September 2013 Moms

Car seat advice

Next to choosing a stroller, trying to decide on the car seat that's right for us has been one of the most difficult decisions in the baby gear department. Dh and I don't own a car. We live in a large metro area and rely on public transportation. Once or twice a year we rent a car and will drive up to visit family for a week, or maybe take a small trip upstate or something. We don't generally fly anywhere, and probably won't for a good while (a year after baby is born at best?).

I know that we will need a car seat to get home from the hospital (car service) and we plan on taking a trip to visit family in December. That's the only two trips we have planned right now, and since I'll be out of work for awhile, I don't imagine we'll be squeezing in more than one or two others before baby is 6mos. Should we skip the infant car seat and just get a convertible right away? I feel like using an infant seat maybe 4 times before the baby grows out of it would be a waste of money, but I also know that they're more convenient and sometimes a convertible seat is quite large and our rental cars are sometimes small. And obviously, baby safety takes precedence over saving money.

I know you can also rent child seats with a car rental, but I don't know if that's cost effective. I know it generally costs more to rent a GPS for a week than it does just to buy one so I don't know if child seats are the same.

 So, what would our best option be? Buy the cheapest infant seat? Skip the infant and go straight to a convertible? Just rent one when we need it? We'll also have the issue of storing an infant seat after the child grows out of it. We don't know if we'll want another child or not, but we really don't have space to store a lot of baby gear for just maybe using it later. We'll probably just have to get rid of it as soon as baby is too big.

One DD born 9/23/13.
We're one and done!

Re: Car seat advice

  • Not sure how it is where you live, but our hospital won't let you leave unless you have a carseat that is properly installed and baby fits snug. If it were me, I would see if a close friend has an infant seat that you can borrow when taking those trips. Or as long as you're okay spending the extra dough, I would just buy one that is still safe but inexpensive.
    **Proud Mommy to Elijah Douglas**
          **Angel baby August 2010**
      **Proud Mama of two furbabies**
  • It would seem to make sense to just go for the convertible seat right away. I think it is more convenient to have an infant car seat, but if you are really going to only use it four times, I would say save the money and make do with the convertible. How do you plan on carrying baby around though? Is your stroller okay to be used from birth or is there restrictions? I found it handy to snap the car seat into the stroller so we didn't have to disturb him and he seemed more comfy when he was really little in the car seat as opposed to the stroller. 

    I would avoid renting a car seat from the car services. You don't know what quality you will be getting and there is no way to guarantee that it hasn't been in an accident. Also, if you aren't 100% familiar it may get installed wrong.  

    Dailey 10/29/2009 BFP! 7/12/2010 Welcomed our beautiful baby boy TTC#2 Since 10/2011 5/21/2012 BFP! 6/30/2012 Missed Miscarriage 1/4/2012 BFP!! Stick, baby, stick! Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker BabyFetus Ticker
  • Yes, I would just get a convertible. The hospital can check your baby in the car once installed and baby is in. People use convertibles all the time. An infant carrier isn't necessary. Either that or borrow one for the trip home. 
    Mom of 3 boys.
    7-11-2007 (has Autism),
    2-26-2009 to 11-2-11 (had cancer at 4mo),
    3-28-2011 and
    Baby due 9-10-2013
    image
  • In your situation I'd skip the infant seat. The convertible one works for newborns
    Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickersLilypie Third Birthday tickersLilypie First Birthday tickers
    Photobucket
  • Yeah, I'd definitely just borrow one to leave the hospital. I wouldn't want to take a newborn home in a big bulky convertible, but that's jst me. Even if a family member from out of state ships you theirs to use for that short amount of time, i think that would make more sense.
    January 2009: Goodbye TR (13 weeks) February 2010: Welcome DD1! March 2011: Welcome DD2! Lilypie Maternity tickers
  • I would still get an infant car seat. We used our infant carseat "snapped in" to our stroller for walks when baby was too young to sit in just the stroller. We also used it when we went out to eat - baby stayed in the car seat and slept or played happily while we ate. If you get a carrier that can hold a baby up to 30 or 35 lbs it could last you at least a year. The infant seat we had for DD only went up to 22lbs so we had to move her sooner than I wanted to a convertible. I plan to buy one that is for at least 30lbs this time. I have a friend who's baby wouldn't sleep in anything but his infant carseat for the first few months - this was her 4th baby so she had all the other options for sleep but that was the only way they all got any sleep. Do you have any friends in the area, or even back home, that have an infant carseat that they won't be needing and you could borrow until baby out grew it - so long as it's not expired? You may want to ask what your hospita's policy is on car seat requirements for baby before they will discharge you. They may not let the baby leave without it being in an actual infant car seat.

