Pros and cons of infant/child/booster carseat? — The Bump
Nurseries and Baby Gear

Pros and cons of infant/child/booster carseat?

Is it worth getting a seat that should cover baby for the whole shebang? Or are they really not a good fit for newborns? What should I be considering here?

FWIW - our car is a 2010 VW Jetta... we are not planning on having the little carseat for a carrier, and I am not sure we are buying a stroller at all (unless it turns out later that we are missing having one).

Thoughts? Opinions? Places to suggest I start with my research? It just seems like there are 30 different options/ brands/ stores, and I have no idea where to start.


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Re: Pros and cons of infant/child/booster carseat?

  • A 3 in 1 booster is not appropriate and is illegal for a newborn (up to at least 1 yr. of age AND 20 lbs) because it does not rear face.

    You could bypass the infant seat and get a convertible seat but that would not last your child til the end.  They would need a booster at some point, but the convertible would get them to that. 

    The ease of the infant seat comes when baby is sleeping and you don't have to remove them from the seat to go to the grocery store, run an errand, etc.  Would you plan on wearing the baby in situations like that?  If you have no infant seat and no frame (like the snap n go) or another stroller, you'd have to wear or carry the baby everywhere which would NOT work for me!! 

    Also, do you plan on going out to eat in the first 6-8 months of the baby's life?  Until they can sit unassisted you can't put them in a high chair...what would you do with the baby if you have no infant seat?  Again, wear them?  How would you eat?  All things to consider.

    Good luck.

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  • Oh, and a place to start with your research would be Baby Bargains.  And of course, here!


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  • I was/ am planning on mostly baby wearing... I can't carry an infant seat with my back... I have some really funny muscles and the off center weight really does me in. - this is the kind of seat that I was talking about... they are rear facing for up to 30lbs...

    I can see the argument for out somewhere... I laugh at the idea of out to dinner... somehow I don't actually see that happening for the first 6

    Another factor is that we are 90kms from family/ the doctor/ etc... so we will be spending a lot of time with the baby in the car... I don't see them still be all about sleeping when we get where we are going. More likely needing to be fed and changed...

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  • Ahh, the symphony.  I was thinking you were referring to a Frontier or the Nautilus. 

    I'm surprised they advertise it as the only seat you'll ever need, since most car seats expire after about 6 years.  I've never looked at an Evenflo seat so I don't know if this particular model has a longer shelf life but that would be something I'd be looking into, because you'd then still have to buy a new booster when your child is about 6.  And you have no idea how tall/skinny they'll be and if they should still be in a 5 pt. harness in something like a high back booster.  It could cost you just as much money in the long run. 

    Keep in mind that these days, they are recommending boosters to age 8 or so. 

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  • And definitely to each their own, but having kids didn't change our lives much and we took our DD, and now both kids to restaurants all the time...when I had my DD we were out to lunch with friends 2 days after we got home from the hospital. 
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  • We skipped the infant car seat. We researched a lot and picked convertible seats that fit infants well. One of them will go up to 50 pounds forward-facing and the other up to 60 or 65. No telling if she'll be too tall by then although it's likely... we'd just go to a booster in that case.

    Honestly it's not a problem for me. We have an Ergo, and I wear her when I'm going shopping; we just got back from the grocery store in fact.  We don't have a stroller yet, but hope to get one soon and will use it for other sorts of shopping and the zoo, etc/

    We recently solved the out-to-eat dilemma. Our high chair is a Fisher Price space saver. We just take it with us and strap it into the seat. It reclines enough to be usable for a newborn.  I've used it twice now. It's a little bulky, but super easy to use and light.


  • Thanks Big Smile

    I really don't want to end up getting stuff we don't actually need... 

    I am on the safety research can only access government sites from work, so I have been reading up on this sort of thing, lol. Of course I can see a bigger kid wanting a new seat anyway...

    Babies not changing our lives still means not eating out (formally) more than once a year... I think if the carrier thing doesn't work I will find something else then. 

    Of course I will probably end up with just about anything from a shower, so who knows. 

    Great to be able to get opinions from people who have been there!

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  • imagedrea_raye:

    I can see the argument for out somewhere... I laugh at the idea of out to dinner... somehow I don't actually see that happening for the first 6

    Don't laugh - take advantage of the sleepy baby stage!  Soon enough you will have a toddler who wants to get down and run around rather than sit in a high chair.  We went out way more when DS was 0-4 months old than we did after that.

  • A couple things to consider.

    1) It looks like you're in Newfoundland? (I've been up there a few times - lots of snow, but beautiful!)  If so, it is actually sometimes easier to have an infant seat in areas where it's super cold b/c you can just throw a blanket or shower cap style "cover" over it to help keep the baby warm.  No need to unbuckle baby, put on coat/wrap in blankets, etc... when you take him/her out, and then undo all that when you put them in, etc...  Although you do have bad muscles, just something to think about.  My DH has a bad back (and then some) and he found out quickly that you get into all sorts of positions picking a baby up, feeding them, bouncing them, anything trying to get them to cry.  So maybe the carrier won't be any worse.  lol

    2) Stroller:  you may find that you do want one if the only thing that will stop your LO from crying - or to save your sanity from being cooped up in the house - is a walk.  And you may need to give your back a break from carrying the baby and a stroller - even if just a snap and go frame to start - will be very helpful.


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  • The one in your post has a 9 year life not 6 years.  Evenflo extended the life if that seat when they uped the weight to 65 lbs.  I dont think it makes a good booster seat so you will have to buy a new one once the child is out of a harnessed car seat.  But this seat will get you to booster age and fits an infnat very well.  I wanted to skip the infant car seat with this baby but my husband  wants it so we are getting one but if I did not have one I would just put the baby in a wrap or sling with a blanket or make sure my jacket covered us both. 
  • Thanks for all the info!

    We were "window" shopping for one today... DH actually said it was fun! I will definitely keep all the points in mind...

    I also figure no matter what I plan as being "all we need" or the perfect anything baby will have their own mind about what works... so I am prepared for a few monkey wrenches in there as well!

    One of the stroller issues is that we live on a gravel road (and yes in Newfoundland, so ice and snow to boot)... so a stroller that works is probably going to run $300+... I will definitely make the hour long trip to twon to buy one when I find out we can't live without it... or hope that an awesome one appears on the classifieds between now and then...

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