I don't get travel systems!

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raingirl28's picture
Joined: 09/03/07
Posts: 1347
I don't get travel systems!

I know it's early, but this is something that has always bothered me and I need more input on it.

What's the point of a "travel system" if the baby outgrows it so fast? Everyone I know only got to use theirs max 6 months and then the baby hit 20lbs and had to move to a regular car seat.

Also, if you can buy car seats that work for 5lbs-80lbs from the get go, why not just use that and save money?

But I'm confused. All the strollers seem to come with travel systems now. Can you not buy a regular stroller anymore? What do you do if you want one without a travel system? It seems that all the strollers without a travel system are made for older babies?? What kind of stroller works for newborns if you don't want a travel system?

Maybe it's because I'm insanely frugal (and we don't have anyone who will be buying us things), but I don't see the point in spending $300 on a travel system to only have to go out and spend another $150 on a car seat 6 months later....

Joined: 05/22/13
Posts: 349

I loved my travel system mainly because I could pull the cars eat out if baby was asleep... Kids are fussing be back soon...

CaityA83's picture
Joined: 05/08/09
Posts: 855

*lurker from december*

DS was in his infant seat until he was a year. He was still under the weight limit and height limit but was developmentally to the point where it was easier to move him to a rear facing convertible seat. You don't have to get a travel system. You can get just the infant seat and not the stroller. That's what we did. We use the babytrend stroller frame with the infant seat. It's awesome and super light weight and so easy. When your baby is little the infant seat is nice bc you don't have to unstrap them to go into places. You just pop the seat out of the car base and take it in with you. It also helps bc you keep the infant seat in the house. So you strap them in inside where it's warm and that way you can throw blankets over them to keep them from getting cold. You aren't supposed to put them in car seats with coats or snow suits on so it would be a lot more difficult to use just a convertible seat while they are little. Also, for my child, he was under 6 lbs at birth and I wouldn't have felt like he would be safe in the convertible seat. Just seems too big. Even at 8 or 9 lbs they are still so tiny. Our infant seat goes up to 30lbs so it has a little higher rating than the 20lbs.

So this is just my 2 cents on all of this. I've been a nanny for a long time and also this is my second baby so my opinion is that the infant seat is totally worth it! But everyone is different. If you don't think you need it then skip it and save the money.

Joined: 05/22/13
Posts: 349

hi! I'm back...
I agree with the PP. I also have a seat (graco) that goes to 30 pounds and my youngest (biggest) was in it at least 8 months before we switched him to the one he's in now. If you are looking for just a stroller (or really anything besides a carseat itself) check out your local kids resale stores (my favorite is Little Britches but they're only here in denver metro area of Colorado). They'll have just plain old strollers. I did like that my carseat snapped into the stroller so that the baby was more supported than just one lap strap.

raingirl28's picture
Joined: 09/03/07
Posts: 1347

All the travel systems in Canada only go to 20lbs (that I've seen), none go higher than that.

I get the idea of the travel system, but I guess I would rather just take them out of a car seat and put them in a stroller without the darn car seat thingy on top (I hate those!) Everyone I've ever gone out and about with that had a baby had a travel system and I found it to be more annoying and troublesome than just taking the kid out of the car seat and into the stroller.

But...it seems no strollers are newborn friendly? That's the part I'm confused about?? Where do I find a stroller I can put a newborn in directly without a travel system? My friend had one in the UK (she didn't have a car) for her twins, but I see nothing like that one here.

Also, I plan to baby wear most places and not use a stroller unless I absolutely have to. Like, grocery shopping, etc, I plan to baby wear.

Audgee's picture
Joined: 08/24/05
Posts: 305

Canadian Lurker -
My infant seat went higher then 20 lbs and I got it 2006 (it has expired so if we get lucky we will need to get a new one).....Graco makes one that goes up to 35 lbs now - but I don't want to be lugging around 35 lbs of baby in a 10lb seat! - not sure if that one comes as a travel system or not.

I will echo PPs and say that being able to keep baby sleeping and not have to fiddle with strapping them in while in the car is well worth!

A lot of the higher end strollers come with attachments for putting a carseat onto them as well.

The Snap n' go can be an alternative to a travel system (use it with an infant seat) - but then you still need a different stroller for when they outgrow the infant seat.

We bought our travel system in 2006, used it for both children and still use the stroller today - so while it is an expensive item - we have more then got our money's worth

I also agree that while our convertible car seats say they are good from 5lbs, they are just so big, and the thought of putting a tiny baby into one of those just doesn't seem right

knhoward's picture
Joined: 04/22/08
Posts: 999


Travel systems aren't necessary, but they can be nice to have. For my first child I used the travel system all the time, for my 3rd child I never took the car seat out of the car. I now much prefer to carry my baby inside to places in a sling/wrap/ergo/manduca etc then to carry him in the bucket seat which is very heavy. He still fits in it weight and height wise (my son is 1 year old and fairly average for weight and height)

There are lots of strollers you can put a newborn in without a car seat. Any of the strollers with a bassinet you can lay a baby flat in and stroll around. Of the top of my head that would be a bugaboo, city select, phil &ted's, Uppababy, orbit. The strollers I listed are more expensive then say the average Graco travel set/stroller than a lot of people around here seem to buy.

