Every nursing mom’s priority for her baby is safety first during travels. You don’t want your infant to become uncomfortable or stressed out during a bumpy ride in the countryside or a long ride to see a family friend in the city. In the quest to make these little ones very comfortable and safe, infant moms use either an infant car seat or convertible car seats. With recent statistics pitching the number of children who are injured or died yearly as a result of auto-crash at thousands, moms’ desires of the safest choice for their babies are often faced with a troubling question: are infant car seats safer than convertible?
What is an Infant’s Car Seat?
An infant car seat also called the child restraint system, a baby seat, or a booster seat is designed primarily to protect your child from injury or death during vehicle collisions. A baby’s car seat with a well-installed restraining system can provide passive restraints for your baby during a collision. Infant car seats are rear-facing (faces the rear of the car) and can accommodate up to 35 pounds.
What Is A Convertible Car Seat?
A convertible car seat is so-called because you can position it to be forward or rear-facing. You can use the rear-facing seat position for infants and toddlers and move on to the forward-facing position when your child becomes older. So, depending on the growth rate of your baby, your child can use a convertible car seat for years. A convertible car seat can support approximately 65 pounds.
When Should I Switch from an infant Car Seat to a Convertible?
This depends on how rapidly your baby grows. A baby car seat can last 2 years before the weight and height limit is exceeded. Once your baby outgrows his or her car seat, you will have to buy another baby car seat or a convertible car seat.
When you noticed your child is feeling discomfort or cry, it may be as a result of the car seat cramping him or her. Such feelings may be signs that your baby has outgrown his/her car seat and you will have to switch to another new car seat or a convertible.
Buying a second-hand car seat comes with some level of risk. If you are buying a second-hand child’s car seat, please be sure that it is in very good condition. Moreover, do not forget to check the expiry date of the car seat. After expiration, a car seat cannot guarantee the safety of your baby. You will see the expiry date printed somewhere on the child’s car seat or on the car seat user’s manual.
What Are the Differences Between Infant Car Seats and Convertible?
When it comes to the overall cost, the convertible car seat provides for longevity and thus reduced cost since your baby can grow with it. A convertible can still be of use when a child becomes a toddler.
The rear-facing position can be used for a baby until he or she is 3 years old and the child can begin to use the forward-facing position once he or she clocks 3 years of age. You can use a convertible until your child is four, five years, or even more.
However, while a convertible car seat grows with your child and offers conversion from a rear-facing to a forward-facing position, an infant car seat provides specific comfort and features to your baby beyond what a convertible can provide.
Infant car seats are often more fitting for some cars when compared to a convertible car seat, which is often bigger and bulkier.
An infant car seat also usually comes with a canopy that provides shade for your baby and shields your baby’s eyes from sunlight. A convertible car seat does not have this feature.
Moreover, with the purchase of multiple car seat bases, you can use a baby car seat in different cars. This is not possible with a convertible which is hefty and more of a permanent attachment to a car.
Are Convertible Car seats safe for Newborns?
While some convertibles have low minimum size limits and additional support inserts for newborns, not all convertibles come with these features which make them unideal for infants. I will advise you to get one with very low harness slots and a very low weight minimum (which should be below or at the level of your baby’s shoulder).
Moreover, it can be very difficult to use a convertible seat for smaller infants. Convertible seats with extra padding can help smaller babies fit comfortably in the large seat.
Since you cannot tell whether your infant will fit into a convertible until he or she is born, I’ll suggest you go for an infant car seat if you can afford it and switch to a convertible as he or she grows.
Read also: Best Infant car seat for travel
What Should I Consider When Buying an Infant’s Car Seat?
While an infant’s car seat is expected to meet a strict safety measure to keep your baby safe, you should be doubly sure of the safety of the car seat you are buying. Look for infant car seats with added safety features such as additional shock absorption and padding.
Get an infant car seat that will give your baby maximum comfort. Buy one with extra cushioning and a comfortable harness.
Ease of Installation
Read the review of the car seat to ensure that it is firm and easy to install before buying it. Most car seats come with a LATCH system that provides for easy installations.
Is It Fit for Your Car? :
Infant car seats come in various sizes and shapes. Be sure that it fits well with your car before paying for it.
Is the fabric easy to remove and wash?
Buy an infant car seat with fabric easy to detach and wash and re-attached.
If you intend to use the car seat with a stroller outside the car, then buy a car seat compatible with your stroller. You can search for the car seat and stroller together so you can easily get one that is best for transitioning.
Final Verdict: Are infant car seats safer than convertible?
As a mom who wants her baby safe at all times, asking questions such as “are infant car seats safer than convertible?” is not bad at all. It is very good to be informed. The truth is, both convertible and infant car seats are good options to consider for the safety of your baby when traveling by car. Both adhere to some level of safety guidelines to keep your baby safe.
However, I’ll suggest you start out with an infant car seat first. It performs the dual function of in the car safety and can also be connected to a stroller when lifted out of the car. With the purchase of multiple car seat bases, you can use the same infant car seat in different cars. The only disadvantage is that your child will outgrow it in a little space of time. When this happens, you can switch to a convertible that is not so easy to outgrow.
Even if your baby outgrows the infant car seat before the age of 3, it is advisable to keep using a rear position of a new infant car seat or convertible until he or she is 3 years old. By then, you can switch to the forward-facing position.
In all, it is best for you to choose what fits your baby and provide him/her with maximum comfort and security. This should be the major feature of whatever you use for your baby: whether an infant car seat or a convertible car seat.