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Car Seat Warning! Babies head falling forwards

(40 Posts)
ShelleyJane1981 Fri 01-Jan-16 05:22:11

Hi all
Just wanted to post a thread about our very recent experience buying a stage 2 car seat for our 8 month old baby girl. We went along to our local mothercare this week to buy a maxi cosi seat preferably, having researched them to be the safest on the uk market and the very helpful chap at mothercare matched us to the Axissfix. Not cheap at a whopping £350 but as it apparently lasts until she's four years, we thought we'd pay up now and in the knowledge she was safe and comfortable, have a good few years before needing to reinvest. She sat in it, in the shop - all fine. He tried the demo one in the car and checked its suitability with our car - also all fine. It was fitted, we drove home perfectly pleased with the seat and its features (this is the seat that spins around making getting baby in and out really easy, from side on position). I sat in the back with her to check she was OK while my partner drove. As she was awake and - at 8 months can obviously support her own head weight - all seemed fine. Next time we came to travel was yesterday and again for some reason, I decided to sit in the back with her. This time she fell asleep and so being floppy, her head flung forwards with such force into her chest it completely jolted her awake crying. I was so shocked to see it and the frequency at which it happened (a dozen times in 5 mins). Each time I would push her head back and even took her hat off incase extra bulk from clothing was forcing her forward but her head just continually fell onto her chest again to the point that I sat holding her head in my hands and we were forced to turn around and come home. She was completely harnessed in correctly and the seat was on maximum recline which in all honesty with this seat, max recline is about one inch down from totally bolt upright. I felt all around the base to check there were no gaps from where base meets seat - there wasn't. We re-read the manual to see if we were doing something wrong - nope. I rang mothercare who again were really helpful and rightfully so....immediately the man we dealt with said this should no way be happening and is extremely disturbing, not least because our baby is very uncomfortable but her head coming forward onto her chest if left like that for a while could seriously impact her breathing ability. We were totally shocked that a reputable 'safest' expensive seat could jeopardise our baby, without the event of an impact to or from another car. His advice was that we needed to contact maxi cosi who would send out some 'pads' we would need to try and if they failed (& he said he expected they would as he had come across this before with another customer who followed the same procedure and these pads made no difference) then maxi cosi would give mothercare the go ahead to refund and replace our seat. I cannot see how any amount of extra padding will help given that her head is coming forwards, not banging side to side so looks likely that once we've gone down that route we will end up back at mothercare experimenting with alternatives. In the meantime, we dare not use the car! I think this whole thing is pretty outrageous and really just wanted to share the experience and the warning, to please get someone to sit in the back with your baby when you've just bought a new seat. Had it been any other time of year, my partner would have been at work so chances are I would have been driving round alone with her and it could have been weeks or months before we spotted it.
As a first time mum, my experience of car seats so far hasn't been the best - the first seat we had was the silvercross one, to fit with our Pioneer pram...when our daughter was about 8 wks old my mum was sat in the back with her as she was a bit grizzly and said she couldn't believe how much her head banged from side to side, over uneven roads/pot holes etc - I felt terrible that I'd been driving round weeks on end unaware and after that had to wedge her head with rolled up small towels or muslin cloths! She's an average weight and length baby so nothing about her being particularly large or small has played a part. Please be aware that if your baby's head is flopping or falling forward, the seat just isn't suitable despite ticking all other compatibility boxes!!

ShelleyJane1981 Fri 01-Jan-16 05:25:38

Ps - while mothercare say this seat can be used from 6 months +, the manual says 4months! So at that age (regardless really of baby being suitable size wise) whether baby was awake or asleep I would expect this problem to occur given the 'up-right-ness' position of the chair.

Chrisinthemorning Fri 01-Jan-16 05:26:08

Just wondered why you need a new seat for an 8 month old? DS is 98th centile for height and didn't move out of his infant carrier until he was 15 months. You should have a while longer before you need to swap seats?

HarlettOScara Fri 01-Jan-16 05:34:05

this is one of the reasons that extended rear facing car seats are better. Not only are they safer in the event of most accidents, the child's head is supported against the back of the seat.

My DD outgrew her first stage car seat at 8 months too as she's taller than average. I wouldn't have considered a front facing seat for her at that age at all.

Check out In Car Safety Centre online for help and advice on extended rear facing seats.

HarlettOScara Fri 01-Jan-16 05:37:51

Chris, my DD's head was over the top of the Maxi Cosi Cabrio Fix at 8 months do some babies do outgrow them earlier than others. My friends DD was still in the same seat at 18 months.

ShelleyJane1981 Fri 01-Jan-16 08:17:56

Chris, the silvercross seat was suitable until 9months old so at 8 months, she's not outgrown it unreasonably early and we had said for some weeks we needed to get a new one - the decider came Boxing Day on leaving family, the straps between her leg caught her skin and caused tears, she was also too upright in that seat having outgrown it and was coming forward albeit slightly, hence we went along to mothercare for advice who agreed she was ready for the next stage, we took advice rather than just presuming. The maxi cosi Axissfix is rear facing facing until 15 months according to mothercare recommendations or the manual says 2 years.

trilbydoll Fri 01-Jan-16 08:22:00

We will be moving 7m dd2 into the Cybex soon, she's too heavy to lug about in the infant carrier so I don't think you were unreasonable to move her.

The recline on the Cybex Sirona has always been fine for dd1, and it swivels, I really like it.

The problem you mention also happened with a Joie seat I think and they released a little wedge cushion to fix it.

seastargirl Fri 01-Jan-16 08:32:16

Have you got the seat fully reclined?

