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Will I regret not getting a carseat that goes with my pram?

(42 Posts)
ananikifo Tue 07-May-13 21:01:33

DH and I bought a Mamas and Papas Sola in the Boots bank holiday sale. We are now debating whether we need a compatible carseat. I was quite convinced that we didn't, which is why I was happy to buy pram by itself, but now DH isn't sure and I'm wondering whether he's right.

I don't drive, so baby will not use the car seat very much during my mat leave, maybe 2-3 car trips per week, maximum. I would like to use a wrap-style carrier/sling as much as possible and would prefer it for a short walk or an hour during Sunday church services. I'm also conscious that infants shouldn't be in car seats for more than an hour.

DH does drive, and likes the idea of a travel system so we don't have to take the pram seat in the car when we go on trips. He points out that everyone else seems to leave their babies in carseats and none of their babies have been harmed that we know of.

The carseats that fit into the sola are on the expensive side but I'm wondering whether we will regret buying a cheap one instead. Obviously the sales associate at Mamas and Papas has worked her magic on me because I'm starting to doubt my original plan not to worry about having a travel system.

I would really appreciate some advice from more experienced parents. We're first-timers dealing in hypotheticals at the moment!

trixymalixy Thu 09-May-13 22:26:09

Agree it depends on your lifestyle. I live semi rurally so drive a lot. I used the clip in car seat option a lot.

My neighbour didn't get a travel system compatible with her car seat and majorly regretted it.

Tiggywunkle Thu 09-May-13 22:22:40

It depends on your lifestyle TBH. I couldnt live without a travel system with a car seat option. We drive a lot eg to the doctors, run in and run out again and move onto the next place, run in and run out again etc. The baby wouldnt necessarily be in the car seat the whole time, but having the option of the seat on the chassis was an essential for us. Our carrycot got used a small handful of times.

HOWEVER I ABSOLUTELY HATE seeing babies in car seats in shopping centres which have baskets stuffed full of different carrier bags indicating they have clearly been in the car seat for some time. Even worse is seeing them at a farm or an all day outing!!

If you are doing more than simply running in and out of somewhere ie will be out for say 15 mins or more, then the baby needs transferring to a lie flat pushchair.

Remember a first stage car seat lasts longer than you think. My 2 year old was still under the weight limit for a first stage car seat. He's nearly 3 now and I think is now just over the weight limit of most - but I know he's still under it for others! Height wise he is fine and he would just his feet in. People move babies FAR TOO SOON from an infant car seat into the next stage. It is far safer to rear face an infant until they really are at the maximum height / weight for the first stage car seat than hurry them into the next stage one.

Just to add - all car seats are not the same. I wouldn't be buying an M&P car seat - the lighter the seat to start with, the better. Most of the M&P ones are extremely heavy and very upright for a baby. I think most of my NCT class had one and slowly one by one they all swapped to a Maxi Cosi one.

3MonthMaid Wed 08-May-13 14:00:20

I did use mine a lot. I don't have a car either but I liked that sometimes if I knew I might take a taxi I would put DD in the car seat on the chassis. I have to say, this was before I was aware of the rules and risks of babies in car seats.

Though it clearly hasn't done her any harm!

As far as I know you can use the Maxi Cosi cabriofix with the M&P prams with the cybex Aton connectors.

TheDetective Wed 08-May-13 13:01:54

I wouldn't be without mine. He hated the carry cot - it got used 3 times in the end. He was too young to go in the main pram seat, so the car seat was our only real option other than shelling out for a new pushchair.

Plus I drive, and when I go out I will often drive to different places and be in and out the car.

He would definitely wake when you transferred him from car seat to pram.

The biggest regret I have is not getting a car seat that you can buy a base to clip it in and out of!

With DC1 I would have been fine with just a pushchair, as I didn't drive. However even on a bus, I felt safer with him in the car seat, as he was strapped in, where as a carry cot doesn't have straps. And when I had to fold the pushchair on the bus it was no problem as I could lift the car seat off and fold the frame. Not worrying about how to manage bags/baby/pram without surgically attaching a 3rd arm to myself.

