Infant vs Convertible Car Seat — The Bump
January 2016 Moms

Infant vs Convertible Car Seat

I see most people on here talking about travel systems, but I plan on baby wearing and we will never really need a stroller except the rare occasion. I was considering just getting a convertible carseat and an umbrella stroller for later so we don't have to buy an infant seat, stroller that attaches, then a convertible seat when they outgrow it.
Any STMs completely skip the infant seat or is it worth the extra cost?

Re: Infant vs Convertible Car Seat

  • I'm a stm and plan on doing the travel system even though I also plan on babywearing. 

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    QueenCarlissalwebley
  • What PP said. I'm a FTM, but I've seen so many people carry babies around in the infant seat, even if they don't bother attaching it to the stroller every time, especially if the baby falls asleep in their carseat, it's nice not to have to take them out and potentially wake them up! The convertible carseats seem awesome, but are heavy and more immovable and not as easy to just pop out and take into the post office/restaurant/house/wherever when baby is happily asleep (and we all know by now that leaving them asleep in the car alone is not an option, lol)

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    deaddahliahTinyDancer51510maddisonwallace
  • I'm a stm and plan on doing the travel system even though I also plan on babywearing. 

    This for me too.
    I don't know if the convertible carseats do it, but our travel system has a base that stays in the car and the seat itself can be popped out easily. It's a convenient feature and one of the major reasons we chose it.
  • The biggest reason I will be using the infant seat again is baby will be born in the dead of winter. I live out west and snow and cold temps are a factor. With the infant seat I can buckle baby and cover with blankets before ever going out in the cold. Also, bringing the car seat in helps keep the car seat itself warm. However, I hate my travel system stroller and wish we had just bought the infant car seat and base.
    adcc43
  • kmo8986 said:
    I am going to say you logic is spot on and had I not had an infant seat with my first I would be all "totally skip it"...however. It is really nice to be able to take your kid inside somewhere asleep in the infant seat. Also until they can sit up, when you go to a restaurant you would want the infant seat for them to sit in, otherwise it is holding them the whole time.

    This. It's so easy to carry the seat in and out of places while they are sleeping. I missed it when my DD was switched to the convertible for that reason only. Also it being so cold you can just throw a blanket over and they will be fine. I will say if you want to skip the stroller and get a good supportive umbrella I get that since they will be born in Jan. baby could at least be comfortable strapped in at 4 or 5 months in an umbrella.
  • Your baby is going to be sleeping a lot in the beginning and it was a HUGE convenience to be able to just pop that infant seat out of the car quietly and carry it into the house while the baby kept sleeping. Just saying . . .

     

  • As everyone has said your going to want an infant seat simply to not have to constantly wake your sleeping babe to get them in and out of the car. We didn't get a travel system since I didn't think we'd use the big stroller but you will want to infant car seat...as a STM
    I'd be shocked if you felt it was a waste!
    lwebley
  • I ALWAYS baby wear. I did this with my first and regretted it. Sometimes they are asleep and you just hate to wake them and having the bucket seat is awesome- I however never had the travel system I either baby wore or carried the car seat.
    lwebley
  • I agree with everyone about the sleeping baby, but also 100% about colder temperatures, if that applies to you! It is such a bummer to have take little one out in the cold when you can just bundle them up in there to get in and outside! :) my boys were both chubby babies, so they were out of the infant seat by 6 months or so, and it was still very beneficial to us for that short time!
    *E 10/2012, H 7/2014, F 2/2016*
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    CaraBoonie
  • Being able to skip the infant seat and/or travel system would definitely save you money.
    For me, my son fell asleep every single time he was in the car. Waking the sleeping bear was a terrible idea for us, as he refused to fall back asleep once woken. And calling him a bear was an understatement. I always liked the ability to let him sleep by keeping him in the carseat. Unfortunately due to severe back problems and his size, I didn't really get much chance to wear him. He also outgrew his infant carrier at 5 months old...
  • I think I have read before that the convertible car seats are not as safe. I also wear my babies and my son hated the infant car seat, so I would've skipped that phase if I could have but I read that it's a safer option to go with the infant seat. Also, my son was a June baby. Not sure where you live, but we will be using the infant seat to keep the baby warm outside. It's harder to baby wear in the winter when you have to take the baby out of the seat, get them in the carrier and then put your coat back on. I did it with my son because he screamed his head off in the infant car seat so I definitely wasn't going to haul him around in it but he was several months old at that point. I wouldn't want to expose a newborn to the cold like that.
  • The infant seat is nice to have for going out to eat or If the baby falls asleep you can carry him in the house without waking him. I wasn't going to get an infant seat with my first, but the convertible car seat wouldn't fit in our vehicle facing backwards. I'm glad I winded up getting an infant car seat though, we will be reusing it this time.
  • If it's the price that's holding you back, there are some inexpensive options. I've seen brand new infant seats on local sale groups for $50 and you can get a secondhand snap and go stroller for about $20. I'm a stm and plan on baby wearing as well but I wouldn't do without the infant seat at least in the beginning.
  • I'm getting an infant seat for the exact reason everyone specified. Because I don't want to take my sleeping baby out of the car seat and wake her up. Once she grows out of it, I'll save it for the next baby provided it hasn't expired by then, and she will get her own convertible seat that She will use as long as she's in a car seat
  • If you live in a warm climate and plan to baby wear skip the bucket. If not I would get one. Winter is rough with little babies.
    1.0&2.0 7-29-11

