Pros and Cons of Infant Car Seat or Convertable Car Seat

Updated on April 01, 2010
M.Q. asks from Flower Mound, TX
10 answers

We know that I am carry a very big baby. My doc said she could be up to 10 pounds. So my question is should I do the whole travel system again, did it with first daughter, or just use the convertable carseats facing backwards. We already have 2 Britax convertable seats, my daughter is now in a booster seat, so that would save money to use what we have. I just wonder with a big baby if the infant carrier is worth it when you can only use for up to 22 pounds anyway? Just trying to get some opinion. Thanks

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answers from Los Angeles on

I loved my infant seat I took it out every were. I totaly understantd why you dont want to spend the extra $ if you are only going to use it a few months. Why don't you look on craigslist you can find a good one at a good price. I think it is safer to use a carrier untill she is just a bit bigger.

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answers from Dallas on

I think still having the option to not wake your child up and carry them into the house or restaurant is beneficial. You can get infant carriers at kid 2 kid for low cost. Since most people only use them for a few months, they are nearly new.



answers from Dallas on

If you already have an infant seat, I would use it for a couple months. Our babies outgrew them quickly and I only used it for a short time. I didn't use it to carry them around, I used a sling. I did like to have it in case we went to a restaurant or somewhere because until they could sit up it was nice to have somewhere to put them.



answers from Indianapolis on

I'm a big fan of infant carriers until they get too awkward to carry. I believe they're more convenient and offer just as much safety as a good seat like Britax. With 2 kids, I thought carrying the infant carrier was much easier than trying to carry a newborn and a 2 year old.

I had small babies at birth who became monsters very quickly thereafter.


answers from Minneapolis on

If your daughter is old enough for a booster seat you may want to check the date of manufacture on the infant seat you own. They expire after 6yrs.

Most convertible seats, though the weight says '5-xxlbs', dont' fit newborns well. while rear facing, the harness needs to come from just at or below the shoulders, and there are very few convertible car seats that allow even a large newborn to fit properly. Cosco Scenera and the Graco MyRide 65 are two that fit newborns well. First Years True Fit is another that fits newborns pretty well. Britax seats don't fit newborns well, the bottom harness slot is too high to be just at or below the shoulders.

Its wise to either find a convertible that will fit a newborn well (one I listed above) or go with an infant seat until your child is big enough to properly fit into a convertible.

Also, please read about Belle's gift and Kyle David Miller online. These are children who were in booster seats too early and died because of it. If your older child is younger than 4 AND 40lbs, she should still be in a harness.



answers from Boise on

In my opinion, I would go with an infant car seat first. If you're taking your baby to the store, it's much easier to just lift the car seat out and carry the baby like that, then to take the baby out of the car seat and put them in a carrier/sling...especially if they are sleeping. Then you could always go up to the convertible seat when they are big enough to sit up in the cart. There are some infant carriers that go up to 29 lbs I think. You might look into one of those. Also, don't forget that the usually on ultrasounds or the doctor just saying, the baby can be up to a pound different than what they say they're going to be. Also, if you're just trying to save money on one, you could always try 2nd hand stores or Craigslist. Good luck!



answers from St. Cloud on

If you have to go purchase a NEW infant car seat, I'd just skip it! My friend NEVER had one with her last baby. Just used a convertable carseat (backwards) for the first year. She enjoyed carrying the baby and usually there are lots of hands that will hold the baby for you! LOL.

I would agree with using a carrier of some sort instead. We purchased an ERGO for our second and used it till he was almost 2. We also had a travel system but RARELY took the carseat out of the van. We carried our baby everywhere. Loved it too! We are planning on doing the same thing with our next one. Car seats are made for the car! Babies like being held.



answers from Tyler on

I was only able to use my infant car seat with my two for three months because my babies were big. But, I still liked the ease of use of getting an infant in and out of the car those first three months. The first time, I bought an infant car seat. The 2nd time (years later and we had already gotten rid of our infant stuff), I just borrowed the neighbor's infant seat for 3 months. It was perfect.

With both of them, I ended up keeping the infant car seat in the trunk of the car and the regular car seat installed in the seat. But, I used the infant car seat (even when they were officially too big for it) for grocery shopping. They were not old enough to sit up on their own yet, but I still needed something for them to be in while I shopped for groceries. That 3 months when they were too big for the infant seat, but not strong enough to sit up yet were hard to deal with.

Good luck!



answers from San Francisco on

We used an infant carrier for both kids until about 9 months. We had to switch for our son due to weight and height. For our daughter it was the height. I kept them in the infant carrier because it made it easier going places like Target, grocery store, etc. I would have had to hold them as infants before they were able to sit up in the cart. At 9 mo we switched to the Britax too. They are great.



answers from Dallas on

I am a first-time Mom so can't help advise what will work best, but I did spend a day earlier this week reviewing infant carriers and picking the one I plan to use with my daughter. So I thought you might want to know, there are infant carriers now that fit more than 22 lbs. The one I chose is the Graco SnugRide 35, which goes to 32" and 35 lbs. And another friend of mine has the Chicco which holds up to 30 lbs. Baby Trend has some models that go up to 30 lbs too. So maybe that would work for your big baby? Also, I believe safety experts recommend rear-facing for 12 months as a minimum, so I am hoping to squeeze as much time as I can into the infant carrier I'm getting which is why I'm going with the SnugRide 35 despite the slightly increased cost upfront. All the best to you and your family!

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