If you're expecting twins, or there's a possibility of having a prematurely born baby, you need to prepare.
Smaller babies need special care and specifically designed equipment that won't compromise their safety.
Today, we're discussing the best twin car seats for preemies, with a focus on safety features they need to have.
Table of Contents
- The Best Budget-Friendly Infant Car Seats for Preemies & Twins
- Best Premium Infant Car Seats for Twins & Preemies - Top 4 Picks
- Buyer's Guide
- Are there preemie car seats?
- Do preemies need a special car seat?
- What is a car seat test for preemies?
- What happens if preemie fails car seat test?
- Can I put an insert in an infant car seat for preemies?
- Are there car seats for twins?
- How many car seats do twins need?
- Where do you put twin car seats?
- How to carry twin car seats?
- What are the best twin strollers with two car seats?
- What is the best convertible car seat for preemies?
- What is the smallest baby car seat?
- What car seats are compatible with BumbleRide Indie Twin?
- What car seats are compatible with Bugaboo Donkey Twin?
- Is Nuna PIPA good for preemies?
- How do you put a preemie in a car seat?
- How long should a premature baby be in a car seat?
- When can you travel with a premature baby?
- How do you fly with twin babies?
- So, The Best Infant Car Seat for Twins & Preemies Is...?
- Final Thoughts
$ — LiteMax 35 Infant Car Seat ~ 8.17lbs - This is one of the lightest budget-friendly seats that have actually been tested for prematurely born babies. It exceeds safety standards and has the best adjustability among seats in this range. However, the overall quality could be slightly better.
$ — Safety 1st Onboard 35 LT ~ 14.99 lbs - This is one reliable budget-friendly infant car seat that's very lightweight and convenient for carrying. It has a special cooling technology that prevents overheating. But the parents think the base is not sturdy enough.
$$ — Chicco Keyfit Infant Car Seat ~ 17.15 pounds - Chicco KeyFit is one of the most popular infant car seats on the market. It's well built, quite durable, and includes necessary infant inserts for proper support. It doesn't have a no-rethread harness, though.
$$ — Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 Elite ~ 18.80 lbs - When it comes to Graco's car seats, they are known for advanced technology and practical features. This seat is super-easy to install and adjust, so your baby always sits perfectly in a rear-facing position. However, it needs a redesign of the canopy.
Read more —
The Best Budget-Friendly Infant Car Seats for Preemies & Twins
When looking for reliable budget-friendly solutions, Evenflo stores should always be your first choice.
I have never seen better quality for the price than in products this brand delivers, and since they've been on the market for 100 years, they genuinely exceed the standards and meet customer expectations.
The first reason why LiteMax 35 is one of the most popular choices for the twins is the convenience of use.
The car seat is one of the lightest on the market, and it's incredibly simple to carry and install.
Another important detail is the cushioning.
I love that Evenflo tested this seat for prematurely born babies. So even if your twins are slightly below four pounds, you can safely use it. How?
There are four main adjustments you can make to adapt the seat for a small baby.
First, you need to add the infant insert, adjust the harness between three optional positions, adjust the buckle position and the hip position.
Since most people haven't heard about hip adjustments, here's a screenshot of the harness slots that control where the hips will be in the seat.
Finally, an ergonomic handle, belt lock-off, and full-coverage canopy are also nice additions that prove how a budget-friendly seat can have a high-end feel.
And it's approved for airplane use.
- incredibly light
- Ergonomic handle
- General convenience of use
- FDA approved
- Not the highest quality you can find
This model is pretty similar to the Evenflo LiteMax, and no wonder since Safety 1st is in the same price range as Evenflo and targets the same consumer group.
This car seat is 18 inches wide, which is pretty narrow for an infant car seat since they are usually bulky and cumbersome.
It's genuinely lightweight too, which is integral for newborns since we need to carry them around all the time, and with two around, you need the lightest there are.
Now, it has four handle positions, so you can adjust it to stand on its own when you're not using a base.
And there are four different harness slots to allow the seat to grow with your babies.
I like that this seat is also well-cushioned with thick infant inserts and solid side-impact protection. The energy-absorbing materials provide exceptional safety and keep your baby cozy at all times.
One extraordinary feature of this seat is the comfort cool technology that keeps your children comfortable and prevents overheating.
Now, it's debatable whether this technology really works because I've seen parents taking different sides on this issue. But it can't do wonders if your baby has naturally high body temperature.