Maybe you need to look at what you can do to make the old seat more comfortable for her and put her back in that?

I don't think a baby being to heavy to carry in a car seat is any reason to move them to the next stage up, just leave the seat in the car and take baby in and out as you will when they're in their new car seat.

ottothedog Fri 01-Jan-16 08:45:33

Hope the pads work for you. Is this a rear facing seat? It must be really upright.

The rolled up muslin thing with a small baby sounds a bit of a suffocation risk though? Dont they sell those inserts any more?

ottothedog Fri 01-Jan-16 08:49:16

Just googled an image of it. How bizarre. Rf it looks quite tilted back on the stock photos

ottothedog Fri 01-Jan-16 08:52:35

www.mothercare.com/Maxi-Cosi-AxissFix-i-Size-Car-Seat---Black-Crystal/707434,default,pd.html?cm_mmc=Google-_-Car+Seats-_-Shopping+-+Car+Seats-_-Maxi+Cosi+-+Maxi-Cosi+AxissFix+i-Size+Car+Seat+-+Black+Crystal&gclid=CNKN9JadiMoCFSUewwodzEQAtA

A lot of similar reviews sad

VeryPunny Fri 01-Jan-16 08:59:45

IMO high street retailers are shockingly bad at car seat advice - they certainly shouldn't recommend FF at 8 months, and I say this as someone whose DD outgrew her infant carrier at 9m (DS still fits fine at a year).
You shouldn't need extra pads. Take the seat back, ask for a refund and go somewhere who knows what they are doing.

dementedpixie Fri 01-Jan-16 09:05:20

The seat op mentions goes both rear and forward facing

PennyHasNoSurname Fri 01-Jan-16 09:05:50

Have you got it rear facing?

ShelleyJane1981 Fri 01-Jan-16 09:08:05

Yeah got it in on maximum recline but even then it's about an inch less than the 'bolt upright' position, this was why we checked and rechecked the manual, to be sure we weren't missing a trick but no, those are the only two positions. When she was newborn in the silvercross, we bought a mamas and papas head hugger but her head still rocked side to side, the rolled up towels/cloths were put behind the 'wings' of the head support in addition to the head hugger, to draw in it nearer as opposed to rolled up near to her face. She was 7lb 2oz born so not especially tiny yet her head still had plenty of room to rock between the padding of the silvercross (until we realised and resolved it of course!)

ShelleyJane1981 Fri 01-Jan-16 09:09:05

Yes it's rear facing, I specifically requested rear facing, it was fitted rear facing and will continue to be so as long as it possible whichever seat we end up with

caker Fri 01-Jan-16 09:10:49

I second In Car Safety Centre, they aren't near us at all but it was worth the trip, we're really happy with the extended rear facing seat we got.

43percentburnt Fri 01-Jan-16 09:11:25

I agree the cyber sirona which is rear facing until 4 is good. Ds can see out the side window, rear and using a mirror out the front window. The mirror enables the driver to see him. He falls asleep regularly and looks comfy.

In car safety centre is very good for car seat advice, you need to book an appointment and they will go through all options.

kinkytoes Fri 01-Jan-16 09:15:00

Just wanted to add we've got the normal axiss and not had these problems. This one looks very different.

BahHumbugs Fri 01-Jan-16 09:15:35

Another vote for Cybex here, by far the most safest in all which reports, crash tests etc, absolutely love ours.

ShelleyJane1981 Fri 01-Jan-16 09:17:55

That's worth knowing about In Car Safety, thanks for that we'll look into it. As nice and helpful as they were at mothercare, I'm done with them now and want to go elsewhere. Guess now this has happened I'll have a much clearer idea myself of what to look for reclining wise, rather than being reliant on their advice and suggestions. We had originally gone in to purchase the maxi cosi pebble at £200 plus isofix base £190 but went for this because firstly its reputation being a maxi cosi seat and when coming down to a toss of the coin between the two, this one worked out £40 cheaper yet had the feature of being able to turn baby to the side for ease of getting her in and out when we open the door - couldn't care less about anything fancy now, just want her safe and comfortable and will be driving round till she falls asleep soon as its fitted, if she flops we'll be straight back within minutes!!!

Chrisinthemorning Fri 01-Jan-16 09:18:34

Ok it sounds like your infant carrier is only for very little babies. Sorry
We went for the Besafe izi combi which RF to 18kg but the newer version RF to 25kg. I was happy to keep him RF and he has just turned FF in the Britax Advansafix at nearly 4. We bought it from Mothercare but I find with them you have to do all your research online and then tell them what you want. John Lewis were a bit better.
ICSS are helpful over the phone if too far for you.

ShelleyJane1981 Fri 01-Jan-16 09:18:40

Will definitely be looking at a cybex then, thanks for that smile

poocatcherchampion Fri 01-Jan-16 09:21:35

We had this problem too with an 8 mo in a different erf seat. We went back to the infant carrier for another 6 months.

Sounds like you bought a dud of an infant carrier

ShelleyJane1981 Fri 01-Jan-16 09:22:08

Thanks Chris, may well try John Lewis as we bought all pram and bits from them and found them always helpful and very knowledgeable. It's my mission today to research every place, every seat and be fully armed with the knowledge to get this matter resolved. I'm just shocked this can even happen in a seat that claims to meet every single new and up to date legislation yet risks my daughters health without so much as a bump or knock from another car! And just wanted it to be a warning to other parents really so they don't have the same problem, without knowing for some time.

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