Carseats, strollers and carriers.. oh my!

I'm just looking for some input from experienced parents out there. I've already gotten a carrier (2 actually, an ergo and another sling-type) and I'd really like to use that as much as possible.

The items in question are the carseat and stroller. Of course, I am going to get a carseat, I'm just not sure which one. I'm currently planning on getting a convertible seat - the kind that can face backward and forward and can grow with baby from newborn to toddler. I don't really want the infant kind that people take out and carry around. Like I said, I'd prefer to hold/wear baby than leave it in the carseat. I've heard lots of, "You never want to wake a sleeping baby...," but I'm just not sure, especially considering the recommendations that say not to leave babies in their carseats for longer than necessary. So, am I making sense here? Or stubborn and silly (and naive...)?

Next, I don't plan to get a stroller until at least 6 months or so. Because I don't really want the whole "travel system" thing, I'm planning on getting a lightweight umbrella type and using it only occasionally. I live in an area that isn't really walking friendly. My neighborhood has paths and such, but no where that we'd walk for errands or anything like that. So, the stroller would have to go in the car first, to where ever we're going, and then be unfolded, etc. Does that make sense?

Any recs on either of these (carseat or umbrella stroller)?
I was thinking the exact same thing for everything you posted. Sorry, I'm not any help, but I'm waiting for replies, too.
Four babies and I used convertable carseats with all of them...never had a baby bucket (infant carseat). I never saw the need for one. I'm a big believer in holding little babies as much as possible and I see way too many babies who seem to spend their whole lives in the bucket. I didn't want mine to sleep in a carseat anyway...I much preferred them to sleep in their bed and develop good sleeping habits at a very early age...Day 1 actually. Convertable carseats are more cost efficent too, because they can last for 4-6 years. If you have a large baby, they can outgrow an infant carseat as early as 4 months. You'll have to buy a convertable carseat anyway, so why not just skip the bucket and go straight to the convertable.

Even though I held them early and often, I did like having a stroller. There are times when you just can't hold them any longer and it's nice to be able to roll them. I used full-size carriage-type strollers that fully reclined so they could sleep lying flat. They still folded up to go in the car, and weren't nearly as large as those travel system thingies. Peg Perego makes nice ones. Umbrella strollers are good for compact spaces, but they don't often recline fully for young babies. The carriage-strollers are great for big toddlers too...they can nap lying down. So, one stroller can get you through the entire baby years...even through several babies. A fully-reclined stroller is a good place to change a diaper too. Very handy.

The other thing I really liked was a jogging stroller. I had a jogger with 20-inch wheels that was fantastic for outdoor activities...all-day faires, beach, rough terraine, etc. Believe me, one trip to a renaissance festival with muddy fields will convince you that you need a jogger even if you don't jog. If you get one, get the largest wheels you can find. A 20-incher will get you through the softest Jersey Shore sand...and will hold all your beach crap too. Every time I go to the beach now, I miss my jogger. I still have it, but my kids would die of embarrassment if I dragged it out now.
I did a convertible with my first baby and an infant with my second. I would definitely suggest the convertible. I only said yes to the infant (husband wanted it) because he was a winter baby. The only time the seat is out of the car is to and from house to car. My neighbor had a baby that would wake up at the slightest touch, but I never have had trouble transferring my kids from the carseat to my carriers.

I'm of no help with the strollers since I didn't use one with my daughter until she was almost a year and haven't put my son in it yet. I just got a cheap (short since I'm short) umbrella stroller from Target, but I don't remember the brand since that was four years ago.


I've found a reasonably priced (for me) umbrella type that reclines 120*. Does that sound flat enough? It's not a full 180, but looks like it'd be pretty comfortable.

I'm glad to hear the responses on the convertible car seats. I haven't heard any positive opinions on them from others who I've told about my plan!

