A convertible car seat saves parents money and “The First Years: True Fit” seat is a convertible seat priced in an affordable range and produced with the upmost safety standards for peace of mind.
When Lucy was born, I knew I had to purchase a convertible seat for her. All of my babies outgrew their infant seats by around 6 months old. David was too tall for his by 4.5 months old! (It was his large noggin) Since I was going to be placing her in a convertible car seat anyway, why bother with the infant seat? You really can use a convertible car seat straight from the hospital.
Unfortunately, I did not have a First Years True Fit when she came home from the hospital. But it fits David. Lucy and Lizzie very well, is very easy to adjust for different children and is safe for all of them as well.
My review model will be David, since he was in the best mood for the pictures!
Here is the True Fit in my 2003 Honda Odyssey. As you can see, it fits very well and Josh is 6’2 and still has legroom so he can drive. As for side-to-side bulkiness of the seat, it is about mid range. It is not the thinnest model, but also not the bulkiest either. The deep wings are side impact tested to International standards. I feel safe putting all three of my children in this seat.
David turned 2 years old in April of this year, and I am keeping him rear facing until the weight limit of the True Fit – 35 lbs. So far he is 26 lbs so he has at least another year to go. David has always had shorter legs – he has a tall head and torso – so his legs are super comfy in this seat.
One quick issue I do have with this seat – the belt tends to get twisted easily. This is only a problem when someone other than me or Josh puts the belt on David. If you are careful, it isn’t an issue, but can be annoying when you have to straighten the belt.
Quick tip – when rear facing, belts should be at or below the shoulders. When front facing, they should be at or above the shoulders! You can see below how easy it is to make sure they are at the perfect height.
The headrest is removable for babies whose heads do not reach that red line. As you can see, David’s tall head reaches slightly above the line so I have the headrest on for his safety. Removing the headrest is easy – just flip a yellow switch on the back then lift up!
The LATCH system is pretty standard from other seats. You push the red button to release from the hook. Honestly, I appreciate the hook, because trying to get my fingers in there to unlatch it would be a pain. However, when I am putting a seat in the car I prefer to use the seat belt because I am able to get a tighter fit with the seatbelt as opposed to with the LATCH system.
As long as there is less than 1 inch movement in the belt path, your child is safe. So install it in the way that you can do best.
Besides all the safety features, the ease of changing the height of the belt is one of my favorite features of the True Fit! You do not have to unthread the entire seat to change sizes – just pull out on the yellow lever and lift up or down.
Another thing that The First Years made sure to do is put plenty of signage all over this seat. Always read the entire manual when you purchase a new seat – but if you do not have your manual with you, these photos and directions are a huge help.
To tighten or loosen the harness, you reach in front of the seat and pull on the strap or lift up on the lever. This is my favorite way to tighten a harness, but it is not Josh’s. Also, you can see the red, yellow and green window – that is to show if your seat is reclined properly. The red is for forward facing only, yellow and green are for rear facing recline.
I was given the chance to travel from Kansas to North Carolina with Lucy in the First Years True Fit. On the flight to NC, I carried the seat with me on the planes. It fits well on a tiny plane seat. It was pretty bulky when walking across the airport, but I was able to put Lucy in the Ergo and haul it across three concourses on my own, so it was not impossible.
I cannot stress this enough – read the manual! When I got to my taxi cab, I didn’t know how to thread the seat belt through the car seat. It took me much longer than it should have. Turns out that if you simply remove the padding, you will see in bright colors the belt path. So when I thought “dang, this seat is hard to install” I was just doing it wrong.
Seriously, read your manual. This is my review, my experience. When you get a car seat, read the manual front to back and inside out. Make sure your seat is being used properly – and always have your installation double checked by a child passenger safety technician. Not all convertible car seats can be used straight from the hospital. There are so many common errors everyone makes, and one error could be fatal, so please find a CPST to check your seat.
One lucky MamaDweeb reader will win a The First Years True Fit car seat (C650) ARV $180!
Closed: Congrats Lala R!
I received the car seat to review. All opinions are 100% mine.