  • I think we need to know what you are doing for a stroller to give advice here. I assume you'll use it a lot from the very beginning. Some are really not appropriate for a newborn so the infant carseat snapped in may be really useful.
    DS: 2/17/11          DD: 9/4/13
  • Will you rent a car to go to the doctors and grocery shopping? Do you take a bus or cab normally? Im not familliar with that kind of situation. What do your friends do? IMO I would buy a smaller travel system that way I knew baby was safe and cozy in the car seat and then I could pop him or her in the stroller when we reach our destination. plus with the stroller you will have some where to stash your diaperbag and or purse.
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • I say go with the convertible seat. We went from two cars to one and kept our spare. This LO will use her spare. It was rarely used anyway since it was in DHs car before we took it out. I love our convertible seats and HATED the infant seat. I personally think the conveniences factor of a click in carseat is way overrated. Especially if you plan to use it mayne twice before you would typically get a convertible anyway. So what if you have to wake baby up to get them inside, it is going to happen sooner or later anyway.

    In this case, I agree with PP that having infant seat with the stroller is awesome, but there are options for infants in a stroller only version too. These usually have a bassinet feature but can be pricey. You could also look into baby wearing too, I loved wearing DD even though I wasn't a crazy, I need to voice my love for this contraption baby wearer.
    image
  • We'll have the Uppababy Cruz + infant snug seat so it will be suitable for a newborn. For when a stroller isn't convenient, we'll have a wrap carrier of some sort while baby is still little. I know Uppababy is supposed to be coming out with an infant car seat soon that's compatible with the stroller, but it looks like it will be close to $300 so I'll pass. We could buy an adapter for other brands though.

    It sounds like a convertible is probably just our best option. Maybe I'll register for a cheaper infant seat. If we get it, great, but if not then no harm done. I'll check on the hospital policy if it has to be an infant only seat. We don't really have anyone we can borrow from though, which is a bummer because that would definitely make it easier.
     

    One DD born 9/23/13.
    We're one and done!
  • image mamasheridan:
    Will you rent a car to go to the doctors and grocery shopping? Do you take a bus or cab normally? Im not familliar with that kind of situation. What do your friends do? IMO I would buy a smaller travel system that way I knew baby was safe and cozy in the car seat and then I could pop him or her in the stroller when we reach our destination. plus with the stroller you will have some where to stash your diaperbag and or purse.

    Primarily the subway (which often have a lot of stairs and no elevators) and sometimes the bus. We rarely take a taxi (as in, 2 or 3 times in the 5 years I've been here). Car service is also rare and it's generally been times where someone else has been paying. We walk to the grocery store that's only a block away. I generally get to my OB office by train, but our family doctor is walking distance. None of our friends in the city have kids yet. The closest is a friend who's older sister had a baby a few years ago and they do have a family car they share for going out of the city.

    One DD born 9/23/13.
    We're one and done!
  • I'm assuming you plan to wear the baby the majority of the time. Using this assumption I would say convertible. It may mean you will have to rent a larger vehicle because a rear facing convertible can take up a lot of space.
  • image thedash:
    I think we need to know what you are doing for a stroller to give advice here. I assume you'll use it a lot from the very beginning. Some are really not appropriate for a newborn so the infant carseat snapped in may be really useful.

