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Graco 4ever Car Seat – Everything You Need to Know
The Graco 4ever car seat – the only convertible car seat you will need! This incredible car seat will be there for your child on their way home from the hospital until they outgrow the need for it. Graco does a great job instilling trust in parents and keeping our precious children safe. If you are on a hunt for a car seat to grow with your child, this may be the perfect model. Allow us to teach you a little more about the Graco brand, car-seat safety and this unique convertible car seat!
As with most childcare products, convertible car seats are an item that should never be purchased used. There are too many factors that may lessen a seat’s integrity and put your child at risk. It is important to know the history of the model before trusting it with your little one’s safety and a brand-new car seat will offer premium protection! We’ll cover this in detail a little later.
Who is Graco?
Graco has been around for a long time. They got their start in 1942 as a company who fabricated machine and automotive parts. It wasn’t until 1955 when they began their commitment to designing safe and reliable baby products. Their first attempt was an innovative automatic baby swing known as the Swyngnomatic. Graco had such a hit on their hands that they decided to pursue baby-care products full time. Millions of parents around the globe are glad they did and have been enjoying their products for decades!
In 1998, Graco purchased another successful and trusted name in the baby-product market – Century Car Seats. Their first attempt in the car seat world was the popular, SnugRide, which was warmly welcomed by parents. They have since created innovative car seats that has kept their competition on their toes. Graco is an award-winning, baby-product manufacturer who takes child safety and parental convenience very seriously. When you buy Graco, you can be sure you are buying quality along with exceptional support from their customer service team.
Proper Installation and Usage
What good is an All-in-One convertible seat if it is not safe? Manufacturers design these seats to meet and exceed strict regulations but they cannot be effective if the installation is botched. The process is generally universal in modern cars but you should follow the guidelines set by the manufacturer to obtain maximum safety. Keep your manual in a safe place as you will need to refer to it for each position!
Luckily, the Graco 4ever car seat installation is simple thanks to an easy-to-use leveling system. This added convenience gives parents peace of mind, knowing their child’s seat is at the right incline. Be aware of these common mistakes parents make when installing and using a car seat, as reported by the experts at The Mayo Clinic.
- Importance of Placement – Children are safest when their car seats are placed in the back seat. This is because most vehicles only feature airbags in the front, which can be extremely dangerous if activated with a child present. Placing your child’s seat in the middle of the back seat will lessen the chance of risk of injury in case of an impact. If your vehicle only features front-row seating, like a pickup truck, make sure the passenger-side airbag system is disabled.
- All About Angles – When in the rear-facing position, the angle your child’s seat is placed in is extremely important. A proper angle prevents slouching and protects your little one’s head from moving too much while the vehicle is in motion. That’s why the angle indicator on the Graco 4ever car seat is awesome for parents.
- Dressing in Too Much Clothes – We get it, winters can be cold but dressing your child in bulky clothing is dangerous when in a car seat. Harness straps are designed to hold your child close and provide protection to their most important parts, too much clothing can negatively impact the impact they have. Instead, you should dress your child in a light jacket and hat before buckling them in, then tuck a blanket around your child and harness.
- Changing Positions Too Soon – Advancing your child into different phases of car-seat positions early is another dangerous mistake parents tend to make. It is crucial to make sure your child is mature enough and meets the manufacturer’s weight recommendations. Rushing a child along through the different stages creates serious safety hazards.
- Buying Used – We mentioned earlier that buying a used car seat comes with different types of risks if you’re unsure of the model’s history. We’d like to cover that a little more in detail here. The Mayo Clinic suggests completely avoiding a used seat unless:
- The model comes with instructions and a label that clearly shows the manufacture date and model number. Never purchase a car seat that is over six years old as safety standards will have changed drastically.
- It has never experienced a recall. This will take some research on your part to check for any discretion. You can easily find more information on the model at safekids.org. Don’t skip this step!
- It should be free of visible damage or missing parts. Assume that a car seat which shows any sort of damage has not been treated properly by the previous owner. Visible flaws may mean there are also issues with the seat’s structural integrity.
- Make sure it has never been in a moderate or severe crash. This one may be tough to research because an eager seller doesn’t have to disclose this information. A seat that has experienced an impact can be damaged structurally.
Again, we urge you to BUY NEW, but if it isn’t possible financially, make sure you are purchasing from someone you know and trust. Becoming familiar with a car seat’s history is a must before trusting it with your child’s safety!
Age and Weight Guidelines
The Graco All-in-One convertible car seat covers an impressive weight range for each of the seat’s phases. This is the list of recommendations as intended by Graco:
- Rear-facing seat – Your baby can safely sit in this position from 4-40 pounds.
- Forward-facing seat – Toddler time! A child will enjoy this position from 20-65 pounds.
- Booster Seat – In high back belt-positioning mode, your growing kiddo can utilize the 4ever seat from 30-100 pounds.
- Backless Booster – The very last step before your child is ready to sit without any additional support will cover from 40-120 pounds.
Don’t get in a rush to advance your baby’s progress as soon as they reach the minimum requirements of the next phase. Some experts believe you should allow your baby to sit in each position until the unit’s maximum weight is met. Children grow and mature differently, so the decision of when to switch seat positions may differ between families. A car seat is not only a safety device, it should also be used as a training tool to educate children of proper etiquette in the car. Make sure they meet the weight requirements and show a good understanding of how to behave in each stage before advancing.
Here is some additional information from the American Academy of Pediatrics to understand when it’s the right time for your child to make the move.
Infants & Toddlers: Until your child is at least two years old and reaches a manufacturer’s weight recommendations, they should sit in a rear-facing position. This is crucial to protect your child’s developing neck, head and spine in case of an impact.
Toddlers & Preschoolers: Once your child outgrows the weight and height restrictions of a convertible car seat, they can safely sit in the forward-facing position! The AAP says to take advantage of this phase for as long as possible because the next steps offer incredible freedom.
School-Aged Children: It’s time for last stage – the booster seat! While your child is outgrowing their need for a forward-facing seat, make sure they understand the importance of safely behaving in the car. It can be a scary and exciting time when your child is independent (and big!) enough to utilize a booster seat. The AAP states to use a booster until your vehicle’s safety belt fits properly. This usually occurs at the height of 4’ 9” and during the ages of 8-12. Click here to read our review on one of the best 3-in-1 booster car seats
Older Children: When the need for a booster seat is outgrown, children should always use lap and shoulder seat belts for optimum safety. Children under the age of 13 should always ride in the back seat!
Those are the steps you will inevitably take when choosing the Graco 4ever convertible car seat. We love how this single seat can do it all and be there for children every step of the way.
Graco 4ever Car Seat Features
The 4ever convertible car seat comes with some incredible features that have parents talking! Based on Graco 4ever car seat reviews, actual users are finding incredible convenience and comfortability for little ones. Graco did a great job of keeping parents and children in mind when designing this unique seat. Let’s go over a few highlights that have us excited.
The Graco 4ever car seat installation process makes it simple to ensure it is installed properly and meets the safety standards that Graco intended. An easy-to-read leveling indicator shows when the car seat is in the proper position to keep your child safe and comfortable. This leveling system is an awesome tool for parents to eliminate any guesswork during installation. The amazing InRight Latch system also makes installation a breeze with a 1-second Latch attachment.
When we say forever car seat, we mean it! The Graco 4ever car seat begins supporting your child at just four pounds as a rear-facing seat. It then safely converts into each important phase until 120 pounds. All-in-One convertible car seats allow children to gain a sense of familiarity and build a secure bond!
The Graco 4ever car seat also features a no-rethread harness. If you are unfamiliar with this function, let’s look at how it works and adds convenience to your busy life.
A harness acts as a safety belt until your child is the proper age and weight to use a vehicle’s included buckling system. That’s why the position of the harness is crucial to ensure a safe seat for your child.
- No-rethread Harness System: This is a system that eliminates the need for manual harness adjustments. It’s a function that promotes safety and usability as you won’t need to remove the seat in order to position the harness to fit your growing baby. Obtaining the Graco 4ever car seat with the no-rethread harness means your child will be safest and reduces the risk of dangerous mistakes when rethreading. Adjustments are typically made with the help of levers, buttons or knobs.
- Traditional Harness System: A manual system which requires parents to remove the harness to make adjustments that suit a child. While using this system usually isn’t difficult, it does introduce the risk of human error. For instance, if the harness is misrouted into an incorrect position, it will lessen the seat’s ability to provide protection. Some parents who use this method benefit from taking a picture of the threading route before attempting a reroute.
While both methods provide a safe harness for your child, a no-thread system will lower the risk of errors and add convenience during the adjustment phase. We are excited that the Graco 4ever car seat features this function as parents find it much easier to use as it can be performed with one hand while the seat is still in the car.
The subject of safety is one Graco doesn’t take lightheartedly. The 4ever All-in-One car seat is side-impact tested to meet or exceed US safety standards. A steel-reinforced frame gives this model a solid structure that provides incredible durability.
