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Infant seat required?!

1393 Views 39 Replies 32 Participants Last post by  thepeach80
My very first carseat issues post...

DH and I went to TRU yesterday, gift card in hand, to look for either a second base for the infant baby-bucket seat someone gave us or for a better quality convertible seat.

It turned out the base costs $40 and since we're expecting a big baby and since the infant seat only goes up to 22 pounds, we decided to look into convertible seats.

The salelady at TRU told us that the hospital won't let us go home with just a convertible, that we need an infant seat. It's not an issue for us, we're homebirthing and we have an infant seat anyway, but it struck me as weird since the convertible are rated for newborns. I did a search here and found a couple threads that addressed the issue of nb's in convertible seats.

The consensus seemed to be that it's perfectly fine but that infant seats are more convenient, esp. in the winter. We're due in May and already have the baby bucket anyway should we decide we want to use it (we probably will just for the times DH is watching the baby in the lobby while I'm taking classes, so that she can nap easily).

But it weirded me out that allegedly hospitals hold babies hostage until the parents buy a baby bucket. Anyone heard of this?

And what convertible should I get? I'm pretty sure we cannot afford a Britax, which seems to be the best. I don't need the *best* I just need pretty good, kwim?

The baby-bucket seems to barely fit in the back of the Saturn station wagon. We'll shortly be acquiring a Corolla as well.
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I've never heard of them "holding you hostage." In hospitals I do know that they want to see you buckle your baby in the seat to make sure you are doing it right and to prove that you have a seat for your baby. I'm sure they can check just as easily when the babe gets put in the car.
We had a convertible for dd to take her home from the hospital. Since we live in South Florida and we walk almost everywhere to begin with, and I planned on wearing her a lot, we didn't see the need for a bucket.

We had no problems at the hospital. In fact, they didn't even look at the car seat. When I was discharged, all the asked was if we had a carseat for dd, and if we had any questions on usage/installation, and we had to sign a form stating that yes we did have the carseat. We didn't bring it up to the room or anything.

Just an FYI... I did need to use a blanket for dd's head and legs in the convertable until she grew a bit. But overall, I don't regret not purchasing a bucket, we just wouldn't have used it that much since we don't even drive that much.
I can't imagine that is true. I know at our hospital they had dh bring in the seat, but since it was a bucket and we had to adjust all the straps and stuff anyway it was no big deal. Maybe the hospital is just uneducated about the different types of seats? Buckets are so popular, maybe they are not aware of all the other types of seats that are larger, but still rated for babies?
we only bought a convertible with dd. we were very poor at the time and big babies run in my family so i wasn't going to risk needing a new carseat in 3 months. (all three of my brothers were 20lbs or so by 3 mos. although dd was barely 20lbs at 1 year so it wasn't really a problem.)

the nurse was confussed than anything by our lack of baby bucket, but they let us leave. they want to make sue that the babe is properly fastened, which is totally understandable. i thought they were going to send someone out to the car with us to check dd's harness. i was the only new mommy holding a baby and not balancing a bucket on my lap as we wheeled out of the hospital.
i actually could have used the help though. i had the straps too tight. eek!

i would hate to think that they really don't let you leave the hospital. i would in fact imagine that what you heard was just rumor. they could just follow you out to the car and check the baby and the seat.

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I've never heard this before. Everyone I know that's delivered in a hospital (including myself w/ DS) just had to prove they had a seat, whether it be by bringing in the bucket or having a nurse or someone see you buckle in the babe. They didn't seem to care what kind of seat it was, as long as it was rated for a newborn.
There is no reason that a baby couldn't be in a convertible from the get go. I only used the bucket for about 10 weeks with my very average sized baby that was born last May.

I am super cheap, but also a big Britax fan. If I had it to do all over again I would buy a Britax Boulevard/Marathon to use in my primary car from birth to 65 lbs and be done with it. It would still be cheaper than 3 separate seats (bucket, convertible to 40 lbs and a booster). You still might want or need a booster after 65 lbs, but by then you kid might also be a 1 grader too. Convertibles fit so much tighter in your car than the bucket seats do.
Some hospitals require/ask that the infant car seat be brought to the hospital prior to leaving with your newborn. There are different reasons for that. However, if you chose to put your babe directly into a convertible, and your hospital wants to see your seat to verify you have one, then they'll have to walk down with you and go out and see it in your car. It's that simple. There isn't a hospital policy in the US that would stand up in a court of law, that states you have to have an infant carrier as the method of child restraint or you can't leave with your baby. They can however, refuse to allow you to leave with your newborn if you don't have anything.

