Seeking Advice on Car Seat Decision

Updated on January 10, 2008
D.M. asks from McKinney, TX
6 answers

I am currently pregnant with our second child. We are having a little trouble deciding on car seats. We had a carrier/stroller combo with our nearly 3 year old, but unfortunately the carrier was one that was recalled. I don't feel comfortable using it again with our next baby, even if the repairs are made which leaves us with our dilemma. Do we buy another carrier/base combo for the few months that our kiddos seems to use it (our son was out of it within 6 months) or do we buy a convertible seat and be done with it? We are going to buy a sit and stand stroller for our son and the new baby, so we don't need the combo with the stroller, but the carrier is just so convienient. Thank you for all your suggestions!

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answers from Dallas on

Most convertible carseats will not fit a newborn correctly, despite their claims. (Unless you are a momma who has 10+ lb babies!) Some kids can't fit into the convertible seats until they are closer to 4-6 months old. (depending on the size of the child)

The infant seat is made to fit newborns and smaller infants. I would definitely go with an infant seat for the first few months and then looking at a convertible seat. I highly recommend any carrier with a FRONT harness adjuster (the Graco Safeseat and Chicco Keyfit are two of my favorites!) this will insure that your baby is harnessed in properly each and every time.

If you have any other questions about car seats feel free to private message me!
(I am a certified carseat technician)



answers from Houston on

I think you should make the investment in a good carseat that will last you for a while. If you still have the carrier/stroller combo, you can store them in the trunk and use the carrier when you take him out of his carseat (like to go to a restaurant, mall, stroll in the park, etc.). A regular carseat may be a little big at first, but with the proper support cushions, everything should work out. Like you said, they aren't in the carrier type of seat for long, so it would not be worth the money to buy one. We had a carrier/stroller combo for our son, but he really didn't like it, so we put him in his regular carseat and he was much happier. We purchased a Britax Decathlon. The Decathlon is bigger than most seats, but I would never buy anything other than a Britax. They are the best buy for the money in my opinion.



answers from Houston on

I am sort of in the same situation- except I by carrier is still in good condtion. I will also be purchasing a sit-n-stand for my todler so I won't need the stoller that goes with the carrier anymore. But I say buy just the carier car seat- you don't have to get the combo and it should also snap into your sit-n-stand. My sister had her newborn in a convertible and it was so sad to see her in there- the convertibles don't lean back nearly far enough for a newborn to be confortable and the belts seem to swallow them- she didn't look comfortable or safe. Now, that was several years ago so maybe the convertibles have improved but I think the carrier is the way to go.

Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

How about buying one of those lightweight Snap and Go strollers ($40-$50) to use when you have the carrier? That way you are not investing a lot of money and it folds up very small where it doesn't take up much room. I had one for my 2nd son. I hardly every used the combo b/c the snap and go was so much easier.

I personally love the carriers. It's so much easier when you are getting TWO kids out of the car just to snap the baby out and go. Transfers are much more complicated with two kids!! It was worth it to us to buy another infant seat/carrier just for that reason alone. Also keep in mind that shopping (like at Target, grocery store) is so much easier when you can just place the carrier in the cart. My kids didn't do well in the slings, but that may be just me. I liked having my hands empty, especially with the 2nd b/c you still have to deal with the first. Remember, you can't pick up your 1st very easily if you've got your baby in a sling!!

Good luck and congrats!!



answers from Dallas on

I guess it depends on your lifestyle and how often you use it. I have one friend who only uses a regular car seat and puts her baby in a sling every time she gets out of the car. Her 2 y.o. uses the stroller. Personally, I love the carrier/car seats. If nothing else, it means that your baby can sleep in the car w/o having to be woken up every time you get in or out. That was a lifesaver with my son as he is one of those kids who is soothed to sleep by a ride in the car. Check out for some awesome deals.



answers from Dallas on

I struggled with the same dillema, but ultimately chose to go the carrier/stroller combo and do a convertible seat later. Why? The biggest reason is that it's easier to access the baby to put him/her in and take her/him out of the seat if it isn't in the car. Especially when they have no neck control. Second, they can stay asleep when you take baby, seat & all out of the car. My biggest rule of thumb is to NEVER wake baby on purpose unless they need to eat, and the carseat/stroller combo supports that. And finally, during rainstorms, getting the carseat out of the car is faster and results in your backside being dryer then it does when you fumble with taking your baby out of the seat.

Kind of a disorganized argument, but these are what I was thinking about when I made the decision to go with an infant seat first and convertible later. Hope that helps!

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