Graco Milestone – Everything You Need To Know
Do you find yourself looking for the perfect all in one car seat to suit your growing family? Choosing the Graco Milestone answers every demand parents have, to keep our children safe and comfortable while in the car. This affordable seat by Graco averages around $230 and will make a wonderful companion to your precious child.
When looking for a car seat, it’s a good idea to create a checklist which includes everything you are looking for. Consider, height and weight recommendations, price, extra features and manufacturer safety standards. This will not only help you narrow down contenders, but it can also help you save money by avoiding features that aren’t necessary to your family.
Another aspect to consider is the lifespan you want to get out of your car seat. You can save money initially by purchasing a rear-facing infant seat. However, when your child is ready for the next phase, it means buying a completely new model. This is when the investment may get out of hand! If you are looking for a car seat that will grow with your child as they mature – we think you will love the Graco Milestone all in one car seat!
All About Graco
Getting to know the manufacturer of a car seat is just as important as researching models to make sure it fits your lifestyle. Graco has been creating awesome baby products for decades. It was 1953, when engineer, Rex Thomas decided to make parenting easier with intuitive, durable and safe resolutions.
It took nearly a year and a half but Thomas, along with his business partner, David Saint, created the first automatic baby swing – the Swyngomatic.
The creation quickly caught fire, exploding expectations of how many they would actually sell. Graco estimated that they would ultimately sell 10,000 units. You can imagine their excitement when millions of Swyngomatics found themselves in homes across America. It was clear the company had to continue their innovations.
While continuing to set industry standards over the next several decades, it was 1987 when Graco would create another product that competitors quickly began imitating. Son of one of the original inventors of the Swyngomatic, Nate Saint, launched the first Graco Pack N’ Play Portable Playard. We’re sure you are familiar with this product and may have even played in one when you were a kid! They are an incredibly popular item that parents rely on.
According to Graco, with every new product, they raise the bar and pioneer innovation. This can be plainly seen in their awesome Travel System. Moms and dads could effortlessly click their child’s car seat onto a stroller frame.
When you buckle your child into the Graco Milestone 3 in 1 car seat, you can be sure the seat has been thoroughly tested and built with durability. The manufacturer owns and operates their own crash test facility in Atlanta, Georgia. In-house testing ensures Graco car seats will perform to their own safety standards, which meet or exceed the US Safety standard guidelines.
Graco car seats are constantly receiving high praise and awards from reputable organizations. We firmly stand behind the Graco Milestone all in one seat and know you will be completely satisfied with the durability and functionality of this awesome effort from Graco.
Taking Safety Seriously
While buckling your child into a Graco Milestone seat gives your child great leverage in safety during a car accident, it can’t do its job unless it is used properly. We hope these safety tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will help you in keeping your child safe.
- Read the Entire Manual – Study your owner’s manual for information about properly installing the seat, height and weight limits and how to use the vehicle’s restraint components with the seat.
- Don’t Advance Too Soon – Allow your child to completely outgrow each stage of the car seat. Even if they meet the recommended weight to switch to forward-facing, high-back booster or backless booster, make sure they have phased out its previous stage. The longer they get to spend in each position benefits their safety and their behavior in the seat.
- Professional Installation – While manufacturers are making car-seat installation easier than ever, it is a good idea to have it inspected by an expert. Visiting your local inspection station allows a professional technician to deem the car seat safe to use. They will even show you how to install it properly if they do notice errors.
A car seat is your child’s number one defense during an accident. Take proper care during installation, maintenance and inspecting for wear to enhance safety.
Your owner’s manual will display the location of your seat’s expiration date. Make sure to note this critical date and safely dispose of the unit as soon as it is reached. Try to disassemble the different components or clearly mark it as expired to dissuade other parents from attempting to introduce it to their children.
In addition to the previous tips, we also recommend never buying a used car seat. Without knowing the history of a model, you could be putting your child’s life in danger. Seats that have been through an accident may have irreversible damage that impacts the structural durability, and ultimately, it’s effectiveness during a crash.
