Infant Car Seat

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  • Nuna Infant Car Seat and City Mini GT

    (9 replies)

     Hello :)  My wife and I are expecting our first Feb 22nd.  We were given a Nuna infant car seat (good condition hand-me-down) and have purchased the City Mini GT as our stroller.  We tried to think through this combination, but are now a bit confused as to whether or not we made the right choice! 

    Our questions are:

    1) how long can an infant be in an infant car seat?  

    2) should we purchase a new car seat instead of using a hand-me-down?

    3) with adapters the Nuna works with the City Mini GT, but is that a good combination? Is the City Mini GT really for older children?

    Any guidance with this would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you,


    First, congratulations!

    If you know the ownership history of the carseat, know that it's never been in an accident and the seat isn't expired, no reason not to use it! Take the savings now and use it while you can. Most infant seats are rated to 35 lbs so no reason not to use it until your child exceeds that weight limit. 

    With the adapter, the city mini should be fine for your child until they're big enough to sit in the stroller plainly. The beauty of having an adapter on the city mini or any stroller is that you can transfer baby from car to wherever you're headed on foot. And in the case of a sleeping baby, that's very important! And they can face in toward you so they know you're still there.

    Also, if I'm remembering the City Mini correctly, it lays back to almost flat which should make it fine for your baby sooner than you'd think. You just want the baby to have good neck control before you place them in a stroller sitting up. That depends largely on your own baby's development but thankfully that usually coincides with around when they get a little too heavy to be lugged about in the bucket seat ;-)


    I can't answer question 3, but I can speak to #1 and #2. 

    1) All car seats have a weight/size limit. Google your infant car seat manufacturer to find out the limit to your infant car seat. Our daughter was in her Keyfit 30 carseat until she was 1.5. Your infant car seat is good until the child outgrows it OR

    2) Carseats also come with expiration dates. Yours should be listed either on it, or on their website. As long as the carseat is not expired AND hasn't been in any car accidents there is no reason you can't use a used carseat! 

    The expiration date being a reason to not use a carseat might be up for debate as well! I only  know we followed those guidelines when it came to ours. Our second carseat is a convertible and should last for a while. 

    Hi JB! Congrats on your baby! My son is almost exactly 2 years older than your child, so reading your post brought me back to winter 2017 and all that preparation :) We used a hand-me-down car seat (Uppa Mesa) with a City Mini GT and it was great. We used the adapter for the infant seat for the first 5-6ish months, before taking the adapters off and just using the City Mini. We probably could have kept him in the infant seat for longer, but he was sitting up just fine in the City Mini, so we stopped.

    Also, the City Mini is awesome--we still use it daily, it is our only stroller, and it has logged hundreds (thousands?) of miles, all over the city, in parks, everywhere. It travels so well and is still in great shape.

    Again, best wishes to you and your wife as you prepare for your baby!

    Hi JB, I love our city mini GT and have been using it since infancy but so answer some Qs

    1. Most of the convertible car seats start at 20 lbs. Before that, it’s the infant car seat unless you have one that has a whole infant insert etc.  The median weight of a 1 yr old is 22 lbs so depending on the size of your little one you might be able to stretch the infant seat to the first year. I have a large and long son and we moved him out of the infant seat at 6 months.

    2. If you know the history of your car seat and it’s within the expiry date, I would use a hand me down. Our infant seat was a hand me down .

    3. City mini GT is great but not as good during the middle phase (we’re not using the infant car seat now and he’s a little bit loose in there at 6 mo.) We still love it though.

    hope that helps.

    Hi, and congratulations on your first child!

    In response to your questions:

    1) Every car seat/ infant is different.  Check the manual for your model of carseat (if you don't have a physical copy of the manual, you can often find them on the manufacturer's website). The manual will generally have a height and weight limit for the carseat.  You can use that seat up until your child reaches one of those limits.  However, keep in mind that a lot of children will move onto a convertible or other rear-facing seat before hitting one of those milestones. For example, our Chicco keyfit had a 30lb/30 inch limit, but our daughter hated being confined to the infant seat, so we transitioned to a convertible carseat at 6 months (15lbs). The main pro of the infant carseat is that you can remove the seat without taking out/disturbing your baby... but once they get upwards of 15lbs, they just start being too heavy to carry in and out of the car with the infant seat, and it is easier to just leave the seat in the car (in our experience).

    2) This depends on a few factors. Our infant carseat was a hand-me-down from my sister, and it was great!  But, you should definitely know the whole history of the car seat.  You can absolutely not use the carseat if it was been involved in an accident of any kind. Also, you should check the manufacture date/expiration date, usually labeled on the back or bottom of the carseat. The general rule of thumb is that a carseat "expires" 6 years from the manufacture date. So if the carseat is a very old hand-me-down, you should buy a new one.  Better safe than sorry for your precious cargo!

    3) We did not have a Nuna seat, but do have the City Mini GT.  We bought an adapter for our chicco keyfit carseat, and it worked great!  It may not be the most compact solution though.  We did not start using the actual stroller without the carseat adapter until she was about 5 months old, and had good neck control. Even though you are technically able to use the stroller from birth, we found that as a newborn up through 5 months it was just easiest to use the carseat and adapter, and she seemed more comfortable. Then one day near 6 months old when she was more mobile, she just started hating the carseat bucket and we knew it was time to move on, but she still loves the stroller (now 9 mo.).  I think that so long as your Nuna fits well with the adapter and seems sturdy, then you should be happy. 

    We have a CitiMini GT and love it. We used it for our first kid, who is now almost three, from birth with a Britax car seat (which I assume is basically the same situation as Nuna + CitiMini, we used adapters for Britax). A few thoughts to your questions ...

    1. We switched her to sitting forward facing in the stroller (without the car seat) around six months or so; she was a big kid and lasted in the infant car seat (in the car) until close to a year, at which point we switched to a convertible car seat (Lucie's List has a good article on this with product recos if you're interested). We made it to about 2.5 years rear-facing and just adjusted that car seat to forward-facing.

    2. I'd personally be hesitant to use a hand-me-down car seat unless you were 1000% sure that it hasn't really been used / definitely hasn't been in an accident. I also think that car seats have expiration dates printed on them, so you could double check it's still "current."

    3. I loved the car seat / Citi Mini combination and am doing the same thing with our second kid, who's a newborn now.

    1) each infant car seat will have different height/weight maximums. I think most are around 30lbs or 30” whichever comes first. How long you can use it will depend on the size of your kid! Our daughter is super tall so we outgrew it around 10 months maybe but we know other kids her age (20 months) who still fit theirs. 

    2) as long as the city mini gt is compatible with your infant seat and the infant seat isn’t expired or been in an accident (6 years from purchase date usually, there should be a date stamp somewhere on the seat) then use it!

    3) city mini gt is the stroller we have and it seems like it will work until our kid is at least 4 or 5. She is 36” now and her feet are so not just touching the foot rest     It’s a great stroller!

    congrats on the new addition

    To add on to my last comment. Infant seats on the city mini gt are a little cumbersome and we had to remove the adapter each time we collapsed it which was a tad annoying but totally doable. If you can find a cheap/used or borrowed infant car seat stroller frame they are super handy but not so handy that i would shell out $100 for a new one. 


    We used the same combination, and it worked great. The adapter works well, and the Citi Mini GT is a great stroller in terms of handling the bumpy ride on Oakland's not-so-even sidewalks. At around 7 months (basically when he learned to sit), I stopped attaching the infant car seat to the stroller, and just put him in the regular way. Good luck! 

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Nov 2001

My daughter is 13 months, 21 lb. and 29 and has outgrown her infant car seat. I am considering buying a forward facing/booster seat since she is over a year, but am being given much conflicting advice. Two notable stores in our area have given long lectures about not facing my child forward until she is 30 lbs. The small group of new mothers I know turned their children forward as soon as they could. Also, I am considering the the Century Next Step if I do buy a combo front facing, booster seat because the Fisher Price Grow With Me is unavailable. I am aware of the Cosco Alpha Omega which goes from 5-80 lbs, but have read that it is not recommended by Consumer Reports as a booster seat. Does anyone have any experience/opinions about forward facing booster car seats for a one year old or on facing their children forward or towards the rear at one year and 21 lbs? Deborah

There are infant seats, and there are toddler seats. The law is 40 pounds and 4 years of age. My daughter started in an infant seat with all the add-ins as she was so small, and then graduated to a toddler seat when she was about 1-1/2. She remained in a toddler seat until she was almost five ecause she did not meet the weight requirement. Then we moved her to a booster seat so the seat belt fit her better.

If your daughter is too big to comfortably fit in an infant seat, she should be moved into a toddler seat, almost all of which face forwards. There is no 30 pound rule. The only rule I know of is the seat must fit the child.

Call up your local police or fire department and ask them. They can tell you exactly what the law says. If you do buy a new seat, you might want to bring your baby with you to make sure she's comfortable sitting in whatever you buy. Marianne

From what I understand, it is recommended that you keep your child in a rear-facing car seat as long as possible but that it's okay to turn her around at 20 lbs. as long as they are in an appropriate seat. A booster seat is different in that is is used for children over 40 lbs. I've been very happy with the Britax Round-about because I used it as an infant rear-facing seat and then turned it forward when my son couldn't stand driving backwards anymore (at 20 lbs). If your child has already outgrown the infant seat you could go to a Britax Freeway which is forward facing only. I would contact your pediatrician for more advice. Petra

I have also heard conflicting advice concerning when to turn your child around. I think that while 20 lbs. is magic weight number, most pediatricians, manufacturers recommend staying rear-facing until a year. After that, it gets fuzzy as far as keeping your child rear-facing, in my case, my 14 month old is forward facing now and we have friends who turned their children around at a year so they could interact more and look out the window.

As far as actual car seats, you still need a car seat as opposed to a booster, a booster is more for three years old and up. We have a Britax Roundabout and while these are pricey, they come highly recommended from Consumer Reports and from my personal experience, they are the most stable car seat I have ever used, once you have the seat belt and the tether buckled and clipped, the seat is VERY secure and does not move at all. This is combined with an excellent harness system that seems designed to thwart toddler attempts to unbuckle and escape. Sonya

I'd like to reply re. the car seat for a one-year-old. You can use a forward facing CAR SEAT for a one-year-old that weighs at least 20 pounds, but BOOSTER SEATS (as I understand) are supposed to be used only once a child has grown quite a bit more, to 40 pounds and/or 4 years old. I've found the staff at Rockridge Kids (in Oakland) and Darla's Baby Boutique (in El Cerrito) quite knowledgeable re. the pros and cons of the various makes and models of car seats (as well as a lot of other topics). You can get good information from them, but if the prices are too high, try to find the models they recommend at Target or K-mart. Mary

the experts say that it is much safer for a child to stay rear facing until 35 pounds. consumer reports recommended a car seat (which does not become a booster) by COSCO (although it is not sold at COSCO, no matter what they tell you when you call). it is now produced under the Safety First brand and called the Forerunner. It has the universal LATCH system (if you have a newer car, it has little metal U's in the back seat to clip onto), although you can use it with seat belts. It also has tethers, again, newer cars have a place to attach the tether from the top of the car seat (older cars should be rhetrofitted, as this really adds to the safety). This seat is only for up to 40 pounds. It reclines, but you have to unattach it to recline. The tightening mechanism for the straps is tough to access when it is rear facing, but it seems the same with other car seats i looked at (unforetunately, not as well rated by CS). It has 5 point harness. COSCO said that it was available exclusively from KMART, but KMART said they didn't have them. I ordered one directly from COSCO (1-800-544-1108) and it was @ $75, plus shipping. Although they answer the phone customer relations, they're pretty unhelpful and the phone is often busy. Inexpensive enough that I'll just buy a booster when it's time. I too, would prefer to have my baby forward facing when we're driving, but not when we're having an accident. anne

There is an excellent website run by an acquaintance of mine about carseats here: I recommend investigating it. Cosco makes a model called the Touriva with a five point harness (it also makes it with a shield, which is not as safe), which at her recommendation, I purchased. It is available at K-Mart for $46, and is an excellent seat. It also has the advantage for us of being quite narrow, so three kids can fit in the back of our sedan. It comes with a tether strap and a fitting clip for shoulder straps. It's *quite* easy to adjust the straps in the front facing position, too. It's not as cushy as the Britax, and the straps are a little twisty, but for a savings of $150, I am very happy with it. Myriam

