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Old 12-04-2012, 10:18 AM   #42
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: SW Michigan
Posts: 802
My Ride: '99 323i & '00 323iT
Originally Posted by jonathanross64 View Post
As with anything involving kids in cars - if you have any questions about what you're doing, ask a pro. Local fire departments, hospitals and even medical clinics have workshops on propper car seat installation. Some people blow this off, but if you're not sure about something - don't take the chance.
Excellent advice.

Originally Posted by jonathanross64 View Post
get one of the "travel systems" in the link below. Also get a spare car seat base. They are really easy on the seats (no sharp corners) and the versatility is worth the cash. Some guys have suggested installing the carseat and never taking it out. Bad idea. Infants/Newborns are particularly tricky to maneuver (they have bobble heads and such) so a system where the carrier is modular between the car seat bases and stroller (it just snaps in) is the best idea.
Without doubt, these systems with a base are very convenient, especially for newborns and infants. In fact, that type was the first one that we bought. It worked well in the wagon. But it didn't come close to working in our Celica. Nor did any of the similar options on the market at the time.

We found that using the door in the coupe that was opposite where the seat was located gave the best access the the seat when it was still in the rear-facing position.

Installing a base permanently is essentially the same strategy as a permanent seat installation. You don't have to fight to install it properly each time you use it. Of course, the seat always has to follow the child. And the seat can be used ONLY with the base. This is not an issue when still an infant, but becomes problematic when the child can no longer spend most of the time in the seat. And the associated strollers tend to be large. With them, it would be quite the challenge to load a week's worth of grocery shopping (including diapers and paper products) in the trunk of an e46. You want to keep potential projectiles out of the interior: In the event of an accident, you don't want a can of beans hitting anybody's head, least of all the softer skulls of children in safety seats.

There are many aspects to consider when purchasing a safety seat. What works well for one set of circumstances, may not work in another. Do your research. "Consumer Reports" tends to run a story on them every couple of years. Get "war stories" from your friends. Determine what fits your lifestyle. When you make your decision, make certain that it will work in each vehicle where it will be used: Grandma won't be happy if she can't drive with that baby!

Oh, if you have side airbags in the rear, don't put a safety seat (or a booster) in the outboard positions. Unless the bags are disabled, it is middle position only, which is safer, anyway.
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