Car seats are a hot topic among many mommy groups. There are so many different factors to consider: the type of vehicle, size of child, height and weight limits, rear-facing limits, measurements of vehicle, height of the person sitting in front of the car seat, available leg room, portability, safety ratings, price, usability – and probably way more that I haven’t even thought of – that all contribute to “the decision.”
Online reviews were a huge help in confirming which seats I wanted to purchase, which is why I’m really excited to provide a review of the Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Convertible car seat!
As I was reading the manual, I was happy to see that this car seat requires the child to be a minimum of 2 years old to be forward facing. I’m glad that some car seat manufacturers are implementing extended rear facing! I’m blessed that Sweet Pea has no problem sitting that way so I will continue do so for as long as humanly possible. After seeing slow-motion videos on what actually happens in a car crash, I kind of wish I was sitting rear-facing as well!
This car seat goes above the standard 35 lb limit for rear-facing and allows rear-facing between 5-40 lbs and up to 40 inches. Forwards facing limits are 22-65 lbs, and the Grow and Go can also be used as a booster seat for up to 100 lbs. I really like how this is an investment that will last several years because – well, multipurpose items are just smarter and more economical! If I can spend just a little more money to avoid purchasing a separate item altogether, I’ll take it! How old are 100 lb kids, anyway? (I can’t think about Sweet Pea being that big… she’ll stay a baby forever, right??)
For the little little ones, the seat has extra cushioning at the back, sides and headrest to keep your squish, squished.
What are those grey bits on the sides? Well, these are genius and have pretty much alleviated the stress I have with putting my kid into the car seat. They have built in harness holders.
When I undo the buckle, I just lock them into the harness holders so that Sweet Pea can come out without getting her arm caught in the straps. Then, when she goes back in, they’re already prepped so that I just have to place her on the seat and lock her in. No more reaching to grab the straps and risk twisting them behind her where I can’t see (which is surprisingly common if the chest clip slides over a twist in the strap), and if she’s having one of her crying fits because she doesn’t want to leave the park just yet, it’s that much easier to get her into the seat. I wish I had these when she was even younger because man, those flailing arms!!!
The Safety 1st Grow and Go car seat is designed to stay with your child from 5 lbs to 100 lbs. Obviously, that’s a long time and the cover is gonna get dirty. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to completely remove the seat cover.
It comes apart in several pieces that are connected with metal snaps. The snaps are placed close to the strap openings so that you don’t have to take apart the car seat just because your little one spilled some juice on it. All pieces are machine washer and dryer safe, so put those scrub-boards away!
I actually didn’t know that my current car seat cover could be washed, so I googled how I would go about doing that. Yyyyyeah – I actually got a mild panic attack because it involves removing the straps and the belt buckle from the seat, along with a piece of foam tucked into the cover itself. I don’t know about you, but I want to mess with the components of a child safety car seat as much as I want to rewire a floor lamp every time I turn it on. It’ll probably be okay, but there’s just that little nagging voice in my head wondering “are you SURE you did it right??”
Anyways… it was easy to remove the cover on the Grow and Go and just as easy to instinctively replace it without having to refer to the manual. No panic attacks here. Spill away, child… spill away.
As your child grows, it’s extremely easy to adjust the seat to accommodate. The two levers at the top are connected to the headrest and the strap openings, so they both raise up in unison as part of their “QuickFit Harness System.
I really tried to hold back the tears as I imagined that one day, Sweet Pea would be that big.
As you can see in the back, there are locking grooves for each height setting and the bar carries the straps along with it without interference.
I installed the Grow and Go into my minivan using LATCH. Safety 1st says that the seat takes up less space in the back seat, allowing up to seven inches of extra room in the front. This is where my passenger seat usually sits and normally just grazes the back of Sweet Pea’s car seat. You can see how much extra room is available in the fully reclined, #3 position. I’m also 5’2″ and have a 30″ inseam so I’m no leggy flamingo that’s for sure. I do leave myself a comfortable amount of leg room, but if your passenger is much taller then you might want to test this out before fully committing. Of course this is in the fully reclined position meant for little ones who can’t sit upright unassisted, so if you’re able to recline less at positions #2 and #1, then this may not be an issue.
The one thing I found difficult about installation was trying to tighten the LATCH straps completely. There are two red guides that the straps need to be fed through before securing the seat. I found that these kind of “trap” the slack and can mislead you into thinking that the straps are tight enough, when there is actually some slack hiding outside of those guides. I had to go in and inch the straps along several times before it was properly tightened. A little frustrating, but it requires you to pay extra extra attention to the tightness of the seat, which can’t hurt, right?
I installed the Grow and Go into my parents’ crossover SUV and found that there wasn’t any adjustment needed to the passenger seat, although I inherited my Mom’s height and she stands at 5’3″. I got my Dad – who stands 6’2″ – to sit in the passenger seat and he was actually really comfortable! He had ample leg room and didn’t feel like he was “settling” for the room available.
Here is my 32 1/2″ tall androgynous baby being a ham in her car seat! It’s really easy to get her to smile if you just ask to see her teeth. Sneaky mom over here! She loves those cup holders and will have ample room to Grow and Go with her convertible car seat. I like how those cup holders don’t require me to get a separate tray accessory just to hold snacks and drinks. No more fishing behind my seat because she decided she wanted to see how gravity worked! (Update: Nope. She’s still curious about gravity.)
The Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 convertible car seat is a practical, comfortable and easy to use car seat. I love how it can go from infant to booster seat, making it a smart investment. It exceeds Federal Safety Standards and requires children to be rear-facing until they are at least two years old. My favourite feature has to be the easy on/off washable seat cover which takes quite a bit of stress off the idea of having to clean it since there is no taking apart the harness!
It is available on the Babies R Us website for $279.99 CAD.
Thanks for reading!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Dorel Juvenile. I received a free sample of the product for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my honest and my own!