I’ve been asked so many questions about our car seat choices, car accessories, positioning the car seats, what kind of car we have, etc. I decided to finally spill all of the info in one post, so here we go!
What kind of car seats do you have?
Before the girls were born, I picked out the Maxi Cosi Mico Max 30 to start with. We loved it so much (like, a little too much…it took me FOREVER to finally switch from an infant to a convertible car seat) that I knew I wanted to stick with Maxi Cosi for our next seats. I debated a bit between the Magellan and the Pria, but ultimately decided on the Magellan. I LOVE it!!! I feel like it’s so comfortable for the girls, so sturdy, and so safe. I also love that it comes in all-black, cause I’m all about all-black everything for my baby gear! You’ll notice that with our car seats, strollers, playards, wagon, etc.
What made you pick the car seat that you did?
There are several features I loved about the Maxi Cosi Magellan 5-in-1 Convertible Car Seat when I was looking to buy. The first is obvious – it’s literally 5 in 1. The car seat adapts and adjusts to fit a kid from birth to 10 YEARS OLD. You can even hide away the harness to turn it into a booster seat, so I will never have to buy another car seat. I also love how easy it is to remove/wash the fabric (you don’t even have to rethread the harness), love that it reclines easily/smoothly, and I love the cupholders (also easy to remove and throw in the dishwasher). I get soooo grossed out by dirty baby gear and baby cars, so it’s really important to me to be able to clean things without too much hassle. On the safety side, I love the adjustable torso side impact protection and it’s super easy to install safely.
Is the Maxi Cosi hard to tighten?
This is so weird to me – I get this question SO much, and I also read some reviews that mentioned this. I wonder if it’s something Maxi Cosi fixed, because both of our seats are super easy to tighten, even with the tight fit in our smaller car. The ease of the straps to loosen, buckle, and then tighten is one of my favorite things about the seat, and we do that every time we take the girls in and out. If you’re going to get this seat, I’d recommend checking that as soon as you get it just to make sure, and make sure you understand how to loosen/tighten it before you get frustrated!
Why do you have one on the side and one in the middle?
This is another question I get every single time I post a photo or video of the girls in the car. We do this mainly because the car seat tech we learned from in the NICU told us that it’s the safest option. For obvious reasons, the middle is the very safest because it’s further from possible impacts on either side. The second safest spot is behind the passenger seat, because since we drive on the right side of the road that’s the side least likely to be hit. Other perks of putting the seats this way: I can sit in the back with them if I need to feed/entertain/soothe them, and there’s not a car seat directly behind the driver’s seat which gives Blake more room if he’s driving (he’s 6’4″ so he needs all the leg room he can get!)
Is it hard to get her out of the middle seat? Do you walk around to the other side to do it?
Sometimes, and usually ;). If the girls are feeling cooperative then it’s a breeze getting them in and out of their seats. If they’re feeling like crazy toddlers, that’s another story ;).
What kind of car do you have?
I have a 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan. Don’t get me started talking about it because I love it SO much and I’ll never stop! Ha! It’s a perfect car for me right now. I didn’t want anything too big because we spend so much time driving on the freeway, but wanted to feel safer and more comfortable than I did in a sedan. The year we bought it, they made the Tiguan a little bigger/longer than the previous model, so there’s actually a 3rd seat and room for luggage. Disclaimer – the third seat is very small and only acceptable/comfortable for children. I know because I always seem to be the one who gets stuck back there when we need to use it ;). The Tiguan also has an amazing safety rating and technology that makes me feel so good about it – sometimes I swear my car drives itself! I also love that there’s actually a larger space between the seats and the side of the car, which helps with side impact and is right where the girls’ seats are. I joke with Blake that I will never get another car…except maybe the next Tiguan ;).
What are those mirrors you have that make it so you can see the babies?
I just ordered some on Amazon – these are the ones I got. I’ve really liked them, and they’re only $15! I used to have two up, but we’ve since replaced one with the tablet. One mirror actually works fine to see both babies if it’s angled right!
What toys or activities do you recommend in the car?
I swore I’d never be a mom who let my kids have bottles/snacks in the car because I didn’t want a dirty car, but here we are! 😉 It keeps them happy, so I just try to clean my car…a lot. I also rotate toys at home, so if I know we are going to be in the car for a while I’ll grab a toy out of the closet that they haven’t seen in a while. I also always make sure to bring some of their favorite books, or a couple of new ones I’ve been saving ;). If we stop somewhere that has something cheap/little I know they’ll love and I’m desperate, I’ll buy it. Also….screen time. Yep, we do screen time – see the next question…
Do you allow screen time in the car?
Yes, yes I do. We find ourselves in LA traffic a lot, and also road trip fairly often. (Let’s be honest, driving between Orange County and LA during rush hour is basically it’s own road trip!) We bought two of these tablets (they come bundled for a discount) and love them! Such a good price, and I love that they come with the rubber covers. We downloaded some of the girls favorite (and in my opinion, educational!) shows for them to watch offline while we are driving.
How do you keep them entertained on road trips?
We try to time naps/sleep so that they can sleep as much as possible, but lately we’ve been having a really hard time getting them to sleep in the car! So we rely on my answers to the above two questions – snacks, new toys, and screen time. Oh and country music – they LOVE country music ;).
Why did you wait so long to upgrade them to a bigger car seat?
Another one I get a lot. Biggest reason is because it was easier/safer for me when I’m alone to be able to buckle them in their car seats in the house and then have them contained to carry out to the car. I was terrified to have one or two toddlers loose in my driveway, parking lots, or the street. Another reason is because they were still way under the weight limit where the infant seats would no longer be safe. And to be really honest, another reason is that car seats are expensive, and buying two at once can be painful ;). I think we made the switch at exactly the right time. While the girls are still light-weights, they are long and skinny and they’re happy to have a little more room to stretch out in their new seats! They also love the cup holders and I can tell feel like big, important toddlers in them! Also, my back was starting to have a tough time carrying/heaving those infant seats into the car with how big they’d gotten!
When will they switch from rear-facing to forward-facing?
Ahhh, for some reason I can’t wait for this! I think the girls are going to be SO much happier. I plan to wait until they are at least two, which is what’s recommended. At that point I’ll check their weight and make sure we are good to go, which I’m sure we will be!
What’s the best car seat for newborns/0-2 years?
We LOVED our Maxi Cosi Mico Max 30s, and also loved that it was compatible with our favorite stroller.
Do you use anything to keep the car seats cooler in the summer?
No, but I do think the fabric on the Maxi Cosi Magellan is really great for this reason – seems to be somewhat cooling! But I’d love to hear if any other mamas have ideas on this one!
Hope that was helpful! I know buying car seats (and cars for that matter) is a big decision, so I figure the more you can talk to someone who’s been through it, the better!