Thanks


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120 degrees is just slightly reclined...no where near flat. I liked my babies to lie flat when they slept. They could have awake tummy-time in a flat stroller too.
120 degrees is just slightly reclined...no where near flat. I liked my babies to lie flat when they slept. They could have awake tummy-time in a flat stroller too.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
Can you tell me why it's important that they lie completely flat? (Not being snarky... genuine question.)
Four babies and I used convertable carseats with all of them...never had a baby bucket (infant carseat). I never saw the need for one. I'm a big believer in holding little babies as much as possible and I see way too many babies who seem to spend their whole lives in the bucket. I didn't want mine to sleep in a carseat anyway...I much preferred them to sleep in their bed and develop good sleeping habits at a very early age...Day 1 actually. Convertable carseats are more cost efficent too, because they can last for 4-6 years. If you have a large baby, they can outgrow an infant carseat as early as 4 months. You'll have to buy a convertable carseat anyway, so why not just skip the bucket and go straight to the convertable.

Even though I held them early and often, I did like having a stroller. There are times when you just can't hold them any longer and it's nice to be able to roll them. I used full-size carriage-type strollers that fully reclined so they could sleep lying flat. They still folded up to go in the car, and weren't nearly as large as those travel system thingies. Peg Perego makes nice ones. Umbrella strollers are good for compact spaces, but they don't often recline fully for young babies. The carriage-strollers are great for big toddlers too...they can nap lying down. So, one stroller can get you through the entire baby years...even through several babies. A fully-reclined stroller is a good place to change a diaper too. Very handy.

The other thing I really liked was a jogging stroller. I had a jogger with 20-inch wheels that was fantastic for outdoor activities...all-day faires, beach, rough terraine, etc. Believe me, one trip to a renaissance festival with muddy fields will convince you that you need a jogger even if you don't jog. If you get one, get the largest wheels you can find. A 20-incher will get you through the softest Jersey Shore sand...and will hold all your beach crap too. Every time I go to the beach now, I miss my jogger. I still have it, but my kids would die of embarrassment if I dragged it out now.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
Agree with all of this.

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120 degrees is just slightly reclined...no where near flat. I liked my babies to lie flat when they slept. They could have awake tummy-time in a flat stroller too.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
Can you tell me why it's important that they lie completely flat? (Not being snarky... genuine question.)
Originally Posted by Like.Australia
Babies are floppy. If they're in a reclined position they roll and flop to the side, or even sometimes forward.

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120 degrees is just slightly reclined...no where near flat. I liked my babies to lie flat when they slept. They could have awake tummy-time in a flat stroller too.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
Can you tell me why it's important that they lie completely flat? (Not being snarky... genuine question.)
Originally Posted by Like.Australia
Babies are floppy. If they're in a reclined position they roll and flop to the side, or even sometimes forward.

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Originally Posted by iroc
I guess I knew that, I just hadn't considered it a stroller issue - i now see that it is though, so thank you! Is that your reason too, RCW?


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I just think they sleep better and longer while flat. Sleeping flat promotes better sleep habits, for a lifetime. My sole purpose in life after each of my babies was born, was faciliting their good sleep habits, with the goal of getting them to sleep through the night ASAP! All of mine reliably slept through by 3 months old...one of them by 10 days old. And my babies all initially had their days/nights mixed up, just like most babies, and 2 of them had colic. I swear by flat sleeping. And a few other tricks.

YMMV.

And, yes, it keeps them from flopping to the side or forward.
And, depending on their inter-uterine position, some babies are REALLY curled when they come out. My daughter was like that. She was a tight little ball for the first few weeks. To get her into a reclined position in the carseat, I had to prop her with all sorts of blankets, because she just kept springing back into her curled ball. She needed a LOT of flat-tummy-time.
I'm glad to hear the positive reviews for convertible carseats, too. My parents just bought me one.
I just think they sleep better and longer while flat. Sleeping flat promotes better sleep habits, for a lifetime. My sole purpose in life after each of my babies was born, was faciliting their good sleep habits, with the goal of getting them to sleep through the night ASAP! All of mine reliably slept through by 3 months old...one of them by 10 days old. And my babies all initially had their days/nights mixed up, just like most babies, and 2 of them had colic. I swear by flat sleeping. And a few other tricks.

YMMV.

And, yes, it keeps them from flopping to the side or forward.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
Care to share your other tricks?


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My kids hated tummy time.

When I was a,new mommy with my first, I did everything I was told, or read, that I was 'supposed' to do. Forced tummy time, cry it out at bedtimes, back to sleep, scheduled sleep times, etc, as if they wouldnt survive without it. It never sat right with me and I still feel guilty for tormenting my baby like that.