    This is what I'm thinking. unless you are really shelling out the dough on a stroller with a bassinet  feature, you will probably need an infant carseat that works with your stroller for use before LO can sit up. A lot of strollers that I've seen say that LO should be able to sit independently or meet a certain minimum weight requirement before they can just sit in the stroller.

    You also want to consider going into restaurants and such. If you don't have an infant carseat, where will you put your non-sitting baby? Are you really going to hold a 5mo while you try to eat at a restaurant? or what if you are visiting a friend and need a safe place to put you baby down? The infant carseat is useful for so much more than just in the car.

    I would get the most inexpensive carseat you can, that you know fits with your stroller. But I wouldn't get a used one off craigslist or anything, because you don't know if it's been in an accident.


    Image and video hosting by TinyPic Baby Birthday Ticker TickerBaby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • I woUkd definitely skip the infant seat. The reason most people get one is for the convenience of carrying baby around. Since you don't need that, I wouldn't bother. My only question is, do you take cabs? Then an infant seat might be convenient. Personally, for your use, I would buy a $40 Cosco apt. We have one for travel and it's great. DS is 2 and still rear faces in it just fine. I find it easy to install and it doesn't take up a lot of front to back space which would be good for rentals. Your LO won't be able to use it all the way until boostering age, but at that price, who cares? You can get a new one in a few years when your life situation may be a little different. But if you don't do a lot of car rides, I wouldn't bother spending the money on the bells and whistles of the nicer seats. All seats are safe. What you pay for are bells and whistles.
    BFP#1-7/28/2010, DS-4/11/2011


    BFP#2-7/21/2012, MM/C-8/9/2012


    BFP#3-11/1/2012, M/C-11/25/2012


    BFP#4-1/16/2013, EDD-9/29/2013
    My 4th BFP chart:
    My Ovulation Chart

    Lilypie Maternity tickers

  • I'd go with one of the ones that grows with the child, infant to 2 years old.  (I'm going with that myself, so I won't have to keep replacing not one but two car seats every few months.)

    4/12/10 - Began TTC 8/2012 - IFV #1 - 18 follicles retrieved, 11 usable, 10 fertilized, 9 continued to grow, 2 tranferred, BFN :( 9/2012 to 10/2012- Treated for uterine infection 11/12/12 - Began IVF #2 12/19/12 - 2 embryos tranferred 12/24/12 - Tested Christmas Eve morning - first ever BFP!!! with a due date of 9/6 :) 12/28/12 - Beta #1 - 193 12/31/12 - Beta #2 - 624 1/7/13 - Beta #3 - 7544 1/14/13 - Beta #4 - 31,067 1/16/13 - IT'S TWINS!!!! Two healthy heartbeats! 8/22/13 9:51 and 9:52pm- Our precious Ashley and Kayla arrived in perfect health.  (Ashley - 6lbs 0oz, 18.5 inches.  Kayla - 5lbs 2oz, 17 inches.)

     

       image

    imageimage

    Lilypie - (TZV1)image
     
  • I ditto all of the following:

    Friend with an already installed infant carseat in their car.  

    Getting a rental car and renting the infant seat to come home from the hospital.

    Renting an age-appropriate car seat when getting a rental car.

     

    If all else fails, pick up a reliable new or used car seat from your local baby consignment store and resell it after you get baby home.  You can then look into getting the older child seat or convertible one when baby is bigger.