The adjustability included with this model adds even more safety and comfort for your child. Designed to grow with your child, the Graco 4ever car seat features a 6-position recline, giving you multiple options in both rear-facing and forward-facing phases. There is also an important 10-position headrest. Finding the perfect position is easy with so many options!
This roomy seat also includes two large cup holders to hold your child’s belongings. Drinks, snacks and toys will always be within their reach, allowing you to focus on safe driving rather than reaching to the backseat when they insist on an item!
Another great feature parents love is the removable seat cover. If you haven’t noticed yet, children love making a mess. Whether they spill their drinks or decide their crayons would look better on the armrest than their coloring book, it’s simple to clean the fabric to its original condition.
We feel introducing the Graco 4ever All-in-One convertible car seat to your growing family will provide you with many advantages on your adventure of parenthood. We also like the price tag! At an average cost of $300, this one-time investment will become an affordable staple in your child’s life!
The Bottom Line
Graco 4ever car seat reviews prove that this model is a huge success. We dove deep into real reviews by consumers to analyze if this convertible car seat is as awesome as the manufacturer says. Take a look at what actual parents are saying about it!
When dissecting Graco car seat reviews, we scour for comments about safety, as that is our biggest concern as parents. We were impressed to learn that parents who had the misfortune of experiencing an accident with their child in the car had nothing but great things to say. These sometimes-dreary accounts of a traffic incident brightened up when parents began praising the Graco 4ever car seat for keeping their child safe and sound. That goes to show you how utilizing an impact-tested car seat, properly, can make a huge difference in the outcome of an accident.
Reviewers found that the installation was a simple and straightforward process. The addition of the easy-leveling indicator gave parents a great reference tool to make sure their seat was positioned correctly. Adjustments are also easily accomplished, especially when preparing the seat for the next phase when your child is ready.
Comfort and convenience are other factors that parents should look for when choosing a car seat. Graco car seat reviews show that parents find the fabric to be soft on their children’s skin and the cushioned seat to be a comfortable place that makes sitting through car rides possible. Anyone who has made a road trip (or sometimes just a five-minute drive to the grocery store) with a young child knows that if they’re uncomfortable, they’ll let you know! Most parents who have upgraded to the Graco 4ever convertible car seat are finding that their children are much more comfortable than they were in their previous seat.
There were a few negative reviews concerning how their children seem to become hot and sweaty when in the seat for long periods of time. We don’t feel that it is a huge issue as only a handful of parents were experiencing this problem. Perhaps, it has more to do with the actual temperature inside the cabin of their vehicle than problems with the seat.
It appears this convertible car seat is great for nearly every vehicle – large or small! Even owners of smaller vehicles are finding that the seat fits great and provides ample room for their children and the passenger in front of them. Some forever seats are built a bit bulkier to accommodate a growing child’s weight, but it seems Graco figured out how to build durability into a product that only requires a small footprint.
One small nuance several parents had was an annoying rattling noise the headrest makes in certain positions. The complaints were so few and far between that we’re not sure if it’s a common issue or if these specific units were maybe built with a defect. Either way, Graco’s awesome customer service proved to be exceptional by offering to replace the 4ever seat or refund their customer’s money.
Our Graco 4ever Car Seat Review
We’ve covered a lot of ground here – safety, installation, features and reviews from others. Now, it’s our turn to tell you why we think your growing family will love this Graco 4ever All-in-One Convertible Car Seat.
Purchasing anything with the Graco name on it, means you can trust it with keeping your children safe. The price tag of about $300 may be a bit steep for certain budgets but considering it will be the only car seat you need and having the ability to be confident in its safety features, we feel that it is a small price to pay.
We are also big fans of the convenience Graco crammed into one unique package! The Simply Safe Adjust Harness System adjusts in only one motion. Plus, the different recline and headrest positions add the luxury of ultimate comfort for your child.
A forever car seat can give you the most bang for your buck due to its longevity. With proper care, the Graco 4ever car seat will remain in your child’s life until they are 120 pounds! Kids grow fast and this seat will be there for them until they are ready to sit without its assistance. It’s awesome when a child can build a sense of familiarity and security with a product they will use daily.
So, is the Graco 4ever convertible car seat the best option for you? We feel that it meets or exceeds every factor that parents should consider when shopping.
Affordable? Great value!
We feel that this convertible car seat will make a great addition to families who are preparing for their little one’s arrival or those who want to make an upgrade to their current car seat. You won’t regret going with this awesome product from Graco. Consider getting one of your own today…then be sure to tell us what you think!