Updated on December 13, 2015
Four Reasons to Say Yes to the Infant Bucket Seat
Choosing a car seat is arguably the most important baby gear decision you’ll make as parents-to-be. Do you go with an infant bucket seat or save the money and go with a convertible seat right off the bat? That decision can really depend on your lifestyle and how much/if you use a car. If you ask me, I’ll tell you to go for the bucket seat. Here are 4 reasons why.
1. Fit. Not all convertible seats are created equal when it comes to fitting a newborn. That’s something you don’t really have to worry about so much with an infant bucket seat. The bucket seat is designed to fit babies from birth, and most of them do it better than a convertible seat. Remember that the harness straps need to come out of the seat back at or just below baby’s shoulders when the child is rear facing. Not all convertible seats have a harness height setting that is low enough for that to work for smaller newborns.
2. Convenience. If you haven’t had your baby yet, allow me to let you in on a little secret. Babies have this sweet little tendency to sleep only when you don’t want them to. It sounds crazy, but it’s true. Picture this: You’re finally ready to go on an outing with your new baby. Awesome. You load baby into the car and buckle him/her into the car seat. You hop in the driver’s seat and 15 minutes later you’ve arrived at your destination (be that Starbucks, the mall, the park, the zoo, etc.). You get out of the car and look in the back seat and it’s happened. The baby is sleeping. The same baby that was up every 90 minutes all night and refused to sleep is now out cold in the car seat. If you have a convertible seat, this is a problem. You’ll have to wake the baby up to get the baby into the stroller. You know that old saying “never wake a sleeping baby”? Yeah, right. Now if you have an infant bucket seat that sleeping baby is a complete non issue. Simply lift the bucket seat off the base and attach it to your stroller (using a car seat adapter). And voila! You’re on your way to that much needed outing and the baby is still sleeping.
3. Winter. Maybe you come from a beautiful part of the world where winter doesn’t exist, but here in Canada we have winter. I’m talking snowy, windy, icy, freezing cold winter. The beauty of the infant bucket seat is that you can buckle baby into the car seat while you’re still inside. Once baby is buckled in you can add a blanket for warmth and then walk (okay lug) the car seat out to the car that you’ve already conveniently warmed up. This is simply not an option with a convertible seat. Winter coats should never be worn in the car seat, so the bucket seat allows you to minimize baby’s exposure to the cold while they’re still little.
4. Travel. If you’re a family that loves to travel, even if it’s just to visit family that’s a short flight away, the bucket seat is your friend. It’s both smaller and lighter than a convertible seat making lugging it around the airport a breeze. A bucket seat can also be installed with a vehicle seatbelt without the base (check your car seat manual for the instructions). That makes returning home even easier since you don’t have to reinstall the car seat base after a long flight; just snap the seat in and go home! Now if that’s not super convenient, I don’t know what is!
What are your reasons for using an infant bucket seat? If you went straight to a convertible seat, what were your reasons?