Need Recommendations for Car Seat and Stroller

Updated on July 27, 2009
J.J. asks from Omaha, NE
17 answers

We're having our 5th baby in January. After 14 years of baby products, it's out with the old and in with the new. There are so many new products out there that seem to be far superior to what I got 14 years ago. I'm looking for suggestions of car seats and strollers. I've eyed the infant car seat that attaches to the strollers a few times, but not sure if I will like it. Also, our babies are usually on the big side and grow really fast out of the car seats, so need one that can hold taller, heavier, babies that are still young.


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answers from Minneapolis on

I had Chicco for both my kids. I love their travel system. A little more expensive than Graco but less than Peg Perego and some of the other fancy ones. I had their standard KeyFit carseat. It is compatible with their strollers only. It holds infants up to 30 inches long and 22 pounds. I know they also have an infant seat that holds infants up to 30 pounds. We were very happy with the quality and loved how easy the bases were to install and use with the carseat. It's been through two kids and still looks and functions like new. Definitely worth the investment! Good luck and congratulations!


answers from Minneapolis on

HEY J.!! Ive had great luck with the carseat and stroller combo we got from my baby shower!!Its chicco brand! Where the carseat will attach to the stroller or it doesn't have to! It folds up nice and compact and my son is not fat but heavy and long and it has done great growing with him :-)

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answers from Minneapolis on

We used the Chicco keyfit 30 and loved it! I noticed some comments about not using the carseat/stroller combo but I think it was extemely helpful, especially through our cold winters. It is easy to take them into places and keep them bundled up. My son was big as well and I think we made it close to a year before we had to get a new one. At that oint, I am not sure if he hit the weight limit but it was just too heavy to carry at that point!



answers from Rochester on

We have the Graco Safe Seat that goes up to 30 pounds. (I think the new model goes up to 32.) Overall I have really liked it. We bought the first model that came out and didn't have a color choice. It only came in black and our daughter tended to really sweat in it. It also is a little bigger than most car seats so it doesn't fit into grocery carts. We did move her to a front facing seat at about 16 months because she was getting close to the height limit. (She will be 2 this week and just reached the weight limit.) It was heavy to carry when she got bigger, but it was really to snap into the base. We had a base in both of our cars.

We also have a Graco stroller, but it isn't part of a travel system. I didn't like the only one that came with the Safe Seat when it first came out. We have one that folds into a stand up position and not all the way down to the ground. We still use it with our daughter and it has been great. The car seat fits into it easily. It folds pretty flat and fit fairly easily into my old car that had a tiny trunk. I would agree that you want to choose a stroller that is going to "grow" with your baby.



answers from Minneapolis on

We just had baby #2 and had the same issues with our first son (on the bigger side) so this time we got the Graco Snugride (fits up to 30 lbs, 32 inches), and the Graco Metrolite stroller. I love them--the stroller is so light and easy to use!



answers from Green Bay on

I bought the Graco SafeSeat because it could hold bigger babies. It was a little heavier and a little awkward in shopping carts, but we used it until my daughter was about 16 months old. I stopped taking it out of the car when she started getting bigger, but liked it when she would fall asleep and could still bring her in the house carseat and all. The SafeSeat fit the hand-me-down Graco stroller that came with our neighbor's SnugRide travel system. We did use that SnugRide seat until it expired and tossed that, but plan on keeping the stroller portion for future kids. Plus, the stroller is still great for using for our 18-month old without the carseat. So you don't necesarily need to buy the whole travel system. You could find a used Graco stroller and get a new car seat that should fit it. I also liked the travel system when the babies are smaller because the car seat fit in the stroller backwards, so I could see her, versus front facing sitting in the stroller alone.



answers from Madison on

We just had our first son in March and he's also a big boy (98th percentile for both lenght and weight!!!). We bought a car seat stroller combo and loved it! However, don't get a Circo brand really sucked. We just bought a Baby Trend jogging stroller from Target and love. The car seat doesn't attach but he's big enough to sit in it alone. Hope this helps!



