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Questions for non-driving parents-to-be!

(24 Posts)
SallyMischievo Wed 27-Aug-14 21:04:20

We live in London and are expecting our first baby in December. We don't own a car, (I can't drive and DP is very rusty, having not been behind the wheel for five years). Due to baby's due date being close to Christmas, thus not wanting to rely on family and friends to be at our beck and call, we were planning to get taxis to and from hospital when I go into labour. However, I am starting to wonder how realistic this is. Will a taxi company agree to transport a woman who is potentially half-crazed with contractions and/or leaking waters?! Will we still need a car seat for the journey home or are taxis exempt from this requirement? And are there any other occasions where a car seat might be useful to have even though we don't drive?!
Lastly, any recommendations for a good lightweight pram for getting around London would be fab. Thank you!

Caitmous Wed 27-Aug-14 21:05:58

I think Addison Lee take labouring women. Seem to remember that from my pregnancy.

Caitmous Wed 27-Aug-14 21:07:41

Also, yes invest in a car seat for the baby, definitely. We used ours in taxis all the time, neither of us drive. They can attach to buggie systems too so you don't have to hulk them round once out of car.

squizita Wed 27-Aug-14 21:44:47

Some taxi firms have car seats for dropping home - ask your hospital MW for companies that do.

mrsgembles Wed 27-Aug-14 22:11:01

We called the cab companies in advance and asked if they'd take labouring women. Surprisingly few said yes! But yes, Addison Lee take labouring women.

My husband is going to push our baby home in his pram leaving hospital, as we live ten mins away. I'll be getting a cab!

Droflove Wed 27-Aug-14 22:13:34

We didn't have a car in London when baby arrived (in a snowstorm). Ring around local taxi companies and find out who is happy to take a woman in labour. My NCT teacher gave us a list from local experience but you could find out yourself by calling. Going home we used a black Hackney as you don't need a car seat. But check the law on that again. I know buggy strapped in is fine for sure in a Hackney.

LBNM19 Wed 27-Aug-14 23:06:44

Bugaboo bee is what I've gone for, very easy to put up and down etc. I do drive now but didn't when I had dc1 and we had a silver cross which was just a nightmare, id say defiantly get a carseat because if someone is picking you up dropping off etc you going to need it. X

Umbrelladilemma Wed 27-Aug-14 23:09:38

Agree with the bugaboo bee recommendation.

And yes, if you get a black cab home from the hospital you can just wheel your pram into it, no need for a car seat.

StripyBanana Wed 27-Aug-14 23:21:10

We called the local taxi xompany we often used to.check they'd take me in labour. We also had some inco pads (hospitals use them, can be bought in supermarkets for children who wet the bed) and I kept one with me in case I did need a taxi jn labour!

We took the carseat in with us. Taxi home with baby was one of the.most memorable trips. Driver had little english but was honoured to be driving and took us the quieter back route and reasonabky slowly (same charge).

We did ring and when ordering the can said there would be a 2 day old baby and our own car seat so they knew!

Do do do do practice with the car seat.

we found we didnt use it often but it was useful when hiring a car to holiday or visit family or if friends gave us a lift.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Thu 28-Aug-14 01:48:56

I have a Bugaboo bee, it's a great pram for living in London. Compact and light weight. Easy to fold.

Black cab you can just push the pram in. Otherwise you'll need a car seat yes. It might be handy to have one anyway.

Taxi companies do take labouring women, we had DS at St Thomas' and they told us numbers of taxi companies that did, so phone around.

splendide Thu 28-Aug-14 06:26:27

I'm planning to take a cab in and have DH walk back with the pram. My friends just called a cab when she was in labour and didnt tell them that she was. I don't think to be tricky they just didn't think they needed to know. Was obvious once they were on the way but nobody is going to kick you out at that stage!

rockstars12 Thu 28-Aug-14 08:04:43

Hi, we live in london and have had this debate as well. We decided to buy carseats in the end, just so we could use them in taxis if required. I had heard some hospitals won't let you leave with them unless you're getting them home properly and securely. We figured if we had to travel anywhere or if we went to see my parents etc we would need them.
I know black cabs you are meant to be able to just push your buggy in, but as safe as that driver can be, you still have other idiots on the road, I just don't feel too comfortable with them in a buggy. I'd rather call a taxi company where we can use our own car seats in, as many don't supply them.
Unless you need it to fit a travel system, you can get approved car seats for a reasonable price, there are always deals on.

