Should I skip the bucket? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 44 Old 01-27-2008, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am 36 weeks and looking forward to my first baby. I've been lurking here for a little while, well, long enough to know there is a sale on carseats in February that I plan to take advantage of. Thank you!

So I have 1 car and 1 baby. Should I skip the bucket and go right for a convertible? I am pretty sold on the Britax, but I would also consider a Chicco. I would like something that DC can use for a longer time. But I like the features of buckets having additional cushioning to keep the DCs head from rolling around before neck muscles are developed. How much of a concern is this for a newborn? After reading some of the posts about buckets and the infant outgrowing them in 4-6 months in some cases, for me it doesn't make sense to get a bucket, unless of course a convertible can't provide the same level of safety.

I am leaning towards getting the Roundabout because it is a little smaller. While my car is not tiny, its not a minivan either (Subaru Forester). I don't plan on using the car seat in a stroller or as a carrier. It will be used in the car and also when flying. Other than that this little one will be worn most of the time.

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#2 of 44 Old 01-27-2008, 09:31 PM
 
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I am pregnant with my 4th child and my babies are over 9lbs at birth, and I would NOT skip the bucket. Newborns don't usually fit in convertibles very well, and at least for the first few weeks, I do really think they NEED to be in a bucket. I have a Britax Companion that I really like, but if money is an issue, there is nothing wrong with borrowing a GOOD bucket (5pt harness, never been in an accident, not expired, etc) if you have friends whose babies are outgrowing theirs or relatives w/ kids who out grew them, etc. My sister borrowed my Companion for her now 7 month old daughter, who has outgrown it, and I'll get it back from her before July. The Graco Snugride is a nice seat and affordable, and the Safeseat goes to a much larger sized baby than most buckets, so that's something else to look into if you're interested.

As for convertibles, I honestly don't see the point in buying one anymore that doesn't go to 65lbs now that there are so many on the market. Doesn't the Roundabout only go to 40? We have 2 Britax Boulevards for my younger 2 and we LOVE them. My boys typically outgrow their buckets around 4-6 mos, and our Boulevard fit rf in our Toyota Camry just fine in the middle position (it was sort of wedged between the passenger and driver's seat, which is fine for Britax seats.) We had no issues w/ room. However, when I was pregnant w/ ds3, we tried and discovered there was no way to keep it rearfacing and fit in an infant bucket as well without someone giving up all their leg room. Since this is your first, this shouldn't be an issue for you. You might be able to go to a store like ToysRUs r Sears and see if a salesperson will let you try out a test seat in your own car before you commit to buy. You may be surprised. Also, this was before I knew ds could have been more upright than the 45 degree angle b/c he was older. I thought it had to still be at 45 degrees, even though he was over a year old. I put ds3 more upright almost as soon as he moved to his Boulevard (around 5 mos?) b/c it really helped his reflux to be more upright and we had no problems w/ him flopping forward. I'm not sure what the standard age for that is, but I think it's around 6 mos sometimes, maybe a little sooner, so the bigger seat will not likely be an issue if you have a baby who doesn't outgrow the bucket before 6 mos . We got a minivan, since it would really have been too cramped for 3 kids in the back seat (we travel a lot, so that was important to us to have room.)

Btw, you may find like I did that the bucket is very convenient sometimes. I had winter babies, so it was nice to have them covered up in a blanket in a warm seat instead of having to buckle them in the cold. Also, if they were asleep when we got to the grocery store, I would take the bucket in and hook it to the cart. I always had my sling with me in case they woke up, but why wake the baby if you don't have to?
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#3 of 44 Old 01-27-2008, 09:33 PM
 
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I would get a bucket for at least the first few months, even if it meant borrowing one a friend's baby has just outgrown.

Reason being, they're more fitted to tiny infants and you don't have to worry about the recline being too upright. That, and it may come in handy other ways. I don't know where you live, but the weather here can be horrid in the winter - not something I would feel comfortable moving a newborn around in. It would be easier on me to have a back up plan in the winter months. I can get a cover for a bucket, but a convertible presents some difficulties.
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#4 of 44 Old 01-27-2008, 10:07 PM
 
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A newborn really fits best in an infant seat, and unless you have a very long baby, the Britax seats (not the Companion) won't fit. The straps are still too high for a infant. The RA (Roundabout) is a waste of money IMO, you will have to buy another 5p harness after your child outgrows it because they will not be old/mature enough for a booster seat.

For an infant seat, you'll have to decide if you want to spend just a little bit, like a Graco Snugride, that will work for a couple months until the baby can fit better into a bigger seat. Or you could spend more and buy a Graco Safeseat that will last most children until they are 1-1.5y old and get more for your $.


