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Help! Car seat needed for a 9 month old with a non-driving mum?(21 Posts)
DD is currently 9 months. But she's tall (long?) and has very nearly outgrown the iSize Maxi Cosi baby seat we bought when she was first born, which clips onto the silver cross buggy frame.
In our own car she is in the next Maxi Cosi seat up (when DH is here to do the driving) however I don't drive and the bus services where we live are laughable so I take a lot of taxis with her in the original baby seat, which I just fit to the pram when we get where we are going. Job done!
However she's so big now it seems mean to have her crammed into that little seat for any length of time. Also she's going to outgrow it very very soon. And then I'll be stuck!
I have been trying to pass my driving test for some time - I was optimistic that would be out the way before this became an issue. But here we are, and I'm still not on the road. I'm starting to panic about getting trapped in the house, we live in the West of Scotland and the weather is quite often abysmal to the point where walking any distance with the pram is out of the question.
In an ideal world I'd like a bigger, portable car seat that can be easily carried at the other end or that will fit in the bottom of the pram, so I know she is safe in taxis but we aren't hampered by me having to lug something heavy and cumbersome around at the other end.
Does such a thing exist? Is anyone else in the same situation and what did you do? I'll go mad if I can't get out and about during the week. The woman in Mothercare looked at me like I'd grown an extra head when I enquired in there.
In case anyone is wondering how on earth I managed before DD came along, we lived in the city centre. And before that, in Central London. Having a car would have been impractical in both locations. However we needed more space when DD was born and when we decided to move here I didn't realise I would be so bad at driving (or that DD would have a serious aversion to sleep, leaving me with permanent brain fog that makes learning anything new very very difficult)
Is it her legs or her head that is too long for the seat? If it is her legs then she can stay in her seat for much longer!
You will be hard pushed to find the next seat up in a small enough size to fit inside a pram! They all tend to be huge!
I think most car seats are very heavy and not portable, but you could Google travel car seats and see if anything suitable comes up?
Some taxi firms can provide car seats so you could ask about that.
In the longer term though I think you need DH to do more of the nights so you can get a bit more sleep and focus on passing your driving test.
If you really can't pass the test, you should move somewhere with decent public transport. Stranded with a baby is my idea of hell
@cookielove it's her legs just now but very nearly her head too I'm beginning to think I should have married someone shorter (DH towers over me - she does not get the height thing from me!)
@NameChange30 good idea but unfortunately DH was made redundant shortly before DD was born and now he lives and works in a different city during the week. Not ideal! I'd love him to do more of the nights!
I've tried Google but not coming up with much - optimistically hoping it's just my search skills and that the product I need is out there somewhere!
Well while it is her legs then keep going with that, also check whether the head rest pulls up! When we pulled it up we got several more months use!
I have seen a fold away car seat recently but I think your dd would be too little for it!
What part of driving are you struggling with?
So you live in the middle of nowhere and don't even have your DH with you in the week?! Just move house!
@cookielove Did you mean to post a link to something? I can't see it if so, might be the mobile app though, I think it can be a bit flaky.
I've seen a couple for bigger children too, but nothing for this age. That's a good idea about the headrest - the seat we have doesn't seem to have an adjustable head rest but I can maybe borrow a different style from a friend whose DS has been in the bigger seat for a while now - that might buy us a few more months. I will check with her!
Driving is mainly a confidence / tiredness thing. I'm doing my best! Ideally I'd have learned before DD came along but I had such bad SPD from very early in my pregnancy that it was impossible. I don't think it will be unattainable, I'm aiming for towards the end of the year. My instructor thinks this is achievable.
@cookielove I will definitely do some research on that. Thanks so much!
Go on weight, not height on the car seat, that might buy you some time.
Good luck with the driving, Sod's law states you will pass as soon as you spend a fortune on a seat!
There is the Doona car seat that converts into a pushchair, but I believe it's Group 0 so it wouldn't be any bigger than your current seat. I don't know if there are Group 1+ seats that convert into pushchairs in the same way.
Could you request the same taxi driver for both journeys and ask them to keep the car seat until they take you home?
Probably be cheaper and easier to buy some decent weather appropriate clothing and a raincover/footmuff for DD tbh.
I say that as a non-driver who lives in the chilly/rainy/windy Highlands where public transport isn't a readily available option to do the 6 mile school run everyday. You get used to it pretty quickly and it's actually much easier than traipsing big seats with you.
If her head has reached the top of the seat you'll need to get something new but that also depends on her weight. If she's over 9kg she can legally forward face in a standard Group 1 seat (although not the safest option and I wouldn't recommend it) if she's under that I'd suggest looking at a Group 0/1 seat which will rear face for longer.
We had the Joie Steadi which rear faces from birth until 18kg, is relatively easy to fit and not too bulky.
Thanks all, some food for thought here. For now I've managed to borrow a seat that goes by weight, not by length and that has an adjustable headrest and is compatible with the pram. That should buy us a couple of months at least. And when the school hols roll round I'll have more readily available childcare which should help me get out in the car more often and hopefully speed the learning process up a bit. At the moment I'm only managing one two hour lesson a week.
Is your driving instructor available at the weekends? If your DH did the night wakings the night before your lesson, giving you a proper night's sleep, you might make better progress
The in between stage of seats is the least portable which is a pain.
At least you have a motivation to speed up the process of learning!
When you do get to choosing the next seat, it's worth posting here to ask for reviews of ones which last tall children. It's hard to tell at a year or so but a lot of the Group 1 seats seem to have small harnesses or low backrests for tall children meaning that she might potentially outgrow it at 2 or 3 if you're not careful in what you pick, and then you're stuck with her in a booster before you're really happy about her being mature enough for it, or having to pay out twice for that seat category.
@BertieBotts that's good advice, thank you. If I knew then what I know now I would have made entirely different choices with most of the baby equipment we bought initially, despite the hours and hours of online research. You live and learn!
@NameChange30 unfortunately my instructor is not available at the weekend - that's his family time. When I started with him I had no idea I'd end up in this situation (with DH away so much and it taking me so long to get over my nerves). He's a really good instructor though and I feel very comfortable with him so I don't want to switch. I think after another couple of lessons I'll feel confident enough to go out with a family member at the weekend to get some extra practice in while DD and DH have some time together. Fingers crossed!
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