  • With my first I decided to skip the infant car seat and just got the convertible, but then my BIL gifted us one when DS was about 2 weeks old. I used it all the time! It was so nice to just pop the car seat out if the baby was alseep. It was really great for going out to eat, baby will sleep in there the whole time and you can enjoy dinner with your spouse! Plus, both my kids got car sick so much as babies by the time they out grew the infant seat it was really time to replace the carseat anyway. My son went through 3 car seats in his first three years, he doesn't get car sick anymore so this last one is lasting a bit longer!
  • We did the Graco click connect system with a base in each car, this was awesome, and am so happy to use again for this baby. We did use the stroller that came with, not as much as I thought we would because we did baby wearing 90% of the time, we are selling that stroller and I got the double stroller with the same capability to connect the infant seat, and have toddler in there. I think we'll use this a lot more. And we got DD a convertible car seat, Britax marathon. We are happy with having the system and are getting our monies worth so to speak.
  • You can get a cheap infant seat for around $40. I'd get one and treat it like a convertible. If baby is sleeping and it's easier for you to just take the seat out and plop them in the cart then you have the option vs. waking a sleeping baby to put them in a carrier and then deal with a fussy baby on top of shopping.
    image
  • Agree w PPs about not wanting to wake baby. It's so easy to just pop the stroller base out of trunk and click car seat in wo waking baby up. Also you won't be able to use an umbrella stroller for awhile. I wore DD a lot but still took her on a lot of walks in her car seat/stroller.
  • Hi Ladies, so I wanna get the snap n go double stroller but I need to buy the infant car seat. Do any of you know if either of these two model car seats (XL/LX) versions works well with the snap n go stroller? And which you would recommend buying?

    1: Evenflo Embrace LX
    2: Graco SnugRide Cluck Connect 30XL

    Thanks FTM
  • I'm not sure if it is the same where you are but I'm in Ontario, Canada and the hospital has to inspect your car seat before you leave. They will not let you leave the hospital unless your child is in an infant carrier. If I were you I would check to what their standards are for leaving the hospital.
  • ntyravgsp said:

    I'm a stm and plan on doing the travel system even though I also plan on babywearing. 

    This for me too.
    I don't know if the convertible carseats do it, but our travel system has a base that stays in the car and the seat itself can be popped out easily. It's a convenient feature and one of the major reasons we chose it.
    I'm planning on babywearing and am doing an infant car seat for the reasons mentioned by PP. I definitely want the base that stays in the car so we can have one in each car.

  • BrieJolly said:

    I'm not sure if it is the same where you are but I'm in Ontario, Canada and the hospital has to inspect your car seat before you leave. They will not let you leave the hospital unless your child is in an infant carrier. If I were you I would check to what their standards are for leaving the hospital.

    That is strange. Convertible seats are tested and approved for babies as small as 5 pounds so I don't see why they wouldn't let you take your baby home in one as long as they met the weight requirements.
    RunnerMeglwebleyLljbeanDaphneMoon1
  • @MeghaJake - Comvertible car seats are just as safe as infant car seats, as long as the infant weighs at least 5lbs (the minimum weight tested/approved for a convertible seat).

    For DS we skipped the infant seat and used just a convertible seat, and will do the same for this baby. A few reasons -

    1. We live in FL, so winter and extreme cold weather is not a factor for us.

    2. I baby wear (and we do also have a stroller) and never found it inconvenient to take DS out of the seat.

    3. DS was large, just under 10lbs, so we knew he would outgrow the infant seat pretty quickly.

    It's a personal choice and I know I am in the minority, but we really like having just the convertible seat. DS is still in the seat he came home from the hospital in and will continue to stay in it until he reaches the height and weight limits. 40lbs rear facing and 70lbs forward facing.
    BFP #1 - EDD 4/18/13 | DS born 5/1/13. 9 lbs. 14 oz., 22 inches long.

    BFP #2 - EDD 1/25/16
    Lljbean
  • lwebleylwebley
    Sixth Anniversary 250 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer
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    edited August 2015
    I loved my infant car seat and used it up to a year. I mostly wore my first but if he was sleeping or I was quickly running in and out if stores it was way easier to grab the him in the car seat and go. It was a must for me. The only way I would go without it is if I lived in a city big enough that I never had to drive anywhere.

    Edited to add... I forgot to mention that our seat went up to 35 lbs so it took a lot longer for him to out grow. Some infant seats only go to 22lbs, so that will determine how long you can use it. My baby was a chunk but we were still able to use it up to a year because of that.
  • With DD we skipped the infant and only used a convertible because we didn't want to spend money on a car seat twice. It was a great choice, for us! As far as waking the baby, it actually seemed to have the opposite affect on DD. Falling asleep in the car and then being moved to baby wearing or holding really got her used to a lot of handling and she rarely would wake right up and stay up. (unless she had already napped for a long time in the car, to this day she sleeps through getting out of the car and she's almost 3)

    Like @RunnerMeg said, Convertibles are just as safe as infants. It is a personal choice obviously, but they are safe, your baby will be fine no matter what you choose, and either option has it's pros and cons, but you are not doing any disservice to your baby by not getting an infant seat. :) Hope that helps! 
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    Married: 7.23.11
    DD:10.17.12
    EDD #2!:1.17.16 







    RunnerMeg
  • I agree with PPs about the infant seat being a great asset for the reasons already mentioned. I babywear frequently as well, but we still use our stroller for some outings. (For example, walks in the park, bigger/longer outings where having the extra storage space and shade for her is nice). We typically babywear to hike, go to the store, or go to get-togethers. (Or around the house doing chores/cooking). We got the travel system and it has been great.
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