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Car seat for non-drivers(6 Posts)
Me and my husband are expecting our first baby in January. Neither of us drive but we will need to get a car seat for travelling in other peoples cars, taxis etc. Some car seats seem to come with bases you leave attached when you take the main seat out and these would clearly not be suitable. Can anyone recommend a car seat that is relatively easy to attach in different cars and doesnt need any bits permanatly attached?
Infant carriers are pretty much all the same.
I would look at one that you could pop on a buggy if need be/ is quite light.
The main thing you need to be able to identify is whether the car seats buckle/belt causes it to have buckle crunch.
A mumsnetter recently found her seats buckle stalks were so long She was having problems finding any infant carrier to fit her Citroën xsara.
Next stage I would recommend Britax first class as it fits a wide range of cars due to having two ways of fitting it.
You may also like to do a search as I remember a similar thread previously.
I just thought I'd mention, just in case you weren't sure, the car seats that can use bases don't need a base IYSWIM, that's just an option. You can still use them with just a seat belt.
I'd definitely look at ones that will go with your pushchair and preferably a standard size one. For example, a maxi cosi cabrio or pebble are average size so will fit most cars, but a bebe confort creatis is quite big so may not work in all cars.
As sleepevader says, they really are all very similar fitting-wise. I'd get whatever fits on your pushchair to make life easer when you do need it. If you don't know which seat's compatible, just ask us. Otherwise, get one with a long crotch to shoulder length so you can keep it as long as possible.
I would definitely go for a pushchair compatible one. I didn't and I regretted it, as a non-driver - having one which is compatible means that you can get a lift somewhere and walk or get the bus back (or vice versa) and also gives you a method of transporting the car seat if you need to take it with you somewhere. They do have carry handles but they are a bit of a pain to carry for long periods. Of course if you're going on a journey which doesn't require any car travel then you can just use the pushchair or carrycot, which is better for little babies anyway.
Agree with longest crotch-to-shoulder length as possible (or crotch to edge length) - the stage between the baby seats and booster seats is the most annoying for carting around as it's so big and bulky, and harder to fit in as many cars. DS fitted into his seat until he was 18 months, that was a Mothercare travel tot, but I don't think they make them any more, which is a shame as it was a very good quality cheap seat. The other thing to look for is side impact protection, try to find one which has nice deep sides. Some of the really cheap ones have hardly any SI protection, but usually you can get a good deal if you buy a pushchair/car seat bundle. Again it's worth checking out the car seat as well as the pushchair. Agree that there is no infant seat which needs a base - many of them will have a compatible one, but you don't need one.
If you want to think ahead a bit to group 1, you might find that the seat you decide on influences your options with group 0. For example, it might save you money in the long run to go with the Britax First Class or other Group 0/1 seat now (there is one on offer at Mothercare ATM for £40) - but you do lose the flexibility of a more portable seat, they are bulkier to store (and you can't put the baby in it as a rocker) and takes longer to strap in than an infant carrier, and the First Class rear facing position only has one belt routing which is no use for cars with shorter seatbelts. But the upside of this seat is that it will allow rear facing until your child is 13kg, rather than until their head reaches the edge of the seat. DS reached the seat edgeof his infant seat by 18 months, but wasn't 13kg until about 2.5. So an extra year there, and more certainty that your child is likely to get to the recommended 2 years rear facing (recommended worldwide rather than recommended in UK - our shops etc seem slow to catch up to this. My HV told me once DS was 9kg it was unsafe for him to be in a RF car seat!)
The other option I'd say is best for non-drivers in group 1 is to get one of the Kiddy seats or the similar ones, with the impact shield. This is what I have done and I find it a really good seat - it's really light and installs while you are strapping the child in so it takes seconds as opposed to minutes to get it done properly. Safety-wise it's somewhere in between FF harnessed seats and RF seats, which was a bonus for me as extended RF is not really an option if you don't have a car and can't predict which cars you are likely to use in advance.
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