Infant or convertible car seat to start? - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-29-2011, 08:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi,

 

We've bought a sunshine kids convertible car seat that I totally love and just figured we'd use that right from the start. Now that a bunch of my friends have just had kids, they all have infant car seats and it seems very handy to be able to just bring the whole car seat in if the baby is sleeping. I really don't want to fall into the trap of carrying my babe around in the car seat all the time - I have a wrap and will be getting a sling as well to carry baby around in and I'd much prefer to have the baby close to me than in a car seat. But, man, it does seem like it would be convenient for times like when I'm visiting my mom or dad and need to bring the baby in but they don't really have anywhere I can safely put the baby while sleeping.

 

I'm wondering if I should go buy an infant car seat and hold off on installing the sunshine kids convertible car seat at least for the first 6 months or so. I can always install the sunshine kids one reverse-facing once the baby is a little older and start using it.

 

What worked best for you guys or what are your plans for car seats?

TIA :)

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Old 06-29-2011, 08:14 AM
 
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The convertibles are just too big for a new baby. I tried doing that last time and ended up borrowing an infant seat from a friend when every ride was miserable for my daughter. Convertibles don't recline as much and when a squishy baby is buckled in, it even LOOKS uncomfortable.

I hate seeing babies carried everywhere in infant seats and parents killing their back to drag around a heavy seat with heavy baby in it, BUT they do have their purpose in the car and I believe they are safer and more comfortable for new babies.

All of my kids have outgrown the length requirements long before the weight, so only use an infant seat for about 4 months. Then we switch to the rear facing convertible and it fits them much better then.

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Old 06-29-2011, 09:28 AM
 
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Well, we have both (DS1 is in a convertible now). I would definitely go with the infant seat for when you LO is tiny. I can't imagine DS1 in the convertible when he was born (at under 5 lbs!). I don't even know if the convertibles go *that* low in terms of size reqs? 

 

Anyway, I totally agree about it being nice to be able to take the baby in in the carrier if s/he is sleeping. I wore DS tons when he was a baby and it makes me sad when I see babies whose parents leave them in the carrier as much as they possibly can, but DS1 had such a terrible time sleeping that anytime he was actually asleep in the infant seat, we would leave him in it. Another HUGE convenience is that you can buy multiple bases for an infant carrier so if you're a two-car family, it's much more convenient (we even bought one for my parents, so we could just pop him in their car.) Now that I have to re-install the convertible every time we ride in someone else's car, I miss the old infant seat!

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Old 06-29-2011, 10:40 AM
 
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Just because you CAN carry the baby around in the car seat doesn't mean you HAVE to. wink1.gif

 

The infant seat was the only car seat we had in the beginning, so that's what we used. Unfortunately, I had a c-section and wasn't allowed to carry my son in the seat, anyway, at least for the first 2 months. Most of the time, I took him out of the seat and put him in a carrier, and I carried the diaper bag and other stuff in the car seat.... lol!

 

They are really convenient when you're out and about. You always have a safe place to put baby. smile.gif


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Old 06-29-2011, 12:27 PM
 
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I had an infant seat with dd1... DH and I worked opposite shifts so that she could stay home with a parent and it was easier/less expensive to have a seat that could be moved between vehicles quickly so that we could "trade the baby"!  We didn't get an infant seat with dd2, or ds, and we're not planning on getting an infant seat when dd3 arrives because other than the "ease of car swap" and the now and then "ease of eating out with sleeping babe tucked in seat next to me" there really weren't any benefits for us.  Or at least none that outweigh the cost of buying a temporary seat and then dsposing of it at the end of it's life.  :)

 

That said, my kiddos are all on the bigger side when born and I still used a rolled cloth dipe or burp towel to help support their heads in the seat... I don't know how well a teeny tiny babe would fit in a convertible seat or what sort of infant inserts are available (I do know many convertible seats have removable inserts to support smaller babes but don't know from what size these are used).  And if it was just the one kiddo and there was a reason to move them between cars frequently then an infant seat can be nice for that.