Parents are rather satisfied with the ease of installation, and most find the seat decently sturdy and not at all flimsy.
The base is where Safety 1st could do some restructuring, though. I've seen a few complaints about the compatibility and sturdiness of the base.
- Easy to install
- The base is not very sturdy
I wouldn't say this Chicco model is really budget-friendly, more like middle-range, but it's definitely one of the best-built infant seats you can get.
With Chicco, you always get advanced engineering and high quality that lasts. That being said, let's look into this model more closely.
The first thing parents are thrilled with is the ease of installation.
Chicco KeyFit 30 includes the SuperCinch LATCH system and spring-assisted level foot. Therefore it takes minutes to find the perfect position and secure the seat properly.
And, given that it includes a bubble indicator, you know when the seat is installed at the right angle.
As for the harness, it features four harness slots and the Center-Pull adjustment system for simple modifications. But, the harness does require rethreading, so it's not really effortless.
The seat is incredibly compact and pretty narrow, measuring only 17 inches in width. Most parents on the go swear by this model because of its lightweight yet sturdy structure.
It's also super cozy with high-grade side impact protection. And, it's compatible with Chicco strollers, so it's a great all-in-one seat.
The only drawback is the weight limit of 30 pounds since most other car seats go at least to 35.
- Advanced engineering
- Weight limit
- Rethreading harness
This Graco model is another infant car seat that you most definitely heard about. It's well designed, practical, and durable, so it does deserve a few words.
From installation to carrying, this rear-facing infant seat is all about simplicity.
It features an In-Right LATCH system and SnugLock technology that break down the installation into three simple steps.
Next off, unlike the previous model, this infant seat has a no-rethread harness. In fact, the harness and the headrest can be adjusted together, so it's very intuitive to adapt the seat as your baby grows.
On the other hand, it's well designed for newborns too. It includes thick padding inserts for newborns and SafetyCore that absorbs crash forces, keeping your newborn intact.
Measuring only 18.5 inches in width, this compact seat fits smaller cars.
Parents are genuinely satisfied with the quality and sturdiness, but it's not the lightest option on the market. Still, I don't think it's heavy compared to similar rear-facing infant seats.
There are four recline positions and a bubble indicator that helps you find a perfect angle.
Also, the canopy offers full coverage, but it gets stuck in the handle, which many parents find annoying.
- Easy to set up
- No-rethread harness
- Canopy flaw
- Could be lighter
$$ — Britax B-Safe Ultra ~ 11 lbs - With this seat, you definitely get the best quality for the price. It's the only car seat that has premium car seat features at a mid-range price. It's ultra-safe, easy to install, and adaptable. The only thing that parents don't like is the weight.
$$$ — UPPAbaby MESA ~ 23.5 lbs - This model needs no introduction; you've all heard about it. It's one of the best models in the high range, and it is specially designed for preemies. Adjustable design, thick inserts, and safety features are some of the advantages it offers. But, some babies get hot in it.
$$$$ — Clek Liing Infant Car Seat ~ 27 lbs - What makes this pricey model unique is advanced engineering. It includes a special rigid latch system that makes it more stable than other car seats, thick padding, and an easily adjustable design. Nonetheless, it's very expensive for a non-convertible seat.
$$$ — Primo Viaggio 4/35 ~ 21 lbs - This is one fashionable and ultra-safe infant car seat for twins. It's very narrow, so you can fit two across. And, it includes a practical design with an adjustable structure; you can even adjust the headrest with a baby inside. It's slightly heavy, though.
Best Premium Infant Car Seats for Twins & Preemies - Top 4 Picks
When it comes to our high-end offer, we're starting off with one classic from Britax -the B-Safe Ultra model. It's an upgrade of the all-familiar Britax B-Safe, so it's definitely worth the attention.
With so many car seats in play, I tend to base my decision on safety. And let me assure you, this is one of the safest car seats I've seen.
It has a heavy-duty impact-stabilizing steel frame, double side impact protection, and Safe-Cell impact-absorbing base.
In comparison to the original Britax B-Safe, this model has two more harness slots, so six in total, a no-rethread harness, and a practical flip-forward belly pad that makes buckling ultra-effortless.
Now, given the weight of the seat, you might think this is not the best option for a family on the go.
However, since it includes European belt guides, you can safely install it without the base and reduce the weight of the car set you need to bring along.