A child’s safety is the most important thing to parents. Our precious children rely on us to make the right decisions each time we buckle them up for a ride. By understanding the manufacturer’s expectations for installation, regular care and weight recommendations, you will know your child is safe in their Graco Milestone!
While researching the Graco Milestone convertible car seat, you may come across reports of a recall for models manufactured between July 2015 and October 2015. It is important to understand this recall only affected models due to missing information on their label, not due to a safety issue!
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration makes it mandatory that car seats note, “Secure this child restraint with the vehicle’s child restraint anchorage system, if available, or with a vehicle belt.” This information is there to ensure all safety measures are understood by parents trusting the seat with their children’s security.
This oversight affected over 8,000 Graco Milestone child seats but the issue has since been corrected. According to the Office of Defects Investigation Enforcement, affected model numbers are:
These labels are prominently featured on the back of each unit on a neat label which also shows the manufacturing date, model number, expiration date and contact info for Graco. Check periodically that your label is in good shape, and all information is easily visible. It is also a good idea to snap a picture or record the data on paper, for future reference.
If you receive a Graco Milestone with the label lacking this important data, contact Graco at 1-800-345-4109 to request a new label that contains the updated information.
Also, if you are already enjoying the convenience of the Graco Milestone all in 1 car seat, be sure to check its model number to see if it is part of the recall. This is where registering all the important baby products your child relies on for safety, proves to be necessary.
Registering means you will be kept up to date on serious issues like recalls as soon as a manufacturer announces it. Quickly correcting errors can be lifesaving.
In Depth Look at the Graco Milestone
If you are planning to invest a fair amount of money into a convertible seat that will last your child’s entire need for one, you can’t go wrong with the Graco Milestone all in one car seat. The reputable manufacturer has crossed all their t’s and dotted their i’s to ensure parents are gaining extreme convenience and children are acquiring a safe housing to rest in while they travel.
Here, we take a deeper look at the features Graco has included and how they perform in the real world based on Graco Milestone reviews from actual users. This seat averages at around $230 and we think it is a fair price for the amount of time it will be relevant in your child’s life as well as the great features it includes.
Get out your car seat checklist and let’s cover every last detail of the Graco car seat Milestone, together!
From Birth to Booster
When you add the Graco Milestone all in one convertible car seat to your back seat, it could be the last one you’ll ever need! This incredibly durable seat supports children beginning at only 5 pounds and gradually converts to different positions until your child reaches 100 pounds. Here are the exact weight recommendations as intended by Graco:
- Rear-Facing Infant Seat – Weights from 5-40 pounds.
- Forward-Facing Car Seat – Weights from 20-65 pounds.
- Belt-Positioning Booster – Weights from 30-100 pounds.
If you notice the weights overlapping and wonder if you can switch your child to the forward-facing position as soon as they reach 20 pounds, the answer is no. This is so important, that we’ll again mention the safety tips from the NHTSA we listed above. Your child should remain in each stage until the maximum weight is reached, not when they reach the minimum limit of the next stage.
Allowing your child to remain in each position for as long as possible is beneficial when it comes to the safety of the little ones who inhabit the seats.
According to a study performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 46% of car and booster seats are misused in a way that could reduce their effectiveness. Often times this is caused during the install process.
Thankfully, the Graco Milestone installation is made simple by adding their innovative InRight LATCH attachment. This awesome feature makes it easy to achieve a one-second install with an audible click, that you will soon associate with securely buckled anchors.
It is also designed to keep straps free from twisting, which can make the safety the seat offers less effective. Even though the lower-anchor system does most of the work, monitor the position of the straps during an install to ensure nothing is becoming tangled. The Graco Milestone Isofix, meets the international standard for attachment points for child safety seats in passenger cars.