ETA: Make sure you get your seats checked out by a tech. I am not sure about the Forester, but I know some Subaru's have install issues with the middle position because some of the seats in different models have a hump that makes getting a tight install tricky.

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#5 of 44 Old 01-27-2008, 10:18 PM
 
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Unless you absolutely can't afford it, I would get a bucket. They are a better fit, hand down. Yes, they outgrow them with 6 months, but the benefits during those months is huge.

I was wore my kids A LOT (my first one practically lived in the pouch for the first year of her life), but I also really loved being able to pop out the carseat to bring them inside when they are sleeping. Some days, that would be the only nap my DD would take, and I was grateful for it.
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#6 of 44 Old 01-27-2008, 10:45 PM
 
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I had huge babies (10.5 & 11lbs) and they still would have been completely swallowed up and uncomfortable in my britax marathon, even though I know the lower weight limit is 5lbs, it would not have been comfortable for them. Even though they both outgrew the infant seat at 4-5 months, it was worth it to me.

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#7 of 44 Old 01-27-2008, 10:54 PM
 
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i agree with the PP, it really is worth the convenience.

picture this: baby is fussy, tired but won't nap no matter what you do (that does happen on occasion). so last resort, pop the baby in the bucket, head to the car, drive thru and get yourself a milkshake as baby falls asleep. go home, bring baby inside (still in bucket). set down on floor. go check MDC and throw in a load of laundry, drink milkshake.

scenerio #2: baby is fussy, tired but won't nap no matter what you do (that does happen on occasion). put baby in convertible carseat, head to the car, drive thru and get yourself a milkshake as baby falls asleep. go home, try to veeeerrrrrryyyyy carefully get baby out of seat and inside still asleep. baby wakes up and starts fussing again. walk around living room singing to baby while your milkshake melts, forgotten, on top of the car.

THAT makes it worth the $100 to me!
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#8 of 44 Old 01-27-2008, 11:02 PM
 
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I loved the bucket! It's much more convenient than a convertable especially if you are like me and always seem to have your hands full. You have fling it on your arm and still have room in that hand to carry something else. AND if you have a baby who wakes up from their only nap of the day, induced by a car ride, as soon as you take them out of their carseat...its gold I tell ya, GOLD!
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#9 of 44 Old 01-27-2008, 11:36 PM
 
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Most babies at birth are not large enough to fit properly in a convertible seat. Your babe will need to stay rear facing for a minimum of 1 year AND 20 pounds (safest practice is to rear face to the rear facing weight limit on the seat which is usually 33-35 pounds) and when rear facing, the harness straps need to be at or below their shoulders. When our little ones are born, very few will be tall enough for the harness straps to be at or below their shoulders....in other words their shoulders will not even reach the lowest harness slat on most convertible seats. Hence, your child would not be properly harnessed in their seat while rearfacing.
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#10 of 44 Old 01-28-2008, 10:43 AM
 
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We would really love to get a Graco SS1 for this baby, but it won't fit in our vehicle and we really can't afford it. I would not however start a newborn in a Britax convertible. This baby will be going straight to a Scenera which ds started in at 3-4 months and he was on the second harness slots in it at that point. It does have much lower slots which works well for newborns, but we have to get our just turned 2 year old a new seat as he is almost too tall for the seat. Thankfully there is a new seat out that is perfect for what we need in our vehicle situation and budget.

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#11 of 44 Old 01-28-2008, 11:04 AM
 
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se skipped the bucket with my first. that lasted all of about 2 weeks.

in defense of buckets and why I think they are safer.

even though dd was 11 ounces above the weight limit even the professionals couldn't get the straps tight. even as tight as they would go we could still take her out without unbuckeling. her head flopped all around because it didn't recline as much as the bucket and she just seemed uncomfortable and like she was sitting too streight. Buckets are made with only tiny babies in mind. not toddlers and preschoolers.

Where we live it gets hot in the summer (over 100) and cold in he winter ( -10). the bucket can easily be brought in and out of the car while the base stays properly buckled in. extreme temps are bad for all parts of the seats. also you don't want to have to unbundle your baby in cold weather buckle them in to a carseat with metal componants that can freeze to any exposed skin, and then rebundle them all while frigid air is blowing in from the open door you are standing in. and you simply don't want to accidently burn your baby on a hot carseat. and yes they do get hot enough to burn and leave blisters. It just seems kinder to baby to get all that done in the house where it is comfortable and you can take your time making sure yuor baby is safe from the elements they will definitely encounter as well as the accident they may never encounter. when he weather is more fair you are always free to leave the seat in the car but at least you have the option of bringing it in while leaving the base properly buckled.

sometimes it is nice to have a clean, safe, sanitary place to set your baby down in public.

my children didn't outgrow theirs until they were about 9 months (Ava was 7 months but. . .. Madeline was probably closer to 12) and the last two used the same one safely. I figure for our most used peice of baby equipment thats a pretty good $ per day average. we had a cheaper one but even if you spent $300 and only use it for one child that still only works out to a little over a dollar a day for the added measure of saftey.