Some people do find it convenient to have a travel set so if the baby falls asleep they can bring them inside without really disturbing them. I find I am capable of taking my child out of his seat and putting him in his bed without waking him, so you don't necessarily need to have the bucket seat just to keep them asleep.

May I suggest investing in a good baby carrier, I love my Manduca which goes from newborn to something like 35lbs (I can put my 5 year old in it!)

raingirl28's picture
Joined: 09/03/07
Posts: 1347

Odd. We were in BRU the other night and all the travel systems the car seat only went to 20 or 22 lbs. Unless I was reading something wrong?

I just hate spending money or buying things that I will have to replace shortly. I'm very OCD about it. I would rather wake a sleeping baby to save money...yeah, I'm weird. I would prefer if I could get one car seat and one stroller that lasted for 3+ years at least...but I can't find a stroller that would work for that.

Joined: 05/22/13
Posts: 349

Ive got a friend who is a stroller addict (she has a kid's resale store and knows all the brands and stuff) I'll ask her for a stroller recommendation for a newborn. As for baby wearing... I can't say enough good things about my sleepywrap!! I love it!! It's easy and comfy (even for bigger gals and gals with bigger boobs)... My husband will even use it!

Joined: 03/29/07
Posts: 81

I understand wanting to save money, but it is the worst thing in the world to wake a sleeping baby getting them in and out of the car. I am a NICU nurse and will tell you that newborns do not fit as well in convertible car seats even though they are acceptable at 5 ish pounds. My favorite car seat is the Chicco key fit and my favorite stroller is the City Mini Jogger by Baby Jogger. It is a light weight all purpose stroller that is so easy to fold. It costs $$, but IMO is the best. You can buy a car seat adapter for your specific car seat so it can accomodate a car seat as well until you don't need it anymore. I still use it for my 4 year old. I have owned 8 strollers and I HIGHLY recommend this one. Also, I had babies that would not go back to sleep once wakened getting out of the car seat! Good luck.

Joined: 05/22/13
Posts: 349

Ok... She says... All strollers can accommodate a newborn... Her recommendation peg-perego p-3 and inglesina zippy, and Phil & Ted, bumble rides, britex be ready... Her favorite is bumble ride and Quinny.

indianajones's picture
Joined: 01/21/07
Posts: 1486

I got a travel system as a gift for DD1. Used the stroller some. Ended up giving it to my mom, since she was watching DD and took a lot of walks with her.

With DD2, I had a wrap (Moby) that I used primarily (especially when she was a newborn), and then used a cheapo umbrella stroller when she was a few months older (like, around 6mo, when she could sit unassisted).

I used that fancy stroller when I had it, but just because I had it and it was convenient. I really liked babywearing and it was convenient for us.

indianajones's picture
Joined: 01/21/07
Posts: 1486

double post

Danifo's picture
Joined: 09/07/10
Posts: 1377

I have a peg perego p3 that takes the infant seat. With my first, I used it fully reclined when I took DD1 out for walks until she was older. When I had DD2, DD1 still sat in the stroller (only because I wanted to put DD2 in it!) so I just wore DD2. On days when I only had DD2, I liked the infant seat (and stroller) for running errands. I ended up buying a double because we walked lots and were downtown lots so even when DD1 walked, she still would get tired and want to sit.

However, if I were to do it over again, I would have the infant seat, wear the newborn and have an umbrella stroller for later. I used my $14 umbrella stroller more than my peg perego and double combined. We have a small car so I always have the umbrella stroller but the other ones take up too much room.

One thing to consider is babies aren't supposed to wear winter clothes while in their car seats so it makes the infant seat better because you can cover them in a blanket and they stay warm.

Both my kids didn't reach 20 lbs until after a year. That was definitely the max weight I would want to carry!

Audgee's picture
Joined: 08/24/05
Posts: 305

Graco Quattro Tour Travel System with SnugRide 30 Infant Car Seat - Chadwick - Graco - Babies"R"Us

Graco - Stylus Travel System with SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat - Roundabout - Graco - Babies"R"Us

A couple options of the less expensive type (but still not cheap) that go higher.

If you have a Super Store or Loblaws near you, they often have a baby section and will have deals on these for significantly less

As a PP mention - you could wear your baby instead of use the carrier, but my 2 never liked being worn (and I tried multiple carriers) , so those are another expensive option that just might not get used for long.

mom2robbie's picture
Joined: 01/20/07
Posts: 2541

We didn't have a car when Robbie was born but the travel system but it really came in handy. Also, since he was so tiny he was only 17 lbs at a year and outgrew the seat by height at 15 months. The infant seat was handy so when we did get rides it was easy to install and I liked being able to see him. He also slept better in his infant seat after being propped up in the NICU, for the first bit he hated sleeping flat.