However, you manage whatever you chose I guess. I just personally prefer it. Especially as most of our trips are short, so he was never in it for long times. but long enough that if he was asleep he could finish his nap without being disturbed.

ananikifo Wed 08-May-13 12:29:37

Thanks everyone. Lots of food for thought. We're thinking we might go back to my original plan of a 0-4 years car seat that stays in the car.

Gingerbreadlatte Wed 08-May-13 08:15:05

It really depends on the baby. IMO.

If I had a chilled newborn who went to sleep anywhere and easily I'd say don't bother.

I had one for DD2 (from DD1) and after bad back /SPD issues was sure it wasn't going to be removed from the car. I would use the sling/ pram bit etc.

Ha ha , then My DD2 turned out to be very anti sleep preferring screaming as her main occupation !

So if she did go to sleep I left her in the car seat for a short time e.g trip round sainburys. If I'd transferred her she would have woken and been more tired and screamy. It saved my sanity on the bad days ( kind of anyway)

What seat will you get for the car if you don't get a compatible one?

Ps - my dd1 could still safely use her stage 0 seat at 14 months and she wasn't tiny at all! So they don't all grow out of them fast. Dd2 is a different story though!

EauRouge Wed 08-May-13 07:41:59

I wouldn't miss it. I only used mine twice, I think- heavy and a total pain in the arse. Car seats are meant for car travel, it's bad for babies to be in them too much. I used a pram or sling.

Khaleese Wed 08-May-13 07:37:14

Sorry forgot, i'd buy a maclaren lie flat from the begining of i did it all again.

Every one ends up with a maclaren!

Khaleese Wed 08-May-13 07:35:03

I'm with signora, a good sling all the way.

Car seats are not that good for baby sleeping, if you have a lie flat carry cot just move baby into that.

My physio was very against car seats, the lifting with a DC is so bad for you. She did rate my sling highly though. ( close)

MiaowTheCat Wed 08-May-13 07:19:14

Both times I've insisted I must have one - both times I've got pissed off with the accompanying pushchair within 2 months of giving birth and ended up with a car seat that doesn't clip on.

The carry-type carseats irritate the shit out of me to be honest - I don't know how these women manage to trot along carrying it like it's a handbag or something - I'm there with my arm being pulled out of its sockets and shins being bruised to hell, and subsequently deciding that fuck it - the damn thing can stay in the car.

Think I swapped to a 0-4 years one by about month 4 last time, and will be doing the same again this time once my old buggy sells.

WeOnlyPlannedTheFirst Tue 07-May-13 22:52:39

Not necessary. My twins are in birth-4 years rear facing car seats which mostly stay in the car. I transfer them to buggy to shop etc.
Having said that my seats do have a handle and wheels so I can use them to pop into clinic etc. I consider these to be far better value than the infant seats which fasten to a pram chassis. Especially considering it is not good for the baby to be in a car seat for too long.
Most people don't learn about extended rear facing until looking for their second car seat after the baby one. Look into it now so you're making an informed decision whatever you choose to do.

Congratulations on yout pregnancy!

jellybeans Tue 07-May-13 22:46:13

We had the option but just went for the pram and it was fine, no regrets. I don't think car seats look comfy anyway for longer than a car journey. We just took DS out the car seat and put him in the pram, barely woke him at all.

SignoraStronza Tue 07-May-13 22:28:04

I regret getting an infant carrier that went with the pram as dc outgrew it so quickly. Would have been better off getting one of the larger carseats that can rear face until 13kg and then flip round.
I liked to use the sling and found it no bother to pop dc in it - if asleep and disturbed she soon nodded off again once I got moving.
I find it strange that babies are carried around/plonked in a trolly in a car seat - probably not making myself popular here.wink I liked to actually hold/cuddle my baby quite c a lot (and no, am not a hardcore ap-er).

AmandaPayneAteTooMuchChocolate Tue 07-May-13 22:17:58

Adaptors for my car seat came with my buggy. I think I used it about twice for DD1, never for DD2.

