Infant or Convertible Car Seat: What's right for me?

Trying to decide between purchasing a convertible car seat or an infant car seat is hard, because there is no right answer. Both infant and convertible car seats have many benefits, as well as drawbacks! It truly comes down to personal preference. Read below to find out the advantages and drawbacks of each type of seat. There are a few main points to discuss when comparing infant car seats to convertibles: Cost, longevity, and ease of use. 

Convertible car seats 

First things first, let’s discuss what a convertible car seat is. A convertible car seat is a seat your child will use from birth, until they grow out of it. This means you will only need to purchase one seat, and you get the most bang for your buck! They are designed to rear face when your child is smaller, and then forward face when they grow. Every seat has a designated weight capacity for the safety of your precious new baby! See below for the advantages and drawbacks of a convertible car seat.  


As mentioned above, when you purchase a convertible car seat, you should never need to purchase another one as it should grow with your child, until they no longer need it. This means you will save yourself at least a few hundred dollars. 

Convertible car seats are designed to stay attached in your car, and have many different positions for your growing baby. Most convertible car seats come with re-thread harnesses, adjustable headrests and multiple recline positions, such as the Britax Boulevard.

Britax Boulevard car seat review

While convertible car seats seem like the greatest invention, there are many reasons why parents purchase an infant car seat before the convertible. Sure, one seat for the first 10 years of your child’s life seems like the most cost efficient. Why would anyone ever willingly pay for more than one seat if they had an all-in-one? 


Well, did you know some hospitals won’t let you leave without an infant car seat? When giving birth, some hospitals require you to bring an infant car seat on the day of your discharge. Nurses like to ensure new parents are aware of how to properly buckle your baby into the seat. That being said, it is very important to find out your specific hospital regulations.

Secondly, did you know that infants sleep for 17-18 hours a day? With a convertible car seat, you have to transfer the baby to and from the car, exposing them to cold Canadian air and disrupting their sleep. With an infant car seat, the seat comes off the base and travels with you to and from location, so that baby can remain a comfortable, snuggly snoozer! 

Not to mention, since the convertible car seat stays in the car, you have to put your baby in the stroller or carry them to and from each location, which can be difficult when you’re already juggling groceries, a diaper bag and fumbling around in your pockets looking for those keys that always seem to disappear when you need them most. 

Infant car seats

An infant car seat is designed specifically for infants. They are used from the newborn stage until about 2 years old or until your child reaches the max capacity weight designated in each seat. These seats are much smaller and lighter than a convertible car seat, because they are designed to be carried to and from the car. 


As mentioned above, a huge advantage of an infant car seat is the convenience of being able to keep your child in the seat, snuggly and warm, while you travel to and from the car. 

Britax B-ready infant car seat review CanadaInfant car seats are designed to detach from the base left in your car for easy transportation with a newborn, and they can easily attach to a stroller. You may not think this is a huge advantage- but parents love avoiding having to bundle and unbundle their children every time they leave the car  (as you would with a convertible).

Some strollers aren’t designed newborn ready (ability to have a fully flat recline position), meaning you’d need to attach your infant car seat to your stroller and create a travel system if you want to go for walks with your newborn. Without a newborn ready stroller, you must attach the infant carseat. 

You can always purchase a newborn ready stroller such as the Nuna Mixx 2019, but this may limit your options as to which stroller you will buy, because not every stroller has the capability to fully recline.


Cost and longevity could be considered drawbacks when considering an infant car seat. Since this seat will only last your child up to 2 years or the designated weight capacity, this may not be  the most cost efficient purchase. You will need to transfer your child to a new seat, thus spending more money and not getting as much use out of the infant car seat as you would if you purchased a convertible.



Overall both infant car seats and  convertible car seats are great options. They both pass the same safety tests before they are put out on the market, so either way you can ensure your child will be safe. When deciding which type of car seat is best for you, it’s important to consider the following:

  • What is my budget?
  • Will I be doing a lot of traveling with my baby?
  • What are my birthing hospital’s guidelines on car seats?

Once you can answer those questions, the decision should be much easier for you. If you’re still having a hard time deciding, come in store and talk with one of our Little Canadian experts to learn more about convertible and infant car seats, or call us.