Also, I have heard from friends here that the nurses really give you a hard time leaving the hospital with a convertible seat. I didn't deal with the regular PP nurses as Robbie was in the NICU and had a car seat test before he could be discharged. I know the NICU wanted infant seats.

Joined: 10/05/09
Posts: 672

Just typed up a super long message and it somehow disappeared :angry2:

"raingirl28" wrote:

I would rather wake a sleeping baby to save money...yeah, I'm weird.

You may change your mind about this once baby arrives. In some cases wake baby = screaming baby. This was our case. I would have done anything to keep baby sleeping...

We bought the following stroller:
Full Size Strollers - Guzzie and Guss GG102 Caribou Stroller Teal

This car seat adapter:
Stroller Accessories - Guzzie + Guss GUGU 102 Universal Car Seat Adaptor

and this infant car seat:
Infant Onboard Air Protect Child Seat | Canadian Tire

I thought the car seat adapter would be a waste of money at first but I used it all the time for the following reasons:

1) DS was a December baby so it was cold. You are not supposed to bundle them up in the car seats so no big jackets. I used a car seat cover that fit nicely over the infant car seat, keeping him nice and warm. I would not have wanted to take him out of his car seat (=wake him up and start the crying), put him into a jacket (=make him even more mad), and then try to put him in a carrier all bundled up every time I went shopping. With the adapter I was able to simply lift the seat out, pop him onto the car seat adapter, and off I went with a warm/sleeping baby. Priceless!

2) I found it sort of difficult to wear DS while wearing large winter coats. The carrier didn't fit as well over ithem, I was not able to move my arms as freely, and it was somewhat slippery. Add a bundled up wiggling baby and cold/wet weather in the parking lot and things were difficult. You might buy a jacket that zips up over baby or wear a very large jacket that can zip over baby, but that still means you have to put on the carrier and baby in the parking lot without a coat on. It gets cold here (-15) and I found that uncomfortable.

We loved the stroller we bought because the bassinet converts from full flat recline (for an infant) to varying seating positions for a toddler. We still use it almost daily. Any stroller that has a separate bassinet and upright seat, or that fully reclines and converts like ours will work for an infant to toddler. I think many of these strollers are called "full" size strollers if I recall correctly. Or, you could go with the travel system and use the car seat while your baby is an infant. It is definitely cheaper than buying a separate stroller and car seat I think. We mainly bought this stroller since I could not find a travel system with air inflated tires (they were all plastic) and we take DS on gravel and bumpier roads for walks - this way it's way more comfortable for him.

A last note on infant (bucket) seats: I researched this topic a lot before DS and I believe that infant seats are safer for small babies than convertible seats. We moved DS to a convertible just after a year old so he would have a little more space, but he would have outgrown the infant seat by height (29") only 2 months ago and has not even reached the 22 lbs weight limit yet at 18 months. And, you can always use the infant seat for the next baby Wink

Good luck - I agonized forever on what to do about the stroller situation but am very happy with the way things turned out with our gear.

Joined: 11/23/07
Posts: 870

i'll be the odd one out here Rachael, and totally support you! i have 2 kids, they have survived so far! i started leaving my DD's infant seat in the car when she was like 6 weeks old. IN MICHIGAN. IN MARCH. it was cold! i hated lugging that stupid carseat around sooooo much! hated it! when we went places i had to take her out ANYWAY, because she NEVER stayed asleep, so then i was lugging around a baby, then a carseat.... and still trying to shop? wtf was i doing? so i stopped taking the carseat! hated taht damn thing!

Even with #2, who was great, slept in the seat all the time, i only used it until he was about 3 months old. he outgrew the length that fast!

What a carseat is useful for : when you go places and baby does stay asleep in it, or doesnt demand to be held all the time, you can put the baby down. if you don't take a stroller some place (church, family gatherings... shopping) you might not have a place to put baby down. thats inconvenient.

like i said #2 was much better in the carseat and we still only used it a few months.

my plan is to get a used carseat (from a friend! trusted friend) and use that for a few months for #3 because i will need to drag baby in to the school to drop DD off at preschool. in january. and february. in northern michigan. i will get a convertible carseat when baby is a few months old to use for the long run.

i totally understand your pain with those damn "bucket" style seats. i hate them.

eclecticlauren's picture
Joined: 05/19/13
Posts: 31

Here's what we have tentatively planned on doing. We are currently shopping for a bugaboo stroller and getting the bassinet for it. I will probably use an infant seat type car seat for a little while and when baby is around 3 months old I'll switch to a rear facing infant seat that will last me years. In my state (Florida) the law is baby must be at least 20lbs AND one year old to front face. Many places recommend delaying forward facing until age two. That's a personal judgment call once you've surpassed your local law.

I don't want to lug around the car seat either, but they are nice for small/young babies in the beginning. Luckily my sister just had a baby in November has a nice Chicco seat we will inherit for that beginning time frame and it won't cost us anything. I've already found several bugaboo models used for under $400 (normal retail $700-1100) that we are considering. I've even found one with all the accessories we want for $160 in my local craigslist.

I think once you make a plan for your personal situation you can better go about shopping and acquiring the things that work for YOU.