Stroller/Carseat Combinations

Parent Q&A

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  • Hi all! 

    I am pregnant with my first (with the anticipation of more than one in the coming few years) and am confused about the car seat options. 

    Is a car seat carrier really necessary or worth the added convenience? Does it make sense to invest in both if I anticipate having multiple children in car seat age? I'm having a shower for this first baby, so it's possible to be gifted things for both immediate and longterm needs this time around. (Car seat is the one thing I am not considering getting second hand.)

    But, do I need both? The car seat carrier sounds convenient, but for those who have tried both or who have only had a convertible car seat, what are your experiences? Is just a convertible car seat more practical?

    Thanks!

    Small babies tend to fall asleep in the car. With the carrier it's easy to move them inside the house without waking them up.

    Also, if you have more than one car, a second base for them is really cheap whereas moving a carseat between cars is a hassle to make sure it's installed properly each time (we very quickly bought a second carseat).

    I have one child, plan to have another, and did get a carseat carrier. I know the carrier carseat isn't exactly a necessity, and can't speak to the experience of not having one. But I was happy to have a carrier for the following reasons:

    Its much easier to get baby into the carseat while still indoors. The Bay Area's mild climate make this less significant, but getting a fussy baby into the carseat while its raining is not fun. 

    If the baby falls asleep in the car, its easy to bring them inside without waking them up. 

    It's easier to travel through an airport with.

    We used ours until my daughter was almost a year old. Since we intend to have a second kid who would also use this same carrier carseat, that will be almost 2 years of use/convenience. For us that makes it a worthwhile purchase. 

    That being said, its so easy to accumulate ALL the things, especially in the first year. So if you are trying to avoid that, it totally can be done to skip this thing.

    Hello!

    So first of all, I have been told carrier car seats are the safest for infants. My seven mo old is a super chunk but the ped recommended leaving him in the infant seat until he grows out of the size restrictions because of the safety factor. 

    Second the carrier is incredible for when they fall asleep in the car (always?). It is so much easier to be able to move the seat than them for a lot of occasions. Especially if you plan on having multiples, I would go with the infant seat option. 

    I have a 20 month old son and we've had both. We started with the Chicco Keyfit 30 and now have the Chicco NextFit Convertible car seat. 

    The main reason the car seat carrier (the Keyfit 30) was beneficial that when my son fell asleep in the car I could carry him inside without waking him, usually. It also took up a bit less room in the backseat of our small car. The convertible car seat takes up a lot of room and means we can't push the driver's or passenger's seats back as far as we'd like. 

    Our son is very tall and quickly outgrew the car seat carrier, however that's not something I or you can know ahead of time. When he was about 11 months old we wound up lending it to a friend who had a baby and we got the bigger convertible car seat, which overall was more comfortable for my son.

    Some people like using the car seat carrier with an attachment to their stroller, but I never really liked doing that because of the recommendations against having the babies in the car seats for too long because of the way it affects the head shape.

    If I had to do it again, I probably would still get the car seat carrier and use it for the first 6 months and then transition to the convertible one sooner than I did. So short answer, even though I didn't use it as much as some people I would still recommend having both, but knowing that you don't need to buy the convertible one until you need it.

    Do you mean the snap&go that you put the bucket car seat into? Yes. You gotta have that. The baby falls asleep in the car seat and you can port him/her from car to wherever. I also brought it into the house because there were weeks when the baby would only sleep in the darn car seat. It's extremely handy. 

    Just to clarify...do you mean infant car seat vs. convertible car seat? The infant one looks like a cradle with a big handle on the top. If so, then you should get the infant car seat, and only upgrade to the convertible car seat when your baby has outgrown the infant car seat. While you can theoretically place a newborn in a convertible car seat, everything I've read says that infant car seats are safer for infants. So the added safety, plus the convenience (it really is very convenient not to have to wake a sleeping baby to transfer him/her), points to buying the infant car seat. It's been a while since I shopped for infant car seats, but when my son was born I looked online at websites like <http://thecarseatlady.com/> to get useful information. BTW, the same goes for the next size up. Don't try to size up too quickly to save money. The point of using a car seat at all is for safety, so safety is the one thing you should not compromise.

