Car Seat: Convertible vs. Infant — The Bump
September 2016 Moms

Car Seat: Convertible vs. Infant

I know it's super early, but DH and I want to start saving money for the big items we will need to buy. Does anyone have input on infant car seats vs. convertible? We really like the idea of a convertible because it can "grow" with baby, but this is our first and we have no experience.. TIA!
Me: 26     DH: 25
DS1 -- 9/30/2016

Re: Car Seat: Convertible vs. Infant

  • Infant seat is a must for travel in stroller. Then get a convertible. I have Graco click connect that says it will hold the baby up to 35 pounds, however, DS outgrew it on length at 6-7 months. We chose the fast action click connect jogging travel system. I don't jog but I find the jogger navigates easier than a standard. If you aren't picky about color, you can get a good deal on Amazon, especially with a 10% completion discount and 5% Amazon mom discount.

    Our convertible is the Graco 4-ever and we love it. It's expensive so add it to your registry for discount and then wait for target's 15% baby gear sale. I did this and got 15% completion discount, 15% sale, and 5% red card discount, saved me ~ $105. 


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  • I'd do an infant. It can be hard to get a good fit for an infant in many convertible seats. We have the Chico Keyfit 30 which was easy to install and last my petite daughter for over a year. Our convertible is the Graco Mysize 65 which we got because it's good for extended rearfacing. 
    Married 6/4/11
    Reese born 3/23/13
    Due 9/14/16

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  • Infant for sure. That thing saved me so many times. I have a kid who did not sleep, so when he fell asleep in the car there was zero chance I was waking him up to get him out. 
    #1 born 8/21/14, #2 & 3 (identical) due 9/27/16

  • Are you part of the Facebook group "Car Seats for The Littles" ? I've been learning tons on there. 
  • RedMarRedMar
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary Photogenic
    edited January 2016
    I have the same infant traveling system (Graco Click Connect) as @SuperFudge00 and I hope this LO doesn't outgrow it until freshman year of college. We didn't find the BabyTrend one to be as good of quality when we were "test driving" them at BRU. You should really go there or a some place similar where they have tons of strollers assembled and you can wheel them around the store baby-less like a crazy person  ;) But seriously, try some out- there are a ton to choose from!
  • If it's just for the option of being more mobile I'd get the infant seat.

    Do you live in a cold climate/have a winter? Have a garage? Infant seat allows you to bundle up baby inside and makes for a quick "click in" to the car and go. 

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  • We went with the Britax BOB infant seat, jogging stroller, and have 2 Britax Marathons (one in each car).  We love them!  Besides just getting an infant seat, you should consider registering for a second base for the second car.  This way you can put the baby in the seat while you're in the house, and then you can pop them into either car bc you have a base in both.  Super convenient.  And when you have an infant, you'll do just about anything to make life more convenient!  (Like diaper delivery, for example.  But that's a topic for another day!)
  • noelani42 said:
    You will want an infant seat...if (when) baby falls asleep in the car seat, you will not want to have to take her out to transfer her to will definitely wake her the infant seat, you just unclick the seat from the base and click it into stroller/carry it into house, etc
    Leaving them to sleep in the infant seat can actually be very dangerous and can cause the baby to stop breathing. My son was on a monitor for the first two months since he was born early and I saw it happen first hand. Thankfully the monitor alerted me to it and I took him out immediately.  Other parents haven't been as fortunate. Just wanted to mention this...if you do choose to allow baby to sleep in their seat outside of the car, make sure you are nearby watching closely.

    It's another boy!
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  • Regardless of the above statement, I would still use an infant seat. Makes getting in and out of the car, especially in cold weather, much easier. Shopping is easier cause you can put the whole seat in the shopping cart (not on top of) and like previous posters said, the transition to a stroller is fabulous. 

