When comparing safety options for traveling with a newborn baby, many parents will often think car seat vs bassinet. While car seats have been specifically designed for safety, bassinets tend to offer our baby more room. However, each option has advantages and disadvantages, which are discussed in full below.
For many moms (myself included), the best way to protect our kids during our travels is to use a car seat — a method that can be applied to kids of all ages. Car seats have been proven and tested by experts, which is why I can be confident every time my child needs to use them.
However, car seats for infants always need to face the rear of the car, which means I won’t be able to see my baby as I drive.
On the bright side, infant car seats will usually come with a base and carrier, which can make my job of attaching them to the car much easier.
If you’re trying to decide between an infant car seat vs a bassinet, here are a few things that I appreciate whenever using a car seat:
- Infant car seats tend to have a better fit in smaller cars since they’re compact.
- Infant car seats can be fully reclined, allowing my child to lay down on his back (this applies to all babies who are under 6 months).
- I can save time and effort using a car seat because it can be directly attached to a stroller.
- I can choose not to purchase a base for the car seat because it can be secured using the seat belt.
- Car seats for infants are made to be lightweight, saving me the hassle of having to carry something heavy.
- Car seats can be used from the moment your baby is born until they reach the maximum weight of between 22 to 35 pounds depending on the product.
- Great features such as latch systems, protection from side impact, and five-point harnesses are becoming more and more common in car seats.
While car seats can offer clear advantages, there are also disadvantages that I often think about when using one.
- They can only be used in the rear-facing position.
- They can only be used for the first year or so of my child’s growing years. If I opt for a convertible car seat, they will be bigger, heavier, and will cost more.
- They can stack up expenses since I will eventually have to look for a front-facing car seat or a convertible car seat.
Choosing a Car Seat
When faced with the choice between a baby car seat vs a bassinet, you will need to consider your preferences and your child’s needs. While some parents may think that having a bassinet is enough to keep their child safe during a car ride, I believe that car seats are just as important. Here are a few things you should consider before choosing a car seat for your child:
- Convertible car seats aren’t always the best option; they are not portable, and can’t be easily removed from your car once installed.
- Be sure to review the safety options that come with your chosen car seat and see how it compares with a bassinet.
- Ask yourself if you’ll be able to purchase another car seat one year later.
- Think about what kind of car seat you’re after — should it be able to attach to strollers or should it be in the car at all times?
Asking these questions will also help you figure out which of the two options is best for you.
A bassinet is a bed that’s designed to support the baby’s body and head in its infancy. These will usually have a higher elevation so that babies can look around as they lay down flat and comfortably. Bassinets are a must-have for newborns because they allow babies to sleep safely.
Bassinets also come in different sizes and models which serve different purposes, where some will readily attach to a stroller for outdoor use. As such, I make sure to purchase one along with a car seat to ensure that my baby is comfortable in his first few months of life.
It’s not easy to travel with a child, and if you haven’t tried, take my word for it. Bassinets, along with a stroller can offer you a great deal of comfort whenever you need need to run errands with your child, such as:
- Many bassinet strollers will come with space for your essentials, so keep an eye out for models that offer the most.
- Because of the space they provide, you have the convenience of putting down a few things if you need to carry your baby.
- Some bassinet strollers are designed to be collapsible and lightweight, so you can easily bring them along for shopping and your morning walks.
- There are great convertible bassinets that your child can grow into so that you don’t have to keep buying new ones down the line.
Unfortunately, bassinets have one big problem; they’re too big for newborns. A baby is small and fragile at birth, and a bassinet has too much free space for them to roll around, especially because they aren’t attached to anything. By simply hitting a bump on the sidewalk, I noticed how vulnerable my little boy was inside such a big bassinet.
While this problem can be resolved in the next few weeks or months, it can be uncomfortable to stroll around with my son outside, so I kept it inside the house at all times.
Choosing a Bassinet
Unlike a car seat that keeps your child upright at all times, a bassinet is like a traveling bed for your baby. To ensure that you pick out the best possible choice for your child, be sure to consider the following:
- Does it come with safety features to ensure your child can lie down comfortably?
- Does it have features that can help your baby get better sleep (vibration, night light, or music)?
- The kind of bassinet you’re after — something that only stays at home or something more mobile and can be taken outside?
Is a Car Seat or Bassinet Better for a Newborn?
There is no easy way to figure out which is better, but you can be sure that both of these options are necessary for the growth of your child. When it comes to keeping your child comfortable, you can count on a bassinet to get that done. But when it comes to safety, only a car seat can provide that while you and your baby are on the move.
Furthermore, there are many factors that you need to take into consideration before purchasing either product since they come in many models, shapes, and sizes. If you’re looking for a quick answer to bassinet vs car seat stroller, the truth is that you have to make a decision based on your and your baby’s needs.
Think of it like this; if you intend to take your baby with you to see your parents across the city, then you’ll need a car seat. But if you wish to stay at home the whole day without any worries, then you’ll need a bassinet. The choice between an infant car seat vs a bassinet stroller can be easily addressed by focusing on what you need and your circumstances.
Which is Better: Bassinet Stroller vs Car Seat Stroller
After much analysis and trial and error through personal experiences, I can honestly say that neither one is better than the other. In trying to find out which is better; a car seat vs a bassinet stroller, we found out that a car seat can better protect a baby, while a bassinet can provide a more comfortable environment for a baby. One should always come with the other because they serve completely different purposes.
Steph is a passionate mom who co-founded Wumblers to share her parenting journey with others. She graduated from Concordia University with a masters degree in Education Technology and worked as an advisor for many years. Steph loves being a mom and wants to have more kids.
Learn more about Steph and Wumblers here.