    Convertible cheaper option.  You get the infant seat so that you can adapt it to your stroller. In which case you also need to buy the adapter.  I never really just carried my infant around but I definitely adapted my infant seat to both my uppa baby and running stroller. 

    If you plan on having more than one child I would get an infant car seat and then, in 1 year, purchase a convertible car seat.  Infant car seats only fit babies for the first 11-14 months but are safer.  Convertible car seats last for several years.  This means your first born will still be in the convertible seat when you have a second child (assuming a standard 2-4 year age gap).  Just make sure your infant seat doesn't expire for at least 5 years, so you're covered for both kids.

    As for the car seat carrier, a few things to note:  There is no option to stroll around with convertible car seats; they are intended to stay in the car.  Only infant car seats are designed to be portable.  Infant car seats have a separate, detachable base that stays in the car and the seat clicks in and out.  

    Is a car seat carrier necessary?  No.  But it is nice to have.  Should you buy a car seat caddie or stroller designed just for the car seat?  No.  Instead you should invest in a nicer stroller that sells a compatible car seat adaptor.  To do this requires a bit of research but it saves a lot of money.  Perhaps you really love a particular stroller - go to their site and see which car seats are compatible.  Or say you love a particular infant car seat - then make sure you buy a stroller that sells an adaptor.  All of this information is online and almost all of the major brands have at least several compatibility options.  We have the Chicco Keyfit 30 (a great infant seat) and an adaptor for our stroller (Bugaboo) and love it.  We have gotten a lot of use out of them with our kids.  Our friend with the same car seat has the caddie never uses it.    

    In the end, just remember that babies don't need much, so plan your list with an eye to streamline.  Congrats! 

    There are two reasons to start with an infant bucket seat, instead of going straight to a convertible.  Neither of them is conclusive though; only you can decide which makes more sense in your life. :)

    The first and more important is that most convertible seats don't fit a newborn very well.  The bucket seat is specifically designed to properly support smaller, younger infants, and may therefore be a safer choice, especially if your baby is under 8 lbs at birth.  That said, convertibles CAN be safely used for a newborn, and some are more adjustable than others; if you decide to skip the bucket seat it's likely worth looking for a convertible with features that make it easier to fit to a small baby, like multiple crotch strap positions and a continuous recline adjuster. 

    The second reason is that the bucket carrier can indeed be convenient for getting your baby in and out of the car, because it allows you to avoid disturbing a sleeping baby by messing with the harness and lifting or shifting baby - while crouching through the car door!  But it's safest and healthiest for your baby not to stay in the bucket seat for long when not actually riding in the car, and you don't want to have to actually lug the bucket very far in your arms, because it's heavy and awkward.  It can be nice for just going between house and car, but if you're running errands, shopping, sightseeing, or going to the zoo you need to use a baby carrier (meaning a sling or other soft carrier, not a "carrier" carseat) and/or a stroller - and although of course there are strollers that can be used either with or without a carseat latched on, you may prefer to choose your stroller and your carseat independently, without restricting yourself to "travel system" models.  Not all babies can be transferred from a carseat to a carrier or stroller without waking or fussing, but plenty can.  Unfortunately you won't know how easily yours "transfers" until after he or she is born!

    It's also easier to move a bucket seat between different vehicles, especially if you get a base for each car that baby rides in frequently, than it is to uninstall and reinstall a convertible seat. And the bucket is easier to use on a flight, too. However this isn't terribly relevant if you have only one car, and don't expect to take your baby on an airplane many times before the bucket seat would be outgrown.

    I don't regret having used a bucket seat with my kids for their first 6 months or so, but with our second (who rarely fell asleep in the car, and transferred to a sling easily when she did) it almost never came out of the car.  And I do know people who've been happy to just start with a convertible.  So the bucket is certainly not a must-have.