    It's another boy!
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  • I agree with both pp.  if you're home, take baby out of the seat and move them to a swing, bouncer, or just hold them to keep them asleep, but don't leave them in the seat.  But when you're out and about you can't beat the convenience of an infant seat.  Just don't ever put them on top of a grocery cart!  Oh there are so many dos and don'ts when it comes to infant safety!
  • I would say it's all about personal preference. We really liked the convenience of the infant seat. DS was born in December and it was nice to keep him bundled and asleep while we ran errands. Some moms prefer to wear their infants instead of using the stroller and if this is you, I would probably go straight to the convertible.
  • The infant seat is so convenient. I will say you don't need to spend extra money on a car seat that holds a ton of weight. They will outgrow the height first anyway. I got a graco snugride 35. My kid is 17 months, outgrew the infant seat at 11 months, and is still 10 lb under the max weight. 

    When the time comes I would put both an infant seat and a convertible seat on your registry. Sure, the convertible will sit around for a year unused, but if you pick one with a 6-10 year expiration date you should be able to get full use out of it before it expires. If someone is willing to pay they money for it now, let them.
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  • My infant seat from DD1 and 2 expired and I will definitely be buying another. I just wanted to say that people do skip the infant seat. My SIL basically never uses a stroller and prefers to always wear her babies and she has gone straight to the convertible seat for her last two children. 
    DD1 6.2011 
    DD2 4.2013 - vbac
    DS1 9.2016 - vbac, team green
    Baby #4 due 9.2018
  • My vote is it depends where you live. I got one for my 1st but if I had to do it over again I might go straight to a convertible. I live in a city though and walk almost everywhere. I probably only carried it in and out of my car 10 times.  It was convenient when I did that and there were times she was sleeping so I'd carry the car seat.

    If you'll be using a car for everything, I'd get the infant car seat. The good news is that if you're planning on having more than one kid, you'll be able to use it again. 

  • Infant seat is definitely nice for transferring a sleeping baby! My biggest advice though would be to go somewhere with a bunch on display to check them out in person and pick each one up. A heavy carseat without a baby is going to be even heavier to lug around with a baby in it!
  • Thank you for all the input ladies!! I guess when I said we have not experience I was just kidding. We do have nieces and nephews and have dealt with car seats, but no children of our own. I’m small and find carrying a car seat too cumbersome so I am planning on wearing baby when out and about. We will probably put both on registry as suggested as well as going out and “test driving”

    @mom2adoodle I’ll have to check that group out once we become public. No one knows we were trying/were successful and we want to keep it that way until after the first u/s

    @whitneylux we live in a part of Oregon where it rains a lot. It does get cold too and we don’t currently have a garage (renting, but hoping to move to a better/bigger place before baby)

    Me: 26     DH: 25
    DS1 -- 9/30/2016

  • Glad this was brought up because we saw a carseat @ Costco that hubby has been all about for the last week and I had just seen an article which of course I now can't find about the convertible seats.  I do think that while I do plan to wear baby, I don't want to be stuck with that being the only option, so we'll probably do an infant seat and the convertible when they outgrow the infant seat.
  • Going against the stream I guess, we had an infant seat with DS and will just be doing a convertible this time (although our previous infant seat is still up to date if we change our minds). I'm planning on using a bassinet attachment for our stroller so baby can lie flat and like @diagonalley ; mentioned, it really isn't safe for them to keep sleeping in the seat anyway. Do keep in mind that most convertible seats require a min. weight of 9 lbs so if you go with that, you may still need an infant seat for a few weeks.
  • You don't have to join the Facebook group for the Car Seats for the Littles information. They have a really great website too.
  • I went infant seat with my first...but i really wouldn't recommend it.  They only last for the first year (maybe).  My son also would always wake up even when we removed the seat from the car.  Looking back, I wish I would have registered for a convertible seat that would last him practically then will need a stroller that reclines to flat so you can use it from day one (or something with a decent recline that could be used probably around 5 months +).  You mentioned baby wearing...I would definitely agree to that and a convertible seat
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  • We used a convertible seat with DS. When he was tiny, he slept so well, we didn't have a problem transferring him from the car seat to a stroller (or whatever). 