answers from Des Moines on

My son was in the 95% for both height and weight. Here's my two cents. The ones that accommodate bigger babies (30+ lbs) are usually about 5-8 lbs. heavier. When I was shopping that didn't really seem like much and thought we'd get more seat for our money by buying one that would allow our son to use it longer. We bought the Graco Snugride 32, for babies up to 32 lbs. We enjoyed for the first 6 months then stopped taking it in and out of the car when my son reached about 18 lbs. Big baby plus big car seat was just too much for me to carry. I think it was at about 7 months that I quit carrying him around in it. We didn't transition him to the toddler seat until he was about 9 months so for nearly two months we were able to keep using his infant seat by just leaving it in the car.

So here is my opinion/advice. Don't bother getting the bigger infant bucket seat that will hold larger babies. Just get a regular sized one that will be lighter to carry. When your child outgrows it, probably for length rather than weight, that can be the time to transition to the toddler seat.

We LOVED the portability of the infant bucket seat. It's great to get them all bundled up inside and then just snap them into the car and go. We also loved using the bucket car seat with the stroller. I would definitely recommend using one - just know that it won't last a full year.

One last thing - the Graco Snugride 32 doesn't fit on shopping carts. That was a major thumbs down in my opinion. Other brands fit right down in where the child is supposed to sit - my kid was always tilting or cadywhampus while shopping in that seat. Just FYI



answers from Milwaukee on

so the probelm with the travel systems is that they're just cheap. when the kiddo grows out of the infant car seat (as my 6month old is about to do anyday now) you're left with a cheap mediocre stroller. which, if you haven't upgraded in 15 years you actually might be perfectly happy with it. i'm sure they're going to be superior to what you may have had. we do a lot outdoors so really wanted a quality stroller that would last him into the toddler years and still perform perfectly. we decided on the bob revolution. it has a kit that allows you to attach most infant seats (so you don't have to have matching everything) its an additional cost, since the travel system will be the stroller AND have the car seat. obviously it means you buy these things seperatly. but we say on a weekly basis that our stroller was the best baby gear purchase of all!
as far as the car seat i think we have the graco snugride, but were never too particular about it as we knew he wouldn't be in it long and all car seats have to pass safety standards so i didn't get too picky about it. he'll be in a convertible seat very soon!
whatever you decide best of luck and congrats!


answers from Milwaukee on

The Graco Snug Ride32 will carry your baby till 32 lbs, and most others will only carry till 20 or 22lbs. As for Strollers I prefer the travel systems with the normal stroller because with the snap and go you will just have to go out and buy another after you switch to the convertable carseat anyways.



answers from Minneapolis on

I highyly recommend the GRACO brand carseat/stroller combo.

They have 2

1. Graco Snugride carseat/stroller the carseat is awesome the only drawback to some is it only goes up to roughly 20lbs and alof of babies outgrow it quick.

2. Graco Safeseat32 carseat/stroller this carseat is bigger and will hold a infant to 32lbs. My 10mo.old has this and is nowhere near outgrowing it, with plenty of room. When the carseat get's to heavy to lug around I just leave it in the car and unbuckle her as I go.

The carseat/stroller combos are AWESOME, you don't have to take a sleeping baby out of their carseat, you simply take the carseat out and snap into the stroller and away you go. Typically the infant carseats with the handle fit newborns better too.

Alot has changed in the last few years they are now pushing for babies to rearface in the car (face backwards) up to 40lbs around 3-4 years of age. So you will need to think about that when choosing carseats.

Graco is one of my favorite brands! I've tried many brands with my kids and many styles and I have no complaints with Graco. I have owned over 15carseats in the last 8 years. I am super duper picky and GRACO is the way to go for infant seats. When they are toddlers and get a bit bigger I love Britax.

My other favorite brand is Fisher Price, now they don't make carseats but they make tons of baby products that are just mind blowing. I love Fisher Price.

One brand to steer clear of is Cosco which is also Eddie Bauer,Safety First. Their products have frustrated me and haven't held up like I've expected. I would never throw my money away on that brand.

