Do I really need an infant carseat PLUS a convertible?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 05-15-2003, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Baby #1 is due in a month, and I'm finally getting around to a carseat. I'm torn bc I'm sure I won't 'really' know what baby needs until it arrives, but unfotunately I can't wait that long to buy a seat. Convertibles advertise that they hold from infancy up, but I hear that they aren't best for newborns. I hear to go ahead and also get an infant seat, but I just don't know. Frugal me wants to only have to buy one, and safety me wants to get the best. I'm sure that most of you have been thru this, so could you please help me with some advice?? The convertibles I'm looking at are Britax, if that makes any difference.

Thanks Moms!
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#2 of 20 Old 05-15-2003, 03:52 PM
 
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I'm not quite to the car seat buying myself, but my best friend has a newborn. They got a newborn seat for her car and a convertable for his. He won't be taking the baby as much, so he's got one for a newborn if he needs it to pick her up, but it will also be good for quite a while.

I think one of the selling points of the newborn seat is that you can take it out of the car with baby in it and not wake baby up... those newborns sleep a lot!!

HTH

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#3 of 20 Old 05-15-2003, 04:05 PM
 
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I'm not quite to the car seat buying myself, but my best friend has a newborn. They got a newborn seat for her car and a convertable for his. He won't be taking the baby as much, so he's got one for a newborn if he needs it to pick her up, but it will also be good for quite a while.

I think one of the selling points of the newborn seat is that you can take it out of the car with baby in it and not wake baby up... those newborns sleep a lot!!

HTH

Alaskan Mom to 2 boys
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#4 of 20 Old 05-15-2003, 04:11 PM
 
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You don't NEED one, unless you have a small newborn...then my personal experience says a infant seat is really better. Other than that, it's convenience. Plenty of people do ok without an infant seat. Could you borrow a friend's recent vintage seat? You'd only need it 2-3 months probably.
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#5 of 20 Old 05-15-2003, 04:15 PM
 
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We did both, for the reason that ma_Donna mentioned... the baby can stay asleep in it once you get home. With the convertible, you have to unstrap the baby and that will probably wake him/her. It's also a lot more convenient to get the babe all strapped in inside the house, where you have better access. It's a little more difficult doing it in the car, where you'll probably be contorted to get at the right angle. We used dd's infant seat until she reached the height limit at six months. Now we really miss it!
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#6 of 20 Old 05-15-2003, 04:27 PM
 
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Hi, I'm new here, but just wanted to add my thoughts.

I'd highly recommend getting the infant seat. Most convertalbe seats have the harness slots too high to properly restrain a newborn. The harness slot that is currently in use should be either at or slightly below your baby's shoulders, which is most often not possible with a convertable car seat, even with a large newborn.

There are a few convertable car seats sold with low harness slots but this seat your child will out grow much faster, since they'll need the higher harness slots when they get older and then you'll need to buy another convertable seat (JMO but usually more expensive than buying the infant seat now).

And since you mention the Britax, they do have higher harness slots (my 8 month old rides in a rear facing Roundabout now). It is really a great seat but I'd recommend starting out with an infant car seat.

Plus if you are planning a hospital delivery, most want you to put the baby in the seat inside the hospital and then bring them out to your car (that's the law here in NJ), so just for convience sake, that would make an infant seat more helpful.

HTH

Stephanie, mom to 3 big girls ('94, '99 & '02) and to my little guy (12/30/09) intact & CD'ed!
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#7 of 20 Old 05-15-2003, 04:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's kind of what I was thinking. I plan on slinging and not carrying baby around a lot in the seat. We don't drive much so it's not THAT big an issue to take in/out of the car all the time. I'm pretty sure my bro still has his infant seat that I can borrow. I'm not concerned with having a small baby, it will probably be born at 8.5 or so (It was already @ 6.5 at 34 weeks!) But I thought I read somewhere that convertibles were at a bad angle for little ones, or the straps weren't small enough. Maybe that just depends on the seat?? Thanks for all your replies and I'd love to hear more!
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#8 of 20 Old 05-15-2003, 08:55 PM
 
