Happy Thanksgiving!


We are thankful for our friends, family and all of our wonderful readers who keep their kids safe in the car!  Please have a safe and happy Thanksgiving from CarseatBlog, especially if you are on the road today or tomorrow.


Amazon Black Friday Deals in Baby!

Black Friday Carseat Deals: Evenflo, Graco, Diono, Cosco, Britax and More!

We’ve already been tracking the best Amazon holiday deals on our Deals Blog.  We’re updating it multiple times a day to alert you of any good deals that are below recent average prices.  Check back often for lightning deals, as many times the best deals sell out fast!

Some Black Friday deals at Amazon are already announced, but more are coming!  For timed deals, Amazon Prime and Amazon Mom members get 30-minute early access on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which can make the difference between getting the deal or finding it out-of-stock.  There’s a 30-day free trial, so be sure to subscribe to Amazon Prime now, and give a gift of Amazon Prime to a relative or friend before Black Friday and Cyber Monday!

Without further ado, here are the Black Friday Deals in Baby:

20% Off Evenflo Car Seats (Ends 12/5)

Save 30% or More on Graco Car Seats & Strollers (Ends 11/27)

30% Off Diono Car Seats (Ends 12/5)

Up To 40% Off Select Britax and BOB Car Seats and Strollers (Starts 11/26)

25% or More Off Select Car Seats and Strollers from Britax and BOB (Ends Today!)

25% Off Chicco (Ends 12/5)

Save 20% on Select Disney Products from Cosco (Starts 11/25)

20% Off 4moms Baby Gear (Starts 11/27)

Spend $60, Save $20 on Select Fisher-Price Gear (Ends 11/27)

25% Off Baby-Proofing Products from Safety 1st (Starts 11/27)

Up to 30% Off Select Graco Pack ‘n Plays and Gear (Starts 11/28)

Up to 45% Off Philips Classic Plus Essentials Gift Set (Ends 11/27)


30% OFF Select Clothing, Shoes and More with Promo Code 30BLACKFRI (Starts 11/26)

A complete list of deals in all categories can be found in Amazon’s Black Friday Deals Store

Drive Safely for a Happy Thanksgiving!


Throughout the year, parents are bombarded with messages from traffic safety websites and social media about how to keep yourselves and your kids as safe as possible.  “Keep them in a harness as long as possible”, “The center seat is safest”, “Buy Brand X deluxe carseat”, just to name a few.  The advice comes with the best intentions, but ultimately much of it is just icing on the proverbial cake.  So what is the ingredient list for the actual cake?  It’s simple.

Please, when driving this holiday weekend, there are only two fundamentally critical steps to the keeping-your-family-safe-on-the-road recipe:

  1. Drive unimpaired and undistracted
  2. Make sure all passengers are properly restrained with kids 12 and under in the back seat.

Those two simple steps will reduce your risk of serious injury considerably and are by far the most important things you can do to keep your kids safe.

ThanksgivBam_72dpiRGBAccording to the NHTSA and a recent Forbes article, Thanksgiving is one of the deadliest holidays in terms of fatal crashes.  In 2012, it was the deadliest, more than Christmas or Independence Day.  The main causes?  You guessed it.  Drunk driving and failure to wear a seatbelt.

By all means, we encourage families to keep their kids rear-facing as long as possible in a deluxe carseat in the center of their minivan.  Why not take every precaution?  But just the two critical steps above will save many lives.  And remember, even if you won’t be drinking and driving, someone who is may be swerving at you.  So don’t be looking at your phone or sending a text!

With early snowstorms and cold weather in some areas already, here are a few extra tips:

Please have a safe and happy Thanksgiving and Black Friday from CarseatBlog!

More tips from the NHTSA – Images courtesy of NHTSA.


What Is An All-in-One / 3-in-1 / 4-in-1 Carseat?


Graco 4Ever - StudioAll-in-One. 4-in-1. 3-in-1. Does it all. Last carseat you’ll ever need.

These promises sound exciting, don’t they? After all, you’ve probably shelled out over $100, maybe even close to $300 for a rear-facing only infant seat that only fit your child for about a year and now you have to buy another carseat already. Your kid keeps growing, wouldn’t it be nice to buy only one more carseat and be done with it all? Perhaps.

We need to get some basic terms out of the way since I’ll be addressing them frequently in this article. There are two types of carseats we’ll be discussing: convertible and combination. A convertible carseat is one that rear-faces or forward-faces, so it’s appropriate for newborns through preschoolers generally. A combination carseat is a forward-facing only carseat with a harness that can be removed to become a belt-positioning booster. Sometimes combo seats are called harnessed boosters. It’s all marketing, but the official class of seat is combination.

Let’s discuss what an all-in-one / 3-in-1 / 4-in-1 carseat is. These days it can be a convertible carseat or a combination carseat. An all-in-one carseat is one that “does it all.” This convertible carseat will go from infant to booster: rear-facing, forward-facing, and high-back booster. A 3-in-1 carseat does the same: rear-facing, forward-facing, and high-back booster. But a 3-in-1 carseat can also be a combination seat: forward-facing-only harness, high-back booster, and backless booster. Oh. That’s getting complicated. What about the 4-in-1 carseat? Well, that is a convertible carseat: rear-facing, forward-facing, high-back booster, AND backless booster.

What does one of these seats NOT do? It does NOT have a harness weight limit of 100 or 120 lbs. That’s a very common misconception. The carseat manufacturers are doing a much better job of labeling the boxes for their separate modes, but as you look at the pictures below, I think you’ll see why it’s easy to see why the harness might go to a super high weight limit. It doesn’t.

So we have the convertible vs. combination terminology out of the way and we know what an all-in-one vs. a 4-in-1 carseat is (er, basically the same thing, right?). Now let’s have some practice looking at these seats and their boxes so you know in the store *before* you buy if the carseat is appropriate for your 9 month old (of course, you could always consult our Recommended Carseats List and know which seats are appropriate right now and find one that will work for you!).

Questions to Ask Before You Shop

Does it have a rear-facing belt path? (Only if you are shopping for a rear-facing seat obviously.)

How long do I reasonably expect my child to use this seat?

Do I really want a carseat that I will be using for over 6 years? (Because really, what other piece of baby gear gets used for that long, let alone a safety device?)


The Evenflo Symphony LX is an all-in-one seat. It says so on the labels and on the box. Check out the label: 5-110 lbs. That’s misleading, because it makes you think the harness will take your child from 5-110 lbs., right? Wrong. It’s 5-40 lbs. rear-facing, 22-65 lbs. forward-facing, and 40-110 lbs. as a belt-positioning booster. There is a rear-facing belt path opening under where the child’s legs would sit, so you know it’s a convertible carseat. You could use this carseat from your child’s birth, provided he’s big enough.

Symphony LX box front Symphony LX box side