Parents found the tether straps very responsive to tightening during an install. Some seats of lesser quality sometimes resist until you find yourself jamming a knee (and all of your weight) into the seat. This is not the recommended way to perform and install and can leave lasting damage to the structural integrity of a unit!
Long-Lasting Internal Harness
Safer Car defines a harness as straps that keep the child in the car seat and distributes crash forces. An internal five-point harness transfers dangerous crash force from the harness to the rigid points of the body and into the seat. It is crucial in offering premium protection to the softer parts of a baby’s growing body, like their abdomens.
The Milestone Graco allows children to ride in the rear-facing position while safely buckled into a harness, as well as in the forward-facing position, up to 65 pounds.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, for larger children, a forward-facing seat with a harness is safer than a booster. We love that the Graco Milestone car seat gives parents the ability to keep children safe in a harness instead of transitioning to the three-point harness a vehicle’s safety belt system provides.
Many Options in Crotch-Buckle Positioning
The Graco Milestone features three different crotch-buckle positions. They are located 5, 6, and 7 inches away from the back of the seat and make switching positions easier than ever, thanks to Graco!
Once your child has outgrown the lower buckle – lift the cover to find the slots used to make the transition. The straps can be easily weaved throughout positions using a unique path featured on the model.
According to the Graco Milestone 3 in 1 manual, the lower anchor strap must always lie in front of the buckle when rear facing.
More Safety Features
We went into detail of how important safety is to the Graco brand. They have continued to impress by creating best-in-class features that leaves their competitors scrambling to keep up. The Graco Milestone all in one convertible car seat includes many of the great safety features they have created.
Safety Surround is one of Graco’s most popular safety features. It is essentially added thickness of Expanded Polystyrene Foam (EPS) that lowers the impact experienced from a side-impact collision. The Graco Milestone safety Surround was built to exceed European standards, as United States side-impact regulations aren’t quite as strict.
The Simply Safe Adjust Harness System is another feature that obtains higher safety levels in addition to keeping children comfortable! In one swift motion, parents can adjust the height of the harness and headrest. It is convenient for parents because it can be achieved with one hand. How many times do parents of young children have both hands free at the same time?!
The Graco Milestone all in one car seat is built with a steel-reinforced frame to provide durability and strength. This seat also went through the rigorous testing Graco requires to ensure it will remain durable and secure in the event of an accident.
The Graco Milestone 3 in 1 didn’t skimp on comfort for the children they hold.
An included plush insert is available to keep your infant close and secure while they travel in rear-facing mode. Easily remove the insert when your child outgrows it.
Even without the infant insert, this seat is comfortable! Parents find their little ones appearing relaxed and content when traveling the highways. This is partly due to the 4-position recline which helps keep growing children comfy in all the positions it offers.
The recline function is achieved by an easily accessed handle located on the front of the unit. Much more convenient than some models which offer a recline from the rear.
Older children will love the removable cup holder. It gives them the freedom to store their favorite drink, snacks or toys to accompany them on long road trips or drives down the block. A few parents are disappointed that the model doesn’t have a second cupholder but we don’t feel that this small detail should be a deal breaker.
Graco Thought of You Too, Mom and Dad!
While the seat was designed with a child’s safety and comfort in mind, Graco was still able to include awesome features that parents can appreciate.
In order to reduce the amount of clutter in your car, the Graco Milestone all in 1 car seat features an integrated harness storage compartment to maintain the harness straps while the seat is being used in the belt positioning, booster car seat mode.
It also offers a handy storage area located in the back of the seat for the owner’s manual. It’s a good idea to keep this important document close by.
Graco Milestone seats with safety surround that were built in late 2014, offer parents an innovative leveling system that makes installation foolproof. Taking on a similar design of a household leveling tool, you must align a ball in a designated section to ensure your seat is installed properly.
Older models will feature a label that instructs you on positioning. We love when manufacturer’s give extra guidance to parents to assist in safely installing a car seat. It truly shows they want to give us every advantage in protecting our children, even if they can’t be present to perform the install themselves!
