babies-r-us

Babies R Us: Great Trade-In Event (And How We Fit 5 Carseats In Our Van)

Babies R Us is having their annual Great Trade-In Event through September 18th: bring in any used car seat, stroller, travel system, crib, bed, high chair, or select other items and get 25% off the purchase of a new one! You can bring in any brand for trade in, but the discount is only valid on select brands (see the full list here).

I’ve never thought this was that amazing of a deal, but we actually took advantage of it this year: with baby #5 on the way, we needed to get three carseats that would fit in the back row of our minivan. (It was cheaper to buy three new seats than a new vehicle, for sure!)

We knew it was going to be a tight fit and we needed seats that measured a very specific width, so we weren’t thrilled about ordering seats online since we couldn’t measure them first.

So, even though we probably could have gotten a better deal online, we turned in three used car seats and purchased three new ones that we were able to measure and confirm that they would fit in the back of our van. The peace of mind of knowing they were going to fit was worth a few extra dollars versus the worry that whatever we ordered online wouldn’t fit and we’d have to return them.

And yes, we were able to fit five carseats in our minivan! It helps that we have two kids old enough to sit in boosters (one with a back, one without), so we have two boosters in the back + one forward-facing convertible seat, and then the two captains chairs in the middle of the van hold the other two kids.

Anyway, so for us, the Babies R Us Great Trade-In Event was a great deal for us this year! You can trade in as many items as you want, but no, you can’t stack multiple 25% discounts to get 50%, 75%, or 100% off! :) You do not have to turn in an item from the same category that you want to purchase in – you could, for instance, turn in a stroller and use the 25% discount to purchase a bed.

Get more info on the Babies R Us Great Trade-In Event here.

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  1. how much if you dont mind me asking did they come out to? i was wondering if was worth it over walmart… i bought a converter for our infant last wk $39 i think and a booster type one (has the high back then you can take the back off for booser) for $29…. (had to buy RIGHT AWAY due to being in a car accident) but a friend just mentioned this to me and had me debating for future items :D thanks!!!

    • I just went to look for my receipts and somehow I can’t find them. :( We spent just below $200 for three new seats (one infant, one booster with back, and one forward-facing). I believe the booster with back was around $39 before discount and the infant was around $129 before discount. I do think you would probably be a little cheaper to go at Target or Walmart if you don’t need to choose from a huge selection.

  2. Melissa P. says:

    Congratulations! That pic of you is adorable.

  3. Congratulations!

  4. Goodness! We went through the SAME crazy search and conquer quest when we found out our YOUNGEST would be TWINS (born Jan 2008)…added to three older older brothers (five boys total), we pack ‘em in the same way! hahahaha! MANY blessings to you and yours: and thank you SO much for making this info available to someone who REALLY needs good deals to fill our pantry!

  5. Desiree Whitall says:

    I cannot believe you are having another baby! Not sure how you do it! I went crazy with ONE!

  6. I did the same thing a few years ago – needed to fit three kids in a car. Just a reminder to everyone that last year, Colorado changed some of their car seat & booster seat laws! Now kids up to age 8 (minimum) are to be in a booster seat. It is age 8, 80lbs & 4ft 9in before you can move them out! I can’t remember what changed for car seats, but know a child must be 40lbs & 40 inches to be in a booster seat (with a back). Backless boosters come with more height & weight – should be on the packaging of the chairs you buy.
    Yes, we still have 3 kids in a 5 passenger car & all in booster or car seat! It’s a tight fit!

  7. Congratulations on baby number 5! How far along are you?

  8. If you join the Babies ‘R Us rewards club they regularly (about every 4-6 weeks) mail you coupons for 20-25% off as well. I believe it is free and they are nice to have for larger purchases. :)

  9. You just can’t have too many Isaacs in the world! It wouldn’t surprise me if you had to strap a car seat to the top of your car some day ;) The more the merrier. That’s great news.

  10. We are in the same boat – trying to fit 5 carseats in the car – but we have the disadvantage of our car being old enough that the back seats don’t have shoulder belts, only lap belts, which negates being able to use boosters for my older 2! SO – we have to fit 3 – 5 point harness seats in our backseat. So far, the only fit, and it’s a TIGHT fit measuring wise, haven’t actually done it yet – is the Sunshine Radian 65 seats – looking at buying 3 of them……. ouch!

    Has anyone had experience with this – or done it another way?

    • Jen, we ALMOST did the Radians before realizing we could do it with two boosters. A lot of people said they had no problem with three Radians across the back of a car, but the backseat of our van is smaller than most midsize cars so we weren’t confident in it – and, I couldn’t find a place to buy them locally, unfortunately.

      One thing you might consider is mixing and matching seats – if you can get ones that sit a little lower for the outside seats and one that sits a little higher for the middle seat, I think it would be easier than trying to fit three seats that all hit at the exact same points, if you know what I mean.

      Hope you can figure it out – I googled and found quite a bit of information on message boards about the Radian – it did seem like most people used a *combination* of carseats in order to get them to fit, instead of three of the same.

    • No personal experience with the Sunshine Radian seats yet, but they have gotten rave reviews from everyone I’ve talked to and are constantly recommended! We didn’t get one partly because I could only find them online. The only bad online review I read was that they are heavy. (If you are doing something like hauling them through an airport.) If you have to buy them online just make sure they can be returned to the store!

