Hi Ladies so I was hoping all you mom's who are on baby number 2 or 3 or 4 or more :) could give me some input. I got the standard travel system last go round (almost 6 years ago) hated my stroller and baby girl hated being in her infant car seat and preferred for me to hold her or just lay her in the stroller. The infant seat became so heavy that I got tendonitis and my dd was a tiny thing! I quickly bought my britax convertible carseat and LOVED IT! I would just plop her in the stroller or wear her and no carting that awful baby seat. Should I get the infant seat again this time ( I will need a new one) or just get the convertible seat we will eventually need and forgo the infant carrier? I plan on doing much more baby wearing this time and husband is just as committed. Anyways just need some thoughts
I was so in your boat 2 years ago with our 3rd baby! We needed a new carseat for her, as we had just sold our other infant 'bucket' seat before finding out she was joining us. I was also planning on wearing her all the time, too so wanted to skip right ahead to the Radian carseats that we have for the other 2 kiddos.
But I eventually got another infant bucket after all. I still wore her 99% of the time when we went out (which wasn't too often) but I did find the bucket helpful for bringing into church or my parents' house and to/from the car so I didn't have to mess with strapping her in while wrangling my older 2 in their carseats. With your daughter being so independent, that won't be a problem for you.
It was also helpful on the few occasions when we went out to eat. I liked having her in her bucket with a blanket draped over the top. It was easier than wearing her at a table and especially a booth, but I'm sure I could've done it if I had no other option.
We ended up converting to her Radian at about 4 months old ... so if you know this will be your last, then it probably won't be worth the extra $$ for such a short time-frame. Like you, I found it incredibly heavy to lug around and much preferred our Ergo for transporting her.
If we didn't already have the bucket for this one, I'd probably not bother with it this time.
PS This isn't a factor for me living in AZ, but also consider that your baby will be born in winter and that may make you reconsider a bucket. You can get your baby all strapped in, bundled up in blankets before heading to the cold car. For us, the summer is the time to consider baby's temp/climate change, when there are highs in the 100s for 4 months straight! We use car seat coolers (loaded with ice packs) to keep the seats cold in the summer when out & about. They are LIFE SAVERS!!!
I never had a bucket with my daughter. Went straight to a convertible. I mostly never missed having a bucket, and when we went to visit the grandparents and they bought one on their end, I found it heavy and cumbersome. That said, I did buy one for this time (secondhand, $60, from a mom in one of my mom groups locally) and it's mostly because I learned with my daughter that she was at the very bottom end of the size range for the convertible. She was 19 inches long and if she had been just a little shorter she would have been too short. I would hate to have a small newborn and not be able to use the convertible and have to scramble to get a bucket. I do plan to just wear the baby most of the time and not really carry the bucket around much.
Also an advantage is that one bucket can be used in two cars, versus having to get a convertible for each car. (though it just puts that day off.)
That said, if I were really organized I probably would have tried to figure out how to borrow one. Oh well.
Make sure the secondhand bucket is safe! It seems like it SHOULD be, coming from a friend, but many people don't know what can damage a carseat. Make sure it's not expired, recalled, has never been in a crash, has never been checked as luggage on a plane (or gate-checked), the straps have never been soaked in liquid, it's never been "clicked" onto a shopping cart... etc :P
Would rather spend on a frontier to keep him harnessed for another four years, than spend on a bucket or another radian, this way we only need to buy two seats for the two kids, total as the frontier can be passed down too. Possibly even make it through three kids.