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Is a removable car seat (travel system) worth it?

(18 Posts)
MadamRosmerta Wed 22-Jul-20 14:43:03

Hi, I have a Silver Cross pram that came with Maxi-Cosi adaptors (second hand) for clipping a car seat in. So I'm looking at car seats and am really not sure what the best thing to do is! From what I can see, it seems that I can either:

1) Buy a Maxi-Cosi 0+ removable car seat such as Pebble Pro for £199 that will last until up to 12 months, and it's unclear whether or not I will also have to buy an isofix base for the same cost! Will clip out and fix to the pram.

2) Buy another car seat that can last until 4 years old (/18kg), possibly one that can rotate 360 degrees (e.g. Silver Cross Motion 360) for £299, base included. Cannot be removed from the base so will not be able to use it with the pram.

How often do you actually take the seat out of the car? Is it worth getting one that is compatible with the pram?

It seems crazy to buy something when for an extra £100 you can get something that will last for 3 more years (or if I need to buy the base, pay £100 extra for something that will only last 1 year instead of 4! Still confused about that). But equally I don't want to regret not getting something useful by being overly frugal! Please help!

OP’s posts: |
LouiseTrees Wed 22-Jul-20 16:14:50

Not a helpful comment but we had to go with an infant only one because the big spinning ones weren’t reclined enough in our car for a small baby due to the angle of the seats. What kind of car do you have and is there space in the boot for the full pram?

MadamRosmerta Wed 22-Jul-20 16:23:32

Thanks for your reply - I have a Citroen C3 that's 5 doors and quite roomy. And yes the pram fits into the boot - we checked this when we picked it up!

OP’s posts: |
LouiseTrees Wed 22-Jul-20 16:40:28

It might not be worth it then. It might be worth getting an infant seat and isofix car base to use in grandparents cars if you expect to go anywhere not in your own car. A car seat is also useful to be able to take into peoples houses when they start crawling because you can leave them strapped in when you are getting stuff down or just about to leave. Other than that no point to it but if you are going for a bigger one I suggest you go to John Lewis or Halfords for a fitting for them to check it’s not too angled given the angle of your seats. Technically the bigger ones were marked as suitable for our car but they did look awfully angled when in.

PerditaMacleod Wed 22-Jul-20 16:40:40

I would say definitely get a car seat that attaches to the pram, it's so handy when the baby falls asleep when you're driving or out and about and you don't have to wake them up to get them in or out of the car. It would have been a massive pain to wake the baby every time I needed to transfer them. You might be lucky and have a baby that sleeps through the transferring, but neither of mine would!

HappyDinosaur Wed 22-Jul-20 16:46:25

Another option would be to sell the one you have and get a lie flat travel system that lasts until age 2/3. It means baby can stay asleep when you get in or out of the car, but is also much safer for baby to stay in for longer periods. It made life so much easier for me. I do appreciate if it's been given to you you may be keen to use it though, in which case I'd say go for the travel system every time.

FrugiFan Wed 22-Jul-20 16:48:46

I wouldnt bother. My daughter hated her after about 3 months of age because it was so reclined and at an angle where she just wasnt comfortable. It wasnt a maxi cosi though. We bought a Joie 360 when she was 5 months old.
Very few people I know used the infant carrier to 12 months. And the ability to remove it from the car was useless very quickly as the baby is so heavy. Only a weight lifter would be able to carry an infant car seat with a 1 year old in it grin

LouiseTrees Wed 22-Jul-20 16:50:00

PerditaMacleod

I would say definitely get a car seat that attaches to the pram, it's so handy when the baby falls asleep when you're driving or out and about and you don't have to wake them up to get them in or out of the car. It would have been a massive pain to wake the baby every time I needed to transfer them. You might be lucky and have a baby that sleeps through the transferring, but neither of mine would!

This is a fair consideration too because we did have to drive her to sleep a couple of times

BertieBotts Wed 22-Jul-20 21:53:24

It kind of depends what your expectation is for the seat. The thing is that they say age 0-4 but the maximum size of child you can fit in the seat is based on a perfectly average four year old, on their fourth birthday. That means that about half of children will reach the limits of a seat like that before they turn four. Most of that half will get there somewhere the year that they're three, but if you're really unlucky with a very tall child who times their growth spurts wrong and/or a seat which just happens to be a bit smaller than average, some children will get there at about 2.5 years old.

