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Do I need an infant carseat?

When my daughter was born she went straight into an evenflo convertible car seat (I can't remember the model) that rear faced from 5-35lbs. She was 7lbs when she left the hospital so I figured buying an infant seat was a waste of money. I later (around 6 months) changed her into a Britax Marathon (which she still RF's in) and I am expecting a baby in August and would like to just get another Marathon for the new baby. My daughter was rarely in a car for the first 6 months of her life (maybe 4 times total) and every time we she was we used the evenflo and she seemed comfy and secure. However the new baby will probably be in the car more often. Do I have to start with the infant seat first? Is it safer and/or more comfortable for a smaller baby? Or can I just start her out in the Marathon (providing her weight allows)??

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 1:52 PM on May. 1, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

Answers (13)
  • If you have a newborn then the infant carseat is needed. You decide which model is best for you but I would get the comfy neck stuff to keep the head straight and such.

    Answer by lilbit022009 at 1:53 PM on May. 1, 2009

  • I did not use an infant seat with my kids. they both went straight into a rear-facing convertible Britax Roundabout. As long as she meets the minimum requirements for the Marathon there is no reason not to just use that.

    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 1:55 PM on May. 1, 2009

  • You would probably want an infant seat, because newborns don't have good head support, sometimes none at all. They'll be more comfortable in a semi-reclined infant seat.

    Answer by srhmldndo at 1:55 PM on May. 1, 2009

  • Oh, plus you can carry her more easily in an infant seat.

    Answer by srhmldndo at 1:56 PM on May. 1, 2009

  • The hospital where I delivered would not let anyone take a newborn home unless they had an infant car seat.

    Answer by KareemsMami at 1:57 PM on May. 1, 2009

  • NO, you don't "need" an infant carrier-style car seat. As long as the car seat you have is designed for babies in the weight/height range that your baby is and your seat is properly installed, that's all that matters. The Marathon doesn't have the best head support/protection - perhaps you could consider the added safety of the Diplomat or Boulevard? But you can always get one of those seat inserts (google: Kiddopotamus Snuzzler) and it will support your little one just fine. My close friend used a Britax Diplomat with her newborn and it worked just fine with a seat insert. I am currently expecting my 3rd and I have my two older ones in Boulevards and just ordered a Diplomat for my baby-on-the-way. BTW, Britax is having a FANTASTIC sale right now, so now is the time to buy!!!

    Answer by MrsRich at 2:01 PM on May. 1, 2009

  • "If you have a newborn then the infant carseat is needed." No, there are convertible seats designed to be used from birth, most start at 5 pounds.
    "They'll be more comfortable in a semi-reclined infant seat." The rear-facing convertible seat is reclined.
    "Oh, plus you can carry her more easily in an infant seat." It is a lot easier to carry just a baby and not lug them around in that bulky seat. Better for the baby too.

    I've seen so many babies hauled around in those infant seats. Out of the car, click it into the stroller, hold bottle up to baby in the seat, click it back into the car, into the house. It can be hours before the baby is picked up and held. That is one reason why I chose not to use one, to ensure my baby would get held a lot.

    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 2:04 PM on May. 1, 2009

  • No you most definitely do not NEED one, it is a convenience and some will argue that the infant seat is safer. I have heard from a few car seat techs that they would never put there newborns in a convertable seat due to lack of head support and that it really does have more side protection for the baby. That being said I did keep my daughter in an infant seat until she reached the weight limit, you don't have to remove the seat from the car, you can just as easily leave it in the car if you want as you would with your convertable seat. The car seat guidelines are there for a reason and teh convertable carseat does meet the criteria required for a newborn but the problem from all the techs I have talk to say that the convertable car seat is made to do to many jobs so although it meets the criteria, the infant seat is made just for the tiny babies that need that extra support.

    Answer by cemn0615 at 2:11 PM on May. 1, 2009

  • You don't need one. My dd used a carrier in my car and an convertible in hubbys. She was small, but still fit well in both.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:30 PM on May. 1, 2009

  • Thanks for all of the input ladies. Regardless of what type of car seat I choose it will remain in the car. I have an Ergo for all my baby carrying needs! =) Ms Rich I heard that seat inserts lessen the safety of the seat. I don't know how true this is-I'll look into it. To be honest the Boulevard is a bit out of my price range (If I could I would believe me) but I like the Marathon because I know it's safe AND I can afford it. Then again I suppose if I had to buy the infant seat and then the Marathon it would amount to the same thing anyway. Thanks again for all of the input ladies!


    Answer by Anonymous at 2:36 PM on May. 1, 2009

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