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An infant seat is a must, even if your baby's born at 11 lbs. My cousin is a firefighter and my MIL is a critical care nurse, and the stories they tell..... they have seen so many babies under 3 months who were restrained as well as the convertible seat allowed and still flew right out of the seat or hit the straps wrong and crushed internal organs, all because convertible seats do not have the slots low enough for such a young baby. These are crashes where everyone had minor injuries but the baby- and often baby suffered for a while, then died. Breaks my heart to hear stories like that, I can't imagine what the parents go through!
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#9 of 20 Old 05-15-2003, 09:04 PM
 
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We're a little freaky about safety in my family, so we started with an infant seat. Everything I read said that larger babies are probably OK in a convertible seat, but that every newborn, small & large & in-between, is safest in an infant seat. So, we went with safer, even though it cost us extra $. I figured I'd never regret spending $ on the safest possible seat if we were in an accident...Thankfully, we weren't, and we passed the infant seat on to some friends whose baby should arrive in July.

Dd was 9.5 pounds & almost 22" at birth, and outgrew the seat (the max. height of 26", but not the max. weight) at 3 1/2 mos. Having the infant seat for that long allowed us to buy a convertible seat with slightly higher strap placement, so we should be able to keep her in this particular convertible seat to at least 1 year & 20 pounds, and hopefully longer. If we had started with a convertible seat, I think the straps on this one would have been too high, which would have meant buying a different convertible seat that may not have worked to 1 year & 20 lbs for our tall girl - If that was true, we still would have ended up buying 2 rear-facing seats, and would have missed out on the added safety of the infant seat for no good reason. I don't know if that sounds logical to anyone else, though! The perfect solution is probably different for each baby...

The convenience factor didn't matter much to me before dd was born, since I was planning on slinging her ALL the time. We discovered, though, that is was much easier to buckle her in when the seat was cozy & warm inside a building, rather than getting her out of the sling & into the back seat of our small Subaru, and then properly into the seat, usually in the rain & gloom of a Seattle winter day. I still used the sling a lot, but I sure wasn't sorry to have the infant seat, too!

One final thought - It's very easy to click an infant seat into the base, or even to buckle the infant seat into a car without the base, but in my experience it can be MUCH more difficult to buckle a convertible seat into the car properly. It took 2 certified car seat technicians over 1 hour to get our convertible seat into our car, and there is NO WAY we're unbuckling it until we absolutely HAVE to. So, don't count on being able to move a convertible seat in & out of the car with any ease. It's not just a factor of knowing how to buckle it into your car; feeding the strap through & getting the correct tight fit & angle can be tricky no matter how many times you've done it.

HTH!
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#10 of 20 Old 05-16-2003, 01:29 AM
 
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Just a quick note on slinging: I, too, planned to sling my baby, but she *Hates* it with a captial H! when she is awake. I can put her in it if she is asleep, but she gets *very* upset with me if I try to put her in it awake. So, we use the bucket a *lot*! And it's heavy enough! I also agree about the weather, much easier on a tiny baby to go into a seat in a nice, warm, dry building and to the car covered and protected and vice versa than get in and out in an awkward backseat in wind, rain, etc.

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#11 of 20 Old 05-16-2003, 03:20 PM
 
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My vote is to get the infant carseat! We got both infant and convertable and I never regreted it.
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#12 of 20 Old 05-16-2003, 08:08 PM
 
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My baby is one month old today, and here are my thoughts on the subject:

We got both. I got an infant seat for the truck (ext. cab) b/c I drive it when I go places farther away than the grocery store. In my car I got the convertable (be sure and have it properly installed, it's near impossible to do yourself correctly) b/c I just drive it to the store, and to do local errands. I ususally leave right after I feed Lacy, so she stays awake for most of the shopping. She doesn't like the sling, but loves her front carrier. That's what I used today when we went to the store.

Both have their pros and cons, but I think the carrier will probably be outgrown by 4 months or so, and I'll have to have converables in both vehicles.

Good Luck!!!
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#13 of 20 Old 05-17-2003, 09:19 AM
 
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I was initially anti-infant seat as well . . . I didn't want to ever feel tempted to carry my babies in their carseats, I wanted to sling them. But since I was having twins, there was a pretty good chance that they'd be on the tiny side, so I decided to go for the baby seats. We were given two britax roundabouts as well for when they outgrew the baby seats. My babies weighed 8lbs., 7 oz., and 6 lbs., 4 oz. Even my 8.5 pounder looked tiny in the graco snugride. He never would have fit safely in the britax roundabout. At 3 months, he has grown out of the snugride because he's 26 inches long, and he *just* fits into the roundabout. The straps are right at his shoulders. For safety reasons, I would get the infant carrier. I never carry my babies in the carriers except for when I went to the OB for my post-partum check (and that was just because I had two babies), and for going out to the car from the house (and back) when it was cold outside. That way they could get all bundled inside. Even though getting them out of their seats did wake them up, they'd fall right back asleep in the slings.

