20 answers

Need Help with Getting an Infant Car Seat and Crib

We are looking to buy an infant car seat and a crib for our little one ( we're expecting in Aug). Ive been looking all around and the choices are a little overwhelming for first time parents. Any suggestions and advice on the models that gives more bang for your buck?

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So What Happened?™

Thanks for all your responses. We got the Graco travel system as it was the only one that was comfortable for both of us and got a graco drop side crib from target. Thanks again ladies. Now we're waiting for the little one to come.

Featured Answers

Don't know if you are looking for used or not but Craig's list and Divine Consign are great places to look for those.

the crib is a matter of personal preference.

now, the car seat is another matter, you need to look at safety, ease of installation, etc. i personally HATE graco car seats, the straps twist, they're just a pain in the butt in my opinion. i have three kids, and i have used the chicco key fit with the last two, LOVE IT!

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I totally understand!! My DH and I just had our first baby and I went through the same thing - so here's what I've learned:

Car Seat - spend a little extra here - I've got a Graco Travel System - it works fine and I love how the seat snaps to the stroller, but I would NOT purchase it again after seeing the Chicco system. The Graco is so hard to adjust (it's done on the back side - you have to take the baby out to adjust the straps on the back side of the seat) - if I had known about this issue, it alone would have kept me from purchasing Graco and spending a little extra money on the Chicco Travel System instead. Chicco adjusts in the front w/your baby in the seat so you can be sure of the fit.

Crib - I bought one from Walmart after looking at baby stores, Target, department stores, etc. - Walmart actually carries a brand called Child of Mine - it's by Carters - everyone I talked to indicated that a convertible crib was a waste of money - you had to invest more in them to get the rails to convert them (they do NOT come w/the crib and they are expensive) - but the feature I DID need was a drop side - I'm short and I can't reach my little guy w/the mattress on the lowest setting unless I drop the side. I LOVE my Child of Mine crib w/drop side - and it was so much less expensive than anything else I saw - we spent about $160 on it. I was so impressed by the great quality for the price.

Mattress - (yeah, this is probably one you didn't think of yet either - those mattresses don't come w/the cribs)- the most important feature for this is the number of coils and steel gauge to ensure that it's good and firm - I bought ours from Costco and love it also - one side is an infant side and one side is a toddler side - I believe it cost about $110 - Steel gauge for mattress coils ranges from 12.5 to 19; the lower the number, the thicker the steel. Thicker is stronger. So look for a moderate to high coil count--135 to 150 coils is a good midrange--and a lower coil steel gauge, 15.5 or below.

Congratulations on your little blessing!! :)

We used the infant carrier that comes with the stroller. We have been very pleased with the one we purchased from graco. We also have the Britax Marathon. It is quite costly; however, it is supposedly one of the safest and you can use it rear and forward facing. It will lasts until your child is 65 pounds. We spent the money and won't have to buy another one for that child. We did purchase another when we had another baby b/c big sister still uses her Britax Marathon and she will be 4 in Sept.

We hear a lot of people say that all car seats are the same and pass the same standards. Britax apparently passes the safety standards in Europe which, from what I understand, a little more demanding than in America.

It is overwhelming for any parent, first time or not. I would say for car seats, strollers, ect that Graco is a great brand and not to pricey. They outgrow the stuff so quickly it seems silly to me to spend what some of these things cost. Graco is safe and a well known brand. I did lots of research, especially on carseats before my first, and was pleased with what I read about it. As far as cribs go, again they get very pricey. I would say it is worth it to buy one that converts into a toddler bed with a conversion kit. I would just try them (the way the side goes down) and find one that feels good to you. Some of them may be harder to manage one-handed than another. I lucked out and got a handy-me-down from a friend and it has done nicely. Mine did not have the conversion kit and that was the only thing I missed. However by the time I was going to use it, I needed the crib for baby #2 so my first went straight into a big bed. Good luck and congrats on the baby. Your almost there!!! I have #3 coming in November-what a blessing little ones are.

Don't know about the buck, but we really loved the Graco Snugride carseat. Good ratings and not as heavy and akward as the bigger Graco model. For a crib, we decided not to do a convertible - we didn't like the styling and price of most of them, and I insisted on having a drop side. The drop side wasn't all that helpful. By the time she was lowered, she was standing up to be pulled out. Helpful every once in a while. (Ended up buying a toddler bed cheap on Craigslist when the time came.) A great resource is Baby Bargains, which is a book published every year. Saved us a ton of money on stuff we didn't need to buy, and compiled safety and quality reports. (Though we bought the highly-recommended Peg Perego Aria stroller and it turned out to be a piece of junk.) I wouldn't by a used infant seat, but for a lot of other stuff, Craigslist and borrowing are great resources!

JUST EDITED - Snugride Carseat (not Safe Ride)

We got the Graco Metrolite system and loved it. We've had relatives and friends get it since and all have thought the same as we did. It met the safety criteria we set and then was the lightest system available. As the baby grows, that carrier gets pretty darn heavy and you'll be thanking yourself for going with a lighter option!

We loved our Chicco travel system. However our son grew out of it by 9 months (he's 96+% height) so we now have a Britax convertible seat which we also love. It goes from 5 lbs to 65 lbs so it's there for the long haul. Only downside is that you have to wake the baby to get them out whereas the travel system allows you to pop out the seat and carry them inside in the seat. good luck.

I am truly a bargain shopper and can appreciate your desire to find a great deal. Divine Consign is a great resource, but based on your due date you probably want these things before then. For the crib, look on Craigslist and see if you can find anything, but I noticed that Overstock.com had some great deals. You can get a really nice crib for under $300. Many of them are the convertable cribs that can be used as toddler beds also.