Of course the smaller than average half will be fine and may even be able to stay in the seat significantly longer than four, but IME you can't necessarily predict the size of your children before you give birth. At least with the infant carrier, you know you'll only be using it while they are an infant, and have the expectation to upgrade it when they become a toddler or maybe a little before.

But if you're hoping to only have to buy one seat before you get to the cheaper, simpler, lighter booster seat age, quite a lot of people will end up disappointed. It is also handy to have two separate seats covering age 0-1 and then age 1-4 (ish) because most people tend to have children about 2.5-3 years apart, so it works well for passing down as you have about 12-18 months of the second one occupying the baby seat before you have to boot the eldest out of their toddler seat. But again if you're prepared to buy two toddler seats (or only want to have one child) it might not be an issue.

On the other hand - infant seats, especially the bases, are so expensive for what they are! I honestly think they see new parents coming - in America, it's standard to get the base free with the seat, even the cheapest infant seat. And if your aim is not necessarily to skip a stage of car seat buying, but simply to get as much use out of what you buy as you can, then I think it can make sense to look at a 0-4 years one, and when they outgrow that (or need to vacate it for a younger sibling) then you can decide what type of seat to get them next, whether you go for a basic high backed booster type seat if they are old enough and sensible enough or whether you want to get a larger harnessed seat for them up to 25kg (of which none are really suitable right from birth).

I will say if you've got maxi cosi adapters that opens you up to a load of possibilities, not just the maxi cosi pebble. Manufacturers tend to keep quiet about this because they want you to buy their own brand car seat, but a huge number of brands use the same adapters. I try to keep up to date, this is my current list:

All infant seats from:
Maxi cosi
Cybex
Nuna
Besafe
Recaro (nb, the Zero 1 elite baby seat uses an interim adapter)

Then also:
Axkid Modukid Infant (with interim adapter)
All Joie infant seats except Juva
Avionaut seats (there is one branded as Venicci Ultralite in UK - no other Venicci seats fit)
Cosatto Dock

So if you want a compatible car seat, you definitely don't need to pay £200/400 with the base - the cheapest one on that list is Joie Gemm, which is about £60-70, and there are two choices of base, seatbelt fitted for £60 or isofix for £90. It's a basic seat and you might prefer a different one, but it's an option. There is also a Silver Cross infant seat which might go on your pram without adapters.

Another "wildcard" option to look at is the Recaro Zero 1 elite, which combines a 0-4 year swivel seat with a pop out infant carry section. However, this is £400 as well. And I have a feeling you can't use the infant section as a standalone seat, so it is not much good for passing down to younger siblings.

One last one - if you want a TRULY premium and long lasting seat and can wait until September, there is a properly amazing car seat of the future being released called Axkid One. Rear facing, isofix all the way, recline right from newborn up to older child who wants to look out of the window, suitable up to 125cm/23kg (this is about 6-7 years old). It's bonkersly expensive at £700, but actually if you went for the £400 infant carrier then a £300 rear facing seat up to 25kg, you'd pay this much anyway! grin I wouldn't buy it myself, but I am genuinely really impressed at the concept, and for someone who knows they only want one child it might work really well.

BertieBotts Wed 22-Jul-20 21:54:12

HappyDinosaur

Another option would be to sell the one you have and get a lie flat travel system that lasts until age 2/3. It means baby can stay asleep when you get in or out of the car, but is also much safer for baby to stay in for longer periods. It made life so much easier for me. I do appreciate if it's been given to you you may be keen to use it though, in which case I'd say go for the travel system every time.

What seat is this? I've never come across a removeable one which goes up to 2-3 years, unless you have a miniscule child smile

Raimona Wed 22-Jul-20 21:58:43

It’s dangerous to keep a baby in a car seat for a long time. It’s bad for the spine and can cause breathing difficulties. The recommendation is that they’re in a car seat for no longer than 2 hours max, or 30 mins for newborns. I have no idea why manufacturers are still permitted to sell car seats that clip to prams, because it encourages parents to leave their baby in the car seat for a dangerous length of time.

Goingdownto Wed 22-Jul-20 21:58:46

I found it much easier to put lo in the car seat in the house, and carry out to car like that than to be leaning into the car to try to strap them in.
And then you could keep them in the seat and put onto base for short trips out, transferring back in without waking if they fell asleep (obv no baby should he left for long periods in a car seat). You could keep them in the seat and put into one of the supermarket trolleys that had a bit for that purpose.
I have maxi cosi though not a pebble - last dc was in his till 18 months.