    I had an infant seat that I used with both of my children until they were a year old, although I only carried them in it until around six months when it became too heavy to carry them in a carseat. I am glad I had an infant seat, and recommend getting one if you plan on using the car regularly. Getting a child in and out of the carseat for every stop is a lot of work, and if your child sleeps in the car it will most likely wake them up when you transfer them to the stroller or house. Neither of mine would continue to sleep in the carseat if it wasn't moving (e.g. on the floor in our house) but they would if I put the carseat on a stroller, and I know some kids will continue sleeping in their carseat even if they're not moving.

    I know you said you weren't considering a used carseat, but they are safe as long as they aren't expired, there is no damage, and they haven't been in an accident they're perfectly safe. If you have a friend that you know well who has one that isn't expired and can vouch that it hasn't been in an accident then you might want to consider it.

    I have 2 children who are past the car seat stage. My advice is to invest in a car seat carrier (a “bucket”) that snaps into a base in the car and into a stroller. It is a very worthwhile investment because babies sleep a lot so it is super convenient to be able to transfer them from the car to the stroller to the house without having to unsnap them (I.e. wake them up) from a standard car seat. The car seat bucket was the only way that my husband and I were able to go out for dinner for the first years of our kids’ lives.  After the baby grows out of the bucket, the only other car seat that you will need is a convertible seat. The right seat will go from a rear facing seat for a 1-2 year old, to a front facing car seat for a 2-5 year old to a booster seat for older kids.  

    I think what it comes down to is personal preference and what you physically would like/need. With my first we had a "bucket" seat but I never carried it around. I really enjoyed babywearing so I would just pop him in to a baby carrier. If he was sleeping he'd usually stay asleep and I really enjoyed keeping him close....not to mention then I had both hands available for hauling things...so when we had our second we went straight to a convertible carseat. I would babywear so I could hold onto my toddler :)  This was just my personal preference and I know we all have our own ways :) Good luck Mama!

    I did it both ways. First kid went straight into a convertible car seat. Second kid went into a bucket car seat that I borrowed for 5 months or so. 

    Having done it both ways, my recommendation is to borrow or buy a super inexpensive bucket seat that will last 6 months, then spend your money on a nice convertible seat that’ll last 3-5 years.

    Personally, I didn’t find the bucket seat any more convenient because my kids transferred from car seat to carrier to stroller ok. Some kids aren’t so forgiving. However, my second kid was small - came home from the hospital under 6 lbs. She was too small for the convertible car seat (by length) until she was 2-3 months old despite meeting the minimum weight requirement. The bucket seats are just a better fit for the smallest babies.

    Our kids were both below average in size, so a car seat carrier (like a bucket with a base) was very handy.  One big thing to consider is that your baby will often fall asleep in the car, and it's the best thing to be able to click her out of the base, and take her inside.   Very, very convenient.  And you can get a stroller to put the seat with baby into, also, very very convenient. If you're doing drop off to a child care center, you'll have a lot of stuff and sometimes rolling your baby in is much easier.

    When they get bigger, then you get one of those convertibles, and they can last up to 5 years, less, depending on how big your kids get.  We we had both- as infants, our kids used a car seat with base (we have a City Jogger stroller and with a pair of add ons, we could put the car seat onto it). Then we moved them to a convertible; then a booster (which btw is like 10% of the convertible, so it gets cheaper...), etc.

    HTH,
     

    Google Lucie’s List for a great resource on making this decision. I wondered the same, and found answers on her site, and with a good sense of humor! 

    Hint: there’s no “right” answer, but you should also consider strollers before deciding!

    Good luck and congrats! 

    the car seat carrier is convenient when the baby is itty bitty...I can't imagine how I could have put my baby in one of those big convertible ones  his first 3-4 months b/c he was so little.  Also, you could consider getting a 2nd hand car seat b/c if it's not expired and <2-3 years old and in good shape, it's really no different from a new one. I actually had the same thoughts about not wanting a "used" car seat but now I realize what a colossal waste of money it was to spend $400+ on a new car seat and 2 or 3 car seat bases.  I totally understand though, given it's your first kid.  Would be interesting to see what parents of multiple kids say about this (i.e. did they obsess less about car seats and/or get a used one the 2nd time around).

