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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!

DoTheBestThingsInLifeHaveFleas Tue 07-May-13 21:05:43

I am afraid that yes I do think you may need a car seat that fits into the pram. This is just my personal preference, but I found it really valuable. Although you may have a super chilled baby and not have a c section and therefore be happy lifting baby in and out a lot. Also depends on where you live and how much car travel you need to do. Mine was in the car everyday, so for a quick pop to the local shop, it was ideal. Obvioulsy for longer trips you need the pram part anyway as they can't be in car seat for too long. I would recomend getting a good car seat though and an isofix base. I know they are lots of money, but if you need to budget maybe do it on other things and not a car seat. Sorry to sound preachy....

DoTheBestThingsInLifeHaveFleas Tue 07-May-13 21:06:02

p.s. good luck with your new baby, enjoy!

MrsWooster Tue 07-May-13 21:06:53

you will regret it, but only a bit and only for a few months so it depends HOW expensive the carseat is... You could always sell the carseat on ebay as soon as s/he moves up into the next size(which will be quicker than you think) and recoup some of the money?

stickortwist Tue 07-May-13 21:08:21

I dont think you will. I never got the hoiking car seat out of car to put baby on top of buggy. Car seats are bulky heavy and a pita to carry without banging your leg. Small babies are lighter and more snuggly and easy to move in and put or car seat ans carry about
buy yourself a nice postnatal treat instead

ThedementedPenguin Tue 07-May-13 21:08:24

My car seat was compatible with my pram. I think I attached it twice so far.

I preferred to lift baby out and put in carry cot instead.

Shybairns Tue 07-May-13 21:12:43

It can be convenient to have a compatible seat, but really it isn't essential. And as you don't drive I really wouldn't worry about it at all.
Yes I preferred to lift baby out of car seat into the pram.

Restorer Tue 07-May-13 21:14:10

I actually used the car seat attachment when I was out walking with the pram. it was particularly useful when I went to baby/toddler groups or clinics where there wasn't room to take the pram in. I could lift the seat off and take that in with me, leaving the wheels outside. Although thinking about it, that was probably for DS2 when I had a toddler too.

That said, it is astounding how quickly they grow out of the first stage seat, so as MrsW says, if it does turn out to be a mistake, you will only regret it for a matter of weeks.

IdaClair Tue 07-May-13 21:14:15

I have got a birth to 4 car seat (Britax First Class) so I never take it out of the car at all. I don't really see why I would need to (and I don't have a super chilled baby either, wish I did wink )

I don't actually have a pram either so maybe that makes a difference. I guess it's about what you're used to. It seems a lot of faffing about and equipment to me, all the special attachments and baby seats and clipping and all that stuff. I did the whole travel system thing with my first, used it less than 10 times, sold it and bought a sling and the above first class.

I'm in a similar position in that I don't drive the car myself, DH does, so for day to day trips we just use wrap and go. If we need to go in a car we all get strapped in the car in our various seats, and if we need to get out of the car - well, we all get out!

yummymumtobe Tue 07-May-13 21:16:10

I don't think I'd necessary. We had a maxi cosi as it was compatible with our bugaboo bee and we never took the car seat out. Just transferred baby straight into buggy.

Namely Tue 07-May-13 21:16:29

I have the Mamas and Papas Zoom and went for the travel system. When DS was a little baby I always put him in the pram section but now he has outgrown that I often leave him in the carseat. I find it invaluable if he is sleeping. Plop sleeping baby onto wheels and off we go. Saying that if he is awake I ALWAYS put him in the pushchair and will never leave him for more than an hour generally in carseat without getting him out and carrying him for a bit/sitting him on my lap in cafe. It is most useful in retail parks when you want to pop in and out. I do have friends which use the carseat instead of a pushchair. I don't think they look that comfortable for long periods. If I am walking from home it's always the pushchair. I would go as far as to say that the ISOFIX base is the best baby paraphernalia I own.

I have probably used the fact that my car seat goes onto the pram body maybe 20 times since we bought the pushchair for DS in 2008.

The car seat is now being used for DD2, having also been used for DD1.

3 of those times were to bring the babies home from hospital.

1 was for DS first Christmas, where I got the train to my parents and they didn't have a car seat, so I took mine.

DH probably uses it more than me. I hate the faff (cars haven't DH isofix, so car seat needed to be unbelted each time), and love snuggling the babies into carrycots, with blankets etc.

ananikifo Tue 07-May-13 21:18:56

Thanks for the advice. I have a history of buying cheap and regretting my purchases, but then again you get a lot of mixed signals about what babies really need. We also got a bit confused because DH was saying carrycot when he meant 0+ car seat, and he thought car seats were the big ones you don't remove form the car.

I've heard you shouldn't buy a used car seat so I wouldn't sell one, either. Any opinions on this?

If it's really important we can budget for it, and shop around, but I didn't want to waste money on things we don't need, or only think we need because of a pushy sales pitch. Are expensive car seats really safer than cheap ones? Don't they all meet the same standards? Our car is too old for isofix, if that makes a difference.

lagoonhaze Tue 07-May-13 21:20:56

Id borrow a decent infant carrier and save the money for an extended rear facing seat when they are older.

sillymillyb Tue 07-May-13 21:28:47

I wasted money soooooooooo much money on car seats/ buggys by trying to be cheap. I started out with a cheap buggy with no compatible car seat, then I bought the quinny zapp as my cheap buggy was like a tank. Then I bought the maxi cosy pebble as having no compatible car seat was making my life so much harder. I used it for when baby fell asleep in car to transfer to buggy, to take him to his classes, for keeping him safe at the swimming pool. I wish I'd bitten the bullet and got compatible car seat in the beginning!

Namely Tue 07-May-13 21:30:04

I think that the advice of not buying second hand car seats is that you don't know their history. I would feel comfortable selling mine on in the future if I knew that it hadn't been in an accident.

I don't think that having a travel system is imperative. Especially if you don't drive, it probably would get used much!

Namely Tue 07-May-13 21:30:19


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.

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 21:32:37

^^ IMO smile

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

Mine is compatible but how many times have I attached it to the wheels this!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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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!

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.

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)

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!

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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