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Newborn car seat for VERY occasional use?(21 Posts)
Hello! I feel vaguely guilty turning up and asking for advice without having any useful information on car seats to offer in other threads, but oh well...
I'm expecting DC1 in October, and planning a home birth. We live in London and don't have a car, go everywhere by public transport, rarely visit relatives (they're in the US and Scotland), rarely take taxis - basically I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I'm in a car each year (and generally those have been late-night drunken minicab trips, and I'm not planning on there being too many of those with the wee yin). Oh yes, and we're planning on emigrating to the US when DC is about 4 months old, so we won't be buying any elaborate buggy systems here.
Nevertheless, I gather it's expected that we should get a car seat, if only in case the home birth doesn't work out and we need to get a cab home from hospital. I'm torn between wanting to make sure that I get something that's safe and not wanting to spend a fortune on something that'll be used a couple of times. Can anyone suggest a decent, not too pricey, reasonably light car seat that can be easily clipped into different vehicles without a base? Sorry that's such a broad question, but I'm feeling befuddled by all the options!
I had something a bit like a bit like this for dd.
It honestly sounds like you're not going to need one and it would be a waste of money to get one really for the possibility that you end up in hospital and may need it for one journey only.
Could you borrow one in the event that you do end up in hospital?
Ask your mw or the hospital what they advise? They may have emergency ones that they lend out in such situations.
Or as a very last resort, you could not buy one in advance and then of you do end up on hospital you could send dp out to buy an agreed one if and when it's necessary?
I would consider something like a Britax First Class PLus, as it will go from newborn (rearfacing) to about the age of 4yrs (forward facing). That way you are covered for any emergency journeys over the next 4 years. My DD rear faced in the First Class until she was 2 (starting as a newborn), then she finally outgrew it just past the age of 4.
Unless you can borrow something, I'd recommend one like AllYourCake's link, or Argos does a similar one at the same price. Bear in mind though, unless it fits onto a travel system you'll have to cart it about when you get to your destination.
If you're moving to the states, I don't think any car seat bought here would be suitable but check the relevant state's official website to be sure.
Ask around friends and neighbours - these things really don't get "worn out" in the time a LO fits into them - you could borrow one and then return it (and buy another?) when you move. Ours is now on it's 3rd DC (friend's LO) and will probably be kept by them for hoped-for DC2.
I bought ones just like in AllYourCake's link for our twin girls (- think we paid about £25 each from an ebay store), would definitely recommend if only for occasional use. We had already ordered a super-dooper 4-seater multi-mac car seat but it was becoming clear that it wouldn't be ready by the time the girls were born and we needed to buy something cheap and cheerful very quickly. But as you have time in hand, why don't you try asking on you local freecycle website? You might be offered one for free!
Which? did some reviews a couple of years ago and the cheap one that came out best for protection was the Hauck Zero Plus.
Certainly easy enough to put in and out, fairly light, sturdy, seems comfy enough too. We got one from Amazon for about £40 a couple of years ago. Looking now it seems there is a new model that is much more expensive (maybe off the back of such a good review...) but perhaps you can find an older one (unused, obviously) on a web store somewhere if you hunt around.
Am sure you've thought of this but if you plan to get a used one make sure its from someone you know and trust - the tiny baby seats are usually like a bike helmet in construction, ie most of the impact resistance is from polystyrene, hence if they've been crashed or even just knocked about too much in use then they're no good. It may be only for one journey, but even for that one journey I wouldn't trust one from Freecycle.
Thanks for all the replies and suggestions - I'm inclined now to go with the idea of not getting one unless and until it proves absolutely necessary, and then send DH out to the shops with the seats suggested! It was just that I'd posted on a thread in Pregnancy about essentials, querying whether I'd need to get a car seat, and was told in no uncertain terms that yes, absolutely, I HAD to get one, as if it had some totemic power, even sitting unused in the cupboard...
Mothercare travel tot was great for us. But agree that it would be better to ask around and see if you can borrow one.
But actually thinking about it, in London you're unlikely to need one at all. You can push a pram directly into the wheelchair space in a standard black cab.
If you buy one here you won't be able to use it in America anyway so I'd just leave it.
Bab, they don't know what they're talking about! There really is no point if you're not going to use it. I would just borrow one if possible on the off chance you find yourself needing one before you emigrate.
I would just ask friends/neighbours if they have a car seat available for emergencies. You don't actually need a car seat in a taxi.
Good point about not using it in America. Their seats have to pass their own safety standards and they have to rear face until 2 so you'd need a new seat for that.
Was in similar boat to you - no car. Live abroad - brought baby home from hospital in a cab strapped to my chest (ERGO carrier and infill) with belt over us both. Taxi driver never said a thing.
Cue to 2 months later and back to UK for a visit - baby seat needed for travelling in UK. Put a call out on mumsnet - someone found a lovely red velvety one in toys r us that was cheap.
I ended up with a cheap Hauck one from amazon (happy to learn above it is one of the safest). We used it on the plane, cars and coach. In fairness back home again i ended up using it as an extra chair to strap her into and haul into the bathroom so she could watch me shower instead of whingeing. Also used it as a seat for feeding when highchair cover was in the wash...so it got used.
I looked on freecycle and looked to hire one but getting the cheapest hauck one was the most viable option for us. You don't need an expensive anything -the whole baby industry is nuts- but you don't realise this until baby no.2!
29.99 lovely red one at toys r us BEONE SP LUXE CAR SEAT IN PARTY FROM BIRTH
would have matched my red throw ;-) nice hood and from birth
thirty quid not bad if as I said you also use it in house for a safe holding place whilst showering etc
Couldn't get this one as i wasn't in the UK but i liked it. You can't do home delivery anymore - due to no. of sales presumably - but you can click and collect!
If you do the baby carrier thing in a taxi, better to have belt over you but not baby.
Just checked hauck on amazon - cannot find my cheap model - suspect if you do go for that brand you try amazon.de but as I said before for one car journey i would do minimum outlay or do ergo in the taxi route (legal disclaimer - don't know the taxi UK laws!)
Good luck with the birth and emigrating x
...and what BertieBotts said :-)
UK taxi laws are that no carseat is legally needed. But as I said before, most london cabs will take a pram or pushchair, or you could do the baby carrier but sit in one of the backward facing seats.
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