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#12 of 44 Old 01-28-2008, 12:48 PM
 
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my children didn't outgrow theirs until they were about 9 months (Ava was 7 months but. . .. Madeline was probably closer to 12) and the last two used the same one safely. I figure for our most used peice of baby equipment thats a pretty good $ per day average. we had a cheaper one but even if you spent $300 and only use it for one child that still only works out to a little over a dollar a day for the added measure of saftey.
Or $10 a day if they outgrow that tiny seat by 3 months like mine did. That might still be a decent idea if you use the seat every day, but you can get a bucket much cheaper if you need one. Although based on not knowing any kids that could fit in a bucket at a year old I'd only go for the ones with a bigger shell and go to a higher weight. Even with the SS1 I would be surprised if my kids fit in it at a year old.

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#13 of 44 Old 01-28-2008, 01:31 PM
 
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Another vote to get a bucket.

And I would NOT get a roundabout- waste of money. A marathon really doesn't take up more room (it can be installed fairly upright past the newborn stage) and lasts a LOT longer.

IMO roundabouts are a total waste of money in 95% of situations.

-Angela
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#14 of 44 Old 01-28-2008, 03:34 PM
 
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i agree with the PP, it really is worth the convenience.

picture this: baby is fussy, tired but won't nap no matter what you do (that does happen on occasion). so last resort, pop the baby in the bucket, head to the car, drive thru and get yourself a milkshake as baby falls asleep. go home, bring baby inside (still in bucket). set down on floor. go check MDC and throw in a load of laundry, drink milkshake.

scenerio #2: baby is fussy, tired but won't nap no matter what you do (that does happen on occasion). put baby in convertible carseat, head to the car, drive thru and get yourself a milkshake as baby falls asleep. go home, try to veeeerrrrrryyyyy carefully get baby out of seat and inside still asleep. baby wakes up and starts fussing again. walk around living room singing to baby while your milkshake melts, forgotten, on top of the car.

THAT makes it worth the $100 to me!
THIS Cracked me up!! Now I want a milkshake though.

OP I would get a bucket. No question.

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#15 of 44 Old 01-28-2008, 03:35 PM
 
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In the Britaxes, however, it is allowable for the baby's shoulders to be up to 1" below the lowest harness height, but only the lowest one. FYI. My 10 lb 10 oz 21 1/2 ds#2 would have fit fine in the marathon safety wise, but I think the bucket is cozier.

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#16 of 44 Old 01-28-2008, 03:46 PM
 
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Bucket! Even though you have plans of wearing the baby wherever you go, the bucket makes things so much easier. You can get DC all ready to go and then bring the bucket to the car. If s/he is sleeping in the car and you just need to make a quick stop somewhere- much less likely to wake your sleeping babe if you are just moving the seat rather than taking the baby out. I think you can find a fairly inexpensive options out there and some areas have programs to provide car seats for children- so if your income meets their guidelines- you might be able to get a free one. Just because you have a bucket doesn't mean the baby has to stay in it but man, having it when you really need it is so worth it. Although I don't know any research to reference, I think babies fit better in the bucket. And the better fit makes me think they are safer.

DS was pretty big and while we switched to a convertable seat at 4.5 months, we did so because he hated ridiing in the car. We thought a different seat would help. He was about 16 pounds when we switched him but he could have technically stayed in the bucket till 7 or 8 months. (I should say, the bigger car seat did not improve his opinion of car rides )

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#17 of 44 Old 01-28-2008, 04:18 PM
 
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In the Britaxes, however, it is allowable for the baby's shoulders to be up to 1" below the lowest harness height, but only the lowest one. FYI. My 10 lb 10 oz 21 1/2 ds#2 would have fit fine in the marathon safety wise, but I think the bucket is cozier.
No No No not true. The harness when rearfacing has to be at or below the baby's shoulders. Not 1" above the shoulders.

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#18 of 44 Old 01-28-2008, 04:27 PM
 
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No No No not true. The harness when rearfacing has to be at or below the baby's shoulders. Not 1" above the shoulders.
Actually, she's right that it's "allowable" Personally I'm not sure I'd be comfortable with it. But it is allowable.

-Angela
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#19 of 44 Old 01-28-2008, 04:42 PM
 
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Really? Not according to my user guide.

