Can you really use a Convertible Car Seat from birth?

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If you think about the amount of money you will be spending on car seats, it’s kind of ridiculous… Get pregnant with twins and then we’ll be on the same page! Plus, space is an issue for me and we don’t have a ton of extra storage area to put an infant, convertible and booster seat to store for current baby or future babies if we reuse them. I started researching convertible car seats that can be used from birth. This would essentially skip the infant bucket seat, which I know is a big convenience for many parents. However, that is basically the only reasoning I could find in needing the infant bucket seat. We plan to babywear and also have a stroller that lays flat for newborns, so the “convenience” factor didn’t play a big part for me.

Keep in mind, I am not a certified car seat technician! I have researched the features of these carseats and wanted to share my experience and what I learned.

It’s interesting how many car seats claim to fit newborns, but actually don’t secure them correctly into the seat. One important thing I learned was regarding the height of the harness. The harness straps should be coming from at or below baby’s shoulders in the rear-facing position. Many of the convertible seats I looked at start their harness straps at 8” from the seat, which would have a hard time fitting a newborn. The lowest strap height I’ve seen is 5” in the Maxi Cosi Pria 70 with Tiny Fit Insert. This seat is rated from 4 pounds and from the reviews I’ve read, should be a very good fit for preemies and multiples. If you are expecting an average size newborn, I would look for strap heights up to 7” but the lower the better to ensure your baby will fit properly.

Another factor we had to consider was the recline angle in the car. The twins will be in two captain’s chairs in my back seat and they have a slight “bucket” angle to them. That props the car seat more upright versus the normal recline the seat would have on a flat surface. We fell in love with the Chicco Nextfit Zip in the store which has a 5.5” harness height and is rated from 5 pounds. The reviews on this seat are also wonderful and it is very compact in the way it reclines into itself. However, it just didn’t sit correctly on my bucket seats so that it could recline enough for a newborn.

Ultimately, we decided on the Maxi Cosi Pria 70 with Tiny Fit insert. I think these are going to fit the twins perfectly. After receiving the seat, I’m very impressed with the clear installation instructions in the manual. It also has a pocket on the seat that you can store your manual so it is always with you. The seat also comes with an extra chest clip to use while your baby is small. I thought this was an amazing detail as it will help the straps fit your newborn so much better. You can switch out to the larger chest clip after you remove the Tiny Fit Insert.

I feel like we saved a lot of money by not getting two new infant bucket seats. I also found a great deal on these seats making them just over $200 each which is well worth the 5 years of use we will get out of them. With a 10 year expiration, we could save them for another child if we decide to have one! I will definitely write a full review when the boys get here and can start using these seats!

*If you do purchase the Pria 70 for newborns, make sure you get the one with the Tiny Fit Insert. The regular Pria 70 starts at 9 pounds and will not fit newborns without the insert.

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