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Did anyone start with a convertible car seat for a newborn and regret not getting an infant bucket?

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 

Just wondering because we had a Snugride for DD which I hated because I bought the cheaper model, which has the rear harness adjust (pain in the rear!) and felt plasticky, was hot, etc. This time we're looking into the Chicco Keyfit 30 and like it a lot, compared to the Snugride. 


That said, I wondered today about just starting off with something like a Radian. 



post #2 of 57

My sister decided she didn't need a infant carrier. She changed her mid fast. With a newborn if you go anywhere, you would have to get the baby out of the seat, and carry the baby or use a stroller.I also think it takes the germ factor down a few notches as you can put a blanket over them if you go into a store or what not. I have a Chicco KF30 and love it. The instal is very easy.  the KF30 does get warm, but it is far sturdier than any other infant carriers that I have seen.


Originally Posted by Beauchamp View Post

Just wondering because we had a Snugride for DD which I hated because I bought the cheaper model, which has the rear harness adjust (pain in the rear!) and felt plasticky, was hot, etc. This time we're looking into the Chicco Keyfit 30 and like it a lot, compared to the Snugride. 


That said, I wondered today about just starting off with something like a Radian. 



post #3 of 57

I can say i considered not getting a bucket and thank my lucky stars we have one. However that being said the reasons I love it are these.

-we live somewhere REALLY cold (with both children) so while I have 2 july dd's they have thankfully both made it through frigid winters being able to be bundled to the nines in those things without me having to haul them into and out of a snowsuit hats etc that I would have had to have done if we had a convertible.

-with dd2 I love it because she is still napping unpredictably so this way when we go to dd1's activities and things (or grocery shopping) I can just lug her along and it doesn't interrupt her sleep. Huge advantage.

- we have a 3 door truck so its much easier for me to just stick her in her seat in the house then wrestle over dd1's carseat to get her into a convertible...kwim?


not a ton of reasons but each of these reasons are priceless to me! lol.

post #4 of 57

I only took the bucket out of the car a handful of times with dd and maybe 2-3 times with ds.  With dd we switched to a convertible by 4 months, ds at 8 weeks.  Next time I expect I'll start with a convertible.


That said- we live in Houston and the cold is not an issue.



post #5 of 57
Yes. Before I had my first baby, I really had a thing against "baby bucket" seats because I saw them as a lazy way of getting around for moms who didn't feel like picking their babies up. It's amazing how your views change after having a couple of kids. wink1.gif

I also saw it as cheaper to just use a single convertible that would last for years. But in reality, dd looked uncomfortable as a newborn in that big convertable seat. A "bucket" seat is really made to accommodate an infant's posture. I also ended up having my kids closely spaced enough that I needed to buy a new car seat before my oldest had outgrown her seat anyway. The whole idea that I was saving money by skipping the infant seat wouldn't have worked anyway.

With my second, I just went and bought an infant seat for him from the beginning. I think it was more comfortable for him in the car, and was nice to have on the rare occasions that I carried him in it (a couple of times in restaurants).
post #6 of 57

I had an infant seat, but I NEVER took it out of the car and I regret NOT getting a convertible seat from the get-go.  


I wore ds everywhere, never had a stroller until we bought one for theme parks, and when ds was days old and only 7lbs I decided it was insane to carry him around in a plastic bucket!  



As for keeping warm - we used/use a carseat poncho which works great.  Also he slept far better in a sling vs in the carseat (rarely would he sleep in the car, he would usually scream).  

post #7 of 57

Used a convertible from birth. I always wore DS and having tried lugging my extremely petite nieces around in their car seats,  decided from the get go that I didn't need an infant seat for my rather more hefty (more than a kg heavier bw) DS. No regrets.

OTH, my sister swears by them.

Edited by mrskingred - 1/22/11 at 4:00pm
post #8 of 57

Convertible from birth, NO regrets whatsoever.


We live in a cold area (Canada!)  It doesn't matter whether they're in a bucket or a convertible, you CANNOT put them in a snowsuit in a carseat.  They cannot buckle safely.  They have to wear something light, like a fleece sweater, and then you do the rest with blankets, jackets on backwards, etc.  Whether bucket or convertible, no difference there.  


When it came time for putting her in and taking her out, I just learned to do it quickly and stuff her into the sling, which was usually under my coat (I had a nice babywearing jacket, but any large coat can do the trick).  She was warmer snuggled in with my body warmth than she would have been inside her own plastic bucket, no matter how many blankets she had.  Blankets only preserve existing heat, they don't *create* heat.  


I also figure -- sooner or later, you have to figure out how to get them in and out of the car in the cold weather.  When they're infants, they're much more cooperative than when they're older infants or toddlers, who tend to get fussy about independence and start to fight back if they don't want to go in the seat (or in the sling!) just that instant.  I don't want THAT to be the time when I'm switching to a convertible and having to figure out how to deal with it.


