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Older cars and new car seats.

(33 Posts)
SarryB Fri 21-Sep-12 21:55:55

I'm just looking to update LO's carseat, as he is almost too long for the infant carrier we're currently using.

I'm confused! And a little concerned that the newer style of carseats won't fit our car. We have a Land Rover Discovery - it's quite old, about 15 years old. The seatbelts are quite short (it's a bit of a wrestle to get the infant carrier in!), and the back seats aren't flat like more modern cars, they slope quite a bit.

I don't have a huge amount of money to spend on a seat, maybe £100 if I really stretch our budget. I've been looking at the KiddiCouture Latitude seat from Kiddicare.

lagoonhaze Fri 21-Sep-12 21:59:42

how old is you LO? What weight is he. When you say hes too long - does he have any room left at the head end?

aimingtobeaperfectionist Fri 21-Sep-12 22:00:48

Could you take it to somewhere like mamas and papas and get them to try and fit one, show you how to do it and if it fits etc (think other places do this too) then find one on Internet that's cheaper? Save having to buy/return?

Does your car have long belt buckle strap(bit the main belt clips into)?
If so then somthing like the Britax First Class would be a good choice as it has an alternate rouiting to strap it in for cars with long belt clips.
This was the main problem a friend of ours had with their old car. Most modern seats wouldn't fit because of buckle crunch. The First Class was the only seat they could find to fit at the time.

SarryB Fri 21-Sep-12 22:14:33

He is 5 months old, his head is about 2 inches from the top of the seat - he's very close to outgrowing it! He's a skinny tall boy, just like his dad.

I can't really take the car anywhere to check one out - we live way out in the Highlands of Scotland, nearest 'baby' shop is 2.5 hours drive, and it's a shitty Mothercare.

I have to do the majority of shopping for baby things on the interwebs, it can be bloody hard at times!

sanityawol Fri 21-Sep-12 22:15:43

Britax have a Fit Finder on their website - I had similar problems with my older car. I'm not aware of any other manufacturers that have this.

Alternatively, do you have a Halfords or Mothercare that do seat fitting near you? It might be an idea to go to a store and you should be able to get them to keep trying seats until they find one that fits properly.

sanityawol Fri 21-Sep-12 22:21:27

X-posts.

Having worked in road safety a few years ago, please take notice of the weight and age criteria. They are there for a reason. I also have very tall children, it doesn't matter if their feet overhang. Providing his head is not over the top of the car seat then he will be fine in the infant carrier.

Rubirosa Fri 21-Sep-12 22:22:35

Most baby seats will fit a child up until at least 12 months (often 15-18 months) so you will have a while yet. The shorter seatbelt won't be so much of an issue once he can face forward at 12+ months.

SarryB Fri 21-Sep-12 22:24:13

His head is very nearly at the top - I really want to research/buy a car seat now, so it's ready to install as soon as we need it, as we are so far away from any shops etc.

SarryB Fri 21-Sep-12 22:27:26

I had to remove the newborn insert when he was 3 weeks old, and adjust the straps to the highest setting when he was 3 months. I really don't think he's going to last much longer in that one.

If he is only 5mths then he is far too young to be in a ff seat. Give the people at 'in car saftey centre' a ring (cant link now but google them). They are brilliant and may be able to sugest what would be best for you. It might be worth saving up and getting somthing like the Britax hiway or another ERF seat.

Which infant seat have you currently got? It doesn't matter that the head's nearly at the top, it's the weight and age that matter. IIRC they're ok length wise until the ears are over the top of the seat

Also, how much does he weigh?

sanityawol Fri 21-Sep-12 22:38:14

In that case, given that Kiddicare have an excellent delivery service and stock most major makes, you have plenty of time to choose the best carseat for you.

With the best will in the world, and I know that you are excited about your DS growing, it will take less than a week to get the next one delivered to your door. You're not going to wake up one morning and suddenly find he doesn't fit in his existing seat.

Moving up to the next size car seat is not a developmental milestone - for his safety, the longer you can leave him in the infant carrier, the better.

LemonBreeland Fri 21-Sep-12 22:39:40

You really need to keep him rear facing until at least 9 months as an absolute minimum. The baby carrier seats are safe until the top of their ears reaches the top of the seat.

I would highly recommend britax online for finding what fits your car. It is very helpful. Agree that short seatbelts are less of an issue then.

Rubirosa Fri 21-Sep-12 22:43:56

You can get Stage 0+1 seats that will face backwards til 13kg or so and then forwards - Kiddicare do some reclining ones that would work for a very young baby. Is it possible to get seatbelt extenders maybe?

LemonBreeland Fri 21-Sep-12 22:45:17

Just had a look on Britax, here are the results fo fit for your car. Britax

You can get the Eclipse from £79.99 online.

