I'm thinking the chicco keyfit 30, but that's because 2 of my friends have them and they recommended it. I'm interested in what others are using though. So bucket means infant only? I'd like to try a convertible, what are the pros and cons? I'm new at this. I'm guessing I will have a small baby because me and DH are petite. And I hear that infant seats are better for small babies. But I'd rather not have to buy multiple carseats.
We have the Graco Snugride Infant seat that we used w/ dd so we will be using that one for this baby as well. I really liked being able to just snap the carseat in and out of the base in the car and we also had a graco stroller that it snapped onto when we were using the stroller. DD is currently in a Graco MyRide65 carseat which we moved her to a little after she turned 1. That one works from 5 lbs to 65 lbs but it seems like it would be huge for a little 5lb baby to sit in.
We are reusing my DS's Chicco Keyfit 30 for this baby. DS has a Roundabout right now and we'll get another for the newbie once he's out of the bucket phase. I don't like convertibles in the very very tiny baby phase (first month or two).
We have a Chicco infant seat and a Britax Marathon for the later stages. We were really happy with both seats. We also had a Graco Nautilus convertible for the other car. I like it now as a booster, but didn't love it as a 5-point harness seat. There's high arm rests and it was a pain to put DS in and out of it.
We will be using the infant seat with the detachable bases until baby grows out of it, because that's what we have. Then we both have convertible car seats that fit older babies and turn into boosters. I like the bucket infant seats well enough for some things, but they also come with their own set of problems. For one thing, they are heavy, which becomes a bigger deal as baby gets heavy. Second of all, like for shopping, you're not supposed to perch them up on the child seat of the grocery cart (although people do) and if you stick them in the main part they take up the whole basket so you'd better not have much shopping to do. You're better off using a wrap for shopping IMO. On the other hand, it's convenient to always have an infant seat with you when you go places like restaurants so you can set the baby down (if he'll let you! ) and have free hands to eat with. I used to let T sleep in his infant carrier during the day if he fell asleep in the car, and I loved that because I could get him out of the car and bring him in the house and just set him down in the same room with me without waking up. But I've since read some stuff that says maybe you shouldn't do that because the angle is wrong for them - it's sort of tilted half up, and babies are built to be laying flat or held straight up and down; the angle may compress their lungs or something. So I don't know....like I said, there are pros and cons to having an infant seat/carrier type car seat. We will do it again because that's what we have, but if I had to buy things all over again, I'm not sure if I would go for that or just a convertible that can take everything from a newborn to a toddler.
We are going to go with a travel system again this time like we did with DS. We loved how easy it was to just snap in and out. Instead of having to constantly get baby in and out. I had thought about just doing a convertible style seat for financial reasons, but gave up on that idea. So not too sure about the brand yet, we've been looking but haven't really decided on anything yet. We had a Graco set for DS and loved it.