An underestimated challenge of having a newborn is the issue of transportation. A lot of items, like bottles, diapers, and blankets are usually essential when taking your baby out. Plus, if you’re driving, a car seat or baby capsule is necessary. Which begs the question of which is better? Let’s look at both objectively;
These are convertible transport systems that are light and portable. Plus, you could pair it with a frame to convert it into a pram. These are usually light and easy to move around. You can strap the baby in and move the capsule instead, thus avoiding disturbing the child. These are best for newborns under 6 months of age.
It is, however, strongly recommended not to leave the child in the capsule for too long. This is because the positioning of the body may lead to the head tilting forward. As a small child’s neck muscles and bones aren’t fully developed it can cause the windpipe to get blocked. Further, it may affect spine development due to the curved nature.
As such, most experts recommend that, while short naps during a ride would cause no issues so long as the parent or a caretaker is around, extended stays in a capsule may be detrimental to a baby’s health.
With 2 hours the most allowable, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue as the baby will need to be changed and/or fed during then, or the journey most often would no last that long either.
Baby Capsules: Features
Removable baby capsules are usually packed with features and storage space to make traveling with the baby easier. Things like straps to hold them in place, holders for bottles, and a strap by which to hold the capsule are common.
They most often come with a cushion that protects the baby’s head in addition to keeping it steady. And because of their universal design, they can be used for the younger siblings as well.
One main convenience is that capsules can be paired with certain stroller frames which reduces the total amount of things you’d need to bring along. That is to say, you could avoid taking a whole pram that would take up a lot of space and instead, use just a stroller frame where the capsule can be attached.
This makes it very convenient for parents who are on the go, and need to move the child often. It’s also less troublesome for the baby. Another perk is that they are compact and easy to handle making movement less inconvenient and awkward.
Tips on Purchasing
While the capsule itself is one item, you may need to keep in mind that the convertible pram bases may not be included. And this can only be used up until the baby is 6 months old. But, because of this, some parents opt towards renting one for that same period, so this is something you can consider as well.
With that let us consider the ups and downs of a baby capsule;
- Lightweight and easy to handle
- Can be easily detached and taken along
- When used as a pram and capsule combo it can be cost-effective
- Depending on the preference of the baby it may be uncomfortable
- It can only be used for around half a year
- Constant supervision is required
- An upgrade to a car seat will become necessary when the baby grows
Baby Car Seat
These seats are attached to the car seat via straps and are not designed to be very portable. Usually, there is a semi-permanent base that you need to attach to the actual seat, and the baby car seat fixes onto that. This could allow for the use of the same seat in different vehicles if need be, by using an additional base.
They are meant to act as a restraint for a child while in the vehicle and cannot be used to carry the child in them by hand. However, they can be used for a long time (from about 6 months to 8 years depending on the type).
When purchasing it is important to consider the age of your infant as well as the required restraint for that size.
Car seats typically come as these types;
- Rear Facing
- Booster seats
These seats aren’t suitable for children up to 6 months or with similar sizes. Depending on the region’s laws, they may not be allowed for newborns of at least 6 months of age. But they can be used for up to 7-8 years and are built to last around the same period.
Generally safer and recommended these seats are essentially backward facing car seats. In the unfortunate event of a crash, the force will be more evenly distributed better avoiding strain on the still-developing neck of infants. They are usable up to the specifications listed by the maker of the baby seat and the car manufacture.
With the best of both worlds, these seats can be switched accordingly. But the maximum allowed for the rear-facing option might be less than a rear-only facing seat. They are also sometimes larger than the aforementioned types so you’d need to check if it would fit in the vehicle. Some can be used as a baby car seat and pram combo.
Usually, they can be just the lower part of the seat the elevates the child so that they can safely use the normal seatbelt. That is so that it goes over their chest and not across the neck or face.
Car seats come with adjustable harnesses which allows for prolonged use as the child grows.
Tips on Purchasing
One thing you may need to consider is that accessories are available with certain models which might end up more costly in the big picture. Let’s look at the plus and minus points of a car seat;
- Usable for over a long period and is thus economical
- Is usually made to last and is thus quite durable
- Provides a safer journey for the child
- Not portable so can only be used as a seat and can be paired with a pram
- It doesn’t reduce the overall number of things you need to take with you
- If the child is sleeping, they may get disturbed when picking them up to move them
- They aren’t suitable for very young children, like newborns under 6 months
3 in 1 Combination travel systems
Even if you were to choose either a capsule or a baby seat, a pram or pram with a car capsule would be another needed item in your inventory. But what if you could have all three in one package? That is what a combination travel system offers.
With the ability to serve as a pram to take your child on foot, or by carrying them, and then go where travel to where you want to, using the car seat function. These systems although convenient come at a costly price. Nevertheless, it might save you from spending additional money on separate systems.
General Tips for Either Option
Along with the previous specific tips, these general ones can also be followed;
- Safety or Regulations seal -This can differ according to where you are but it’s best to check if it is approved by any important agency or institution and whether the product was recalled with any defects.
- Size- Both the size of the baby, as well as your own car, should be noted when choosing. It would be a hassle in case the straps or harness don’t fit properly. And most importantly the child should be able to comfortably travel in it.
- Adjustable backrest- This is more focused on prams and capsules. I function to let the baby rest on a flat surface would be the most beneficial and healthy for them.
- Ease of access- It should be fairly simple or quick (depending on whether it’s a baby capsule, pram, or baby car seat) to attach, remove and use.
- Room for storage- It’s never a bad idea to bring along more of the babies’ items with you so plenty of storage would be a good thing to look out for.
- Maintenance- It should be easy to wipe off stains and clean as there is a good chance it could get messy.
All in all, it depends on the parents’ lifestyle and the purchasing ability available to them. Plus, each baby and child will have their own needs that need to be taken into account. So, it’s best not only to look at the traveling system itself but also at the needs of the family that will be using it.
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