Also, the seat measures only 17.5 inches in width, so you can definitely fit two on the rear seat for your twins, and the ergonomic handle makes carrying pretty convenient.
What makes it my favorite car seat are the customizable options, like the fabrics. You can choose mesh fabric for a cooling effect or a softer fabric for a better feel on the skin.
As for the negative comments, customers are disappointed with the weight and comfort they got for the price.
- Six harness slots
- Customizable fabrics
- A bit heavy
When we're talking about high-end seats, mentioning UPPAbaby Mesa comes naturally. I can't even name how many times I've seen this car seat online; it's a staple of the industry, and for a reason.
Now, before we dive in, if you're looking for a lightweight design, keep scrolling; this is not the model for you.
But it compensates for the slightly heavier design with a load of practical features. For example, it comes with a low-profile base with smooth bottom for less damage to your car.
What is more, installation takes no more than a few minutes due to tightness indicators, self-retracting LATCH connectors, and level indicators.
The seat comes with thick infant inserts, specially designed for preemies and twin babies. And since you can move the harness and the headrest, a secure but comfy fit is guaranteed.
This model is packed with side protection, and the headrest includes EPS foam for additional safety in case of collision.
The best of all? You can use it with UPPAbaby strollers to make a perfect travel system.
The only complaint I've seen more than once is about children getting hot in the seat, which causes them to sweat excessively.
- Incredibly safe
- Infant inserts for preemies
- Travel system
- Baby gets hot
Here we have an example of high fashion combined with smart engineering to provide the best durability and top safety. That's all the innovative Clek Liing Infant car seat.
This rear-facing seat is definitely more expensive than other infant car seats we reviewed, but there are different prices based on the fabrics used.
However, whichever fabric you select, you can be assured there will be no fire retardants and harmful chemicals in it.
Now, one of the unique safety features this model has is a load leg. It stabilizes the seat and reduces the chances of head injury by 50%.
Also, the rigid metal LATCH is more secure and durable than the plastic ones most infant car seats have.
What is more, this seat includes a space-saving design, measuring only 16.9 inches in width, so you can easily fit three across, which is perfect for families with twins.
The seat is lined with infant inserts for extra cushioning and a better fit, and there's a two-piece energy-absorbing shell for the best impact protection.
Without the base, this seat weighs 9lb, and it can be installed with a seatbelt only. So, it's great for carrying.
Plus, although Clek doesn't have strollers of its own, this car seat is compatible with other brands.
There are no negative reviews yet, and no surprise since this seat is genuinely fantastic in quality and design, so I do recommend them for preemies.
- High fashion
- Advanced engineering
- Load leg for more safety
- Upgraded side protection
- Infant inserts
Italian fashion has never failed us, and this Peg Perego car seat is certainly proof of that. It's one stylish yet super-safe infant car seat model that's been very popular for years.
So, the first feature that makes this seat great for twins is its narrow design. The seat measures 17 inches at its widest point, so fitting two in your car won't be a problem.
Next, it includes a unique two-stage cushioning that enables the seat to conform to your babies as they grow up. And since it's packed with padding, small babies are safely nested too.
One exquisite feature it offers is adjustable side protection.
You can modify it between six positions to achieve a perfect shield as your baby grows and provide maximum protection at all times. Safety is also ensured with EPS foam lining throughout the entire shell.
Also, the base features a load leg for more stability and an anti-rebound bar at the back for bullet-proof installation.
You can also install it with no base since it has European belt guides, and a handle can be transformed into an anti-rebound bar in this situation.
One super-practical feature that parents love is that you can adjust the headrest while the baby is in the seat.
As for the negative comments, a few customers complained about the headrest not properly supporting the head of their newborn. But, we don't know how small their baby is, so I wouldn't judge it by this.
- Easy to adjust
- Adjustable side protection
- Slightly heavy
Prematurely born babies demand a special car seat design that conforms to their bodies and provides essential safety.
For that reason, you cannot choose just any car seat model, even if the car seat is tested and proven safe.
Instead, you need to look at the models that are tested for prematurely born babies too, or have a really low weight limit.
Why? Take a look at this demonstration on a preemie doll.
This is a car seat that has the lowest harness slot at 8 inches.
You can see, the harness stands at the level of the baby's ears, thus leaving a lot of space for the baby's shoulders and neck to move. This can lead to injuries.
Instead, the harness needs to be at the level of the baby's shoulders or lower to provide a tight fit and genuinely protect your baby.
