Infant Car Seat versus Convertible Car Seat
As with any parent, finding the perfect car seat is important. After all, that is what is protecting your child when in travel. But, every family needs to make a list of important things they are looking for.
Of course, safety is number one. But, there are gives and take to just about any car seat design. And, not one style or design car seat is perfect for each and every person. However, both infant and convertible car seats have amazing positive points, and both are very high in the safety rating.
Determining if which one is best is comparing apples and oranges. These car seats are very different from one another. One has a working life of about a year, while the other is there for the life that a child would need a car seat.
Both are designed to keep the baby safe in traveling. And, both were considered heavy, however, the infant car seat is really the one that this should be a concern, since, most people will carry the seat around with the baby strapped inside.
However, the baby doesn’t have to remain in the car seat.
UPPABaby is an American based company is a husband and wife owned company, but with backgrounds in the corporate world. This company’s products are tested by the real deal, parents.
And, they think of what would make the parent’s, as well as the babies, lives better. There has been lots of buzz in the press release area for this company with celebrates spotted using the various UPPAbaby MESA and their other designs.
Getting this added benefit without the chemicals is perfect for those little ones’ seats. However, this wool design does come with a bit of a setback, heat. They seem to be hot for many little ones and this should be taken into consideration, depending on where you live.
The MESA Features
- Adjustable head protection for the little ones. And, side impact protection
- Attaches to the CRUZ and VISTA strollers with ease
- Suitable for 32″ and 4-35 lbs.
- Washable and Breathable fabric
- Insert that optimizes if safe for premies starting at 4 lbs
- Lacks flame retardant chemicals
- 7-year expiration
- Very high safety ratings
- Great Styling
- Plastic patch that is behind the baby which can be uncomfortable in warm weather. The seat is hot in general.
- Not designed for long and lean babies.
- With all the padding the seat can be heavy
- Takes up a lot of room in the car
- Straps cannot be removed for cleaning
This convertible car seat offers a unique design that will grow with the child. This is a more affordable option to that of the MESA due to the fact you have one purchase for the lifetime of needing a car seat.
This style of car seat, however, doesn’t have the convenient drop and lock that the infant style car seat has.
This 4 in one seat is:
- A rear-facing baby seat that is good until 40 lbs and works with premies as little as 4 lbs.
- Toddler car seat from 22-65 lbs
- Booster Seat up to 100 with the backless option going to 120lbs
This is a convertible car seat. So, it is made to be buckled in and not moved as the infant design but stays in the car. And, it cannot be removed with the child in it.
But, once the child is a bit larger, this design is nice, due to the fact the infant car seat can start to get very heavy. For the short time in using the car seat to the time the baby can hold up their head and are more alert is short.
The Graco 4Ever transforms into the various recommended styles of car seats.
And, offers a simple latch system that can be completed in 1 second. There are replacement parts that can be ordered from Graco, should something be broken or misplaced along the way.
- 10-year Expiration – lasts the child a lifetime
- Easy to put the baby in and out
- Fits good at all baby stages
- Easily adjustable harness height
- Dense foam similar to memory phone for infants
- Narrow and doesn’t take up a ton of space
- Great Safety rating
- Easy to install with a simple latch system
- The harness will loosen over time, not a huge deal, but should be checked periodically.
- Poorly padded as the seat grows.
- Heavy but it is not moved often
Infant Car Seat vs Convertible Car Seat: Which is Better?
Both car seats presented here are very safe for small babies.
The infant style design is clearly only for infants and they will outgrow it.
But, they are both good choices for any parent. The most important aspect of any car seat is that it is used properly.
What is the safest car seat for an infant?
There is not a “safest” option. Either choice is safe for infants to use. What is important is that the child is strapped in safely. And, is not wearing large puffy clothing, has the seat strapped to the car properly.
However, the convertible car seat can do this sort of thing as well, just with a bit more patience. Strapping a convertible car seat in and out of various cars can mean something is missed when strapping them down.
This allows for easy shopping and added safety, as strangers are less likely to walk off with the baby. And, it allows the baby more time for cuddles while the parents are getting things done.
FAQ and Buying Guide
Do you need an infant car seat?
From a legal standpoint, you do not need an infant car seat. A convertible car seat will certainly do. However, being a busy parent it is easier to get the baby in and out of the car in an infant car seat.