CPS tech/instructor and momma to 2 sons in seats
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For our first baby (born last year at a hospital), the hospital people had no problem with us having a convertible car seat installed in the car. What the sales lady told you sounds like crazy hearsay. It's also in the best interest of the store for you to buy an infant seat and a toddler forward facing seat -- so I can see that she would like people to believe that.

About which seat to buy... we got a Cosco seat, it's very basic, very affordable and has worked without problems for us. Check Consumer Reports for safety and value ratings. We don't subscribe to it, but our library carried it.
This sounds so familiar! The people at BRU tried to tell me this too - they even went so far as to say it would be illegal for me to only have my Britax Decathlon (for 5-65 lbs) and my DD would not be safe in the Britax!!! LOL I mean, it really isn't funny they are telling people this - they are wrong!!!! Actually, I think next time I am there I will follow up with them on that - they need to stop saying that to people. Thank goodness I had the sense to ignore them - but I admit they had me really thinking about it for a bit - I thought - what if they are right and I am putting DD at risk?? I too had planned a homebirth, but sadly ended up transferring to a hospital after 27 hours of labor at home
I had a half heartedly packed "just in case" bag (I didn't think I'd need it!) and I just put the carseat manual in there in case anyone gave me trouble. As it turned out, all they did was ask me if I had a car seat - they didn't even look. But I was ready to fight them if I had to (and I was feeling pretty feisty since I didn't want to be at the hospital in the first place)!!

I never really missed the bucket - but it didn't get terribly cold here this winter. I just carry my baby in her Moby wrap and she is happy and warm against her Mama
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I bought a convertible and not an infant seat because I knew that I would be lazy and not wear Dd if I could get away with it
. We were planning a homebirth and transfered at the end - so ended up with a hospital birth. They didn't even check to see if we had a carseat. We have an Evenflo Triumph. It was rated by Consumer Reports as a best buy - for safety and price. I believe it was even rated safer than the Britax seats (but I may have Mommy brain, so you might want to check.) We are really happy with the seat, you can adjust the strap tension with a knob on the side, and we didn't have any issue with her flopping about as a newborn, and they are really good looking seats too.


I'd ignore the silly lady at TRU.

- Sarah
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Honestly, I almost think a Britax convertible is safer than most buckets for a newborn. We had a bucket with dd1 and it was a real pain to get the angle right. The tether makes that part much easier. The HUGS system holds a newborn snugly in place too - we started dd2 off in a Marathon and haven't regretted it at all.
The hospital birthing center won't let the babe go downstairs unless it's in a baby bucket on Moms lap while Mom rides in a wheelchair. It is really pretty idiotic if you ask me but nobody did huh? I am not sure what they would've said if I told them we had a convertible in the car. I am saving my bucket for just that very thing if I can't go the the stand alone birth center if we have any more. Wow there's a lot of if's in there huh?
That's the strangest thing I have ever heard...we only have a convertable seat for our DD. And NO, they can't "not let" you leave under ANY circumstances. It's your baby, they don't own it.
Shoot, my first baby was a preemie, not real small but under 5 lbs. We had a bucket and they let me take him home in that. (I was young and as most people NOT expecting a preemie). His feet didn't even go past the belt in between his legs and his whole body fit where his butt was suppose to be. I had no idea I had any other options and NOBODY bothered to tell me. LATER I found out there were "preemie car beds" but it was too late for me. I just didn't take him out in the car until he grew because I knew he didn't look comfy in that thing.

I've had two children and I don't remember if they checked my seat or's a rule that you have a seat, but I don't remember anybody checking. A volunteer takes me down to the car, so I know he didn't care (candy striper).

Anyway, if a seat is rated for an's rated for an infant. The person was probably either misinformed, or trying to sell you a seat you don't need...although I guess that wouldn't be probable a TRU since they don't work on commission! LOL
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Originally Posted by rmzbm
That's the strangest thing I have ever heard...we only have a convertable seat for our DD. And NO, they can't "not let" you leave under ANY circumstances. It's your baby, they don't own it.
I agree. Even if you don't have a car seat, maybe you're taking a bus, a cab, the train, walking etc. I mean would they tell people who don't even own a vehicle (and thus didn't buy a car seat) that they weren't allowed to leave without a car seat? What would those parents do, strap the car seat to their backs?