    Evelyn (3.24.10), Graham (5.30.13) & Miles (8.28.16)
  • rawarrrawarr
    Second Anniversary 10 Comments Name Dropper 5 Love Its
    I know this is a super old post, but I didn't want to start a new one about car seats. Anyways- question... How much did you/will you spend on your car seat?  
  • rawarr said:
    I know this is a super old post, but I didn't want to start a new one about car seats. Anyways- question... How much did you/will you spend on your car seat?  

    All car seats have to meet minimum safety standards, regardless of price. The more expensive seats have "extra" safety features, tend to last longer rear facing, and/or are easier to install.

    We have a Chicco Keyfit (with a base for each car) infant seat and currently have a Graco Size4Me convertible seat in each car.

    Married 6/4/11
    Reese born 3/23/13
    Due 9/14/16

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  • edited May 2016
    @rawarr - I'm glad you bumped this - I missed it the first time around! Convertible vs infant is something we keep going back and forth on.

    We ended registering for both a convertible and an infant seat and will likely get one of each. The infant seat for my car, and the convertible for DH's, rather than getting two bases. 
  • jas1982jas1982
    500 Love Its Third Anniversary 100 Comments Name Dropper
    So people dig the chicco keyfit? That's what I am thinking of getting (also with a base for each car). I am definitely leaning infant seat, I don't want to haul something heavy. 
  • Tippy05Tippy05
    Long-Lasting Membership 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    We had Graco infant seats the first two times and got another one this time around (the other ones were expired).  I took advantage of the trade in event at BRU in February and got a good deal there.  I think I ended up spending $112.  We still need to get another base but wanted to at least get the carseat while the deal was good.

    Infant seats with an extra base are 100% the way to go in my opinion.  Especially in the winter.  It's easier to just throw a blanket over the seat to keep the baby warm than it is to bundle them up, unwrap then to buckle them, then re-wrap them... and when they're sleeping?  Forget it.
  • Debating between the Chicco KeyFit 40 Magic and the Nuna Pipa. The Pipa is slightly lighter in weight and has newer safety features, including the LATCH install system which is compatible with our car.
  • Infant seat. Well re-use our Keyfit30. I agree with pp about the convenience of being able to take the whole seat out of baby is sleeping. Also we get Dionos for convertibles due to extended rear facing limits and they totally suck for recline.

  • ashtasht
    250 Love Its 100 Comments Photogenic Name Dropper
    With my first who was born in November I had a convertible because it was the only option for my car. I hated it! Really hard to keep baby safe and warm in the winter months having to take her out of the car seat. Infant this time around for me
  • miam4miam4
    Sixth Anniversary 250 Answers 250 Love Its 500 Comments
    I had the infant keyfit30 until DD was 1 year old. Once she turned one I changed for an all in one seat because she didn't fit that very well any more. But for the longest time I missed being able to remove her from the car with the seat.
    We will do the same with DS. We will start with the infant seat and switch after he cant fit that anymore.
    Make sure you get an infant carseat that matches/fit the stroller. The keyfit has a nice umbrella stroller. I love it... I am so used to a small stroller that I don't know how I am gonna do with a double.
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  • seitzy3seitzy3
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary Photogenic
    I prefer an infant seat for the first year as I'd rather not take them in and out of the seat and it's just easier to take the car seat and attach it to the stroller. I used peg perego infant car seat along with my citi select stroller and then switched to the chicco next fit which I LOVE and my other one has a britax boulevard. Out of both seats I prefer the Chicco- you can take off the cover and wash it. Bonus!!

    DD #1 3/26/13
    Mo/Mo twins MMC 3/31/14  o:)
    DD #2 3/31/15
    DD #3 8/25/16
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