    Hi there,
    Fitst of all congrats on the new coming baby!! This is what we did and it worked out really well: got an inexpensive snap n go car seat carrier which we used with our Graco carseat and we postponed buying a stroller until my daughter was about 10 months. With a carseat carrier you can transfer sleeping baby in and out of car without waking up and you don't need to bring a stroller everywhere you go for almost the entire first year and its very light to carry. Plus I was really glad I hadn't bought a stroller before the birth cuz my choices were actually very different 10 months later after paying attention to all the different strollers I would see everywhere... I decided no bulky stroller for me...

    Hi Dr. JMO, 

    Congratulations!

    My son is 14 months now. We've been using Chicco Nextfit convertible car seat from day 3 (leaving hospital) to now. I don't think my son ever likes it. Some online reviews are great for this one but it doesn't look comfy to me. I have a few things to suggest: (1) go to stores to feel the materials and back support cushions, and don't order online before you actually see and touch it somewhere; (2) there's maybe a tradeoff between being supportive with thick cushions and being airy with thin materials. But it's probably hard to find any airy convertible ones. (3) be careful on how the car seat is designed to support/stabilize baby's head and neck. Think about how we adults like a U-shape pillow on a flight. Some carseats have poor neck support or very hard harnesses that need extra soft pads to protect baby's skin. (4) Consider if it's easy to hang mobile toys or so near the carseat. In a few months baby starts to get bored stuck in the carseat. It's helpful to create some fun there. (5) If you love traveling, look for information of flight seat dimension of your favorite airlines, and think about whether the carseat gonna fit there. Usually a car seat carrier won't have a problem, but a convertible may be tight for some flight seat. 

    Hope these thoughts help a little bit! :)

    Lanya

    Infant seats are very convenient mainly for when the baby falls asleep in the car (which is basically always for the first few months). Also they fit in the shopping cart seats which is so nice if you run to the store during a nap (which is basically always for the first few months)! It's difficult to carry the baby around in the seat so plan on having a stroller to snap it into. I might add that there is nothing wrong with getting a used car seat carrier if it's never been in a crash and is not expired. People generally only use these things for about 9 months so most of the used ones you see are like new. I transferred my son to a convertible at around 4 months because something about the positioning of the infant car seat made him spit up all the time. I know several babies who also hated the infant seat and were never happy riding in the car until they went to a convertible seat. 

    Thank you for all of the advice and recommendations! I very much appreciate it and it has been insightful.

  • Convertible Car Seat for Subaru Crosstrek

    (3 replies)

    Hello everyone,

    I am in the market for a convertible car seat, but am really confused about which one to get. I drive a Subaru Crosstrek which means that there isn't a ton of space in the back. My questions are-

    1. For other Crosstrek drivers- what convertible car seat do you have? Do you like it? Does it fit well in the back seat? Do you have it in the middle or window seat?

    2. Is there a place I can test out car seats? 

    Thanks so much for the advice!

    Nina

    We have an Impreza, but the backseat is the same as the Crosstrek's. We have a Britax Marathon and have been happy with it as far as the front-to-back space (which is tight, especially when rear-facing!) You might also check out the Chicco Nextfit, which also adjusts well front-to-back in small cars. We have the seat in the window because we have two kids, but when we only had one, we had it in the middle and it installs fine there as well (although you will need to use the seat belt in the middle). You can test out car seats at Tot Tank in Alameda, and also at Babies 'R' Us. Target frustratingly makes you buy them to try them out, and then you can immediately return--but that's a headache so we skipped it. 

    It is a small car, but we can successfully get three across (or two car seats plus an adult) with the right seats. If you think you might need to do that regularly, it's worth considering a Diono Radian or Clek Foonf. They are pricey but will give you a lot of flexibility getting additional seats or adults in alongside the car seat.

    1. I haven't installed car seats in the Crosstrek. I have installed our car seats (Britax Boulevard, Britax Marathon, Clek Fllo) rear facing in numerous rental cars and even airplanes with seating much smaller than the Crosstrek with no problem. I'm betting most convertible seats will fit in that car. If you're trying to get 3 across or you have an extremely tall driver that needs the seat all the way back, those are different issues.

    2. Almost any store that sells car seats will let you test install the display seat in your car before buying. I've personally taken advantage of this at Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby in the Walnut Creek / Concord area (staff aren't helpful there, so you'll need to figure it out yourself) and Tot Tank in Alameda (staff are super helpful and really know what they're doing, but this shop has higher prices). Just call ahead to whatever store you want to visit to make sure they have staff available to help you when you arrive.

    You can test out carseats at Kids n Cribs in Dublin. They have "car seat techs" that will fit the seat to your car. You can call to make an appointment, the techs are not there all the time. 

  • Hello!

    Looking for recommendations for car seat and stroller combo's. I've been looking at the Nuna MIXX and PIPA combo but still want to do some more research. I've heard good things about the Chicco KeyFit system as well. 

    Any insight or tips would be welcomed!

    We used the Chicco KeyFit for 12 months and I loved it, it was our only stroller until our daughter outgrew it. The carseat is super safe (consumer reports) and can be used with or without a car base, the caddy/stroller base is light and easy to fold and the price is not bad at all. I wished that I'd bought the Chicco car seat with the mesh portion at the back of the canopy for better air flow on hot summer days, but we were just fine with the basic model. My only complaints are that it takes 2 hands to fold down the carseat handle and the standard Chicco carseat doesn't have a removable cover for washing but I would recommend this combo.

    I have the Nuna Mixx and Pipa combo and love it! It is a great system and very chic. Only thing worth noting is the size. It pretty much takes up the whole of any normal sized trunk. If you want a slightly smaller Nuna system that is also a bit lighter (but not much) you might want to consider the Nuna Pepp.. That being said I think the smooth ride from the Mixx, and excellent shade/reclining options more than make up for the slightly larger size. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews



Do carseat strollers really work?

May 2004

I am traveling on 3 long trips this year with my 22 month old in tow. (once to Europe) I am considering buying a carseat stroller combination and wonder if anyone has had any experience with one and if they work. Pros and cons please. Kim R


We have the sit and stroll and absolutely love it! It has made traveling sooooo much easier. It is a little awkward getting it strapped into a taxi in a hurry, but otherwise I have no complaints. Our friends with little kids always borrow it when they go on vacation, too and rave about how convenient it is. Happy Traveler


Some people swear by them, but...I ordered a sit and stroll for a long trip to New York City for the obvious reason of 'one less thing to carry.' My husband is an airline pilot and I often tag along on his trips with our child, so I thought this would be a blessing. My impression of it when it arrived was a mediocre car seat and a bad stroller. It was impossible to close with my eight month old in it (a downside when you have a sleeping child), the wheels were small and it just seemed like a hassle to get in and out of cars quickly. Needless to say, I returned it. I would look for a lightweight stroller that you love for your trips and get a back-pack carrier for your car seat that you are used to (even if you plan to use it on the plane, it is easier to get through the airport with it on your back then lugging it some other way).

Another thought, www,onestepahead.com sells the Tote 'n Go Portable Car Seat for kid 25 to 40 pounds. I don't know much about it, but plan to investigate once my child meets the weight mins. -travel mom


I'm not sure what you mean by carseat-stroller, but we had a Snap-N-Go by Baby Trends that we used for both of our kids. My daughter outgrew it about five months ago.

It is basically a stroller frame that you ''drop'' the carseat into. It snaps in, and has a bar to squeeze that helps pop the carseat up when you want to take it out. Our pediatrician first told us about it. And although we bought an expensive Peg Perego and used it when our first child outgrew the carseat, the Snap-N- Go was our primary stroller for both our babies' first months.

