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Bassinet vs. Car Seat Stroller: Pointing Out The Differences

If you have a baby on the way, chances are that your home is packed with baby stuff just waiting to be used. It is very useful to sack up on some things before your baby comes, but some parents tend to overdo it.

I often get asked how to safely drive around with a newborn baby and since I have successfully taken long drives with all my kids, I thought I’d share my two senses on the topic of bassinet vs car seat stroller.

Main Points

  • There are a lot of different models of bassinets and car seat strollers.
  • Your newborn will quickly outgrow its bassinets.
  • Some bassinets can be turned into strollers.
  • Car seat strollers are functional and practical.
  • Both a bassinet and a car seat stroller can be used in a car.

Bassinet vs Car Seat Stroller – A General Overview

Bassinet – What Makes It Stand Out

A bassinet is essentially a portable crib for a newborn. It’s made out of a hard frame wrapped in fabric, usually cotton, which allows your infant to be comfortable. It is designed to be in a basket shape and it has the ability to keep your baby supported which is extremely important during the first few weeks. 

Their portable design allows you to grab the bassinet with an attached handle and take it with you on the go. It’s very handy for when you want to move your baby during nap time, if your arm is firm, it won’t even know that it’s being moved.

Types of bassinets

Let me start this off by saying there are hundreds of different designs and functions when it comes to any baby equipment, as I like to call it.

Manufacturers always come up with new designs in order to make the parent’s job easier, but sometimes they end up confusing us.

Every time I scroll through a baby store catalog I end up being more confused than I was before I opened it. Is a bassinet also a stroller? Can it be used in the car? Is this model for an infant?

Trust me if these questions linger on your mind every time you walk past a baby store, you are not alone my friend. These two are the most common bassinet types and probably the ones you want to look into.

Basket bassinet

This type of bassinet looks exactly like it sounds. It is basically a fabric-covered basket designed for infants. This is what an “original” bassinet looks like. It can also come with stools that you can put underneath and this will make it taller and give it more of a crib feel.

These types of businesses are generally used at home just after your baby is born because they are very small and the baby will outgrow them soon. Be sure to check if they are safe to be used in the car.

Example: Delta Children Deluxe Bassinet.

Stroller bassinet

These types are one of my favorites. They are both a stroller and bassinet and they make your life easier. The bassinet part is detachable and you can use as a simple basket bassinet or put in on the stroller part and push it around like a regular stroller.

They are very handy when you’re traveling with a newborn. The stroller usually folds up, so you can put it in the trunk of your car while the baby stays in the bassinet in the back seat. Most bassinets like this come with a safety measure for car rides. They usually have buckles on the side that you can attach to the safety belt.

These types of stroller bassinets are also usually meant for smaller babies. The position of your baby in a bassinet is always on its back, so this meant it will quickly outgrow it.

Example: Bugaboo Donkey Twin Stroller

Note
Most bassinets usually come with a safety buckle that can be attached to your car. Make sure to tightly secure all straps and buckles before you start driving to make sure that the bassinet will stay in place and your baby will be safe.

Introduction To Car Seat Strollers

A car seat stroller is exactly what it sounds like. It is a car seat that can be attached to a stroller mechanism in order to have the best of both worlds. They are designed with practicality in mind and most models fold up so they can fit in your trunk while your baby is safe in the car seat in the back.

Similar to bassinets, they come in different models, and shopping for the perfect car seat can be confusing. Let me go through the basics.

Combo

These are made for parents that have limited space at home and don’t have a place to put 5 different baby appliances.

They are technically considered to be strollers but have a detachable car seat that you can put in the back seat of your car. Usually, the stroller part folds up so you can put it in the trunk until the next time you need it.

There are a lot of different combo models, but what you want to think about before buying one is the age of your baby. Some car seats are adjustable, however, combo ones are usually made for smaller babies.

Example: Chicco Bravo Travel System

Car seat

If you have a toddler that can walk around then is there a need for a stroller? Trick question. You never really know. But chances are that you won’t need a stroller anymore, but you do need a car seat. Car seats are made from a hard and heavy frame and are specially designed to keep your baby safe during an accident.

Most car seats are adjustable, or they have different sizes according to the weight of your baby. They have multiple straps and buckles and attach to the back seat of your car. Toddlers are very active and they will try to move around so make sure you strap your kid according to the instructions.

Example: Graco SlimFit Convertible Seat.

Spotting The Differences

We talked about bassinets and car seat strollers separately, now let’s compare bassinet vs car seat stroller.

As I mentioned there are many types of models both of bassinets and strollers. The main difference in my opinion is when you use them.

A bassinet is mostly used for newborns and your baby will outgrow it soon, on the other hand a car seat should be used every time you take a car ride with your baby until it’s at least 1-year-old, but I recommend you use it for another year more.

Both are designed to keep your baby safe and comfortable, and which one you decide to get is up to you.

Final Words

If you are confused about all the terminology when it comes to baby stuff, don’t worry. Every new parent feels like that in the beginning.

There is no general rule about what to get for your baby, but some things like a car seat are a must if you travel together.

If you feel overwhelmed by the choices, I’ll give you a recommendation. I had a toddler and a newborn at the same time, so to make things easier I got this all in one bad boy. 

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