There’s a lot to do when preparing for a baby. From regular checkups to freeing up space for a dedicated nappy changing area in your home, most parents also have a long list of items to either buy or borrow for the impending arrival of the new, tiny family member. Besides a crib, a stroller, a big pack of diapers, and several sets of rompers, a child safety seat is usually among the most important pieces of equipment to acquire in preparation. But which car seat should you get for your newborn?
One question we regularly receive from new and expecting parents is whether they should start their family journey with Albert or Marie. Both seats are equally safe and suitable for newborns but offer different benefits. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer and the decision ultimately depends upon your individual needs. If this sounds rather complicated, don’t worry. Below we take a closer look at what each seat has to offer and leave you with four questions to help you make an informed decision.
*A little note before we dive in: In this article, we are specifically discussing the features of Swandoo’s Albert i-Size child seat and Swandoo’s Marie 3 i-Size car seat. However, most of the information given might also apply to other i-Size certified seats of the same categories.
Understanding the differences between Albert and Marie
Like with any significant purchasing decision, it’s important to get the facts first. Let’s take a look at the features of each seat and what makes them a great choice for you and your newborn.
For more help, we recommend checking out our top tips for choosing a car seat.
Generally, we recommend starting with an infant carrier, such as Albert, especially for preemies and very small babies. As the name suggests, infant carriers are specifically developed to cater to the needs of children in their first 18 months. It can typically be used from birth until your little one reaches about 85 cm in height before they need to switch to a toddler seat.
- Learn more about this transition with our guide to changing car seats.
An additional newborn pillow and the adjustable headrest ensure a perfect fit for your growing baby at every stage. Rear-facing only, Albert can be easily installed in the vehicle, using either the specific ISOFIX base or the vehicle’s seat belt. In both possible installations, it was named test winner at the European consumer tests – just saying! 😉
What makes Albert a great choice for parents with newborns is its mobility. Especially in the first few months, babies sleep between 14 to 17 hours a day – if you’re lucky! 😉 Thanks to Albert’s handle, easy installation and stroller compatibility, there’s no need to disrupt your little one’s precious nap after arriving at the destination. Offering a truly seamless travel experience, parents can simply lift the infant carrier out of the vehicle, carry it into the home and even attach it to one of many compatible strollers for a refreshing walk – all without having to wake their sleeping beauties.
Another option for your newborn is our rotating car seat, Marie. Suitable from birth to 105 cm, it can be used approximately for the first four years of your child’s life. In the vehicle, Marie is installed with the integrated ISOFIX system and can be used rear as well as forward-facing once your child reaches a certain age/size.
- Despite this option, we recommend having your child travel rear-facing for as long as possible. Learn more about why rear-facing child seats are safer on our blog.
Like Albert, Marie’s headrest can be adjusted to the height of your child, whilst the newborn pillow gives your little one an extra boost. In addition, there is also the option to get our Cuddle Wings to ensure an optimal fit for very small infants and preemies.
Whilst Marie’s number one benefit is definitely the long period of use – instead of two child seats you can get by with just one for the first few years of your child’s life, it lacks the mobility that Albert offers. Catering to such a large age group means that the seat is bigger, heavier, and is meant to stay installed in the vehicle.
Four questions to ask yourself
After having established the benefits of each seat, let’s now take a look at how these are relevant to your needs by answering the following questions.
How often will I travel with my newborn?
If your answer is ‘often’ or ‘almost every day’, then an infant carrier like Albert is the way to go. Ergonomically designed and perfectly adapted to the needs of an infant, parents can easily move Albert in and out of the vehicle to transport their little ones without having to wake your sleeping baby.
The same applies if you regularly switch between vehicles. Imagine you get a ride somewhere, but plan to return by taxi back or you head out for a walk with your little one and then need a lift back home.
If you rarely use your vehicle, and therefore Albert’s mobility is not your primary need, Marie might be the preferred choice considering the long period of use.
What are my travel plans?
If you plan on travelling with your baby, Albert is the preferred companion. Whether you need to rent a car at your destination or move around by taxi, Albert is easy to bring with you, ensuring your little one is safe wherever you will be driving.
Will I use the stroller adapters?
One of Albert’s benefits is that it can easily be attached onto a stroller thanks to its adapters. However, in case you already have a stroller system at home and don’t plan to use Albert on a stroller, it’s something you might want to take into consideration when making your decision between the two seats.
How big is my baby?
We understand that this is not something you can know before. In general, we recommend using Albert if your baby is very small or a preemie as it is best suited to the fragile needs of our very little ones. If you already decided to go with Marie, you might want to consider adding our Cuddle Wings to your seat.
Albert or Marie – which one is it gonna be? We hope this article was useful in helping you make your decision of which seat you should get for your newborn. If you still have questions, feel free to reach out to us or contact your local retailer to get to know Albert and Marie in person.