For the infant car seat. My husband and I went with the Chicco travel system and loved it. The only thing I would do differently is I would buy the carrier without the stoller. Then buy a snap and go stroller for the carrier. After my son was out of the carrier I use his lightweight stoller 95% of the time and rarely use my travel system. I would also look on Craigslist for this or Once Upon a Child.

I hope you find what you are looking for. I inherited my crib from my sister. It is a little older and if I were looking for something new I would make sure that the side came up and down quietly. As my son got older and I had to lift him into the crib he often woke up during this process and caused more sleepless nights than I would have liked.


Not really. Here is the thing, a crib is a crib and a car seat is a car seat. There really arent any bells and whistles that can go on it. Baby Depot usually has good prices and can help you. Just find something you like in yoru price range and then check the safety ratings on it to make sure there have not been any issues or recalls.
On the infant car seat, they do sell them with a matching stroller that the car seat can sit into. That is what we got and I loved it and still use that stroller even though he is now in a booster seat.

Congrats! I agree, get the book Baby Bargains - will tell you what's practical, important, safe, and worthwhile to get for EVERYTHING baby-wise. We love our Chicco system but you might want to think about the Snap n Go as well - it's so nice to have a lightweight stroller that is easy to maneuver around shopping aisles. We still used the Chicco stroller, which is sturdier, for outside walking, and of course for when baby started to sit up on his own. I personally like the drop down sides for cribs. Good luck!

We had the Graco infant carseat that our friends gave us. I hated it. Of all the items we had if I could re-purchase anything it would be that darn Graco infant seat. It was cheap and awful. Most of gf's have the Chicoo keyfit 30's and they all love them. That is the one I'd buy.

AS for cribs we bought all our nursery furniture over at Lone Star baby Frisco. We bought that convertible type so it will grow with our son. I didn't want a cheap crib because we'd have to sell it in a couple of years to start from scratch again.

I am not a fan of the baby furniture at Babies R Us. The price is too high for the quality that you get.

Congrats on your up and coming baby!

My only advise on a car seat is to get one that buckles seperately. The one we have for our 4 month old buckles both sides overlapping and has to click in at the same time, and with an unhappy wiggle worm, it's not fun! Good luck!

Before our oldest was born, we bought a stroller with a carrier to use in the car. I would highly recommend this type of travel system because it is so easy to get the baby out of the car and into the stroller or into a restaurant without disturbing them at all. Once the baby is too big for the carrier-20 lbs.- you can still use the stroller. I would, also, suggest purchasing a light weight, but quality umbrella stroller for quick trips or when you don't have room for the big stroller. Use the big stroller for shopping trips or for outings like the zoo, park, etc. As for the crib, buy one that converts into a toddler bed, if you want to get a little more use out of it.

I would definitely buy the car seat new & never a used one. We went with the Graco Snugride & used a snap & go which really was great. Then we always use Britax. My 4 year old survived a car wreck in a Britax (that totalled the car) without a scratch.

Milliondollarbaby.com has great prices and quality crib sets. We got our crib/dresser+changing table combo for $600.

Don't know if you are looking for used or not but Craig's list and Divine Consign are great places to look for those.

Hello and congrats on expecting a little bundle of joy. You may want to check out the book baby bargains and see if its something that may interest you. It has all kinds of information on review etc on lots of baby items!

I used a Chicco car seat with my baby. They are a little pricey, but so worth it! I did not buy the travel set. I thought the stroller would be too large. Some of my friends did use the Chicco stroller, and they likes it.
I got a wire buggy- I had a Maclaren, but other companies make these wire strollers. The baby car seat sits right in it. I got the regular Chicco car seat, not the one that goes up to 30 pounds. A 30 pound kid in a bucket car seat is too heavy to carry anywhere!
My little one is almost 2. We have been using a Maclaren stroller- we got it at Target. In terms of a car seat after the baby bucket, my little one uses a Britax. I would not get the Roundabout, because your little one will probably get too tall for it before you are ready to move him or her out of the car seat- I would go with a Marathon or Boulevard.
I hope this helps!

Concerning the car seat, we have the Chicco Key fit. It is a little more expensive, but it is a great seat and top rated. It's easy to use and keeps your child very secure.
Cribs is a personal preference. There are safety standards for cribs, so I would check into that before you make a purchase. Good luck and congratulations!

the crib is a matter of personal preference.

now, the car seat is another matter, you need to look at safety, ease of installation, etc. i personally HATE graco car seats, the straps twist, they're just a pain in the butt in my opinion. i have three kids, and i have used the chicco key fit with the last two, LOVE IT!

Being a first time mom, try not to get too carried away with stuff that has all the bells and whistles and costs an arm and a leg. You are about to incur a LOT of expenses for your new baby, so pace yourself.

Remember that all car seats must pass certain safety regulations, so all infant carriers will be safe for your baby as long as you follow the guidelines included with the seat. I don't know if any carseat company can really claim that their model is SAFER than any other, but it might be cuter or have more comfortable padding or recline, etc. But these are all extras that you need to decide if you want - they won't make the seat any safer for your child to ride in.

If you want a seat that will last, maybe for your next child, I'd say spend a little bit more. That's where the extra cost may be worth it. But if you only plan to have one, or if you plan to space your children far apart (because car seats should not be used after you've used it for 6 years) then I would buy one that is durable but not really needing to last forever.

Also, if you plan to resell your carseat, remember that you must do it quickly because if carseats are old moms would rather just buy a new one than spend a little less for one that's about to expire, and cheaper carseats really won't get you much return for your money.

One thing I would recommend is this: look at how easy it is to remove and wash the fabric. Carseats get notoriously sticky and messy and yucky smelling. They can make your whole car smell bad. That is one thing I have learned over the years: durability of the fabric is pretty important.

Hope those things help you decide.

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