I can't recommend a car seat to use, but it is recommended by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), that you keep your child rear facing as long as you can. If you have a car seat that goes up to 30 lbs rear facing, then it is recommended that you keep your child rear facing. If your car seat only goes up to 20 lbs, then it is time to turn your child around. The forward facing boosters with harness straps are good car seats for forward facing children. As far a brand of car seats is concerned, get the one that best fits your car and your child. Try some out in your car, with the child, and you'll get your answer about which car seat to buy. Hope that wasn't too confusing. Tamara Lee, Contra Costa County Injury Prevention Program 925-313-6814

I would like to reply to the question raised about car seats for infants and toddlers. There seems to be a lot of misinformation out there. However, I have done a lot of research and examination into the issue for my 2 children, one of whom is 3 years of age and one who is 9 months. A child is supposed to be in a rear-facing seat until one year of age or 20 pounds, whichever occurs first. They are not supposed to be in the infant car seat past 20 lbs. We bought the Britax Roundabout when our daughter turned one and kept it rear-facing for as long as she could stand it and for as long as she could fit-eventually their legs become too long for it to be safe. We then turned it forward-facing. She is still in it but we are going to graduate to a booster seat once our baby turns one. The law has now changed on Booster Seats. A child who weighs at least 30 pounds can now use a booster seat but the child must use the harness until they reach 40 pounds. Once they reach 40 pounds, they must still use the booster seat but they use the car's seat belt instead. All convertible seats (ones for toddlers) and booster seats now come with tether straps for anchoring to the car. The best place to go for the most up to date information is Rockridge Kids in Oakland. Also, COSCO is not the same company as COSTCO. Also, I would not recommend the Alpha Omega 3-in-1 seat by Cosco-it is very difficult to use and does not seem very safe. Elizabeth

It is recommended to keep your child rearward facing until they are at least one year old and 20 pounds. They should meet both of these criteria, usually they grow out of there infant seat before they are 1 year old. You can tell if they are to big for there infant seat when they are either 20 pounds OR have only 1 inch of hard plastic above their heads. Then you need to get a convertable seat (that goes rearward and forward facing) leaving them rearward atleast until one and 20 pounds longer if possible. I personally turned my daughter around at 1 although she would still fit rearward facing. When you turn your child around you can use the same seat (convertable one) until they grow out of that one 40 pounds and until the harness slot is below their shoulders. Most convertable seats the harness MUST come from the top slots when forward facing. I know the Britax Roundabout to be one exception to this check your manual. When forward facing the harness must come from at or above their shoulders. 2 other tips I have for carseats is the chest clip is supposed to be at arm pit level and the straps should be very snug ( so you can only fit one finger between their shoulders and the harness.) melinda

No disrespect, but I have never seen any car seat recommendation that a child remain rear facing until 35 pounds. Have you any idea how large a 35 pound kid is? For one thing the logistics of what to do with the child's legs comes to mind. Nor have I ever seen a seat that could accommodate their legs in that position. When it comes to experts, call the police or fire department. They KNOW what you need to do and a lot of them have programs they give away free car seats to people who need them. Marianne

For the mother with the 1 year old and the car seat issue, you were given a lot of advice. Some of which was wrong. You should call this number for the correct advice. This goes to all parents who have questions about car seats. Call nurses and cops caring (NC-5) 925-941-7989. It is an answering service. They call you back within a week with all the correct information. They are certified through the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA). But one thing I want to tell you is that is is against the law to put a child in a booster seat or a vehicle car seat before 4 years and before 40 lbs. Starting in January 2002, you have to have your child in a booster until 6 or 60 lbs. But the first law will still be in effect. The only exception is if you have lap belt only seat belts in the back seat of your car. Then, after 40 lbs and 4 years, you can use your vehicle safety belts only.

Tamara Lee, Contra Costa County Injury Prevention Program 925-313-6814