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To take a baby in a car without a carseat?

(64 Posts)
Plateofcrumbs Tue 18-Nov-14 10:15:40

I'm visiting parents for a couple of days round Christmas, travelling alone across London and then by train to the sticks with baby DS. Baby DS will be in sling and I need to bring a largish wheeled suitcase.

Parents live a mile from train station up a steep hill. My plan was to walk from station as I won't have a car seat with me, but Dad is insisting he picks us up in car, with DS in the sling.

I feel very uncomfortable about the idea, and I know it is illegal, but in terms of risk seems no less safe than regular trips I make via bus with DS.

I could lug car seat with me, but again think that objectively my chances of an accident dragging a suitcase and car seat across London are greater than DS being in sling for a 1 mile journey on quiet roads.


Redtartanshoes Tue 18-Nov-14 10:17:33


Siarie Tue 18-Nov-14 10:17:47

Could your dad rent a car seat for his car? Then you wouldn't need to carry it and it's only temp.

Redtartanshoes Tue 18-Nov-14 10:17:58

Although the risk is no less at least you won't be breaking the law

BolshierAyraStark Tue 18-Nov-14 10:18:38

Go with your original plan to walk.

RubMyLamp Tue 18-Nov-14 10:21:00

Could they buy a cheap car seat and bring it to you when they pick you up? Surely even a cheap one is better than none.

CantBeBotheredThinking Tue 18-Nov-14 10:21:12

Why not either yourself or your parents get a car seat that they can keep at theirs for occasions like this.

ICanTuckMyBoobsInMyPockets Tue 18-Nov-14 10:22:44

Could he borrow a car seat from someone for half an hour?

IAmAPaleontologist Tue 18-Nov-14 10:22:59

Walk, or see if any of your parent's friends have a seat they can borrow. Or perhaps if you visit there regularly consider buying a seat and getting it delivered to their house for you to use while you are there. You could get one that lasts more than one stage so get plenty of use out of it.

confusedofengland Tue 18-Nov-14 10:23:09

Get your dad to meet you & take your luggage & you take baby up in sling/pram.

Am sure I've heard somewhere that most accidents happen on short journeys. Your baby is so precious & not worth any risk IMO.

bigmouthstrikesagain Tue 18-Nov-14 10:24:14

It is not illegal - people travel in taxi's all the time without a carseat for children - occasionally is is necessary. If you are not comfortable with it see if your parents can borrow a car seat for the journey. If any of their friends are grandparents then surely someone can come up with a seat?

ElphabaTheGreen Tue 18-Nov-14 10:25:24

Walk up the hill. Go for worst-case-scenario here - what if you did have a crash and your child was killed by the airbag because he was on your front in the sling? The majority of car accidents happen on quiet roads within two miles of peoples' houses because they think they know the roads and take risks without realising it.

No way would I take the risk, however small. Besides, you'll have burned off your Christmas dinner calories in advance smile

TheBiggestDinosaur Tue 18-Nov-14 10:27:50

Most accidents happen on short journeys because people do a lot more short journeys, not because they are inherently more dangerous.

However, I would have your dad meet you and take your suitcase, while you walk up with DS in the sling.

LarrytheCucumber Tue 18-Nov-14 10:28:10

How would you wear a seatbelt if you have DS in a sling? Travelling without a seatbelt is illegal.

ArcheryAnnie Tue 18-Nov-14 10:29:40

Ask your dad to take your luggage, and walk. Don't fold to pressure from him.

Either that, or buy a basic (but decent) car seat and have it sent straight to your parents' place in advance, then it'll be there for future occasions, too.

But don't get in a car a baby not in a car seat. It isn't worth it.

IAmAPaleontologist Tue 18-Nov-14 10:30:39

"It is not illegal - people travel in taxi's all the time without a carseat for children - occasionally is is necessary."

Not illegal for a taxi or a one off journey where car seat not possible no. And actually before I get told off for being preachy I have done it when I have been put in a position that it was, honestly, unavoidable. Not through choice and planning though. A car is still a car be it a private car or a taxi. It is still subject to the laws of physics in an accident be the journey planned or unplanned. It won't have a flashing sign on it saying "don't crash into me I have a baby without a carseat". Probability, accident risk factors etc all stay the same even if you choose not to use a car seat. The only thing that will change will be that your child will be more likely to die.

Buses are different, they travel at lower speeds, no airbags etc so a child not in a car seat is not subjected to the huge forces that occur in a car accident.

The suggestion to have your dad meet you and take your luggage is a good one.

specialsubject Tue 18-Nov-14 10:32:37

whatever you do, take the baby out of the sling. If you have the baby in the sling or on your lap, and there's a crash, you will kill the baby by crushing it. And yes, the airbag will break it's neck.

if you can't walk, put the baby on the floor in the back of the car. If you are going to break the law, at least minimise the risk.

or get a second-hand car seat from ebay, or a cheap new one, and keep at your parents. You'll need to trust the seller that the seat hasn't been in a crash, but I sold one like that and I'm not the only honest person around.

RiverTam Tue 18-Nov-14 10:32:52

absolutely not. Your Dad can meet you and either walk up with you and help, or take the suitcase in the car and you walk with the baby. Or borrow a suitably-sized carseat from a neighbour.

IAmAPaleontologist Tue 18-Nov-14 10:33:01

these are all birth to 4yrs if you wanted to get one to keep there. The kiddicare shuffle is reduced at the moment so is a bargain.

Thurlow Tue 18-Nov-14 10:33:24

I'd get him to ask around and see if anyone has a car seat he can borrow. Lots of grandparents have a car seat if they see their grandkids regularly, and so he could borrow that for an afternoon? Or, what age is your baby? Is he old enough yet to fit in a car seat that might last your parents a few years? You can get some very cheap ones, and as far as I can see they're mainly cheap because they're less comfortable with less padding etc (we have one as we don't use the car much).

Failing that I would walk. It might be hard but you'll just have to keep repeating that you appreciate he wants to collect you, but it is illegal to have a baby in the car without a seat.

Plateofcrumbs Tue 18-Nov-14 10:34:49

I think my Dad will think me absurd if I insist on walking, and especially if weather is poor am sure he would be at the station in the car waiting for us anyway.

Part of me thinks it is not worth the battle for a one-off journey, when we could make the same journey in the same car legally if it were a taxi.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Tue 18-Nov-14 10:35:27

You can hire car seats from NCT quite cheaply or just buy one from Kiddicare for £20 - have it delivered to your dad. I assume you'll also need to get back home too? Car seat will be needed then too.

As an aside my concern wouldn't be air bags, it would be crushing the baby against the seat belt in an emergency stop or similar.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Tue 18-Nov-14 10:36:36

Sorry crushing the baby with your body, not against the seat belt.

BloodyDogHairs Tue 18-Nov-14 10:38:08

Buy one from Kiddiecare, I have the shuffle that does from 0-4 years and I'm sure you'll be visiting again so always something handy for your parents to keep.

Plateofcrumbs Tue 18-Nov-14 10:40:46

Thanks for that link palaeontologist - I didn't realise you could get new car seats so cheaply. That seems like the best plan. smile

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