currently debating whether we should get an infant only car seat knowing we have to replace it at 22lbs, or go straight to a convertible. upside of the infant only is that it is light weight and easy to carry, as well as can be placed into a stroller frame. the convertible one would be the only one we'd need to buy, but much less easy to carry an infant around in....
I love that we went with a convertible from the get go with our first son, and will be doing it with this one too. We didn't use a stroller for the first year with Phin, we used a carrier and slings. We felt so unburdened not carrying one of those baby buckets around.
I would be careful if you are only going to buy a convertible car seat. We are on the third one. My son is 4 and 35 pounds and doesn't fit in the first two anymore. I would look for something that goes up to 65 or 80 pounds. My son is too tall for the height requirements for most of the carseats that only go to 40 pounds. Although he doesn't weigh enough, I'm not comfortable putting him in a booster (even if he was 40 pounds now, he would still be in a 5 point harness). So shop around for something that will last if you only get one, otherwise you will end up like me buying and infant seat, then a convertible, another convertible, and then finally finding one that will work... we went with the Sunshine Kids 80. My second has one as well and so will the third.
My son loved his carseat, a big plus was him falling asleep in it and being able to move him inside. Our daughter HATED the infant seat so I used a wrap with her (love the Moby wrap and Ergo carriers - again something we went through a lot of). She never slept in her carseat so we could have done without it for her.
we are looking at the graco snugride for the infant seat and the britax boulevard 70 (rated to 65 lbs) for the convertible.
we are planning on another baby as soon as we can get enough sleep to start TTC again, so i think we'd get to use the infant seat for the second child if we went that way. the convertible would be one per child....and per car (man that adds up fast...)
I'd go with an infant seat first...even though you can get the convertible, looking back now it would have been a bad choice for DS. He was too tall at 9 months for the infant seat, so we switched him into a front facing seat, and now that he's 2 he's almost out grown it. If you get the infant seat first, you can kinda judge on what size front facing you'll need. I misjudged, not thinking DS would be so tall, but at 2 he's 36 1/2 inches, so he's pretty tall...and the infant seats are SO easy! Just lift the whole thing up, so if baby is asleep, or you're at the drs office, at a friend's house, or wherever and baby is asleep you don't have to wake baby up by taking them out of the seat.
on second thought, that sunshine seat is fantastic, especially since we are likely to have a tall child (i'm 5'8" and dh is 6'11") so that will likely win over the britax for the convertible....
i think we will have to buy the convertible regardless....but the though of waking a sleeping baby to take her out of the car is not a happy one...
Phin is really laid back and had zero problems about being woken or whatnot. I don't understand having to set him down anywhere when in a carrier/sling? He also seemed to simply fuss less while in contact with us when out and about.
I have 2 toddlers in high back 5-point seats (non-rear facing option) and a booster for our 5yr old, so we will probably go with an infant seat first then convert when need, MarLea is measuring at 36% of her gestation. So she is probably going to be small like my son was.
My son switched to a big boy seat at age one, but was still so light weight he had to face rear. I imagine MarLea will be the same. I dont want to go through the hassel of having to buy yet another huge seat just yet, when I can start small and only have to deal with 2 bases (one for each car). Not only that, but I have litterally have 3 toddler seats and 2 school age seats- I have no need to buy anything but the infant one until she gets bigger.
The convertables are nice, but sit upright more not as easy for baby to sleep in.
happynifer - I wouldn't hesitate to get the Sunshine Kids - it has FANTASTIC safety ratings and it's the only one that I can find that will last the longest. My DH is 5'10" and I'm 5'6" so you would think our son would have fit in the other two (one was the Evenflow Triumph - which I loved, the other was a Elite where they can switch to a booster seat and it's supposed to go up to 100 pounds - yay right, what a joke that one was.)
You really can't go wrong with a Britax and they are always onsale. The only downside that I've seen is how big they are. If you have a big car with lots of room that would be a good option too. But if you plan on having many more children, think about space for the future (or for you sitting in the back the baby for long trips.).
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