And, if you live where there are ice and snow, it can certainly help protect the baby should you have a slip.
An infant car seat is the seats that snap in and out of bases from the car for quick and easy removal. But, you don’t have to take the seat along, it can be used as a convertible and remain in the car permanently as well.
The baby remains strapped in while walking as well as they typically seat inside a shopping cart with ease. This allows the baby to stay clear of all the germs on the cart.
This makes shopping with a newborn far easier as well. Sometimes this style of car seat is known as the bucket car seat, due to how the infant sits in the seat. These seats are designed for the very little ones and offer protection of their fragile spines and bones.
Are infant car seats safe?
Infant car seats are safe to use, as long as they are used properly. The child should be strapped with a snug hold, rear facing and in the backseat. The straps should be on the child as well and not a big puffy coat, as they can slip out on impact.
And, never leave a child in a car seat sitting on top of things such as beds, sofas and alike as they could fall.
The number one thing with any car seat is the installation to the car as well as the baby’s buckle. Ensuring there is not a lot of fabric between the latch and the baby is also important. This can lead to the baby slipping out in an accident and lead to injuries and fatalities.
Also, ensure you have the system locked into the car properly. Many police and fire stations have events to have this inspected as well as the hospitals.
If you are using this type of system, rock the seat back and forth to ensure a good latch between the base and the seat is there.
Things to remember with the Car Seats
Remember that there are weight limits on the convertible car seats. This means that the Graco will have to be converted at the appropriate time. Rear-facing car seats are the safest position a child can be in. This is due to their underdeveloped necks.
The longer they can stay rear facing the better. And, ensure the strapped are strapped on properly and tight to keep the child from slipping out in an accident. And, that the straps are adjusted every time the child is put back into the car seat.
This is the reason for so many child’s injuries. Parents are too busy to take a few seconds and check. Remember, kids grow fast at the straps will need to be adjusted accordingly.
Do not blow off needing a booster seat. Kids 4-8 need to be a booster seat for proper riding. This allows the shoulder straps to fit the child in the fashion they were meant to and keeps the child safe on impact. The use of child seats overall has gone up in recent years, however, the use of Booster seats has gone down.
Booster seats are designed to give the child a boost, they allow them to see better as well, which is why kids generally don’t mind them. And, it is the law as well. A child must be 4’9″ to be out of a booster seat.
Facts about Car Safety
Most accidents happen around the home while going to the grocery store, daycare or park. This leads to more injuries and deaths, due to the fact that many parents will have the mindset “We are going that far”. Even if you aren’t traveling that far, putting the child properly into that car seat is very important.
Their bones are not fully developed and muscles, to keep their head on when there is a big impact. Literally, the neck is one of the weakest points on a babies body and needs to be protected.
Children from 4-8 are more likely to be injured in a car accident than any other age. Do you know why this is? It’s because the parents are slacking in putting these children in the needed booster seats.
Sure, all parents know to be careful with the new baby and that the baby should be strapped in properly. They even take classes on it, but when the child becomes older, they are starting to slack off. This is something that as a society, we need to work on. The Graco4 Ever is a perfect booster seat for this age!
Do not leave your child in the car alone. Many children die from overheating each year by being left in a hot car. If that car is not comfortable for you, then it’s certainly not safe for your child.
Things like electric windows and accidentally releasing the brake can occur as well. And, if your child is strapped into a car seat they cannot escape even if they want to.
What is a convertible car seat for babies?
Yes, a convertible car seat is safe for babies. It is merely a preference of which to have your newborn use.
Is convertible car seat good for newborn?
Yes, there are inserts that adjust to hold their heads. The straps should be adjusted accordingly.
Do you need an infant car seat?
No, you do not need an infant car seat. But, they can be helpful depending on your lifestyle and where you live.
Are infant car seats safe?
Yes, an infant car seat is safe. Both designs are safe, but it’s a personal preference on which style you prefer.
When should I put my baby in a convertible car seat?
You can put your baby in a convertible car seat at any age up to 120 lbs. It is rated from 4 lbs to 120 lbs.
Getting the proper car seat for your child is important. Be sure to take into account the various design aspects of each of the car seats. Some find the infant style more convenient as you can just pop the littles in and out.
However, others don’t like the weight of the infant style and prefer the convertible style for the entire car seat journey. Between the two there really are no outstanding pros over the other, they are both very safe car seats. And, should be used with confidence.
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