 

But in my mind, a car seat is a seat for the car... my kiddos have all been very big "sling sleepers", meaning that they'd rarely if ever sleep "on their own" though they'd sleep happily for hours in the sling.  While they do fall asleep in the car, they almost always wake as soon as the car is turned off... but if I stop the car, pop them in a sling, and walk for a minute or two they're back out.  But I also know some kiddos who hate being in slings.

 

Since you already have a car seat, why not wait till after the babe is born and see what they prefer or what you might actually find handy?  If you find they fall asleep best in the car and you'd really like to have the "carry from the car/sleep next to the table" option, then send someone out to get a seat!  But if it turns out your babe or parenting preference goes in a different direction then you're not out the money/time/environmental cost.


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Old 06-29-2011, 12:29 PM
 
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I am getting a convertible car seat, but I also won't be using the car very much, as I mostly use public transportation and walk. My boss has offered for me to have his infant seat, which he might remember to give to me before I leave just in case my LO is too tiny for the convertible... I'm sure that will help.


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Old 06-29-2011, 03:06 PM
 
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With DD, I went straight for the convertible and never regretted it.

But since this baby is going to be born earlier in the summer (summer lasts us until about the end of October), I might get an infant seat this time just so we can quickly get in and out of the car.


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Old 06-29-2011, 10:47 PM
 
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I like the infant car seat because most of mine are born when it gets colder out. Once it starts to snow, I'm happy to be able to bundle blankets around the baby before taking them out into the cold. When they are more like 4-5 months, I move them into the convertible seat.

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Old 06-30-2011, 06:43 AM
 
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I'm thinking I should get an infant carseat as well.  Anyone recommend one?


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Old 06-30-2011, 07:07 AM
 
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We registered for the Graco Snug Ride 35 after looking at a bunch. We love our Eddie Bauer 3 in 1 convertible that we used for DS1. But last October we changed vehicles. It won't fit rear facing in the car we have now, so our only choice is to get an infant seat that will fit for at least a year. If this boy is anything like his brother he'll be 31 inches by 12 months, which means we have to get the larger infant seat. It kind of sucks because our insurance gives out infant/toddler convertibles to their members, and we really won't be able to use it until DS2 will be a year old and we can turn him around. If state ever changes their laws about when to turn around a child (I'd rather keep him rear facing longer) we'd be screwed. Most sedans aren't designed with enough room to fit a convertible in the back without pushing the front seats all the way forward ... and my husband and I are tall....


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Old 06-30-2011, 09:51 AM
 
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The Chicco Keyfit 30 is the one I want. Or Britax is coming out with a new infant seat next month - the B-Safe. I'm hoping to see one of those before I make my decision. Those are both about $160-180.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FarmerCathy View Post

I'm thinking I should get an infant carseat as well.  Anyone recommend one?



 


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Old 06-30-2011, 09:58 AM
 
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there is great info over in the Child Safety forum... some really amazing car seat techs hang out there.  And www.car-seat.org is a wonderful place too.  if you tell them what car you have they can find a solution to almost anything!  (make sure you tell them not just the model, but the year and any other bits of info about the vehicle).

 

And keep in mind... the new guidelines are to keep a child rear-facing till at least 2yo.  So in smaller vehicles it's important to find a seat that will fit!  Having done three seats across in various vehicles for over a year, two seats rf'ing/one ff'ing with a super tall DH and no LATCH... I know how challenging it can be and how much of a headache it it.  The Car-Seat ladies and my local car seat tech kept me sane I think, but it was a close call right before we finally broke down and bought a used minivan. lol


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Old 06-30-2011, 01:35 PM
 
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We have a Graco Snugride and then switch to a rearfacing Britax Marathon until 35lbs.

