Trust me, it was a hard decision to make, but this decision, while OF COURSE being 100% safe for Lil' Feisty, will support and encourage our overall goals as parents and consumers.
The Evenflo Triumph LX Convertible Carseat.
Infant Carseat vs. Convertible Carseat
This truly was a difficult decision to make. I considered a number of factors when weighing our options. Some of those factors:
- Portability: An infant carseat is obviously much more portable than a convertible carseat. An infant carseat can go from home to car to store and back without moving or disturbing baby. Additionally, an infant, or "bucket", carseat can also snap into as many different vehicles as you want as long as each vehicle has the proper base installed. A convertible carseat is one single piece and requires a lot of time and effort to shift from vehicle to vehicle.
- Strain on Mother: The different considerations in this area might differ from woman to woman. First, there's the physical strain. A bucket carseat is not light, nor is it shaped very well for easy transport. Unless a mama carries the bucket with both arms underneath (like she was carrying a load of firewood), an infant carseat puts enormous strain on her shoulders and spine. Second, there's mental/emotional strain. An infant carseat keeps baby undisturbed, while a convertible carseat requires that baby will have to be transferred from one mode of transportation to another, running the risk of waking up baby. One of these may be much more important to a mama than the other.
- Economy: There's no getting around it. An infant carseat is not the only carseat parents can use for their child and keep them safe. Once a child outgrows his/her infant carseat, a convertible carseat will have to be used anyway. The law requires that children remain rear-facing until 1 year of age, and every other source out there recommends leaving children rear-facing even longer. As long as possible, actually. So unless parents have an unusually tiny child, it's not possible, or even legal, to go from infant carseat to booster seat.
- Systems: Parents who know they'll want a nice stroller can benefit from an infant carseat because many companies make transportation systems. The bucket snaps into the vehicle base AND a corresponding stroller, making transportation easy and convenient--not to mention removing the physical strain from a parent's body.
- Safety: Both kinds of carseats are tested and approved for safe use in moving vehicles. There is no "best" option in that area; however, carseats are not tested or approved for safety in any other situation (unless part of specifically-designed transportation system). This means that infant car seats are not tested for safety when placed on a non-floor surface (tables, chairs, etc.) or when placed in a shopping cart. Knowing an infant is strapped into a carseat can provide a false sense of security. A child taken from a convertible carseat is only as safe as the parent chooses, depending on the next mode of transportation--being held, in a sling/wrap, in a stroller, etc.
These different areas of thought influenced our decision slightly, but it was still a bit of a toss up. What really clinched it for us was considering our personal goals and desires. These were things specific only to us.
Our Goals and Desires
- Baby-wearing: This is my first goal. I know that the presence and option of a bucket carseat would mean I would baby-wear much less. There is some research that shows it's not harmful to wake a sleeping baby, plus, most mothers who baby-wear say their baby moves from carseat to sling with minimal disruption. Some might argue that I'll strain my back just as much while baby-wearing as I would while carrying an infant carseat, but the quality wraps out there, when worn properly, are designed to evenly distribute weight and not strain a parent's back.
- Minimalism: We're already not registering for a stroller, and we're not planning on buying a stroller for quite some time. Perhaps if we lived in an urban environment that required lots of walking it would be on our list, but in our current, rural, situation, baby will have to be strapped in a carseat whenever we go anywhere. The rest of the walking required will be just fine with a baby carrier. This means we have no need for an infant carseat travel system. The fewer pieces we can buy for our child, the better.
- Human Touch/Bonding: All too often a baby is left in an infant carseat for convenience, and on some days and in some households this means a baby is rarely held. The baby goes from bassinet to careseat to swing and so on. How often does the baby get held? This is another reason baby-wearing is important to me/us, and removing one option from the list of places to set down a baby will force us to hold our child more.
Considering these two lists, we chose to go with a convertible carseat. How did we choose which seat to go with? Most importantly, we needed a seat that would accommodate a newborn. Secondly, we wanted a more compact seat. Finally, we didn't want to spend an arm and a leg. So we ended up with:
This seat meets all our needs.
- It fits children from 5 lbs. to 65 lbs.
- It is simple and safe to operate and install.
- It is relatively compact, meaning it will work well in my vehicle.
- It comes with additional supports and inserts for smaller babies.
- An easily washable cover.
And . . .
It's already here!
It came in this box, which was pretty intimidating. It's much larger in person than you would imagine!
The color we went with was "Everette." I'm not sure if one color is really better than another, but I do know that what we chose is a LOT better than the totally hot pink option. Seriously, even the plastic on that thing was hot pink. Intense.
It took maybe half an hour to read all the instructions, and I feel confident in my ability to operate and adjust this thing. I'm also planning on taking it to be inspected once I get it in my car. It's usually the fire station that can do that for you.
Here it is in person. The insert is not in it in this picture. And in the reclining/rear-facing position:
The presence of this in our living room makes this whole baby thing feel SO REAL.
This was a pretty big post, huh? Well, I'm excited to start putting this to use. Also, are we the only ones out there who opted NOT to get an infant carseat?
Keep it real, y'all!