New Parents: Are Convertible Car Seats Safe For Infants?
Have you ever wondered if your child's car seat is doing its job? I remember when I first brought my oldest home from the hospital, I wasn't sure if my car seat would be adequate for my newborn.
If you're a soon-to-be mommy or daddy, you may wonder "are convertible car seats safe for infants?". This is why I created this guide, so you can know exactly what to look for in your new baby's car seat.
Fortunately, I think I made the right choice insofar as the car seat that I picked, but there certainly are a lot of convertibles to choose from and wondering if these types are good for your newborn at all is completely understandable.
In any case, let's take a look at convertible car seats as used for infants.
What's The Deal With Infant Car Seats?
Infant car seats, on the other hand, are designed with smaller children in mind only. In fact, most of these are only good up to baby's first year or so.
That being said, many parents choose infant car seats because of their ability to be quickly pulled out of the car without the need to unstrap the little one.
They can even sometimes snap right into a stroller, which makes it so that you don't always interrupt your baby's beauty rest after the drive is over.
Babeelicious has a great comparison Vlog about these two differing car seats.
Why Even Consider A Convertible?
Well, most parents consider these because convertible car seats have a much longer usage time than rear facing newborn-only car seats. These seats can be used for years rather than just through the newborn stage of development for your baby.
The reason many parents question the safety of convertible car seats for newborns is because these have a tendency to face forward rather than backward.
Here are some advantages of a convertible versus an infant car seat:
- Long lasting value: Convertibles cost less in the long run because they "grow" with the child. Most convertibles will be usable from as little as five pounds and hours old to 60 pounds and playing with your phone. This is very useful for parents that don't want to spend $500 on car seats for different phases of their child's lives.
- Just because it says 'infant' doesn't mean it's for fresh newborns: Some infant car seats actually don't work well until the baby is over eight pounds. In a situation where a baby is born a little light, your infant car seat can be near useless.
- Height and weight can come into effect: Infant car seats that have a rear-facing design often have weight and height limits. Convertibles are designed to manage more heights and weights than infant seats.
What About Safety?
Well, this is the point, isn't it? As mentioned, I find that many parents wonder if convertible car seats are actually safe for infants because they aren't designed specifically with only infants in mind.
In my experience, this is because many hospitals have regulations for how you can take a newborn out of their care.
As a result, many parents just buy a new infant car seat with the understanding that the car seat will be safer and also okayed by the hospital when it's time to take their newborn home.
Also, many parents think that because a car seat is convertible that it can't be rear facing, which they think will be another barrier to taking their baby home for the first time.
In both of these situations, these suspicions are patently false; there are plenty of convertible car seats out there that are designed to be used from birth so that you can take your little one home immediately with no issue from the hospital.
Additionally, based on a Consumer Reports test, these types of car seats actually performed better in the safety simulations than the infant car seats.
What's The Point Of An Infant Car Seat?
Well, in my experience, these car seats are just designed for convenience; you can simply let your child sleep when you need to move them.
Also, with convertibles, you'll never really take them out of the car, which means that you'll have to purchase a separate travel system as well.
Convenience is a major consideration for most parents, but in my opinion, so is overall value.
Since infant car seats have proven to be a bit less safe than convertibles and only last for 13 months or so, they aren't worth it from a value-based point of view. You simply can use convertible-type car seats longer and they actually have a fairly high safety rating.
Worrying about keeping your baby safe is often something that will keep you up at night. I created this guide so that you can know whether or not convertible car seats are safe enough for your little ones.
Remember, convertibles actually have had a higher safety rating for infants, so if you're in no need for the added convenience of an infant seat, I'd suggest picking up a convertible seat for the long-term value.
As mentioned, if you need a great convertible product, check out the Britax Marathon 70, it has a lot of great features.
I hope you enjoyed this guide. Feel free to comment on it if you have any questions at all. In the meantime, here are a few things to remember:
- Seek out a convertible that will have a lower base weight and a higher one for your child's toddler years.
- Infant car seats aren't always the answer.
- Convertible car seats can grow with your child, thusly saving you money.