My babies never slept heavily enough for it not to be a problem swinging a whole car seat up and out of the car and clipping onto a pram. They were just as likely to be woken by that as moving into the pram/buggy.

As long as your car space isn't so limited that getting the buggy in the car with full chassis is a problem, I wouldn't worry.

ShadowStorm Tue 07-May-13 22:17:37

Carrycot bit for the quinny was like a crib or moses basket BTW. Not suitable to be used as a car seat.

ShadowStorm Tue 07-May-13 22:15:24

I'd recommend trying putting the car seat on and off the buggy base in the shop first.

We got a quinny buzz, got the compatible car seat as well as carrycot. The carrycot bit was fantastic and well used.

The car seat? I tried this a few times without DS in the car seat and could not get the hang of it at all. It clipped on to the buggy fine, but getting it off was a major PITA. I never managed it without staggering backwards at best, and ending up on the floor at worst.

So anyway, the carseat always either stayed in the car or was carried by hand, because I didn't feel safe about trying to get the carseat off the buggy with DS in it.

This may all be down to me just not getting the knack of it or being just too feeble to manage it, but I think it's worth testing out how easy you find it in the shop before you spend extra on a compatible car seat.

NaturalBaby Tue 07-May-13 22:12:10

I had one so can't comment on what it's like to not have one but did find a carrycot/cocoon very useful as an alternative when out on foot - it's nice to have somewhere to put the baby down if a buggy won't fit or is too much hassle. There are plenty of little spaces a buggy won't go in but something like a car seat or carry cot can be squeezed in or lifted over furniture or put on a table. I didn't have full sized ones, just the soft fabric type that fitted into the buggy seat (phil & teds cocoon).

KB02 Tue 07-May-13 21:59:44

I had separate car seat and pram and all second hand. I hardly got the car seat out of the car as very heavy and bulky as others have said I didn't feel like I Was missing anything not having a travel system. I did a bit of research on second hand car seats and advice seemed to be know the history of the seat ie that it has not been in crash and check for wear on straps also it should be less than 6 years old due to UV weakening plastic.

Smartiepants79 Tue 07-May-13 21:56:01

I would miss mine A LOT. Use it every day and find it the most convenient for my life. But I use my car every day.
If I didn't I might do it differently!

olivertheoctopus Tue 07-May-13 21:52:50

And I used to leave the infant carrier seat in the car rather than bring it into the house. As poster above says, it is a right PITA lugging a heavy seat around.

olivertheoctopus Tue 07-May-13 21:50:25

My DC are 4 and 2 with DC3 due in July and I have never once used the adaptor thing we bought to fix our car seat to the pram and don't expect to. Put baby in car seat, drive to destination, unfold buggy, take baby out of car seat, put into pram. Simples. Don't really understand need for 'travel system' at all.

Beatrixpotty Tue 07-May-13 21:45:52

Mine is compatible but how many times have I attached it to the wheels this time...zero!You will not miss it.If my baby is asleep in the car he rarely wakes up on transfer to the pram or if he does,I carry him around in a sling for a bit.Much less heavy than lifting out the car seat.This is my 3rd baby.I did use the car seat & wheels together with DS1 when we did a few long train journeys.It was good to have him in the car seat on the train and useful to have it on the wheels to get to the station but unless you plan to do lots of travel like that I wouldn't bother.

TwitchyTail Tue 07-May-13 21:32:37

^^ IMO smile

ArabellaBeaumaris Tue 07-May-13 21:32:22

I don't think you will miss one really. It would probably be different if you drove every day but since you don't, I doubt it. I haven't had one - also don't drive myself - & I can't remember ever regretting it.

TwitchyTail Tue 07-May-13 21:31:20

Never used my (compatible) infant carrier on pushchair - too heavy, bad for my back, don't like to keep DS scrunched up longer than necessary (and they really are quite scrunched up - your instincts here are correct), and don't see the point - he'll sleep through an avalanche so he can handle a transfer from carseat to pushchair.

I carried it ten paces from car to GP surgery today and it almost killed me, I'm still recovering. Car seats belong in cars.

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