Convertible vs infant? — The Bump
Babies: 0 - 3 Months

Convertible vs infant?

rachaelmaryrachaelmary
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edited August 2013 in Babies: 0 - 3 Months
Hello!
So I'm due in feb and starting to research car seats. I have a friend that works in a high end baby store, and tells me to go with the convertible seat for safety reasons. I'm also petite and picture myself having trouble carrying the infant carrier around.

I know the infant carriers are obviously far more convenient.

Anyway, my question is did any of you new moms decide to start with the convertible?

Thanks ladies!

Re: Convertible vs infant?

  • Can I ask what her safety reasons were? Because that is a new one to me.
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  • We went with just a convertible. I don't believe there are any differences safety-wise between a convertible and an infant seat - all seats on the market pass the same safety standards. 

    That said, I'm really happy with our decision. We don't have any problem taking our baby out of the seat every time we drive somewhere. I'm also petite and had no interest in carrying around the bulky seat. I either carry her, or wear her. We don't have a stroller, so no use for the infant seat in that capacity, and there are strollers out there that don't use the carseat. We prefer to just buy one seat that will be good until she's 70 pounds versus buying multiple different seats. 

    She has no problem staying asleep when I take her out of her seat and inside. 
    #1 7/2013
    #2 3/2015
    #3 3/2017
    #4 10/2019
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  • Both are equally as safe. I'm 4'10 so I get not wanting to lug it around but sometimes I need to. Some babies don't like to be worn or not all the time. I like to be able to have lunch with a friend or clothes shop and for me the carseat is a must in those situations.
    Formerly known as elmoali :)

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  • I hate the infant seat and would have been totally happy skipping it. Not only is it a pain to lug around but DD1 outgrew the length by 8 months. IMO, it was a giant waste of money and plastic for only 8 months!
    DD1 4.14.10
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  • I skipped the infant seat and never missed it with both DD and DS. If you skip the infant seat worst case scenario you decide you want one, but it, and put the convertible up for a few months.

    If you get the infant seat and hate it you're basically just out the money you spent on it.

  • We skipped the infant seat (I hate them!) and went straight to the convertible, no regrets. She was over 8 lbs, so that's something to consider- you will want to be sure Baby meets the guidelines of the seats use.
    Also- we had to sign a waiver at the hospital that said they didn't recommend a convertible seat, and we wouldn't hold them liable if anything happened. FTR, she was post-dates, but spent 3 days in the NICU, where she was discharged from.
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  • I like the infant seat. Our hospital said it's safer than convertible seats for small babies. (Plus it's easy to grab the baby out of the car in the seat.. even though they are pretty heavy).
    Lilypie First Birthday tickers
  • I am SO glad we went with the infant seat. It is so easy to transfer to the stroller or carry just as far as to put it in a cart. I baby wear at home and sometimes when we go out, but he is so touchy, once I get him out of the seat he is crying and fussy. It's also super handy to bring into restaurants.
    image   image
  • We went with a convertible. We got the britax marathon 70. It starting weight is 5 lbs and goes until 70 lbs. For is it was more the not wanting to buy multiple carseats. 
    My LO was born at 6lb1oz and was 5lb15oz when he was discharged from the hospital. We haven't had any problems with him in it so far. We also got the infant insert that was sold separately to put in it. It makes  the seat cup him better, like the way an infant carrier would. So far the only thing we've left the house for is to go to Dr appointments but I've either carried him or worn him. The people I know that have gotten the infant carrier have stopped using it to carry baby w/I a few months. It just gets too heavy 
  • NKaeding said:

    For us, the infant seat is used mostly in the stroller at the moment. LO would be too small and unstable just in her stroller.

    We have a Britax B Agile travel system.