    ??
    Our little lightbulb is on the way!
    image
    12 weeks 3 days


    TTC since Oct 2011
    Me: 33, hypothyroidism since 14, cleared all HSG, US, Pre-pregnancy panel tests.
    Hubby: 36, testicular Ca, chemo April-May 2012.
    Natural cycle IUI #1 with trigger and Progesterone Suppositories (Jun 2012) Neg
    Natural Cycle IUI #2 with trigger and Progesterone Suppositories (Jul 2012) NEG
    Aug 2012 - break due to needing a girls' weekend in Cape Cod
    Natural Cycle IUI #3 with trigger and prednisone (Sep 2012) NEGATIVE
    Switched fertility clinics - forced break Oct 2012
    Natural Cycle IUI #4 (Nov 2012) no trigger, no progesterone, no prednisone (Nov 2012) - Neg
    1st round Clomid Cycle IUI #5 (Dec 2012) - POS
  • AnjaOAnjaO
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Combo Breaker
    member

    image RunningGal900:
    I woUkd definitely skip the infant seat. The reason most people get one is for the convenience of carrying baby around. Since you don't need that, I wouldn't bother. My only question is, do you take cabs? Then an infant seat might be convenient. Personally, for your use, I would buy a $40 Cosco apt. We have one for travel and it's great. DS is 2 and still rear faces in it just fine. I find it easy to install and it doesn't take up a lot of front to back space which would be good for rentals. Your LO won't be able to use it all the way until boostering age, but at that price, who cares? You can get a new one in a few years when your life situation may be a little different. But if you don't do a lot of car rides, I wouldn't bother spending the money on the bells and whistles of the nicer seats. All seats are safe. What you pay for are bells and whistles.

    I was going to suggest this seat.  It will last you a long time and is really light weight while allowing for RF longer than most.  I got mine for $36 and use it for staying with the grandparents and when we get a second car, it'll be the backup for the car DS doesn't ride in as much.


    BFP #1 8/14/10, DS born 4/30/11 
    BFP #2 9/30/12, M/C 10/23/12 
    BFP #3 12/16/12, CP 12/20/12 
    BFP #4 1/20/13, DD born 10/9/13
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • image magdalina.h:
    In your situation I'd skip the infant seat. The convertible one works for newborns

    This. Plus most hospitals, for liability reasons, don't check car seats. They make sure you HAVE a car seat but that's it. For a convertible, they will look in the car and see that its there. They won't check the installation so you could drive away with LO in your lap and they can't stop you. I know you won't do that but you get the picture...

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

      Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

    image image image
  • You could look into renting a seat to see how much it is (a lot of rental companies have them).  But if you're not comfortable with that, I would go straight for the convertible.  Honestly, I am in the camp that feels that the infant seat was somewhat unecessary for us.  And I absolutely wouldn't get one if I lived in an city and almost never took a car!
    Lots of love to my BFPB, Squishy622 <3

    photo 544b4365-b9ee-4805-ba08-f19896d25dae_zpsd8a0debb.jpgphoto ed61c23b-2bf9-4622-b870-072ac0970775_zpsa90b2a73.jpg
    image
    image
     
  • image smilormarie:

    I ditto all of the following:

    Friend with an already installed infant carseat in their car.  

    Getting a rental car and renting the infant seat to come home from the hospital.

    Renting an age-appropriate car seat when getting a rental car.

     

    If all else fails, pick up a reliable new or used car seat from your local baby consignment store and resell it after you get baby home.  You can then look into getting the older child seat or convertible one when baby is bigger.

    I have to say you really shouldn't used seat from a consignment store. You have no idea the history of the seat, what damage has occurred, if it's been in a crash, how it's been treated, etc. Buying used is fine if it comes from a trusted source. Same with renting a car. They use all sort of abrasive cleaners on the straps which mess with the integrity of the seat and who knows what other customers have done to it. 

    BFP#1-7/28/2010, DS-4/11/2011


    BFP#2-7/21/2012, MM/C-8/9/2012


    BFP#3-11/1/2012, M/C-11/25/2012


    BFP#4-1/16/2013, EDD-9/29/2013
    My 4th BFP chart:
    My Ovulation Chart

    Lilypie Maternity tickers

Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards