What is a Travel System?
What’s Included in a Travel System:
Infant Car Seat
Car Seat Base
Why Travel System?
- Stage 1: Rear-facing Infant Car Seat (plus car base); Stroller (plus Stroller Base)
- Stage 2: Front-facing Car Seat (plus car base); Stroller (plus Stroller Base) or an Umbrella Stroller
- Stage 3: Belt-positioning Booster Seat; Stroller (plus Stroller Base) or an Umbrella Stroller
- Stage 4: Seat Belts (Provided by vehicle manufacturer)
|Car Seat by Age- SaferCar.gov|
Other Important Things to Remember
- Weight of the Car Seat – VERY important. You will be carrying the baby + car seat between the parking lot and your house and it can get very heavy as the child grows. You want the car seat to weigh as less as possible.
- If you don’t want to buy a full size stroller and don’t want to carry the infant car seat, consider buying a universal stroller frame that snaps to the car seat bottom, letting you wheel baby around without taking the little one out of the car seat. Stroller frames are inexpensive, and let you decide on a full-size stroller later when you have a better idea of how you’ll use it.
- If you can’t find a ready-made travel system with a car seat and stroller that you love, create your own with separate car seats and strollers. Different brands may not snap together when putting the car seat on top of the stroller, but many parents don’t use the travel systems that way. You’ll still be able to carry baby in the infant car seat carrier and use the stroller as usual. Lots of popular stroller companies make adapters for various infant car seats, too, so it can be easy to use different brands together.
How to shop for a Travel System?
Very Convenient. The car seat clips easily into a car seat base for the car, then onto a stroller base so you don’t have to move your baby from one to the other. You also have the option of unclipping the car seat from its car base and carrying your baby in her car seat. This is especially convenient if your baby is sleeping and you don’t want to disturb her.
Longevity: Many travel systems offer convertible pieces that can grow with your child. An infant car seat can be switched to a forward-facing car seat on the same base, and most travel system strollers allow you to attach an infant car seat for young babies while still offering a regular stroller seat for toddlers.
Rear-facing Car seat only. Will have to buy a front facing one when the baby outgrows the infant car seat (in approximately 2 years’ time, which is not too bad!)
Strollers may be bulky. If strollers weigh more than 25 lbs. they lose a lot of convenience when they’re folded and must be lifted in and out of the car
Infant stroller travel systems are NOT good for dirt and gravel roads, since they may be heavier than most strollers and tougher to push on uneven surfaces.
They can also be tight squeezes through grocery-store aisles (though ours wasn’t a tight squeeze, it was perfect!)
You can only use the car seat that comes with the stroller (and not all companies sell extra car-seat bases separately from the travel system). So if you have more than one car, you’ll need to buy a second car seat if you don’t want to unhook and reattach the one base the stroller comes with.
Car Seat Finder Tool – the easy-to-use tool that lets you Find the Right Car Seat to Fit Your Child. Simply enter your child’s birth date, weight and height below, and you’ll be provided car seat type results that fit your child according to NHTSA’s best practice recommendations.