View Full Version : Infant Car Seats, Necessary?
02-02-2001, 03:17 PM
My husband and I are going back and forth about the necessity of an infant car seat. Spending so much money two or three times (as the child outgrows the seats) seems like a waste. We would prefer to get one that lasts longer (like the Roundabout) but wanted to know what people without infant seats did with their infants when they are out (say at dinner or the doctor's office). All my friends with children have the monster travel systems and have just used the infant seat that came with it. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.
02-04-2001, 10:43 AM
LAST EDITED ON Feb-04-01 AT 08:45AM (Mountain)[p]I would DEFINATELY get an infant seat. I had one that DS grew out of at 6 months (he was too long and it was too heavy for me to carry), so we didn't use it for that long, but even for that short time, it was worth it. The best part about it is that you can transport the infant into the store, restaurant, etc. without having to take them out of the car seat. It makes things so much easier. If the baby is sleeping, you can just pick up the seat and take it wherever and most likely the baby will continue to sleep.
Also, it is easy to move the seat from different cars (they can be used without the base) -- this will be much more difficult with a convertable seat.
If you didn't have the infant seat and you went to a restaurant, you'd have to hold the baby the entire time you were there, since there really isn't any place to put a baby that can't sit up. Of course, you could put the baby in the stroller, but there isn't a lot of room in some places to have the stroller. Also, I've found that while some grocery stores have those infant seats attached to the carts, they are few and far between and some are not in the greatest of shape.
I know the infant seat is an added cost that you could probably do without, but in my opinion, the convienece greatly outweighs the extra cost.
02-06-2001, 07:33 PM
My opinion is the opposite: I used the infant seat that came w/our travel system. Yes, it was convenient when shopping or dining. HOWEVER, now that I have installed the Britax RA, I am quite shocked at how loose the infant seat was installed. There was no way to get a tight fit, like I have w/Roundabout (shaking the car seat shakes the whole car!!) Maybe I'm just fortunate but getting my sleeping son out of the Roundabout doesn't wake him as long as I don't hit his head on the car door or drop him...Plus, he was too heavy for me to carry in it at only 3 months, 2 months we were pushing it. I received my travel system as a gift (Century) and I love it and really like the stroller, and I'm glad to have the carrier to still use for shopping carts or seat in restaurant, I just toss it in the trunk when we go anywhere that I think I'll need it. I also use my Baby Bjorn soft front carrier which I think is just about the best invention for moms!
Another opinion for you to think about!
03-23-2001, 11:52 PM
It is DEFINITELY worth it. I just don't see where you would put your infant if you didn't have the carrier. Even the mother that said that it wasn't worth it also said that she still uses it for the grocery store, dining, etc. Also, I've read that the infant car seat is safer for the younger infants (I don't remember where...Baby Bargains? Consumer Reports? Maybe you can look for that info on the web if you are interested.)
If you install it correctly, the infant car seat won't budge. I had mine inspected by a police officer who was certified in car seat stuff, and he said that it was perfect. The problem is that it is difficult to install correctly, especially because this is the first time. With the next car seat, I think that it seems easier to install correctly because you have done it so many times. I used the car seat base with the carrier. This was a great feature because you only have to install the base once. Get into the car and put your weight on it while your husband (or someone else) pulls on the seat belt. Install it, and then a week later, take it out and install it again. Like everything else in the world, you become better with practice. I don't think that it should be this way with a safety item, but it is in my experience. When my child was a few months old, I remember seeing the car seat sway in the rear view mirror when I turned. By the time that she was ready to be out of the car seat/carrier, I had it installed so well that it would not budge. I just wish that I practiced installing before she was born.
As for the suggestion of using a Baby Bjorn or other body baby carrier, this can really be a personal choice. I love my baby, but after breastfeeding her 8 times a day (breastfeeding seemed to take 45 minutes to an hour at first), I didn't need her on me while we were out. I needed some space. And she seems to be the same way. Even as an infant, she wasn't a cuddle baby, and now, at 13 months old, I can't get her to sit still long enough to cuddle with me when I want her to. You probably know what kind of person you are and if this idea will work for you.
And skip the monster travel systems. Go for the carrier/car seat, the base, and a Snap N Go or a lightweight fully-reclining stroller that accommodates the carseats (like the Combis or the Peg Perego Pliko Sherpas).
Hope that helps!
03-30-2001, 09:06 AM
I personally don't see how you could live WITHOUT an infant car seat, but that's my opinion.
Exactly as the others said, if you're out, where do put the little guy (or girl). When you go to the grocery store, the infant seat should click right onto the cart. Without the seat, doing any errands would require you to carry the baby. With the infant seat, you could just carry the baby in the seat, which is great-especially if they are sleeping.
I bought a Century travel system and I love it. I used the infant seat (Smart Fit Plus) until my son was nine months old. Some say the travel systems aren't necessary but I thought it was a great purchase. Although I did buy a Combi lightweight stroller also.
My son basically lived in his infant seat. We used it when we went to friend's houses, restaurants, everywhere. It's also easy to feed them in the seat if you aren't at home (The handle rotates to prop the seat up.) We also used it as a rocker because when the seat is on the floor you can "rock" it with your foot. Also, as someone else mentioned, you can strap the seat into a different car without the base, making is easy to switch cars for whatever reason. I did not find the infant seat hard to install, and I had mine installed rock-solid and checked by the local police department.
04-10-2001, 09:52 AM
I recommend using an infant car seat in the beginning. We didn't and I was at a loss early on after my son arrived as to leave the house with him. I had a Baby Bjorn but wasn't comfortable carrying such a young infant with him facing me with his head dangling all over the place. We started out with the Britax Roundabout (which we love) but ended up going to a consignment shop to buy an infant car seat (without the base). This is something you may want to consider but it would be nice to be able to snap the baby in and out of the car seat when they're little and always sleeping in the car. It's rare when I get my son out of the Britax without waking him.
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