carseat: 3pt vs 5pt harness?

Hello everyone! Dh and I are getting ready to buy our first infant carrier. I keep seeing some that have 3 pt harnesses, and some that have a 5pt harness. Whats the difference and does it really matter? Please help us here! I'm trying to find info on the web, but sometimes thats hard to do! Our car had the latch system if that makes a difference..........Thanks!


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Yes it matters......the 5 point harness is safer. My understanding of that the safety lies in that it provides more control for a baby who lacks their own control. I dunno if you've ever seen a baby buckled into one versus the other......my daughter was in a 3 point when she was an infant 5 years ago and we got a 5 point for this one and, IMO, the difference is very noticable, how much more secure in the seat they are.


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A five point harness provides 5 points of contact with babe's body, whereas a 3 point, only provides three. The more points of contact, the better, in my understanding.


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Ditto what the others said, but I just wanted to mention that you might want to find the most recent issue of Consumer Reports that covered car seats, as it gives safety ratings and information. I copied it from my local library -- I just went to the reference desk and told them I wanted the Consumer Reports with the carseat ratings.


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I didn't know they still made 3-pt harnesses.
I'm pretty sure that here at least it now needs to be a 5-pt harness to meet safety standards (in carseats at least), and if it doesn't meet the safety standard it is illegal to use. Therefore you'd have a really hard time even buying one with a 3-pt.
Go 5, you can never be too safe when it comes to cars and your baby! :)


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thanks everyone! yes, they still make the three point harness, thats what all of the car seats at our three wal marts are. they have a couple online that are five point. i think we're just going to go with the one at target thats a five point. you would be surprised how many 3 pt harness seats there are. they totally meet the current safety standards, but yes, i agree, we might as well get the five point. thanks :)


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I will only ever buy a 5-pt harness.


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Moving this to Life with a Babe. You may get more responses. :hippie


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I believe they only make the 3 pt in the "bucket style". Either way, get a 5 pt, it's by far safer. I am a big believer in getting the best car seat you can, your baby will survive in second hand clothes, and doesn't need a fancy swing, but a car seat could potentially save your childs life, get the best one you can. I'll get off my soap box now.


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I don't have an issue with our 3 point infant seat. The other 2 points are at the hips - when DS was very tiny - first 2 weeks - we put a rolled up blanket between his legs to keep them from sneaking around the harness.
I've been shopping for a convertable seat. The BEST source for info I found was the discussison board for the Baby Bargains book. They have an entire forum on car seats.
The boards here are good, too, but threads are few & far between.
HTH :wave


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In addition to agreeing with the others about 5 point harnesses, I would also recommend looking into one with a top tether as well. It anchors the seat at the other end, making it safer. I know Britax was the first to start them, but I think there are others that make them now.
Bec


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Originally posted by bec
In addition to agreeing with the others about 5 point harnesses, I would also recommend looking into one with a top tether as well. It anchors the seat at the other end, making it safer. I know Britax was the first to start them, but I think there are others that make them now.
Bec
Are you referring to the tether that would attach to the 'tether bolt' in the car? All forward facing car seats in Canada are required to have these.....not sure when this came about tho. They're only used once the seat is forward facing, but you a re TOTALLY right. They do make the seat safer overall.


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Originally posted by pumpkinhead
Are you referring to the tether that would attach to the 'tether bolt' in the car? All forward facing car seats in Canada are required to have these.....not sure when this came about tho. They're only used once the seat is forward facing, but you a re TOTALLY right. They do make the seat safer overall. Britax's seats tether rear-facing also, making them more stable in the car. I think that's what she meant.


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Originally posted by boingo82
Britax's seats tether rear-facing also, making them more stable in the car. I think that's what she meant.
You are correct. I have two 3 year old Britax Roundabouts, and they tether front and rear facing. Finding a place to tether it to while rear-facing is another challenge, but they do have an extra strap to help strap it to the runner of the front seat.

Bec


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Another thing to consider is whether or not you need the baby carrier style seat and how large your baby is likely to be. With ds, we had the loan of a snap in carrier style infant seat (from cousins, so we knew it had not been in a crash--would never buy a used one!) and used the carrier only a few times.
The usual car seat progression is something like infant carrier up to 20 pounds, then convertible or larger seat up to about 40 pounds, then a third larger seat or booster.
This pregnancy, we've decided to put the baby in ds's Britax Roundabout and get a Britax Husky for ds because we'll be buying fewer car seats and ds will be in a five point harness longer.
Best of luck,
Sarah


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We had the money to buy just one carseat, so we got the Britax Marathon b/c it will last up to 65 lbs and rear-faces up to 33lbs. If that wouldn't have fit in my car (1994 Infiniti G20) we would've gotten the Roundabout. I've heard from too many people whose infant seats only lasted 4 months before being outgrown, so we figured we'd get a nice convertible from the start.

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