The last time we were shopping for carseats, A was only 10 months old. As a large baby, she was already outgrowing our ability to carry her in the infant carseat. If you figure 25lbs of baby and 10lbs of carseat, that's a hefty load! We needed to buy her convertible carseats just so that we could leave one in each car and carry just the baby.
Our thoughts, when purchasing our last carseats, were that we would probably not have another child needing the convertible until A was ready for a booster. WRONG! A is still large for her age, but M is just so close in age that they both can fit into the Alpha-Omega carseats we had purchased for A. A, also, is too young for a booster, at 3 years old.
SO, we were off to buy new carseats. This time, we were certain that we could buy a front-facing convertible BOOSTER rather than a convertible carseat. There are so many factors to consider, though! It's like taking a gamble because you can't predict how your child is going to grow. Will she hit the weight or height limit for the harness first? Will she be ready for a lap belt positioner by the time M needs the booster? Will the belt positioner last her much longer than the harness? It's all a gamble.
We will likely have to play this game again in about 3-4 years when it's time for A to move to a non-harness booster. Sheesh.
For those who want to know, we went with the Evenflo Maestro. It is front-facing only, but does 5pt harness to 50lbs and has the highest harness slots on the market for under $150. We bought it at the Kohl's Safety Store in the UW Hospital's American Family Children's Hospital. It's a great place to shop if you're in the area.