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WWYD: Carseats. I'm a bit stuck!

(23 Posts)
navyeyelasH Wed 03-Sep-08 14:36:39

Ok I work ad-hoc for different people and am thinking that getting my own car seats would a) save lots of hassle having to transfer them and b) be a lot safer as I can ensure they fit my car specifically.

I normally look after children from about 9months plus. But I also occasionally look after babies, youngest so far has been 3 months. So these are my options I think:

Get a car seat that does newborn-4 years (ish) like this and then a basic booster cushion.
pros have all ages covered with minimal
Toddlers can have recline position for sleeping
cons I don't know if I look after enough babies to warrant it?
Most parents of babies insist you use their car seats (even though not as safe!) because they fear you have a dodgy car seat.

The other option is to get a 9-month to eleven years seat like this.
pros more likely to be used as normally have children between 1 and 4.
Slightly cheaper than above option (but not by much)
cons don't have anything for <9 months
Toddlers can't recline for sleeping.

So WWYD? Is there anything I haven't though of? hmm

Geepers Wed 03-Sep-08 14:42:16

I'd go for the second option.

Babies under 9 months usually have a carseat that is easilt strapped in and out.

The first option, if you have a small baby, you will need to remove it, turn it around and restrap it in every time you have two children of different ages using it.

navyeyelasH Wed 03-Sep-08 14:53:41

Geepers thanks for your help the more I think of it the more I think the second option makes more sense. It will be much easier for older ones too, otherwise I'll be swapping booster cushion for seat quite a lot and most parents prefer a booster seat with high sides anyway.

stellabgh Wed 03-Sep-08 14:59:12

I have this combination of car seats, all my own, parents have never asked me to use theirs:

1 newborn - 9mth seat
1 9mth - 4 yrs seat
1 9mth - 11 yrs seat
1 approx 3yr - 11 seat
1 booster cushion

Am probably going to need an extra seat soon so I can have 3 toddlers none of which are quite big enough for the 3yr+ seat.

Wish I had a 7 seater car to stop me having to swap them around!

navyeyelasH Wed 03-Sep-08 15:09:52

Stella I'm guessing you're a CM? IME parents seem to think CM are more professional than nannies and have less worries about using their equiptment. Many parents seem to think nannies would take short cuts IME angry

navyeyelasH Wed 03-Sep-08 16:26:42

Now then which would you get?






or this

Another option is a new one from ebay but they are around the £35+ mark and if any problems with it would obviously be a lot easier to return it to a shop v ebay seller.




3 but haven't checked their safety record etc.

Any thoughts?

southernbelle77 Wed 03-Sep-08 18:01:33

I have the top one from argos in my collection of car seats! Works fine and never had any saftey issues with it, if that helps!

MatNanPlus Wed 03-Sep-08 19:09:51

You also need to be aware of the seat 'footprint' if you want to fit more than 2 seats in the car!

nannynick Wed 03-Sep-08 19:12:40

I have a very similar multi-group seat, and the issue I have with it is that it is quite complex to change from group 1 to group 2 and vice versa. Explanation about Groups
The 5 point harness is a right pain to get in and out, takes me 20-30 minutes to change (with enough practice I may get faster, but I avoid changing the Group over).
Also, the crotch strap position could not be moved, so a large just turned 3 year old did not fit the 5-point harness.

Next time I upgrade my car seats, I intend to get Group 0-Group 1 and Group 2-3.
Example of Group 0-Group 1
Example of Group 2-Group 3

MatNanPlus Wed 03-Sep-08 19:26:22

I have a 1-3 seat and i lengthen the shoulder straps so i can tuck the buckles out of the way, saves the dethreading/rethreading scenario which as Nick says is a complete PITA.

nannyL Wed 03-Sep-08 19:27:35

if you insist on getting a 9 month til 11 years ish seat the ONLY one worth considering is the britax evolva 1/2/3

every other 3 stage car seat that which have ever tested (and they have tested LOADS over the years) has scored in the extreamly unsafe catagory.

Also single stage seats (rather than multi stage seats) are generally much safer (though some single stage seats are really bad and even dangerouse too)

persoanlly I would get a car seat for each stage

Maxi cosi are the only brand to have all seats in all stages as very safe.

i would get a stage 1 maxi cosi priori
and a stage 2 / 3 maxi cosi rodi

and / or a britax evolva 1/2/3

the stage 1 mode is not as safe as most other stage 1 car seats but the 2 / 3 mode is safe.

do not get those cheap seats from argos... they generally score really badly in which? crash tests.
Im a nanny and i have 4 of my own car seats... ALL highly rated by which...

got them as my old bosses had the graco group 2/3 car seats... they are AWFUL and i refused to travel with their children in their seats in my car

MatNanPlus Wed 03-Sep-08 19:39:18

Personal choice don't you think NannyL? I remember previous Britax seats that started off ok then plummated down the WHICH ratings in freefall, but still do the job.