With my second, I followed her lead. I wasnt going to train my baby like a puppy. I carried her in a baby wrap, I let her sleep how she wanted (on her stomach), she slept when she wanted, nursed as soon as she woke up before she even realized she was hungry and cried, and I carried her as much as physically possible. And then I laid down with her til she fell asleep when she napped as a toddler.

I wasn't afraid of spoiling her as a baby, and she's no different than any other almost 5 year old.

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My kids hated tummy time.

When I was a,new mommy with my first, I did everything I was told, or read, that I was 'supposed' to do. Forced tummy time, cry it out at bedtimes, back to sleep, scheduled sleep times, etc, as if they wouldnt survive without it. It never sat right with me and I still feel guilty for tormenting my baby like that.

With my second, I followed her lead. I wasnt going to train my baby like a puppy. I carried her in a baby wrap, I let her sleep how she wanted (on her stomach), she slept when she wanted, nursed as soon as she woke up before she even realized she was hungry and cried, and I carried her as much as physically possible. And then I laid down with her til she fell asleep when she napped as a toddler.

I wasn't afraid of spoiling her as a baby, and she's no different than any other almost 5 year old.

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Originally Posted by iroc
On the flip side of this, don't be afraid to put the baby on a schedule if that works best for you. I thrive on routine and schedules, so I work hard from the first time walking into the house from the hospital at getting my kids on a schedule. If not, I'd go crazy.


My kids hated tummy time.

When I was a,new mommy with my first, I did everything I was told, or read, that I was 'supposed' to do. Forced tummy time, cry it out at bedtimes, back to sleep, scheduled sleep times, etc, as if they wouldnt survive without it. It never sat right with me and I still feel guilty for tormenting my baby like that.

With my second, I followed her lead. I wasnt going to train my baby like a puppy. I carried her in a baby wrap, I let her sleep how she wanted (on her stomach), she slept when she wanted, nursed as soon as she woke up before she even realized she was hungry and cried, and I carried her as much as physically possible. And then I laid down with her til she fell asleep when she napped as a toddler.

I wasn't afraid of spoiling her as a baby, and she's no different than any other almost 5 year old.

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Originally Posted by iroc
On the flip side of this, don't be afraid to put the baby on a schedule if that works best for you. I thrive on routine and schedules, so I work hard from the first time walking into the house from the hospital at getting my kids on a schedule. If not, I'd go crazy.
Originally Posted by FieryCurls
True. Do what is best for yourself. Work off of what 'feels right' to yourself.

I laughed at this though, because I hate schedules so much I didnt even consider there was another way of feeling! Lol. Sorry.

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I just think they sleep better and longer while flat. Sleeping flat promotes better sleep habits, for a lifetime. My sole purpose in life after each of my babies was born, was faciliting their good sleep habits, with the goal of getting them to sleep through the night ASAP! All of mine reliably slept through by 3 months old...one of them by 10 days old. And my babies all initially had their days/nights mixed up, just like most babies, and 2 of them had colic. I swear by flat sleeping. And a few other tricks.

YMMV.

And, yes, it keeps them from flopping to the side or forward.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
Care to share your other tricks?
Originally Posted by Like.Australia


  • Swaddle.
  • Put baby down to sleep while drowsy...IN HIS OWN BED.
  • Get a music box and play whenever laying baby down to sleep...over time baby will learn that his music means sleep and will automatically put his head down...much like Pavlov's dogs.
  • Keep newborns awake in the daytime as much as possible.
  • The ultimate goal should be 2 good naps in the daytime, morning and afternoon. Don't let baby sleep more than 3 hours at a stretch during the day.
  • Keep night feedings UNfun...no lights, no talking, just eat and right back to bed.
  • Work towards moving the 6 hours newborns usually sleep to the same 6 hours that you usually sleep...GENTLY...by waking them a little earlier each nap, or putting him down a little earlier each nap, whichever...just get it moving in the right direction.
  • Work towards spacing feedings out to every 3-4 hours...GENTLY...by having baby wait a few extra minutes at each feeding.
  • Plan to always cluster feed (several feedings very close together) in the evenings, for most of the first half year.
  • When baby is sleeping midnight to 6am (or thereabouts, could be 11pm to 5am), consider that baby "sleeping through the night". Then, work backwords to get the bedtime to be earlier in the evening.
  • Until baby is STN, all sleeping done in the evening is just naps.
  • Don't try to go directly to 6pm-6am...that comes much later.
If you're a traveler, use a portacrib for at least 1 nap each day in your house. Then, when you travel, take that portacrib with you and baby will be accustomed to it and will sleep anywhere.