JennyBlueWren Thu 28-Aug-14 09:48:48

We're also non-drivers (but I'm meant to be learning). Will probably get a taxi into hospital (although some friends have offered but they don't live that close) unless I'm late enough for my parents to be up. On way home we might have friends, in-laws or possibly my parents otherwise it'll be a taxi again. Was considering the bus for it too with baby in pram. I get that bus home from work and sometimes see newborns onboard.

Will be getting a car seat -trying to find one that's fairly universal but which will definitely fit in-laws' car as we visit them a fair bit.

nomdemere Thu 28-Aug-14 09:55:12

Black cabs have a safety belt designed for wheelchairs that goes round the back wheels and holds the pushchair secure. I have used them many times for pushchairs and prams - you can ask the driver to help you. Also put the brake on the pram! Baby quite secure then.

For the taxi on the way to hospital - take a big plastic bag and some old towels to sit on (I did this in our car) - a maternity pad or similar is also a good idea.

All the talk about hospitals not letting you leave without a car seat is bunkum. There is no way a hospital can refuse to let you leave on those grounds. What are they going to do - physically bar your way?

CathyNoodles Thu 28-Aug-14 10:01:28

Yes we rang around and checked who would take us - ended up with a lovely response from a father and son team who ran a little local taxi firm, who gave us their mobile numbers and said call any time, day or night....!

We got a brand new car seat last time, which we sold on after using it only a handful of times. This time I am trying to find a 2nd hand one (usually £20 or less on gumtree), as we will again not use it much. I have found it fine doing without a car, but family and friends who drive think we're mad... I guess you don't miss what you never had, and we save lots of money not running a car!

Pobblewhohasnotoes Thu 28-Aug-14 11:02:45

I can't imagine getting a bus home after giving birth. Sitting down in a car is uncomfortable enough. Plus I could barely walk!

SallyMischievo Thu 28-Aug-14 13:47:41

Many thanks to all who have replied and for the fab advice. Feeling much happier now and will make it my mission to have a transport-related plan in place! x

StripyBanana Thu 28-Aug-14 14:34:56

We actually had a cheaper argos one initially as it was far easier to move fromcar to.car. we weren't using it for many journeys in the 9 months it was going to last so it was more important it went in and out of cars easily (obviously it met safety standards!). This time we have a chunky maxi cosi as we have a car but its pointless for one that will be moved a lot!

Siarie Thu 28-Aug-14 14:38:29

Me and DH were talking about this over the weekend, we do drive but hospital parking is a pain. So like others have suggested if you ring around you will find some taxi companies do take pregnant women in labour.

Just make a few calls and get things arranged so you know who to call when the time comes.

PilauMice Thu 28-Aug-14 20:59:15

We used a local mini cab firm and had a few other numbers to try if they were busy.Make sure you have oodles of cash, you may be back and forth to the hospital a few times.

We bought a car seat because we thought we would use it occasionally, which we did. We had a few emegency hospital/OOH doc visits in DS's early months and late at night it was really useful to have.

BlazeofLight Thu 28-Aug-14 21:20:27

I am in Central London and took a black cab in the middle of the night to hospital (thank goodness for Hailo!). Driver was lovely, and it wasn't the first time he had driven a labouring woman to hospital. I think all black cab will take you.

We took a taxi home too, with the baby in a car seat.

CurlsLDN Thu 28-Aug-14 21:58:39

I also live in London and don't drive. We got a taxi home and I was terrified! Suddenly all the other drivers seemed v scary, I was glad to have baby safely in a carseat that would properly support his neck and spine in case of an accident, not lying loose in his pram.
Since ds was born 4 months ago I've made friends with other mums who've offered us a lift to baby screenings at the cinema or coffee dates at people's houses that aren't near the bus route. We've also travelled to visit and stay with my family, who drove us around for the days we were down there, got taxis to the hospital (once for ds, twice for me) and got taxis to a wedding. Even as a non driver I feel I've got really good use from the carseat, and would have struggled without it

tomanyanimals Fri 29-Aug-14 09:14:12

My hospital would not let me leave unless we were going to take him in a car seat or pram they said it is due to health and safety as too many people were just getting in a car holding them

cantseemtohaveitall Fri 29-Aug-14 09:24:54

We're in London with no car and I got a black cab and sat on lots of towels whilst I was labouring ( my waters had broken and were leaking everywhere!) cab driver was careful as well as trying to be quick!
Definitely get a car seat though - our hospital wouldn't actually let you take your baby out without one - and you'll need it for future taxi journeys and going in other people's cars etc (we have them as we also quite often use hire cars these days for one-off trips)
And also recommend Bugaboo Bee as best pram for London - v light, nippy and narrow for getting on and off buses!

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