In other words, the bucket is a luxury in terms of being able to prep them in the house then just latch it into the car, but it's a very temporary luxury.  Some babes outgrow it by 3 months.  You *have* to learn to get babe in and out of the car, whatever the weather, once they outgrow it *anyway*, so why not just do it from the beginning?  


As for buckets being better shaped for a small infant's posture -- not necessarily.  Babies have died in them from having their airflow cut off while sleeping.  The angle while IN the car should be fine that this doesn't happen, but leaving a baby to sleep in a bucket (again, one of the supposed conveniences -- "I don't want to wake her up to take her out of the car") can be *very dangerous*.  


How comfortable they are in a convertible depends completely on the convertible.  And here I will grant the bucket brigade one thing -- a good bucket is better than a poorly-designed-for-infants convertible.  And many of the "mainstream" and cheaper convertibles aren't awesome for newborns.  But many others are.  We used a Radian with DD from birth, and that was before they had the deluxe model which comes with an infant insert.  At that time, the company recommended a particular third-party insert, which we used, and it was fine.  I know the rules say "never use third-party stuff in your seats" but this was the company's own instructions.  In any case, now they have their own inserts and they look great.  


We later also got a TruFit for our second car, and love that to bits.  The real disadvantage of the Radian as an infant seat was that it's so BIG, rear-facing is very difficult.  You need lots of room in your car.  The TruFit fits much, much better in smaller cars.  She had outgrown the infant insert by the time we got it, but it also looks great.  The seat itself is very enclosed and snuggly (whereas the Radian is completely open).  I want to make it clear -- we love the Radian!!  Especially now that she's older and FF, it's super-easy for her to get in and out and we're confident that it's one of the safest seats on the market.  But if we were starting today with a new baby, we'd start with a TruFit.


If you *do* decide to use a bucket, just please please please *leave it in the car*.  Maybe the quick in and out of the house, you know, but not as a carrier.  Not in the shopping carts.  They give a false sense of security, people get distracted and walk away from their carts, I once saw a young lady bump a speed bump with her car in the parking lot and the whole thing went topsy-turvy, I just thought "wow, good thing there wasn't a baby in there".  Strollers -- the kind where you just clip in the bucket -- are little better.  From house to car to stroller to car again... baby never gets held!  Babies are MEANT to be held.  Even with the best of intentions, the 'convenience factor' can disconnect us from our babies before we even notice what is happening.  Aside from reduced human contact, there's also less visibility for them (they don't get to see as much of the world) and less interaction with others.  And then there's the oxygen deprivation. 


A *good* convertible, and a good sling or two, and you're good to go.


Here, I wrote this a couple years ago :)



post #9 of 57

I had one with # 1 and found it a huge pain to carry around, not to mention my baby wanted to be held so I left it in the car.  With my second we used the same seat but left it in the car.  With my third it expired a couple of months after she was born and she screamed anytime she was in it so we bought a convertible (screaming stopped too).  Now expecting #4 and we just bought two convertibles.  I was a waitress as a high schooler and had a table where they propped the car seat on the high chair.  It fell on the floor.  Baby was not in it but I though he was and just about had a heart attack.  Guess I may be scarred for life from that but I always see people with their babies in those seats perched on the top of carts and it seems so dangerous.  Plus with four kids I don't think my baby will ever get any attention unless he is in a sling:)

post #10 of 57

We only had a convertible for DD1, and she hated riding in the car so much as a tiny baby that I wish I had at least tried out an infant seat to see if it made her happier.  Not sure it would have made a difference, but I wish I would have tried (she was a fussy baby in general, not just in the car!)


We had a passed down infant seat for DD2, which became handy because I had an older child to watch, and it was nice to be able to put the baby down some place other than the floor if we were out an about, or leave her in the bucket if she was sleeping.  Same with DD3, it was definitely more handy to have the seat with a younger child, even though I babywear my kids most of the time, I was glad to have the option to bring in the carseat if it seemed easier. 

post #11 of 57

with my oldest we just used a convertible from birth and i was very happy with it. with my second we bought a bucket (because it was cheap and we needed to buy a seat to use while we were out of town) and i really really liked being able to bring the baby's carseat inside during the hottest part of summer (in tx).


with the twins it was essential really. the benefit of being able to buckle up one or two of the kids before we got out to the car and just snap it into the base was invalueable.

post #12 of 57

I had one that I used with #1 and #2, who were born in January and December. I switched them to convertibles at 3 and 4 mos. respectively. With #3, my old infant seat was expired and I put her straight into a Radian (and switched her to a Complete Air at 5.5 mos). She was born in July and I didn't miss it at all. An infant seat is convenient for a winter baby so you don't have to put a newborn in a cold seat, but otherwise not very useful to me. I guess she could be in an infant seat even now (at 6 mos) but I can't imagine carrying a 6 mo. old around in a bucket seat! I have a bad back and it is much easier for me to pop baby into a carrier (or stroller once they are sitting up) than to carry them around in a big heavy carseat.