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Old 06-30-2011, 02:46 PM
 
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We have a Britax Marathon already to switch into, which is awesome.  I did go to Target today and I really like the Baby Trend compared to any of the Graco.  The Graco seemed flimsy and not as well made as the Baby Trend.  I will go look at the forum and carseat link.thumb.gif


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Old 06-30-2011, 03:01 PM
 
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We've had DD in a Sunshine Kids Radian pretty much since birth (we used our infant seat a few times but at about the 2 week mark, installed the Radian 3 across with our seats for the other two kids and haven't looked back).  We have a Radian, True Fit and a Quinny infant seat and the Radian actually has the lowest harness slots of the 3.  We needed the infant insert for the Radian at first (actually, we just used rolled up towels after buckling her in, cause we never got around to putting the insert on) but now she is fine in there.  She is now 8 weeks and 12ish pounds.  Recline angle is 45 degrees as recommended for all infant seats, we have no issues with her head rolling forward or anything like that.

 

If I'm taking the other car I use the infant seat.  It's convenient, I guess, but at the end of the day I don't find it any better than just popping her in and out of my stretchy wrap on the trip to and from the car.

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Old 06-30-2011, 03:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluepetals View Post

We've had DD in a Sunshine Kids Radian pretty much since birth (we used our infant seat a few times but at about the 2 week mark, installed the Radian 3 across with our seats for the other two kids and haven't looked back).  We have a Radian, True Fit and a Quinny infant seat and the Radian actually has the lowest harness slots of the 3.  We needed the infant insert for the Radian at first (actually, we just used rolled up towels after buckling her in, cause we never got around to putting the insert on) but now she is fine in there.  She is now 8 weeks and 12ish pounds.  Recline angle is 45 degrees as recommended for all infant seats, we have no issues with her head rolling forward or anything like that.

 

If I'm taking the other car I use the infant seat.  It's convenient, I guess, but at the end of the day I don't find it any better than just popping her in and out of my stretchy wrap on the trip to and from the car.


I would love to just put my Marathon in the car and use that, but if we move to MI and even if we just stay here, I'm thinking I would like to be able to buckle baby in the seat in the house where the seat is warm before moving her out to the car.  And since she is due just about Fall I think I would like to do that.  I will be taking her out while out and about because its too heavy to carry around with a babe, esp. after giving birth and I love snuggling my LO in slings.love.gif  Plus I've read too much about leaving them in the seat and how it restricts their air flow.

 


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Old 07-06-2011, 12:13 PM
 
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I actually just got my carseats in today..  We bough all 3 of the kids a Radian XTSL so that we could fit 3 across in our tiny back seat.  I was a bit worried about the convertible bc I've only used infant seats in the past, but putting it together and seeing it made me feel a lot better.  And since I wear my babies, it works for us.  :)  I'm in LOVE with my new seats!

 

Radian 004.JPG

 

(p.s. I KNOW the straps on my daughter aren't on right- she's just playing in the seat until we install them later this evening.)


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Old 07-06-2011, 12:32 PM
 
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I don't know if you are a one or two car family, but this is what we did, and it worked well for us. I bought a Combi Cocorro (which not only is compact, fits a newborn baby great!) which is a convertible seat for my car, a Scion XB. after DS was born, we realized we really did need a second car seat, and found a good one on clearance, the BabyTrend infant seat. I will say that it is handy to sometimes be able to just pop the seat in the cart at the store, or bring it in a restaurant. That said, when we did use my car for things and popped DS in the wrap or just carried him, I think it helped him be able to easily transition from place to place without waking or at least minimal fuss.

 

He is 19 months now and about 22 ish lbs and still fits well in the Cocorro. I really do love that carseat. I do wish we had got it in a different color, but we got a color that was on sale at the time. Now with #2 on the way, DS can stay in the convertible, I will buy an extra base for the infant seat for my car, and obviously we have a different (albeit cheaper! but still a good seat) convertible seat for DH's car.

 

If we were a one car family, I really would have just skipped the infant seat.


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Old 07-07-2011, 07:45 AM
 
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An infant car seat in the winter in Canada is a must too.. so they can stay cozy and warm from house to car and back!

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