When To Move Baby From Pram Bassinet To Seat

Deciding to move your little one from their pram bassinet to a car seat is pretty daunting.

It’s a big change that has the potential to save your baby’s life providing that they are ready for the move. But figuring out when it’s the right time can be a little confusing. 

There are quite a few factors to consider when making the change. You’ll want to consider the age, height, and weight of your baby to ensure that they are ready for the switch.

Typically, a baby is ready for the transition at around 4-6 months, but this can vary from child to child, just like transitioning your baby to a crib.

So, let’s take a look at the handy guide below to help you decide when will be the right time for you and your baby. 

When To Move A Baby From Pram Bassinet To Seat? 

After consulting with several experts, it was recommended that you start to consider switching from your bassinet to your car seat at around the 4-6 month mark.

As a mother of three, I am well aware that each baby is different though, so this is only a rough guide. 

My first baby was ready for her car seat at just four months old – she was quite a big and chunky child so she comfortably fit in it with ease at this stage, plus I did my best to make her car seat as comfortable as possible.

However, my youngest was premature and tiny. She couldn’t comfortably fit in her car seat until around the 7-month mark. 

Remember it’s not necessarily that you’re waiting for a specific time period, but that your child is ready and big enough to settle comfortably and safely into the new seat. 

What To Look For When Moving A Baby To A Car Seat? 

From my personal experience with my children, the most important thing you’re looking for is that your child fits into the seat perfectly.

This means that you need to make sure that the car seat itself is the right fit. 

It is equally as dangerous for the car seat to be too big or too small for your little one. 

The next thing to consider is how your child sits in their seat. Can they sit up straight? Do they have a little wiggle room to move? Do they seem comfortable?

If the answer to the following questions is no, then it is likely that they are not quite ready for their seat yet. Or the seat is the wrong size. 

Finally, you’ll want to ensure that the seat is correctly installed.

For peace of mind, I always recommend getting a professional to fit it for you, though you can follow the instructions and do it yourself if you’d prefer. 

tan bassinet on a white blurred background.

What Are The Benefits Of Moving A Baby To A Seat? 

So, the most important benefit is that it is a lot safer for your baby, which I’m sure all you fellow parents will agree is the main priority.

Your little one is much less likely to get injured in a car accident if they are in a car seat as opposed to a bassinet. 

Secondly, it also tends to be a whole lot comfier for your child. And finally, it is also a whole lot easier in terms of transportation. 

How Do You Know When It’s Time To Make The Switch? 

As I have mentioned above, you’ll want to take the age of your child into consideration.

So, really you should start considering a car seat from around the age of 4 months. From there you’ll want to consider the size of your child. 

Generally, the smaller the child the longer they need to wait before the transition. You need to ensure that your little one fits into the seat comfortably with just enough space for a little wiggle room. 

If you’re not quite sure if your child is ready for the move, I would recommend speaking to your baby’s doctor who will be better able to distinguish if they are ready for the move. 

How Do You Make The Switch Without Causing Too Much Disruption For The Baby? 

While experts will tell you all about the benefits of the switch and when it’s best to do it, we mothers know things are rarely that simple.

My little ones hated any big changes and I had to always try and find ways to make transitions as seamless as possible. 

The first thing I would always do is make sure that I am as prepared as possible.

I would have the baby seat installed well before the transition was made and just had it there ready and waiting to go. I would then stagger the time spent in the new space.

So, I might sit them in the seat for just 5-10 minutes at first and then continue to keep them in it for longer periods of time as they got more comfortable and familiar with the space.

I would also do this while not driving the car before I started driving them around in the seat. 

I found this worked so well with my second child. I went all in with the first one and realized the mistake I had made.

And honestly, the difference between the smooth and drastic transition was huge. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Car Seat Stages?

You should use a rear-facing car seat from birth to around 12 months. From 1-3 years you should use a forward-facing seat, and from 4-7, you should use a booster seat. 

How Long Can A 3-Month-Old Baby Be In A Car Seat For? 

Healthcare professionals recommend leaving your little one in a car seat for no longer than 2 hours. If you are driving for longer periods of time, frequent breaks will be essential.  

Final Thoughts

Deciding to move your child to a car seat will be a very personal decision. There is no exact point in time when this has to be done.

It will completely depend on your child. But in general, you’re looking to make the transition between the ages of 4 and 6 months. 

You want your child to feel comfortable and fit in the seat safely.

And remember if you are particularly worried about making the wrong decision you can always speak to your child’s doctor for advice first. 

Just try not to put the transition off for too long because in the event of a car accident, your child is much safer in a car seat over a bassinet. 

Looking for other helpful parenting tips, check out our article on the differences of the bassinet vs cradle.

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