post #13 of 57

I never had a bucket for ds1 and I never missed it.  When having one isn't an option, you learn to adapt real quick.  I'm also 5'2 and 100 pounds.  I can't carry one of those things for more than a couple minutes at the most anyways...I really don't get how anyone does.  I have no plans on buying a bucket for this next baby. 

post #14 of 57

I have used an infant seat for four of my kids, and I did not find it useful outside of the car. Whenever I would bring it in somewhere (with my first) I would end up carrying/wearing the baby and the seat separately. It was handy in restaurants when my first was a baby, but with my other kids I never brought it in even when I had one, just one more thing to carry and I generally ended up holding the baby while I ate anyway so it just took up space. I went straight to a convertible for my second and that was great, he was a big tall baby and it was a newborn-friendly convertible. When pregnant with my third I bought an infant seat because he was a November baby in NY and I figured it would be nice so he wouldn't be cold. For a few weeks I would buckle him in, cover him up, carry the seat to the car then carry him in the seat into wherever I was going and take him out once I got inside then repeat but it was so much harder than just popping him in the sling straight from the car especially since I had two other children to worry about. I bought (and used) another infant seat for #4 because I like the Britax convertibles and knew they wouldn't fit a newborn. She rode in it until she was big enough for her Marathon but I don't think it ever came out of the car. Same with #5. All of that said, though, I have never had car sleepers. Generally my kids wake up as soon as the car is turned off if they fell asleep to begin with, so running in to grab a coffee with a baby sleeping in a bucket wouldn't happen for me. I am of the mind, though, that even if a baby is happy not being held or worn that they should be most of the time anyway so if my kids were happy in their carseat I wouldn't leave them in it to do anything more than run in and out somewhere.


I do like my infant seat, I like the way little babies fit in it. So if money isn't a concern and you have someone to pass it on to I would get one. You certainly don't have to take it out of the car!

post #15 of 57

Yes! I regret it. I got the convertible primarily for reasons of thrift.


It was not big deal at first. S was born at the end of June. Getting him into his Mei Tai was a pain, because of the long straps, but not that big a deal. Then, winter arrived.


I understand about no coats in the car seats, but with a bucket, you can put a blanket over them without interfering with the straps. I'm not hauling him into a Mei Tai while dragging the long straps through slush puddles. Not to mention, what about my coat? I don't always want to wear my baby and a coat underneath once we are inside.


I understand that very young babies should not be left sleeping in the car seat, but breathing wouldn't be an issue with my seven month old. And sometimes, yes, that would be quite convenient.


Number 2 will be getting a bucket. S will still be in his My Ride 65 I'm sure. We're planning a 2012 baby.

post #16 of 57

I'm struggling with this decision to buy or not to buy a bucket for this baby. My oldest 2 kiddos loved their buckets seats as babies and I found it was easy to transport them in the bucket in certain situations. DD2 was a completely different story. She hated the bucket and screamed the entire time she was in it. I tried 2 convertible seats to find the one that worked good for her. We eventually settled on the Britax Marathon and I would wear her in the Mei Tai carrier when we were out and about.


The thing I don't like about convertible seats with newborn babies is that they seem to flop around in such a large seat. Decisions... ergh.

post #17 of 57

I used a convertible from birth and have no regrets. I also wear my DS, and learned quickly to transfer to a wrap without waking him, and vice versa.


eta: I have a May baby and live in currently chilly Canada.

post #18 of 57

We had one of each. The infant seat we already had because we had purchased a jogging stroller travel system on clearance for our first son, who at that point was past the bucket stage. And in our other car we bought a convertible.


The infant seat never left the car. We babywore exclusively(until DS2 was almost 3 and DH was very sick) and it was never a problem or inconvenience or anything. It worked out just fine. I would do it again in a heartbeat.


Someone above mentioned the germ factor, and babywearing is WAY less germy than putting a child in a bucket, blanket or not. 

post #19 of 57


I think the general advice in these replies (and in my experience too) is: summer babies are fine in a convertible, infant seats are convenient for winter babies. Inked the bucket on cold winter days sometimes, but mostly I preferred wearing my babies. I think it's fine to skip it. Convertibles are much better made to accommodate infants than they used to be.
post #20 of 57

I started with a bucket (handed down from my nephew, no crashes, not expired) and HATED IT! I'm small and short and could barely carry the darn thing! I always ended up with baby in the front carrier, so we bought a True Fit and baby and mommy are both happier, the shape of the true fit is more comfy for the baby. And I never screw around with the stupid bucket! Its cold here, but we just use a thin fleece body suit on the baby and a blanket over the seat.

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