This will basically be somewhere around 5 or 6 inches, which you can see in the example of this Chicco seat HERE.
Also, the chest clip needs to be at the armpit level, not the stomach, because it could interfere with your baby's breathing.
So, Tip No 1: Buy a Car Seat With Adjustable Harness Height Positions, With the Lowest Slot Placed at 6 Inches.
The following important detail is to make sure your baby is nicely nested in the car seat.
You especially want to have proper support in the neck area, as you can see in the picture below.
This woman demonstrated it with towels, but I do not recommend improvising anything.
Instead, you can buy a car seat with infant inserts, like UPPAbaby Mesa.
So, Tip No 2: Buy a Car Seat With Infant Inserts That Support Your Baby's Neck.
Next, extra safety features are never too much.
Additions like a steel anti-rebound bar or load bar genuinely help your baby ride safely, with more stability, and reduce chances for injuries by even 50%.
If you're installing the seat with the vehicle's seat belt, make sure to choose seats that have a handlebar that can act as an anti-rebound bar for more stability.
So, Tip No 3: Look for Additional Safety Features.
Now, lightweight car seats are more portable and practical for newborns since we tend to carry them around everywhere.
However, if your car seat has a steel-reinforced frame, which is the toughest, it's more likely to weigh a lot.
My advice here is not to focus on weight but width and choose narrow seats, 17 or 18 inches wide, that fit compact cars and allow you to fit two across.
So, Tip No 4: Choose Narrow Seats Around 17 or 18 Inches Wide.
Finally, great car seats stand out with many small additions like removable covers you can wash in a washing machine, an upgraded latch system that's easy to install, an oversized canopy, etc.
And while I'm always open to new features, I advise you to say yes to innovation, don't forget about the basics, and focus on safety.
Are there preemie car seats?
The market is pretty versatile and advanced today, so there are car seats specifically designed for preemies.
Because premature babies are so specific, for example, they are much smaller and weigh less than other babies, a car seat specially designed for them is usually packed with padding, inserts and has special harness slots.
Do preemies need a special car seat?
Preemies don't necessarily need a special car seat as every hospital won't discharge them before they have reached 5 pounds.
However, you will need a highly adjustable car seat for a prematurely born baby. Often, they need particular elevated positions that ease their breathing.
What is a car seat test for preemies?
A car seat test is usually done a week before you are about to be discharged from the hospital. You will need to bring in your car seat while the nurse monitors the baby's heart rate, breathing, and oxygen level.
The car seat test is usually done within 120 minutes in the car seat.
What happens if preemie fails car seat test?
If a preemie fails a car seat test, the hospital may perform the test again. Additionally, the hospital will advise you to get a car bed if the seat is not a suitable option.
Your doctor may even perform some home tests that monitor the baby's breathing and oxygen levels.
Can I put an insert in an infant car seat for preemies?
Yes, you can. The infant inserts are designed to offer the smaller babies comfort while supporting them in all areas.
It would be best to pick a car seat that already includes body inserts for infants.
Are there car seats for twins?
Yes. There are car seats tested for prematurely born babies and twins.
Basically, these seats include a thick seat pad and more harness slots for adjustable harness height.
They usually include more recline positions, so you can find an ideal angle for your precious little one.
But in these situations, I don't advise you to save money on convertibles but choose a proper rear-facing car seat.
How many car seats do twins need?
You definitely need two. And not just any car seats, but special models tested for prematurely born babies and babies below 4 pounds.
You also need to buy a twin stroller that has both seats with the same minimum weight and avoid double strollers with one infant seat and one toddler seat.
Inadequate stroller configuration can be dangerous because it doesn't provide adequate support.
Where do you put twin car seats?
Like any other car seat, the best position for twin car seats is in the back seat, with both left-side and right-side being equally appropriate and safe, as there is no difference in terms of safety according to highway safety reports.
You cannot install one car seat in the front seat; this is forbidden and not safe, so make sure you follow the regulations.
How to carry twin car seats?
It can often be a challenge carrying twins from the car to the house and vice versa.
A much easier method is putting your hand through the handle and wrapping it around the adjustment lever.
Do the same with the other car seat, and you should be able to carry them effortlessly!
What are the best twin strollers with two car seats?
The best twin stroller with two car seats is Contours V2 Options Elite. This double stroller is perfect for toddlers and infants as it accommodates two infant car seats.
