Going to be a first time mom in 20 more weeks and would like advice from current moms.... Which purchase is the best option: a convertible car seat and stroller which are separate or a "travel system" with the baby seat that fits into the car base and then snaps into the stroller.
The convertible car seat seems like a great longer term seat option, but it seems like it would be awfully nice to be able to take the car seat straight out of the car into the stroller too and then have the stroller for use later on.
I LOVE my travel system! I also LOVE the car seat that comes with it. My daughter was very small and at 3 1/2 months, she's finally hit 11 1/2 lbs. It is MUCH easier to get a very small infant into a car seat outside of the car and then be able to snap it into the base. I would have found it extremely difficult to strap my 5 lb 9 oz (her lowest weight) daughter into one of those big convertible car seats. She was so small and so fragile - I would have had to get into the backseat with her and then put her in her seat both when I buckled her in and when I took her out. With the carseat that came with my travel system, I could buckle her in while in the house, pop the seat into the base in the car, and when I got to my desitination, I didn't have to wake her up by getting her out of the seat. I just took the infant car seat out and either carried it into wherever I was going or snapped it on her stroller.
At three months we still exclusively use this car seat and don't have any plans to purchase the convertible one yet. It gives a safe place for her to sit while at church, shopping, etc. and the stroller drives like a dream. She can now sit in the stroller (at an incline) without the car seat part, but we still tend to use the car seat anyway as she can then look at us and interact with us. Once she is sitting up on her own, then I'll put her in the stroller section without the car seat.
So, long story short...I TOTALLY recommend the travel system. Yes, you will eventually have to get the convertible car seat too, but the travel system makes getting out and about with a young infant SOO much easier!
I am with kare.bear we LOVE our travel system. Actually I ended up buying a frame stroller and frame swing for car seat that stay in the car. My boy is quite heavy for his 4 months (16.5 pounds), so carrying car seat around gets old, but with lightweight frame stroller (it doesn't take that much space, we have a sedan, not an SUV and even with both swing and stroller there is room in the trunk) it is much easier. I do love the original stroller from travel system though, it is perfect for longer walks and will last well after car seat is done. Also, my Graco products (not an endorsment, I am sure other systems are as nice) are all interchangeable - the car seat fits everywhere, even in the "newborn soothing center" (large stay at home swing with tons of features).
We had the travel system & loved it the first 4 months or so. Then my son got too heavy to lug around in the carseat all the time. My memory is a little foggy, but I'd say that happend around 5-6 months. Then around 9 months he was so tall that his little feet would stick out past the end of the carseat & bump into the seat back of my car, so he'd have to bend his knees. Probably not a big deal, but I always worried that he was uncomfortable that way, so I bought the convertible carseat at that point. If had to do it all over again, I still probably would have bought the travel system because it was so nice for the first few months, but it was a lot of money to spend only to have to buy a convertible after 9 months. Just my two cents.
I used a Britax carseat and a Greko stroller when my DD was born. Even though they were not part of a "system," the carseat still fit into the stroller just fine. I was glad her first carseat was a hand-me-down from a neighbor though because she out grew it withing 6 months! I actually figured it was just as easy to pull her out when she was about 4 months, however, because she sat up just fine in her stroller and prefered to look out at the world instead of at me all the time.
In answer to your question, I think that if you can afford to buy both, then it is a good investment. You will see when you bring home your little bundle of joy that even the big ones (like my DD) fit much better in the little carseat than the big convertables and you will feel more secure as well. Plus, it is nice (at least it was for me the first few months) to be able to take the baby and seat out at the same time with less risk of waking him or her (and you don't have to putz with the straps and all that either on short trips!)
Just as a side note, I also loved my baby bjorn front carrier rather than a stroller many times. It allowed me to keep my hands free and my DD got to cuddle close and be held like she liked
definitely get one that snaps out with the snap n go stroller (not the whole "system") the graco snug ride 32 goes to 32lbs and will last up to 2 years but it is heavy.
I loved the travel system. Yes, you do have to buy a bigger seat later on, but I was fine with that. We got a big seat that will last from 20-100 lbs. The whole snap and go system was SO worth it. The carriers also snap onto shopping carts, so you don't even need the stroller 100% of the time. Also, when the baby grows out of the carrier, the stroller has straps and can hold them when they're old and squirmy!
I, on the other time hated my front carrier. (like the Baby Bjorn) It was like being pregnant all over again, I felt unwieldy and awkward having such a little baby strapped to my front. It was hard to maneuver, and I kept whacking her against stuff. And try having a carrier on AND a diaper bag. Impossible. At least the stroller gives you a place to stash the diaper bag. That was just me, though.
Mom of twin girls, age 3, and a new baby boy born in January!
Travel system is worth it because babies especially under six months are too small to fit in strollers in my opinion. I bought the evenflo Aura from babies r us. It wasnt expensive and it has the most padding.
So Chelsey, you are suggesting instead of spending lots of money on a travel system, she should purchase a pram style stroller that she'll only use for 4-6 months, then she'll have to buy a regular stroller because her baby won't want to lay down and miss all the sites any more.
I'm a fan of the infant car seat. Baby gets to sleep even when it's time to get out of the car. I don't believe in waking a baby for much of anything. They need their sleep to grow.
Loud mom of 2 loud boys ages 10 & 7.
Sorry to say, I live in the country and visit the barn often. My travel system had very big wheels, I believe it was a Graco. So I did lots of "offroading" with my travel system. BTW - the mall is over 20 miles from my house, we don't visit it often, we're usually in the fields.
Loud mom of 2 loud boys ages 10 & 7.