I’ve never shopped so much in my life. The months before the birth of Everett, it seemed like we went out every weekend to buy yet another “necessity.” One of the major items we spent a long time debating over was the car seat. We obviously realized we had to get a car seat, but the issue was what type we would purchase.
One of the big trends is the infant carrier; I’ve seen almost every new family with one. The infant carrier car seat is designed for newborns, because you can detach the seat from a base in the car and carry your child into the house without having to unbuckle him. This seemed like a great invention to me. I assumed it would be a purchase we would make.
One of the problems is that the infant carrier seat only lasts for a few months before the baby grows too big to fit. You eventually have to get the baby seat that remains permanent in the car. We started thinking it made sense to just buy the one car seat, rather than purchase the infant carrier seat. We had bought a small army of baby accessories and furniture, and our credit card bills made it appear we’d purchased a small country. It was important to try to save where we could.
I was hesitant about not buying the infant carrier. I knew it only lasted for months (many newborns grow out of after six months, but some last longer), but I also wanted to make sure we were making our life as easy as possible. I had visions of having to constantly awake our child from the car seat, and then spending the next hour trying to calm the storm of cries caused by an awaken baby. The infant carrier made transportation easy, and also helped keep the baby asleep (prior to actually knowing Everett, I just sort of assumed getting a baby to sleep would require impressive gymnastics and elaborate song and dance routines). But there was that whole “dropping yet another few hundred” dollars on a seat, when we could just get away with buying one that lasted for most of our baby’s car seat life.
My stance changed when we met with an especially helpful baby store owner who also happened to be a new father.
We were looking at both strollers and car seats, and I asked him what he felt made life easier. I brought up the convenience of the infant carrier, and how you could even attach the seat to a stroller. He brought up that it actually isn’t very healthy for babies to sleep for an extended period of time in a car seat. Even though you could bring the baby into the house without awakening him, it was better for the baby if you took him out of the seat and put him in a lying position. This is when he recommended getting a bassinet. He showed how the bassinet could also attach to a stroller and explained how convenient it was to transport the baby.
I still wasn’t totally convinced. I envisioned a baby that would never fall back to sleep once I got him out of his car seat. I also thought it was worth a try, and we could always buy an infant carrier later if our life suddenly became a hurricane of sleepless baby tears.
The house has not been filled with clouds of non-stop tears and cries. Everett doesn’t like the transportation process from the car seat, but he also settles pretty quickly. I personally think the bassinet was the much better purchase for us. If Emily is out of the house, I can keep Everett next to me while I work. If I need to get the laundry or grab a snack, I grab the bassinet and carry Everett with me. The bassinet attaches to our stroller easily, and has allowed us to already go for walks or take him to the mall. Everett is too small to fit in the stroller seat, but with the bassinet we can do things that without it we’d have had to wait for him to grow.
The best advice the store owner gave us was to realize every family is different. Everyone has a different type of lifestyle. I know for us, the bassinet has been amazing, and one of the best purchases we’ve made.