Thanks to all the adjustable and extendable features, both the twins and the parent in charge will find the stroller comfortable and manageable to handle!
What is the best convertible car seat for preemies?
One of the best convertible car seats for preemies is the Graco Extend2Fit.
The Graco car seat has a low weight limit of 4 pounds and includes body inserts that make the infants feel supported and comfortable.
Additionally, the car seat can be converted into a forward-facing position which can be used for up to 65 pounds.
What is the smallest baby car seat?
One of the smallest baby car seats is the Graco SnugRide 35. The car seat is perfect for smaller babies and small cars! Its dimensions fit perfectly into any vehicle.
Additionally, Graco is known for its fantastic set of safety features and excellent quality.
What car seats are compatible with BumbleRide Indie Twin?
The Bumbleride Indie Twin is compatible with the following car seats: Nuna Pipa Lite, Lite R, Lite RX, Lite LX (with the set of two adapters), Cybex Aton (with two adapters), Clek Liing (with two adapters), Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30, Mico Max Plus, Mico AP and Mico.
What car seats are compatible with Bugaboo Donkey Twin?
Bugaboo Donkey Twin is compatible with Chicco KeyFit and KeyFit 30 (with twin adapter), Clek Liing (with twin adapter), Bugaboo Turtle One (with twin adapter), Maxi-Cosi Mico Max Plus, 30, Mico AP, Mico NTX (with adapter), Nuna Pipa Lite, Lite RX, Lite R, Lite LX (with adapter), Cybex Aton & Cloud (with adapter).
Is Nuna PIPA good for preemies?
Nuna PIPA is an excellent choice for premature babies, as it's a high-end model, incredibly safe, with versatile features and an adjustable design.
It is lightweight and quite easy to install.
They are also one of the few seats that have a "European belt path," which makes it easy to install without a base into airplanes or taxis.
And they are excellent to pair with a double stroller such as UPAbaby Vista.
How do you put a preemie in a car seat?
For starters, you will need to adjust the shoulder straps.
Many shoulder straps are not set below the shoulders of a prematurely born baby but do your best to adjust it that way.
Make sure the crotch buckle is tight and supports the baby. In this way, you will prevent slouching.
How long should a premature baby be in a car seat?
The car seat manufacturers advise that the safe duration for the babies varies from 20 minutes to 2 hours, but when it comes to premature babies, they should not be in the car for more than 90 minutes.
After that, you should take them completely out of the seat so they can get some rest.
When can you travel with a premature baby?
Whether you can travel with a premature baby or not will depend on its medical condition. Furthermore, you must consider the means of transportation.
For instance, airplane rides are allowed, but they increase the risk of respiratory infections.
For this reason, it's best to consult your doctor when it is safe to travel with a premature baby.
How do you fly with twin babies?
We advise you to call the airline and check the seating chart as you will have the advantage as a parent flying with twin babies.
Almost all airlines allow babies under the age of two to travel as lap babies.
However, only one child should be in your lap, which means you will need a separate car seat for the other one. You can also require two bassinets for the twins.
So, The Best Infant Car Seat for Twins & Preemies Is...?
To conclude, the best infant car seat for twins & preemies in my mind is the LiteMax 35 Infant Car Seat.
It's not too pricey, yet it has actually been tested for preemies.
It has many harness slots and an adjustable design, so it's super-easy to find the best position for your little one.
- GOOD TO GROW: Accommodates babies weighing 4 – 35 lb and adapts as they grow with 4 shoulder harness positions
- MANUEVER WITH EASE: Features an extremely lightweight design that makes it easy to pick up, carry, and go about your day
- TAKE THE PRESSURE OFF: Ergonomic handle makes it more comfortable to carry the car seat in the bend of the arm
- PROTECT YOUR CARGO: Full coverage canopy shields your little one from the sun, wind and rain
- LOCK IN, BREATHE EASIER: Easy-to-install base is equipped with a vehicle belt lock-off to ensure a quick, secure installation
If you're a novel twin parent, I hope this article helped you get a grip on the philosophy of proper baby equipment selection.
I'm sure you'll buy multiple car seats until your babies are ready for the car's seat belt, but this is a nice place to start.
As they get older, you can get a forward-facing car seat or their first convertible car seat and even buy a belt-positioning booster seat when the time comes.
In the end, these things can be overwhelming, but the point is simple: keep them safe, and follow the regulations for a safe ride.