Sending you wishes for a happy birth!

Lex

Mindfully mothering SIX kids (ages 4, 5, 7, 8, 11 & 11) in a small house with a lot of love.
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#14 of 20 Old 05-17-2003, 11:00 AM
 
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First of all just because the ultra sound said 6 1/2 pounds doesn't mean they are anywhere close They said mine was 7 pounds (at 34 weeks) which led to a ton of tests being scheduled. I had her 3 days later at a whopping 5 1/2#. STill big but not so much./ We had the convertible carseat and the straps, as tight as they would go still didn't even tough her. My second child was 9 1/2 pounds and she was still tiny. I was glad to have the infant seat. It felt so much safer. Also you aren't supposed to put your baby in a carseat with a bl;anket wrapped around them or a coat on so it really is essential where i live to put your baby in his seat inside where it is nice, bundle them in the careseat and then put them in the car.

If you think your baby is going to be huge the rent or borrow one. oUr hospital rents them for $5. how can you go wrong./

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#15 of 20 Old 05-18-2003, 06:15 PM
 
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I agree that babies are much more comfortable in the infant carseats, even if the baby is big. Plus, even if you do end up using your sling a lot of the time, being able to just carry the baby in the carseat is so much more convenient for quick trips. Like if you need to run into the grocery store and get just milk and bread. Standing outside and unbuckling the baby would be a major pain. I was never able to use the sling because my baby hated it, but he outgrew his infant seat at around 3-1/2 months, and it was so much more convenient when he fit in it. Getting him in and out of that convertible takes so much time that it's really only worth it when I'm going to be in a place for at least 15 minutes or so. Now I leave him at home with DH when I run quick errands.
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#16 of 20 Old 06-04-2003, 02:19 AM
 
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i think as long as you can use the semi-recline rear facing position
and a neck pillow (or rolled up blanket-for head support) you are totally fine for the first month til the baby has better support of its own head. thats what we did. my man likes to say that "we don't have a kentucky fried baby!"-we never wanted/got one of the newborn seat bucket things.

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#17 of 20 Old 06-15-2003, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by littlemama23
i think as long as you can use the semi-recline rear facing position
and a neck pillow (or rolled up blanket-for head support) you are totally fine for the first month til the baby has better support of its own head. thats what we did. my man likes to say that "we don't have a kentucky fried baby!"-we never wanted/got one of the newborn seat bucket things.
Of course, the carseat techs generally tell you that adding after-market accessories like a neck roll or towel negates some of the safety of the carseat.

We also had the infant vs. convertible or both debate w/ourselves. Ultimately, we registered for the infant seat and got it -- which proved to be a fortuitous decision. My son was born at 35 weeks and was only 5.5 pounds or so and 18 inches when released from the hospital. The Graco Snugride dwarfed him for his first month of life. I didn't schlep him in the infant seat often, but it was nice to leave him in his warm carseat when I had to take him out in 20-degree weather. Now he's nearly 5 months and 25" and we just moved him to the Britax Roundabout.

If you can get an inexpensive infant seat, I think it would be worth the investment.
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#18 of 20 Old 06-16-2003, 01:04 AM
 
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i didn't buy one of the infant seats. i would never have carried her in it, so i thought that it was a waste of money.... i'd rather buy more slings :P
when she falls a sleep in her seat, i just transfer her to the sling and she stays sleeping so it is not a big deal, for us at least


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#19 of 20 Old 06-16-2003, 01:37 AM
 
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Definitely get the infant seat - it reclines so much more than the convertible, especially if you have a smaller car. We only used ours for 4 months but it was a real help during the time we had it. By the time he outgrew it, his head control was good enough for a convertible.
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#20 of 20 Old 06-16-2003, 12:45 PM
 
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For safety it is DEFINITELY best to get an infant AND a convertible.....
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