LemonBreeland Fri 21-Sep-12 22:46:13

Oops my link didn't totally work, but you can put in the deatails yourself.

RandomMess Fri 21-Sep-12 22:49:37

The babies eye level has to be level or below the back of the seat in the infant carriers so you have a while yet, it's perfectly fine for the top of their heads to go above.

Rear facing is far far safer than forward facing.

Britax and Maxi Cosi do on line finders to tell you what will fit in your car. Do you have a lap belt in the middle of the back seat. Some stage 1 car seats can use lap belt only.

Different kettle of fish but we have an ERF in our 17 year old car.

And the seatbelts are stupidly short. To the extent where anyone wearing clothing over a size 20-22 won't be having a very comfy ride. Its a common problem with older cars. NO harnessed HBB will fit in our car- we've tried them all!

Another problem is that the seatbelt stalks can be quite long. TBH you'll need to take the car with you when you're trying out carseats.

bonkersLFDT20 Fri 21-Sep-12 22:53:00

I really think you need to find the time to get to somewhere who fits car seats. It's very important. Your DS should be at least 20lb AND a year old before turning him FF (it's to do with the neck bones being soft).

There are places which check the fit of the seat is good. Halfords should be able to advise. Do a google for Road Safety Team in your area. Or ask your local police.

The next stage car seat will be used for a couple of years so you won't have to do it often.

bonkersLFDT20 Fri 21-Sep-12 22:55:10

Sorry, didn't read your post r.e. living in the highlands.

You might find the carseat you linked to hard to fit in your car- it has a very large, very wide flat base. It looks very much like a nania/teamtex seat- they tend to produce 'own makes' for pretty much all the major retailers out there.

We did have success with a First Class in our car, but fitting it using the seatbelt was a very tight squeeze and took the pair of us to do.

bonkersLFDT20 Fri 21-Sep-12 22:56:02

I thought infant carriers it was when top of head reaches top of seat for it to be outgrown and It was FF and some ERF seats where its ears/eyes at top of seat?

RandomMess Fri 21-Sep-12 23:10:50

Nope it's the top of ears/eye level, same for adults and their head rests.

Worst of all is no head rests in the rear of cars, instant broken neck...

Maybe its just Britax 0+ seats then as ive just looked and our (baby safe) definately says its outgrown when top of head is at top of seat or when they reach 13kg(whichever is first).

I was told it was this way as in an accident in a rf seat baby is pushed back and up slightly into the seat so if their head is poking over the top this risks head coming completely over and falling back therefore risking neck damage. But if head is below the top then it will remain protected.

RandomMess Fri 21-Sep-12 23:30:44

TBH so many people don't have their dc strapped in tightly enough or the car seat not in properly etc etc sad

As for the children I still see ROAMING around in the back of cars or sat on knees in the front sad

Sarry good luck with your hunt. I would recommend extended rear facing all the way or 2nd best is a FF seat with impact cushion.

5madthings Fri 21-Sep-12 23:33:27

Sorry but the eyes ears thing at the top if the seat us for ff car seats. in a first stage carseat once the top if their head is at the top of the back of the seat it is too small. this has been discussed on other threads.

But op.you say his head is two inches from the top so he has quite a bit of growing room yet smile as he grows in length his legs and body will be griwing so his body ie waist up is the bit that needs to grow by two inches before he will be too tall for the seat. it doesnt matter if his legs are long he will.find a comf position for them and he is too young to go ff.

5madthings Fri 21-Sep-12 23:35:33

myboots you are right its not just britax its all first stage seats for the reasons you explain. we had a maxi-cosi first stage and the instructions are the same as soon as their head is level with the top of the back if the seat it is too small.

5madthings Fri 21-Sep-12 23:38:15

random we stopped at traffic lights the other day. Three children in car next to us aged 3, 6 and 9 ish. No carseats! none had seatbelts on and the littlest one was standing up in the middle of the car between the front seats! I was sooo tempted to open my window and tell them what fucking idiots they were being!

What seat is it? Dd seemed to be outgrowing hers at 5mo then I realised that the back bit extended after some internet resewearch.

You can get rear facing upright seats around £200 but rf til 4yo

SarryB Sat 22-Sep-12 09:29:04

You're all so helpful! I do want to keep him rear-facing as long as possible, that's why I've been looking at ones that face both ways.

The car seat he's in at the moment is the seat from the Jane Solo travel system. I know that he's still got some growing room in it, but what with being so far away from shops or places that fit seats I need to do research on the net first, so I'm not totally frazzled by choice if we do manage to get somewhere to fit one!

I'm not sure how much he weighs at the moment, and to be honest, I assumed length was more important - the seat not being too 'short' for him. He doesn't weigh very much though, I think he's in the 25th centile for weight, but the 75th/90th for height.

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