    I have the same travel system and I love it. We have 2 bases so the car seat can easily snap into both mine and DH's car.
  • AlexisLA said:
    I like the infant seat. Our hospital said it's safer than convertible seats for small babies. (Plus it's easy to grab the baby out of the car in the seat.. even though they are pretty heavy).
    This is 100% false.  Actually, some infant seats don't even work with infants (i.e. the Graco Snugride 22 - the harness strap slots are too high for newborns even though it's rated for 5 pounds and up).  As long as the carseat fits your child as it's supposed to, infant and convertible seats are equally safe.
    Formerly known as elmoali :)

    image
  • Both of my kids are really small so having an infant seat seemed better for them. We used our infant seat so many times in restaurants so LO could sleep while we ate, it also was great for naps at grandma's. My DD still fits in her's at 18 months but DS is using it now. The biggest thing for me was how easy it is to install the infant seat with a seatbelt if necessary, I couldn't imagine having to reinstall a convertible every time LO needed to ride in someone else's car. Also she went to daycare and her seat went with her, it made me feel so much better that she could be safely transported in an emergency.
  • Thank you ladies for all your responses!
  • Both of my kids are really small so having an infant seat seemed better for them. We used our infant seat so many times in restaurants so LO could sleep while we ate, it also was great for naps at grandma's. My DD still fits in her's at 18 months but DS is using it now. The biggest thing for me was how easy it is to install the infant seat with a seatbelt if necessary, I couldn't imagine having to reinstall a convertible every time LO needed to ride in someone else's car. Also she went to daycare and her seat went with her, it made me feel so much better that she could be safely transported in an emergency.
    My baby was barely over five pounds and our convertible seat (Maxi-cosi Pria 70) is rated for 4 pounds and up. She fits very well in it, an infant seat would be no better. 

    I take my baby to a restaurant and hold her or wear her with no problem. I love having her close! When we're at Grandma's she sleeps in Grandma's arms, as I can hardly get her away, but if I wanted to I could put her down on the rug with a blanket...

    Our convertible is very easy to install. My husband has taken it in and out and installed it in my parents' car, etc, and it takes only a few minutes. They are not automatically harder to install. 

    It's definitely a personal preference, but don't think that the convertible is automatically difficult just because it's less common for small babies. It's not so different. 
    #1 7/2013
    #2 3/2015
    #3 3/2017
    #4 10/2019
  • I have twins, so it's not practical to have convertible seats bc I can't carry two floppy newborns to the car while also carrying my bag and locking the front door. I don't have that many hands. Add in my 3yo and having them properly buckled before we leave the house is one less thing I have to worry about.
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  • We had an infant seat with DS1
    But gave it away after he outgrew it. I had originally planned to use a convertible from birth with DS2 but DH really wanted the infant seat again.

    Honestly, we don't take the infant seat into places with us very often. DS2 is carried pretty much everywhere but it is nice to have that infant seat for the first winter and being able to buckle them out of the cold and wind when they can't yet sit up.
  • We started off with the infant seat for DS, and although I really liked the convenience of clicking it in and out of the car, my tiny newborn grew SO quickly, and too soon I couldn't lift it out of the car easily as it became too heavy. I also couldn't lift it for a couple of weeks when we first brought him home as I ended up having an emergency C-section, so I was limited to just lifting the baby, which kind of negated the benefit of having it! We quickly moved to convertibles - a Britax Boulevard in one car, and Britax Advocate in the other. DS was more comfortable in the roomier seats, and I discovered I loved baby wearing, so this solution worked out great for us and I didn't miss the infant seat :) For our next baby, we'll go straight into convertible - we'll buy the infant insert to use at first. Like another poster mentioned, all car seats on the market are tested and safe for your baby, but I chose the Britax convertibles because of all the 'extras' they come with - the straps don't get twisted, the crotch strap is always pushed forward so you're not digging around for it, you can tether the seat even when rear facing, and on the Advocate there is extra side impact protection, which we feel good about as he's at the passenger side of that car. I'm a part of the Britax safety squad - all opinions are my own. Good luck with your new baby, mama!! 
  • Definitely personal preference, but I loved having the infant seat. It was so nice to be able to take it out and click it in the stroller or bring it in the house of he was asleep. Now at 11 weeks he's getting almost too heavy for me to lug around in it and he can be in his stroller now. We'll still use it until he's too big and we'll use it again when we have #2.