All seat have passed the same safety tests, as to which are easier to remove the covers from, install in a car, alter the straps etc give the same seat to any 10 parents and some will fly thru it and others will struggle.

My seat is top in Germany where tests are of a higher standard and the same of USA seats, which are one of the few seats the FAA allows on planes for use.

nannyL Wed 03-Sep-08 20:19:33

i actually dont think that which crash tests are personal choice shock

yes a few britax have been crap, but at no time did i say all briatx were great... just that the evolva 1/2/3 os the ONLY 3 stage car seat EVER tetsed that has notbeen extreamly unsafe

which also score their score based on ease of strapping in CORRECTLY which is obviously as important, if not mroe so than the seat itself.... and incorrectly fotting car seatis rubbish before you even start

as for the standards... car seats that will KILL children sitting in them can pass, as can seats that seriously injur children angry

When other similar seats mean the child sitting in them is more likely to survive a crash, and not have broken bones etc surely it makes sense t use those seats rather than the ones which positively unrecomend due to the injuries their crash test dummies sustained in their crashes

which also test in much more realistic crash models.... NOT driving at 30mph into a flat brick wall hmm

As for britax seats that plummeted... correct me if im wprng but in the past 8 or so years i think that applied to 1 Britax sea, the cruiser plus (which fisher price no make and sell)

My dad gave me all the car seat which reports a few months back (he's having a clear out from his house)... any way quite recently i re-read them all and i think that there was the only 1 britax seat to be recommended 1 year then postively not recommended a while later....

(I do wonder WHY people would let a 9 month old travel in an adult belt rather tha 5 point harness thoush hmm)

(also another britax seat (the ranger) is pretty rubbish too, again no loneger made)

navyeyelasH Wed 03-Sep-08 23:13:48

southernbelle77 Thanks for the tip, have you ever been in a bump with it in the car (touch wood)

MatNanPlus What's a set 'footprint' just did a quick google but doidn't return any likely suspects!

nannynick Changing if from 1-2 is a PITA I agree! My dad has a 1-3 in his car for my nephew so I do have some experience with his one and can normally get it out in 5 mins. My dad on the other hand does what MatNanPlus suggests and just moves the harness. I am liking your idea of a 0-1, 2-3; but I have more children in the 1-3 group usually. Also they only get older so maybe the money might be better spent on 2 lots of 1-3?

nannyL The thing I hate though is that these group 2 seats, seem pretty naff to me. My sister has a graco one and it's shockingly rubbish IMO. Because it works on the seat belt alone (no harness) unless you literally stamp on the breaks the seat belt doesn't switch to the hold position, if that makes sense?

So if I'm approaching lights and gently breaking the car seat tends to tilt forward, not so bad when he is awake but terrible if he falls asleep in the car! I end up having to put my arm across the front which of course is a distraction. I have even tried those tightening things for seat belt and taken my car to garage to check seat belt is working as it should be.

I have read the Which review and in deciding the number 1 car seat they don't just consider safety they consider all other aspects. As which say, "All seats sold in the UK must meet the test requirements of the compulsory standard ECE R44/04.

This simulates a low-speed crash test at the front of the vehicle, equivalent to around 30mph, without a child sustaining serious injury." Also you have to factor in the car that is being driven and also the crash that crashes into you. If you have a mini and a range rover hits you from the side at 30mph I don't think any car seat will provide the protection necessary to ensure the child is not seriously hurt.

I personally believe that any car seat fitted correctly (fitting both the child and the car), in a road worthy car being driven sensibly given the conditions at the time would prevent a child for suffering serious harm.

MatNanPlus Thu 04-Sep-08 10:32:54

Morning NavyEL the saet footprint is the amount of space it takes up on the seat so if a seat has a footprint of say 45cms across and your back seat is 125cms long you won't be ablt to fit 3 of them in.

Also i know before i shouted at your not meant to adapt a car seat but could a strap (like a thin luggage strap) be fitted around the child seat at either waist or shoulder level and around the vehicle seat so that the seat is held in place? i do up the belt across the booster cushion (with soft toy in situ) for this reason?

nannyL Thu 04-Sep-08 22:21:50

nabyeleashH... yes that seat is one of the seats which has reveleled to be shockingly rubbish "highly unrecommended because it simply does NOT offer enough protection in a crash angry

it makes me really cross becuase they identified THAT seat as 'super unsafe' 3 years ago yet they still continue to make it and parents still buy it becuase they think they are buying a safe car seat... as any parent would hmm

I DONT blame the parents for putting their chidlren in unsafe seats, but the shops that sell them regardless sad

navyeyelasH Thu 04-Sep-08 23:34:03

nannyL we must be talking about different Which? reviews because that Graco one isn't is the one I have read (the one on their site ATM). Also the test only tests about 45 seats and it tests them in "extreme circumstances" above and beyond normal testing.

