Baby Capsule or Car Seat?
Parenting March 1, 2019

Baby Capsule or Car Seat?

Selecting the best baby car seat for your child can be daunting. We’ve put together all the info you need on baby capsules & baby car seats

With a multitude of travel options at your disposal and a long list of strict Australian safety standards, parents find themselves easily confused by the type of travel system they need to purchase to ensure the absolute safety and comfort of their children.

Though at some point the choices may depend on the parents’ personal preferences, certain regulations need to be followed and the decision has to be made with the child’s age and physique in mind. Commonly parents’ choose a baby capsule for the first travel system they’ll use, and then when the baby is old enough, it is exchanged for a car seat.  

But let’s elaborate a bit more on this subject.

Baby Capsule

A baby capsule is deal for newborns and designed for use up to 6 months of age, or older, subject to their shoulder height. It is, without exception, installed in a rear-facing position.

All baby capsules consist of a stay-in-car base and a removable baby capsule. This makes it easy to remove the capsule from the car and for use as a carrier. Using adapters, the capsule can be snapped onto an approved stroller frame to be used as a pram.

You’ll hear many parents saying how practical baby capsules are, as they allow you to move your kids in and of out the car without interrupting their nap. Namely, it won’t take long for first-time parents to realise just how difficult it can be to get a baby to sleep at such an early age, and when they finally do - you don’t want anything disturbing the baby’s nap schedule.

Baby Car seat

Car seats are also perfect for newborns. A newborn car seat stays permanently in the car, unlike the capsule. A car seat is suitable from birth until the child is 4 years old; again subject to your child’s shoulder height.

Convertible car seats are designed to be both forward-facing and rear-facing. They can be used for children who outgrew their baby capsule, up until they are approximately 4 years old. Parents may prefer convertible car seats for their adaptability and cost-effectiveness since they can be readjusted as the child grows. Some parents choose a convertible car seat for their newborns instead of a baby capsule, installing it to be rear-facing. Once the child reaches a certain height, the car seat is readjusted to put a child in a forward-facing position. Maxi-Cosi recommends rearward facing for your baby’s first 12 months or longer. Depending on the brand and design, car seats convert from rearward facing to forward facing at approximately 6 months or 12 months or 30 months.

Important: According to Australian car seat laws, children 6 months or younger must be in a rear-facing position. This position is more comfortable for their necks and is safer in case of an accident. Only after they are 6 months or older can a parent consider transitioning them into a forward-facing position.

Forward facing car seats can be used after a capsule or after a convertible car seat; it is the secondary step for your child as they are not suitable for newborns.

Do I need a baby capsule?

Even though convertible car seats can serve the same purpose and can be utilised longer, a baby capsule comes with certain benefits that cannot be so easily disregarded.

First, as we already mentioned, they are quite practical because they are easy to remove from the car. As a child can never be left alone in the car, a parent can take the baby capsule with them, either as a carrier or transform it into a pram to run errands, catch up with friends at a coffee shop or simply get out of the house, without waking their baby. Convertible car seats stay in the car and cannot be used in the same manner.

For families with two cars, a practical solution is to place the capsule in the car used most often for the baby, and install the convertible car seat in the secondary car. That way both parents are ready to transport their newborn.

Second, purchasing both a baby capsule and a car seat will prove especially useful for parents who plan on having more children. As soon as your older one outgrows the capsule, you can transition them into a convertible car seat and have a free capsule for the newborn on the way.

Bottom line

The ultimate decision should be based on the Australian car seat laws, parents’ personal preferences, and child’s height. It’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of both types of travel systems, check out the Maxi-Cosi website, talk to their customer service team via chat and discover the most appropriate model to meet yours and your children's needs.