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#20 of 44 Old 01-28-2008, 05:25 PM
 
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There have been a few changes and updates to the Britax (and frankly all manufacturer's CRS manuals) manuals over the years. With that said, always defer to the manual that came with your CRS.
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#21 of 44 Old 01-28-2008, 05:34 PM
 
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Buy the bucket. DD would have fit in hers until about 14 months. They are great in cold weather so baby can be bundled while in the house. In the summer, metal clasps will not burn the baby. I am also a baby wearer, but its great to not disturb their sleep bringing them in the house. Once we put dd in a marithon, we were unable to kepp her asleep bringing her into the house. So that meant sometimes only a 15 minute nap and and a super cranky baby the rest of the day. We had a graco bucket for dd, and bought a britax companion bucket for ds. It is big and heavy, but they have a rebound bar making them very safe. Buy the bucket!
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#22 of 44 Old 01-28-2008, 06:57 PM
 
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The radian is cheaper than the britax and the evenflo triumph advance is only 130.
$130 is still a lot for me to spend on a car seat. I realize you can't put a price on your child's safety, but, well, for me I guess you can.
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#23 of 44 Old 01-28-2008, 07:14 PM
 
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oh I wouldn't skip the infant/bucket seat for the first few months... baby will fit much better. worth the extra $ IMO.

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#24 of 44 Old 01-28-2008, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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WOW! This is awesome! I really appreciate all of the replies, I liked the milkshake too, there are so many things that I am naive about. Like I can hardly even conceive of this little one crying, its all so new to me. I am convinced though, I will get a bucket. The economy of safety is hard to really put a price on. So I will try to decide which brand to get.... there is a good second hand baby store in town, maybe I will score a good deal there. And thanks for letting me know about the RA. I will probably get a Marathon when it's time for the bucket to go.
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#25 of 44 Old 01-28-2008, 07:31 PM
 
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WOW! This is awesome! I really appreciate all of the replies, I liked the milkshake too, there are so many things that I am naive about. Like I can hardly even conceive of this little one crying, its all so new to me. I am convinced though, I will get a bucket. The economy of safety is hard to really put a price on. So I will try to decide which brand to get.... there is a good second hand baby store in town, maybe I will score a good deal there. And thanks for letting me know about the RA. I will probably get a Marathon when it's time for the bucket to go.
I wouldn't get a used carseat unless you know the previous owner and can be 100% sure it was never in an accident.
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#26 of 44 Old 01-28-2008, 07:53 PM
 
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$130 is still a lot for me to spend on a car seat. I realize you can't put a price on your child's safety, but, well, for me I guess you can.
The thing is though that eventually you will have to purchase a higher weight seat. So start planning now.

-Angela
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#27 of 44 Old 01-28-2008, 08:29 PM
 
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Or $10 a day if they outgrow that tiny seat by 3 months like mine did. That might still be a decent idea if you use the seat every day, but you can get a bucket much cheaper if you need one. Although based on not knowing any kids that could fit in a bucket at a year old I'd only go for the ones with a bigger shell and go to a higher weight. Even with the SS1 I would be surprised if my kids fit in it at a year old.
Obviously. Our carseat was about $60 and we used I for two kids so we hit at about $.25 a day but even if you really went crazy and went for top of the top of the line . . . .

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So I will try to decide which brand to get.... there is a good second hand baby store in town, maybe I will score a good deal there.
If I had to choose between a used car seat and a cheaper model I would go with a cheaper model.

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#28 of 44 Old 01-29-2008, 08:37 PM
 
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This thread is back. Please be mindful of the MDC UA when posting and specifically refrain from taking direct issue with a member in the thread. Thank you.

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#29 of 44 Old 01-29-2008, 08:44 PM
 
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. . . I can't possibly imagine what was said in a carseat thread to get it pulled.

Anywho . . . another vote for the bucket and if I had to do it again, I'd probably do a Britax Marathon because when I combine the price of my son's car seat and the booster I will soon have to buy, it's cheaper to do the Britax.

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#30 of 44 Old 01-29-2008, 10:16 PM
 
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Hi, I know you don't plan to use the bucket outside the car, we didn't either really, until we got home and our baby would only sleep in her bucket or on one of our laps... She slept in her bucket for the first week almost, and took naps in it forever. Most of the buckets rock, and our baby loved that rocking motion and not others like rocking chairs or baby swings. It is much easier to get the baby all set in the car seat inside and then carry her/him out to the car, and to bring her in while still in the car seat and get her out inside, or let her sleep if she fell asleep in the car. Sometimes even today when our child won't nap (she is 20 months and 27lbs) I am tempted to see if she will still fit in it for some rocking...

best for your arrival!
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