rethreading straps and pulling everything apart!
We're still rear facing, and plan to be until our little guy turns 2. The height limit for rear facing is almost reached though, so we will just keep checking the position of his legs and his comfort level. If the leg room isn't a problem after he turns two, we'll reevaluate then, because research shows how much greater safety is when children are rear facing. While I would love to let him face forward so he could see so much more, the research I've read is more compelling than being able to point out cows on the side of the road.
We plan to use this one until our little guy turns 4 or 5, and then we'll evaluate to see if he's still comfortable. Currently, our plan is to buy the booster with a high back after this one for him to use until he's out of carseats altogether. Of course, there's always the potential advent of another kiddo to make us juggle carseats too, so we're open to the time frame. Right now, we're just enjoying the Lazy Boy of carseats. If only my driver's seat were that comfortable. ;)
Thank you, Government of Canada, for the monthly "gifts" you send us specifically for having a child. Those gifts are the reason we can buy such nice childcare items.
And thank you, Baby's World, for once again offering customer service that rocks the world and makes your customer's days brighter. You guys are amazing. I may not be able to afford most of what you sell, but for big and important items like stroller and carseats, you guys are THE BEST. And I still remember how kind you were to my grandparents when they came to look at Bob.
*Car seats must be purchased in the country you live in for them to be accepted by insurance companies. Even if we bought the same product in the States, our insurance would NOT cover us if we were to be in a wreck. That's just the way it goes.