For us, it was wonderful. It's extremely lightweight and folds up to fit easily in small spaces. The best thing about it is that we didn't have to wake up the baby when we left the car. The downside is that it's not great over rough terrain, and it's definitely not a jogging stroller. I would recommend it to anyone, and I got a ton of parents asking me where I got it whenever I used it. Gwynne Young gwynneyoung [at] earthlink.net


Here are my thoughts on the Sit N Stroll stroller.

Pros: Works wonderful on airplane, in car, and as a booster seat. It is very convenient and easy to convert from seat to stroller.

Cons: It works ''okay'' as a stroller. The tires are not very big, so the ride for your child can be a little rough. It is also difficult to manuever/steer with one hand, and the stroller handlebars are low (we are tall) and not very sturdy. Also, the storage basket is not big enough for serious shopping.

My husband and I used it for a trip to Hawaii with our son. It was wonderful to get in between the car, airport, hotel, restaurants, poolside, and short shopping excursions. It wasn't so great for long walks, so I opted to use the hotel jogger strollers for our morning strolls.

If you intend to do a lot of walking on your trips, I would suggest that you use a traditional stroller. On the other hand, if you intend to purchase a separate plane ticket for your child, and do not plan to do a lot of trekking by foot, the carseat strollers take a lot of stress out of traveling. Teuila


We have the Sit N Stroll, and we love it. We borrowed one from a friend and liked it so much that we kept it for the ''second'' car. Pros: The carseat-stroller combo, especially for any kind of airline travel. The buckles are easy, and the seatbelt goes over it (rather than behind). In the stroller mode, it handles beautifully with one hand, it fits between the aisles of most airlines, it is a relatively smooth ride. As a carseat, it is FAA approved. Cons: I prefer to use it when I have someone else to help. Converting it from carseat to stroller or back again takes a little doing, and is especially difficult when the child is in the seat. That is really the only con. Mildly inconvenient is that if you have it on the plane, then you have to use it, because there is nowhere else to stow it. And for take off and landing some airhosts insist. I have begun to check it for the plane ride (at the gate) only so that my child has some room to move once we are in the air. I have successfully used it by myself to travel to the East Coast, carrying a rolly suitcase (smuggler) and a diaper bag and a purse. So it is manageable, just not ideal. love my sit 'n stroll


Sit N Stroll Car Seat Stroller

July 2001

We travel with our 2 year old at least once a month and we have since she was 6 weeks old. I recommend getting the Sit N Stroll Car Seat Stroller from either The Right Start or One Step Ahead for $189. It is a stroller car seat combo and it works GREAT. We have had used ours since she was about 20 pounds and it goes up to 40 pounds. It works as a seat on the plane or the car. The best part is you don't have to check any strollers. It also works great when you catch a cab because you pop up the wheels and jump in the car. The child is strapped in similar to a regular car seat. We have found it to be a fairly sturdy product and well worth the money if you travel! Jamie


We own a Sit N Stroll which is a convertible carseat that has wheels and a handle that pop out to become a stroller. It is easy to strap into cars and the airplane because the belt goes over the child not behind the seat. It is heavy though and not as easy to push around as most umbrella strollers, so you wouldn't want to rely on it as your sole stroller. It is pricey (close to $200 I think) but I bet you could resell it when you return for not much less than what you pay for it. I bought it online 2 yrs ago at strollerdepot.com. I think rightstart or one step ahead also carry it. If you want to try it out, let me know. Jen


2000

This message is for the mother I met at a Berkeley shoestore who liked our carseat/stroller. I promised I would post the information about the seat on the UC Parents list and here it is: http://www.strolex.com/

The seat really works best for older babies, 1-3 years, but for parents who travel alot and bring their babies with them, as my wife and I do, it is the perfect solution.a Its a light self-contained airline FAA-approved flight seat (frame and seat are one) that folds out into a stroller for running across O'Hare and then folds back into either a front or rear-facing car seat. a Hope this is helpful. Joseph


