Hi, I'm nearly due, first baby, and giving birth at a hospital that is about five minutes away by car. We don't have a car so we've been expecting to get a taxi home from the hospital. Because we don't have a car, we haven't got a carseat, because we want to be sure the one we get will fit the car we buy.
Is it OK to take a tiny baby (in a wrap sling) in the back of the taxi or am I being woefully negligent (already )?
We could also get the bus which frankly would drop us as near to our house as a car would, as we are in a pedestrianised area.
I'm thinking maybe a decent firm would be able to send someone with a from-birth suitable car seat?
You'll get a lot of misinformation on this from people who can't imagine having a child without a car.
But taxis are exempt from the new car seat ruling for the under threes so you are legally entitled to use a sling so long as you are strapped in yourself before you then fasten the sling on top.
Some hospitals don't like it but that is the law, and if you want to keep everyone happy many also offer to hire out a car seat for around a £50 deposit.
We're going to just use a sling ourselves too. And no you're not negligent. Looking at the damage car seats do to airways when infants are left in them for too long I'd say a sling was actually a better choice.
Just to repeat, we've checked with the police, head midwife and the Act of Parliament online. You do NOT have to buy a car seat. Total waste of cash for people without a car, since hire car companies also hire out seats if you ever do want to go away somewhere.
just check with the hospital about their policies too - some of them wont let you leave the ward without a car seat. I'm not saying whether they're legally entitled to do so or not - no idea - but I wouldn't want to to get hassled at a time when you really don't need it.
So I'd check with them and with the local police too so you know where you stand.
or just borrow a car seat if you can find someone willing
If I were you I wouldn't take the risk. If you don't want to pay out for a car seat that might not fit in the future, ask to borrow one from a friend. Whereabouts are you? I bet there's a friendly mumsnetter near you who could lend you one for the journey.
If you have friends/relatives with cars, it might be worth buying a carseat anyway just in case you ever want to get a lift with them. Otherwise as others have suggested borrow one or find a cab company that wil supply one.
We will get a carseat, because we hire cars quite often (no parking where we are) so I'm glad to hear they fit most cars.
Poppet thanks for your support and your research (why can't I google anything other than 'cute+newborn+unisex+sleepsuit ?).
Shona we will definitely walk home with pride, if I'm in a condition to do so. It's even downhill!
Personally I would have thought me being strapped in, with baby in sling over the belt, driving carefully for half a mile would not present a risk, but I do see your point that I won't want to argue with hospital staff, right or wrong...
You can't always count on the 'driving safely' part. Tell the driver you're in no hurry. Walk nice and slowly if you do walk and lean on the pram. So glad you've not pursued the idea of the bus. They have steps and they lurch and they're full of people coughing. Your abdominal muscles will not be up to the balancing required for anything like that. What about hiring a car just to get home in, and then sending DH out to get nappies and two weeks worth of groceries, ten packets of sanitary pads, etc?
we don't have a car either, but have bought a car seat for the journey home and for when we visit friends/relatives with a car. managed to get a maxi cosi cabriofix in very good condition for £35 off gumtree, so you don't have to spend a fortune on something that's not going to get used very often.
thanks for your thoughts. I'm sure we can borrow a carseat from somewhere, although we have just moved to a new city and perched ourselves on the top floor of a conversion in a pedestrian shopping area full of cafes - so if the baby decides to arrive on a Saturday afternoon, the hordes in Accessorise will be entertained by a screaming banshee being half-carried and half dragged by a pale DP towards the taxi rank. We're working on this one!
We don't have a pram either!
Oooh, I just called the poshest cab firm I could find and they have assured me they can send a driver with a from-birth car seat in the back to pick us up from hospital. They can also send a driver right to our door when I go into labour who will be prepared, in mind and back seat, to take us to hospital.
So it's ok buying carseats second hand? I wondered if it would be dodgy in case they had been in an accident? That sounds like a good solution too.