Babies really can be put on a reliable sleeping/feeding schedule without crying. I didn't let my babies cry. They were always held and cared for, not left to cry. Schedules can be GENTLE. But you have to start from the beginning. If you leave the sleep training until later, that's when many people have to resort to Cry It Out. I don't prefer that method.

If you choose to have a family bed...and many people do, and that's fine with me, people should do what feels comfortable and best for their family...just don't b1tch about it later when you're sick of sleeping with a 2/3/4 year old.

Last edited by RedCatWaves; 05-05-2012 at 08:07 PM.
Thank you -- all of this is so helpful.

We aren't doing a family bed, but do have a smaller bed (bassinet) for in our room that we're planning to use in the first few weeks/months (we'll see how it goes). I'd like to make getting up in the middle of the night easier on myself... (I don't want to get up and have to walk to the nursery). I am planning to put the baby to sleep to nap in their own room straight away during the day though. Is that too confusing, do you think, or will they be ok as long as the routine starts early?

I do have a little white noise maker that plays 4 different tunes, one is "relax," one is "play," one is "heartbeat"... and I forget the last, but it's on a timer and I do plan to use that as a pavlovian type of thing.
I'm just looking for some input from experienced parents out there. I've already gotten a carrier (2 actually, an ergo and another sling-type) and I'd really like to use that as much as possible.

The items in question are the carseat and stroller. Of course, I am going to get a carseat, I'm just not sure which one. I'm currently planning on getting a convertible seat - the kind that can face backward and forward and can grow with baby from newborn to toddler. I don't really want the infant kind that people take out and carry around. Like I said, I'd prefer to hold/wear baby than leave it in the carseat. I've heard lots of, "You never want to wake a sleeping baby...," but I'm just not sure, especially considering the recommendations that say not to leave babies in their carseats for longer than necessary. So, am I making sense here? Or stubborn and silly (and naive...)?

Next, I don't plan to get a stroller until at least 6 months or so. Because I don't really want the whole "travel system" thing, I'm planning on getting a lightweight umbrella type and using it only occasionally. I live in an area that isn't really walking friendly. My neighborhood has paths and such, but no where that we'd walk for errands or anything like that. So, the stroller would have to go in the car first, to where ever we're going, and then be unfolded, etc. Does that make sense?

Any recs on either of these (carseat or umbrella stroller)?
Originally Posted by Like.Australia
I took many months before I used stroller. I mostly used infant/newborn carseat and my wraps. The stroller I purchased was a really old maclaren volo that doesn't recline or has a hood to it. Not ideal at all. My second stroller was one of those jogging type strollers for 2 kids. That one reclined. On rare occasions I still use it (my kids are 5 and 3.5).

I purchased the infant carrier (aka baby bucket). My kids slept in them on occasion. One kid I was ok with waking up in the middle of sleep. The other one was a nightmare if I did so. You'll figure it out. Not sure if that's helpful.

As for carriers this would be my first time trying an ergo on an infant and I'm looking forward to it. I used pouches, ring slings, and moby/didymos wraps on the other two. They were ok, but I got really hot really fast (I live in TX) when walking around outside. Great in the fall/winter though.

If your partner is much larger than you/smaller than you and also wants to carry, the moby is your best bang for your buck. It can fit a wide range of sizes.

Only you know what your sleep needs are and what is reasonable to expect. Some people need a full 8 hours or they can't function. Others can go with interrupted sleep/less sleep.

And then you have to factor in who's taking care of the baby. If you're sharing daytime care with someone else, you have to figure out if he/she is going to do their own thing (re sleeping patterns & rules) or adhere to what you want.
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