Several people asked about the Strolex Sit 'n' Stroll stroller/car seat. I have been using one for about a year now and it is terrific! We recently moved here from New York City, where we used it for cab rides (a lot of people don't use car seats in cabs, but we weren't comfortable with that, and it is impossible to carry a car seat with you on a shopping trip!). And we have used it for around ten airplane trips, too. Every time someone sees us with it in the airport, they stop us to ask where we got it. It is very simple to use -- you wheel the baby in the stroller up to the car, pick up the stroller (with the baby in it), squeeze a lever and pull up and the wheels retract. Then you place it in the car (front or rear facing) and put the car's seatbelt around it. When you arrive, you unstrap the belt, pick up the car seat and baby, hold it over the sidewalk and squeeze the lever and press down to lower the wheels.

It is neither the best car seat (only uses the lap belt portion of the seat belt, no way to level the seat, no tether) nor the best stroller (fine on flat ground, but harder to go over curbs and doesn't steer as well), but as a combination of the two it is amazing! (After I bought one, three other moms in my playgroup bought one too.) One additional word of caution -- if you plan to use it for airplane travel, it does not fit down most airplane aisles, so you have to carry it rather than roll it down (my daughter is still light -- 24 pounds at 18 months -- but this might be a problem for bigger babies, although if two adults are traveling, one can carry the baby and one can carry the seat). But it does fit in all airplane seats. And if you don't buy a seat for the baby on the airplane, you can also wheel it to the gate and gate check it (you still have the convenience of having a car seat at your destination that you don't have to carry separately). Stephanie


We have a strolex and have used it on many domestic and international trips. It is great and is much easier than lugging a car seat and a stroller. There are two limitations. The stroller does not recline so our son didn't tend to fall asleep in it. The second limitation is more significant. Although the strolex meets FAA requirements as a flight seat - it does not necessarily meet the requirements of foreign airlines. We were not allowed to use it during take off and landing on British Air as it does not meet British standards. If you fly strictly American airlines then this won't be an issue. Lora


We purchased the sit 'n' stroll and sent it right back.

It sounded good a stroller that converts into a car seat -- just what we wanted to help our 12 month old nap while her mom and older sister made the rounds.

But we thought it would be impossible to use in practice. Very unwieldy and hard to operate, because you have to do it all in mid-air hold seat and kid and operate the safety mechanism. It turned out to be hard enough just finding the mechanism while not upending your kid.

Jerry I'd like to put in a vote for the Sit N Stroll. We bought it for our trip to Paris and it was worth the money. It is a combination reversable car seat, FAA approved airplane seat, booster chair, stroller. The wheels fold up inside the seat, so it is a four-in-one deal. It also has a five point harness, which I liked a lot. It was invaluable on our trip. Especially when we could wheel Sara up the aisle of the airplane - it was new enough so that the airline kept trying to make us check it because they didn't know that it folded up into a car seat. It wasn't cheap ($250ish) and we don't use it at home, but we are about to travel again and it will be great! However, I know people that bought it for travel and now use it all the time. The one drawback is that I'm not crazy about it as a backwards facing car seat - it seems to fit in the seat more securely in the forward facing position. Another great benefit is that the handle collapses, so we could sit her in a little corner of a Paris cafe and not have the handle sticking out for someone to bump. I didn't buy it in California, but there is a website for it (Safeline makes it) with a dealer listing. Kris


Dec 1999

There is a carseat that converts to a stroller and is FAA approved to fit on airplane seats and go down the aisle on planes. I got mine from the right start catalogue. I also recently saw it for sale on the internet for about $175. I used it when I went to travelling solo with baby. The child can go from car to airport terminal to plane seat in one apparatus. I seem to remember the only restriction is that they won't fit in the first row of seats on the plane next to the bulkhead. We generally brought our regular stroller in addition since the FAA approved seat is a bit big for everyday strolling, expecially down the aisles of small European shops. We also found it handy to have a carseat for travelling rather than having to rent one. He is four now and we still use it as his regular carseat.