If you got into your vehicle without a seat for the baby, I suppose they could call the police. That would make sense, but I don't see how they could physically detain you.
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Mass transit (train...etc.) and walking aside, if you are traveling in a motor vehicle (yours, uncle john's, or a taxi) you must have your newborn restrained in an approved child restraint. Can the hospital physically restrain you? Well considering the fact that they'd probably be sued, of coarse not. Why would it even come to that anyhow? That's ludicrious. I'm sure hospitals have nifty little waivers to cover their butt if a situation like this arose. And before you even drove away, they'd be calling the cops, and they should.
And to the PP who mentioned the Babies R Us sales rep's advice...I believe it. I hang out ocasionally at our local B R Us to look at new seats when they come out and you wouldn't believe the crap I hear. Depending on what they say, determines whether or not I butt in in front of them or wait until they walk away to correct them.

CPS tech/instructor and momma to 2 sons in seats
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A few things, yes, if you don't have a seat and do have a car, they can keep your baby. It's illegal and they could be in lots of trouble if they let you leave. (I will have to look this up, though I'm not sure where to do that) Does it have to be an infant only seat, no, but it needs to be an appropriate choice as a convertible seat is. Do a lot of convertible seats fit new 5# babies, not always and that is something you need to talk about ahead of time w/ your partner etc, have a back up plan in case baby comes early or is small, etc. Britax requires no more than an inch between the babies shoulders and the strap slots in order to use their seats w/ a nb. If I was going to get one for a 5# baby, it would be the Britax Boulevard. I personally love having infant seats for my kids and am probably getting the Graco Safeseat this time, which goes to 30# and 32". Not that it matters, Evan isn't quite 22# and 29" now at 16 mos.

It'sMe!-That makes me incredible sad about your first baby. Any baby in the NICU that is premature needs to pass a carseat tolerance test before leaving the hospital, letting one leave w/out that is just irresponsibility on the part of the hospital. This entails bringing the seat into the NICU and having the baby sit in it while hooked up to monitors to make sure he tolerates that angle well and will not stop breathing on the way home!

The Britax seats do not need to have the HUGS on them in the rfing position and can often hinder parents from getting a good fit w/ the harness on a small baby.

If you do choose to use a convertible from birth, PLEASE go get it checked by a certified person before baby comes to make sure it is in correctly and you have the right angle for it so baby can breathe in the seat.
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We were told that inane business about having to have a bucket too -- but not at BRU, actually from a carseat tech at a local independent children's retailer!

I can understand hospitals not letting you leave in a car without any carseat, but that's ridiculous. The only thing that *fits* in the backseat of our tiny car is a Britax Roundabout (none of the buckets will, go figure), so I am not sweating the convertible issue -- that's the carseat I would have bought post-bucket, anyway. (I am of course gonna have it installed/looked at by a tech before we use it.)

Originally Posted by thepeach80
It'sMe!-That makes me incredible sad about your first baby. Any baby in the NICU that is premature needs to pass a carseat tolerance test before leaving the hospital, letting one leave w/out that is just irresponsibility on the part of the hospital. This entails bringing the seat into the NICU and having the baby sit in it while hooked up to monitors to make sure he tolerates that angle well and will not stop breathing on the way home!
I know it wasn't a good thing...I will say that although my baby was early, he never went to NICU and when we left he was just under the 5 lb. maybe that is why we fell through the cracks. He had no "problems" other than eating issues and a little jaundice. BUT there is no way he should have been in that seat. I got him home safely and never took him out in it again until he was big enough. I would also like to say I am now a car seat CRAZY WOMAN!!! I inspect the seats of everyone I know. If I see something they are doing wrong (seat not tight enough, chest clasp at the naval
) I delicately try to "help". I have been doing day care for 8 yrs. now and boy have I seen it all. I have never been carseat "trained" or certified, but I have read and re-read, called companies etc. I took may last child's seat to a police station to be checked once and the guy just came out and looked at it, didn't know what he was doing. My Mom laughed at me after because I said, "if that is a safety check, I'm a perfect 10!" It was alarming because the radio stations and such around here tell you to go get them checked like that...he didn't even look to see how I put her in to see if I would strap her right...I later took her to a car seat safety check. I had never done one before and although I read and read and read I wanted to be sure. I thought they would just look and make sure it was installed right and that I had her in it right. I was soooo worried when they took it out. (to make sure it wasn't too old or damaged) I told the lady, "You have no idea how hard it is to get in that tight...I'm afraid they won't get it back in right" (I have an older car and have to use a locking clip and my DH would have to sit in it to get it in and HE wasn't with me). She laughed at me and said, Oh don't worry the woman doing it does this all the time, she will get it back in....WELL, she couldn't! LOL She had to call her boyfriend over to help (I didn't want them to loosen the locking clip). She told me she had never seen a carseat installed so tightly! LOL

So what I lacked the day I left the hospital almost 9 yrs ago...I'VE MADE UP FOR!
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