BertieBotts Wed 22-Jul-20 22:03:02

2 hours is quite a long time. And the recommendation (based only on positional asphyxia risk, not spine concerns) is only for stretches at one time - you can take them out after (or before) the two hours has elapsed, and then the timer would reset from 0 again the next time you put them in.

No, I wouldn't recommend taking them in and out of the car seat all day because it is important for them to have time to stretch around and move, but I don't think the ability to clip a car seat to a pushchair is dangerous as long as you're aware of the issues.

youmakemewannashoutloud Wed 22-Jul-20 22:03:02

I mainly use a sling / baby carrier, but I do use my maxi cosy Pebble car seat to take baby in and out of house. They are getting a bit heavy now at 6 months so I think time is limited. I think last time we switched to a stay in car car seat at about 9 months.

I have adapter that fit the pram but as I said I tend to use the carrier, unless nipping into one shop which I would then lug the car seat in whilst groaning or use the sling.

Our stay in car seat uses the same base you need for the pebble.

Goingdownto Wed 22-Jul-20 22:03:54

Raimona that's a bit of an overreaction. I never left dc in for a dangerous length of time, but I was happy to drive somewhere and be able to not move the child in and out of a pram to go anywhere. I think the longest babies are likely to be left in are actually for car journeys. We had a regular long journey to do to see gps and once the baby came always broke off at a service station to give his body a rest.

LouiseTrees Wed 22-Jul-20 22:13:26

Raimona

It’s dangerous to keep a baby in a car seat for a long time. It’s bad for the spine and can cause breathing difficulties. The recommendation is that they’re in a car seat for no longer than 2 hours max, or 30 mins for newborns. I have no idea why manufacturers are still permitted to sell car seats that clip to prams, because it encourages parents to leave their baby in the car seat for a dangerous length of time.

I actually extensively looked into this when buying my pram and the car seat attachment lay at a different angle when it was on the pram frame allowing a more reclined position and therefore not presenting the issues you mentioned and I believe most pranks work on that manner but it is important to point out length of time it should be in functional car use to the OP as a new parent. It’s also why I specific drew out that she should have a car seat fitting to make sure the angle in car wasn’t dangerous for a newborn baby if she went with the bigger car seat straight away.

Florencenotflo Wed 22-Jul-20 22:28:00

We bought the Nuna rebl for dd1 & dd2 and we love it. Having a car seat that spins round is very handy. We never missed having a car seat we could take in and out of the car (because we didn't have one!) but you can't miss what you don't have. Both DD's got used to being put in and out of the car seat while asleep, neither of them woke up while being moved.

Dd1 has always been around the 90th percentile for height and weight and we only kicked her out of this seat at 3.5 because we needed it for dd2!

My mum bought an infant carrier to have as a spare, both DD's were over 8lbs when they were born and I couldn't lift either of them in the infant carrier due to my c section. They both outgrew the carrier at around 8 months (length wise) and neither me or my mum could comfortably carry them and the carrier past about 5 months. It was just too heavy.

BertieBotts Wed 22-Jul-20 22:43:34

Back when I had DS1 in the mists of time grin travel systems were quite new and some people really did keep the baby in them all day just popping it on and off the pram, some even fed the baby in the seat (!) it was quite heavily advertised that the car seat could be a handy rocking chair for the house, naps etc - I think that's where the idea that it's bad for their backs and their organs comes from, because that kind of overuse probably is. I don't think people tend to do this any more (although transporting them from car seat to moulded pram seat to bouncy chair to swing to sleepyhead is probably just as bad TBH) and also modern baby seats are much better designed than they were in the 00s, with all kinds of padding and smoothing to make the seat less curved for a newborn. The breathing issue really does need to be taken seriously, but going for a half an hour drive and then letting them finish their nap in the seat for an hour is OK. Or driving to the supermarket, popping car seat on trolley and then driving home (try to ensure no longer than 2 hours total) is OK - just beware if they fall asleep on the way home from that supermarket trip, it's best to transfer them then, or give them a bit of a break from the seat before you set off home, if you think they're likely to fall asleep - mine always tended to want feeding when they were sleepy like that anyway.

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