Is that the Which? review you have read?

MatNanPlus That is a good idea but I am worried that anything we use could in a crash cause more harm that good? Or am I being OTT?

MatNanPlus Fri 05-Sep-08 00:42:33

Not at all EyeLash it would retain the child seat on the car seat and if it did loosen you haven't lost anything to be honest, it is a consideration. Is that a hand hold at the very top or just an indent?

I understand where your coming from but have been in your situation, having to steady the seat for turns, slowing down, roundabouts and it was not only a PITA but dangerous.

You could call Graco and explain the issues you have with the seat and see what response you get.

The alternative is a different seat these are all group 2-3 seats which use ISOFIX to hold the seat in the car so the seat belt is just holding the child but can be used with just a 3 point belt where ISOFIX isn't available

the Jane Indy Plus

Recaro Monza Seatfix

Britax Evolva 2-3 Isofit

nannyL Fri 05-Sep-08 09:00:09

navyeyelash... it would have been in the which report about 3 (or 4) years ago.

I have read EVERY which report they have done on car seats in the past 10 years.... in the 2 / 3 / 4 pages they write in the the which? magazine along with the pictures of the seats being tested / crash test dummy pics etc etc.

Im a bit obsessed with car seats blush and on 30 May when the June report arrives the 1st thing i want to do is tear it open and see what they have to say this year (they do the car seat review every June)

MatNanPlus Fri 05-Sep-08 11:41:10

NannyL nothing offers complete protection in a crash, i looked after a child who was in a top scoring seat that was fitted into the right car in the correct manner and she was fastened into the seat in the correct manner.

They had an accident, her mother - the driver was killed and she suffered many fractures and global diffuse brain injury, (think jelly in a jam jar shaken alot) the force of the accident tore the seat away from the car with her in it.

Yes, she has learnt - over several years - to walk and talk and care for herself in a limited way but the brain damage will always mean she has poor memory, little emotional self control, a lack of empathy & will never be safe to be alone.

Her injuries were so severe that there was serious talk of turning off the machines and to this day her father is still not sure he made the 'right' decision given the pain and continued suffering she has.

nannyL Fri 05-Sep-08 12:44:15

of course nothing offers complete protection

(at no point have i ever suggested any seat does)

But some car seats offer a lot more protection than others so IMO it makes ense to use those car seats.... some seats offer hardly any protection at all angry (though with the exception of 1 seat tested (mother care daytona back in 1999 / 2000)tested by which? in the last decade, all offer more protection than an adult seat belt alone)

So sorry to hear about that tragic accident sad... perhaps if the child was in different car seat the child actually would have died? but who knows and theres no point speculating...

also car seats have come on alot even in the past 5 or so years, so you say she has improved over several years.... maybe in a more modern car with a more modern car seat it may have been better?

I know of a child (my charges friends brother) who aged 18 months was in a motorway car crash with impact speed estimated at 60mph+.... the brand new car was written off, but the only injuries the 18 month old suffered was bruises on his shoulders where the straps on his maxi cosi priori XP car seat had held him in. smile

Off course even if the correct seat is properly fitted into the correct car, the straps must be adapted to fit the child properly EVERY SINGLE time child uses it... (not for a moment suggesting your friends child was not properly strapped in)

navyeyelasH Fri 05-Sep-08 15:03:42

I have just had another look at which? review and they have only tested 48 this year. And as mentioned earlier their testing goes above and beyond "normal" crash conditions and what you would "expect" generally. So on a scale of probabilities; it is "probable" that if you had a "typical" accident any car seat that has passed EU car seat regs would suffice.

I do not drive on the motorway with other children in my car, I never exceed the national speed limits when driving with children in my car, I have completed an advanced driving course not pass plus, a police course, my car is road worthy and I alter my driving to suit the conditions.

Given this I personally feel any car seat will be fine for my purposes and there is no need to fork out for the "best" as decided by which?.

I will be using a lot of common sense though; for instance I need a car seat the prevents child head hitting door if had side impact so something like this probably wont be deep enough in the head area for most children. Would be fine for slim build children but my nephew is a lump!

I think I'm going to go for this one but will need to test it out with my nephew inside it as he is definitely the biggest one I look after (though he is only 3!).

I think I will also be getting a group 1 car seat, so will use the mothercare one for 4+ mainly etc but will be good to have option of 2 group 1s of needed. Looking after 2 11 month old in Nov so no doubt will be needed.

The group 1 I am thinking of getting I will be stealing from my sister, she's had it for 1.5 years it's a Maxi Cosi. Is there a rule on how long a car seat should last? I swear I have read they need to be replace every 5 years?

MatNanPlus Fri 05-Sep-08 21:12:13

Navy re Expiry Dates,i found this

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