Go play with baby stuff at Babies R Us that is the store to actually touch,play with, and get your hands on. The store associates don't always know what they're talking about though just a FYI.


answers from Minneapolis on

Graco SnugRide 32 will hold most children until age 1, and many longer. The Chicco keyfit 30 will as well. These bot halso have coordinating strollers. If you have big babies, thes are good choices, so when your baby outgrows the infant seat you keep him in a convertible rear facing until he hits the rear facing weight limits of 33/35lbs, then forward facing until at least 4yrs AND 40lbs. If you need more info on current car seat safety, please visit or

Car seats have an expiration date, so please be aware if you are passing down car seats from child to child, that they are only good for 6yrs from date of manufacture... an expired car seat is a deadly one as the plastic breaks down and can break ina crash.



answers from Bismarck on

J., you may be surprised at my recommendation but I encourage you to have a car seat that is a car seat and doesn't morph into anything else. I am a pediatric PT and am seeing a phenomena I will call "container baby". You've seen them. The car seat is the infant carrier is their spot to nap if they are asleep once you get to your destination. And when they aren't in that container, they may be in the infant swing or something similar. It is very handy to not have to disturb a sleeping infant when they've fallen asleep in a car seat, but all of that semi-reclined positioning coupled with "back to sleep" time puts babies (especially in the first few months when they can't control their head movement yet) at an increased risk of developing torticollis (tight neck muscles) and flattening out the back of their head (plagiocephaly). Both of these things impact a baby's ability to turn their head, use their eyes and their hands together, and develop typically. If you do choose one of those options, be aware of how many hours you position your little one on his/her back and be sure to give them frequent breaks and plenty of "tummy to play" time. And nothing beats the neutral head position provided by loving arms. Okay, I'm off my soap box now. Congrats on your 5th. We stopped at 4 but sometimes wonder if it was a bit too soon even though I was 37 at the time.



answers from Minneapolis on

The Chicco keyfit carseat and cortina stroller (travel system) is good for bigger kids because the well of the carseat is deeper than most so there is more of the baby in the carseat and less hanging out! It is very sturdy with lots of nice features, but the price reflects it (about $100 more than most Graco travel systems). Except for the bulk of the stroller and the fact that the carseat doesn't pop nicely into grocery carts, we were very happy with it.



answers from Minneapolis on

I have always loved Graco. I have an older full sized one with a matching car seat that snapped in. The stroller is still big enough for my 18 month old son and it's the only one that was comfortable enough for him to fall asleep in. I have tried the Evenflo Aura, a Kolcraft stroller, a Baby Trend, and different umbrella strollers. The Graco has always been my favorite. All of the strollers I have used have been at least 4 years old and I've gotten them off of craigslist for free though. So I don't have any experience with the newer ones. However, my sister has the Chicco Cortina, and a Jeep Liberty jogging stroller and the times I used them, those were both great [although a little too bulky for me]. I say try craigslist first. Since the ones I got were free, I was able to try them out in my daily life [which is totally different than trying them in stores], put the ones I didn't like back on there for free, and pick the one that worked best for us.



answers from Madison on

We have love our Graco snugride/Quattro Tour Deluxe Combo. It has gotten a ton of use. Our son only fit in it until he was 7 months old, but ours was only good to 22 lbs. and I think 29 inches. He grew out of it in lenghth first.



answers from Minneapolis on

Hi J.,
I have a 5 wk old and we are using Graco Snugride and I have no complaints. I read a book Baby bargains to figure out what brands of all baby stuff I need and made my choices based on the reviews in the book(they just give you info, and you can choose what is important to you). it was really helpful.
For the carseat - Snugride is liked most by parents. The biggest things for me was, safety (it's safe) and convenience. Convenience wise, it's not too bulky and make sure that belts are adjusted on the front of the seat (it's the belt that you see on the front of the seat in between baby's legs) otherwise you have to get to the back of the seat to adjust the front belts.
We also have graco stroller - don't remember exact model, at babiesRus it's pink ($109). But consider how easy it's folded(ours with one hand), how heavy it is to lift, etc.

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