     
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  • I like my infant seat. I had the same debate with dd1. She was born in dec and it was so nice to get her in the seat inside during the winter instead of being in the cold. We are using the infant carrier with dd2 and haven't regretted it. We got both seats for our shower too.
    ~Dana
  • elmoali said:
    AlexisLA said:
    I like the infant seat. Our hospital said it's safer than convertible seats for small babies. (Plus it's easy to grab the baby out of the car in the seat.. even though they are pretty heavy).
    This is 100% false.  Actually, some infant seats don't even work with infants (i.e. the Graco Snugride 22 - the harness strap slots are too high for newborns even though it's rated for 5 pounds and up).  As long as the carseat fits your child as it's supposed to, infant and convertible seats are equally safe.
    We have the Graco Snugride 22 and the straps were just fine, and my kid was tiny.  My hospital had a certified inspector on staff who came and checked it with DS strapped in and said everything was perfect.

    B born 7/15/13, C born 3/2/15, #3 on the way May '17


    I’m a modern man, a man for the millennium. Digital and smoke free. A diversified multi-cultural, post-modern deconstruction that is anatomically and ecologically incorrect. I’ve been up linked and downloaded, I’ve been inputted and outsourced, I know the upside of downsizing, I know the downside of upgrading. I’m a high-tech low-life. A cutting edge, state-of-the-art bi-coastal multi-tasker and I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond! I’m new wave, but I’m old school and my inner child is outward bound. I’m a hot-wired, heat seeking, warm-hearted cool customer, voice activated and bio-degradable. I interface with my database, my database is in cyberspace, so I’m interactive, I’m hyperactive and from time to time I’m radioactive.

  • Completely a personal preference.  We have both an infant and a convertible.  So far we've only used the infant but I really don't think I'd care either way.  We use the infant car seat a lot for things other than a car seat (carrying him around stores, in restaurants, and for sleeping when we were on our road trip, etc.) and I'm not a big fan of doing that.  It's easier, so we do it, but I'd prefer to wear him or just carry him.  The one big upside, though, IMO is that you don't have to move the baby if they are napping when you get home.  Right now DS is fast asleep in his seat going on two hours (which is a long time for my baby who usually only takes 20 minute naps!) because he was snoozing when we got back from running errands.  I think if I had to move him out he would have woken up and stayed awake like usual.  It's kind of nice having a long nap for once!

    Another upside to the infant carseat is that, if you have two cars, you just need to buy a second base for the other car and you can use the same seat in both cars.  While it's not that big of a hassle to move the convertible if you are in a rush it can be a real time saver not to have to do that.  Or God forbid someone goes somewhere with the seat in it, not realizing it, and you end up having to take the baby somewhere and are left without a car seat.

    B born 7/15/13, C born 3/2/15, #3 on the way May '17


    I’m a modern man, a man for the millennium. Digital and smoke free. A diversified multi-cultural, post-modern deconstruction that is anatomically and ecologically incorrect. I’ve been up linked and downloaded, I’ve been inputted and outsourced, I know the upside of downsizing, I know the downside of upgrading. I’m a high-tech low-life. A cutting edge, state-of-the-art bi-coastal multi-tasker and I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond! I’m new wave, but I’m old school and my inner child is outward bound. I’m a hot-wired, heat seeking, warm-hearted cool customer, voice activated and bio-degradable. I interface with my database, my database is in cyberspace, so I’m interactive, I’m hyperactive and from time to time I’m radioactive.

  • JCWhitey said:


    Another upside to the infant carseat is that, if you have two cars, you just need to buy a second base for the other car and you can use the same seat in both cars.  While it's not that big of a hassle to move the convertible if you are in a rush it can be a real time saver not to have to do that.  Or God forbid someone goes somewhere with the seat in it, not realizing it, and you end up having to take the baby somewhere and are left without a car seat.
    You'll have to use the convertible at some point, so it's only delaying the inevitable... After 6-12 months or so your baby will outgrow the infant seat, and you'll have to either move one seat a lot or get two convertibles... I preferred paying for two convertibles instead of that plus the infant seats and bases. 

    Also, if your baby gets used to staying in the seat and not being able to stay asleep while being transferred into the house, it's going to be harder when they get into a convertible. My baby stays asleep fine when I take her out of the seat and put her in a carrier, so there should be no difficult transition later on. 
    #1 7/2013
    #2 3/2015
    #3 3/2017
    #4 10/2019
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