      • Yeah, there is NO way anything or combination of anything wider then the Radian is going to fit. I have exactly 51 inches between the wheel wells ;-)
        I have looked around and I think I will go with Amazon, there are 2 places that are a couple dollars cheaper, but one for sure doesn’t pay for returns if they need to come back, you pay shipping. So for an extra couple dollars a seat it’s worth it to go thru Amazon and get free returns if we end up needing to. Plus, my amazon mom should get me 2 days shipping as well!

        • Oh and we rarely move the carseats around so I don’t think the weight is an issue, pretty much they stay in one car!

        • Have you check to confirm that you can return carseats to Amazon? I hadn’t gotten that far before we decided to purchase in the store, but I know that Babies R Us mentioned that they had to destroy any carseats that were returned so you might want to make sure Amazon will accept them as returns. :)

        • I’d highly recommend you go to Babies R Us to make sure they fit in your vehicle first. You can then order online to save money. Babies R Us will allow you to take car seats out to your car to see if they fit in your vehicle. Each car seat is a bit different & while one might fit fine against the seat back, another won’t. Babies R Us lets you take the demo to your car to check the fit, so long as you leave your driver’s license at the customer service desk.

          • they don’t carry them there, otherwise I would. The thinnest seat they carry is about an inch wider or so. There is no store in the area, or even Denver, I think that carry the Sunshine Radian seats. They are pretty much an online only thing!

  11. Does anyone know where I can find the car seat/booster seat laws for Colorado? I moved my daughter to a booster when she was 4.5 years old and 36 lbs. She’s probably not going to reach 40 lbs until she’s 6 years old. Am I wrong to have her in a booster?

    • This blog was really helpful & listed the sources where the laws can be found. The blogger lists the law & then also safety recommendations. Hope this helps!
      http://www.milehighmamas.com/2010/08/01/carseats/

    • http://apps.coloradodot.info/carseats/

      Website above has brochures with the info you requested. The general summary is that you should use the info that came with your car seat or booster seat to make decisions. (Some booster seats start at 30 lbs).

    • As I re-read your question, I realized that my 3 y.o is in a “booster” – it has a 5 point harness & can later transition to using a shoulder belt when she reaches 4 yrs & 40lbs. I do think that high back booster seats state that a child should be 40lbs to use them, but there may be some out there that start with lighter weights. Our booster seat begins at 30lbs for use with the harness & then moves at 40lbs to use with a seat belt. I plan to move my child into a high back booster when she hits 40lbs as it will free up some space in the back of my car! I hope that helps a bit.

  12. When we were looking for carseats, Babies R Us said we could take the demo carseats to our car in the parking lot to see how they fit in our car, great to do if you were looking to fit more than one or two in the same car.

  13. So–is there a way to fit 3 boosters across a back seat? We are a soon-to-be family of 5 (baby due in mid-December), and 3 of my kids are in boosters. The oldest will be just a month from his 8th birthday when baby gets here, so we might be just fine. But I think he might prefer the booster a little longer, just b/c he’s more comfortable with it.

    We are a Graco family (especially in LOVE w/ that GracoPedic foam on the bottom of some of their seats–it makes all the difference on our super long road trips… and for some reason, we’ve mostly found it only at TRU), and so I’m totally ignorant of everything else. Who manufactures narrow boosters? Is there such a thing? Thanks in advance.

    • I think that you have to have a shoulder belt with boosters, so it would depend on you having a shoulder belt for the middle seat of the row. We have a tall child who still isn’t tall enough by the recommendations and is pretty light for a nine year old, that still prefers to sit most of the time in a backless booster. I don’t mind because really she isn’t very big across the hips and I don’t know if a regular belt would really hold her in in case of an accident. We love our Graco seats, too.

    • Boosters seem to be inherently smaller than other seats: we have two Gracos and they are both 16 inches wide – it’s just about impossible to find a “regular” seat that’s less than 17 inches. Like Julie said, you do have to have shoulder straps with boosters so that might be your main issue.

  14. When we had to fit 3 seats in the back or our 4 door sedan, I found a seat belt extender to be invaluable. I believe the dealerships have to provide them. The Saturn dealership gave us one at no cost. When you’re squeezing 3 kids in one seat, giving the child in a booster a seat belt extender is a HUGE help. We could fit the 3 seats, but then my oldest couldn’t sqeeze his hand inbetween the seast to reach the buckle, the seat belt extender gave extra lenght to the buckle in the seat so that it can come up above the seat. Hope that makes sense (:

    • Oh, interesting! Our 6yo is in charge of getting everyone in the backseat buckled, partly because it’s hard for an adult to reach to buckle the boosters (especially my husband). I’ll have to look into the extenders – great tip!

    • Interesting! I went to our dealership two years ago because our eldest couldn’t fit her hand through to buckle & was told that I could NOT get a seatbelt extender for that purpose as they were deemed unsafe for use with a car seat. They are available for purchase online, but you have to know what size you need to fit your seatbelt part. The parts stores in town did not carry the correct ones. I gave up & bought a narrower booster (she doesn’t need the back, so that helped!).

      • Huh, well after searching and searching on-line, I called the dealership. They didn’t even ask or care why I wanted one. Just said yes they had them and there would be no charge. If your in this situation it might be worth just trying. Also, we got the extender while in a Saturn and it snaps in securely in our Toyota.

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