We are big fans of convertible car seats that allow parents to machine wash the seat cushion. Why? Because kids love being messy! When your cushion is washable, parents are less hesitant to take kiddos to the places where the messes are made, like parks, zoos and let’s be honest…even dinner!
There is no worry of damaging the integrity of the seat cushion as it can be easily removed to thoroughly clean, on the delicate cycle.
Here are some other care and maintenance tips for the Graco Milestone car seat from Graco themselves:
- Metal and plastic parts may be cleaned with mild soap and cool water.
- Buckle can be cleaned with a damp cloth.
- Harness straps must be spot cleaned.
Don’t worry about the mess, mom and dad! Instead, spend your limited free time witnessing the wonder of your children as they experience the world they are suddenly a part of. This journey will be messy and the no-hassle maintenance of the Graco Milestone means cleanup is easy!
What Parents Are Saying
As with all our product guides, we spend a great deal of time scouring through reviews left by real parents. We aim to express the great features as well as expose the issues that a manufacturer may not be so quick to talk about. The good news with the Graco Milestone with safety surround, is that there are not many unhappy customers!
Proven when Tested
While we hope you never have to test the performance of the Graco Milestone during an accident, it’s your duty to be as informed and prepared as possible. We were content to have been informed that those parents who did experience this terrifying event, had their children walk (or crawl) away unscathed.
Remember to follow these recommendations from the NHTSA regarding the disposal of your car seat if an accident is considered moderate or severe. Check with your vehicle-insurance company to inquire if your seat is covered under your policy. A lot of providers consider a car seat a part of your vehicle and will provide a replacement if one is deemed totaled.
Graco stresses the comfort features they packed into their design of the Milestone, and parents are finding it to be completely factual. Whether children are fastened in with the included plush-infant insert or riding with the base cushion alone, they are peaceful and relaxed when traveling.
Parents are thrilled with having the ability to adjust the harness without completely removing the seat. Constantly removing the seat to make these crucial adjustments creates the cause for accidental installation errors.
Like every great product, one is not the perfect option for everyone. Here are some of the negative experiences parents associated with the Graco Milestone all in 1 car seat.
Not Suited for all Backseats
The biggest issue to be raised, concerns Graco Milestone car compatibility.
Reviewers with older vehicles which don’t feature the LATCH anchors, have trouble getting the seat to feel secure. According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, most vehicles manufactured since September 1, 2002, are required to include a LATCH system.
If your vehicle does not have the easy-to-use system, it’s important to check your owner’s manual for proper installation instructions. Most will recommend locking the vehicle’s on-board safety belt by fully extending it, then weave it through the slots to keep a seat secure. Make sure to check your backseat for the LATCH system before you start your search for the perfect seat!
Another issue we noticed with Graco Milestone car compatibility is that is difficult to properly angle unless a seat’s back is completely smooth. Many new vehicles are manufactured with obtuse seats to add attractiveness. While they may look great, they can be a real pain to install a car seat around.
Graco recommends adding rolled-up towels behind the unit to create leverage. While this may be a nuisance, it won’t be an issue with most car seats on today’s market.
Try before you buy! If it is possible, try to give the Graco Milestone a test drive before you make the purchase. Making sure the seat is a good fit for your vehicle is an important step in the process of choosing the perfect car seat for your family.
Our Overall Thoughts
After thorough research of this amazing product and digging through Graco Milestone all in one reviews, we can highly recommend this seat to every growing family.
Graco has blended state-of-the-art safety technology, child comfort and convenience for parents and their little ones! The Graco Milestone’s lightweight structure makes it simple to transfer to different cars while remaining durable. This is thanks to the steel-reinforced frame used to provide extra security for your child..
We also feel that the price point is perfect for the type of car seat you’re investing in. Overall, it is a one-time purchase that will travel through the journey of parenthood with you, while allowing your child to feel secure and comfortable as they grow accustomed to their traveling partner!