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Need help re: travelling and car seats!

(25 Posts)
Marissa1984 Fri 24-Jun-11 16:02:23

I don't drive but need a car seat for my 10 mth old for when people give us a lift. My mum wants us to visit my Gran which means a short walk into town to catch a bus, then when we arrive in the next town my Gran will be picking us up in her car to take us to her house.

We have a travel system so have been using the infant carrier attached to the buggy and then have a stroller and a car seat to hand, but it's so big and we've never taken it on the bus before. And when my ds has outgrown this what do I get? I can't carry a car seat and take it on the bus with the stroller too and can't leave the car seat with my Gran as we need it at home. I've seen those carts that u can attach the car seat to but they're not cheap and poor ds will be travelling into town at such a low height if we use this that I'm concerned for his safety. Is there a booster seat and seatbelt adjuster suitable for a child his age as they all seem to be for 3yrs+? Or are there any other options?

cestlavielife Fri 24-Jun-11 16:18:36

if you visit gran often enough buy the cheapest suitable size seat and leave at hers
eg kiddicare has some for £39.99

www.kiddicare.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/categorydisplay10A_51_10751_14569_-1__14568_14568_10001_14568

cestlavielife Fri 24-Jun-11 16:19:55

ps learn to drive

Marissa1984 Fri 24-Jun-11 17:02:57

Are there no other options? I'm a single parent, I couldn't afford to run a car before I had a baby so I certainly can't afford to take lessons and buy a car now sad

balia Fri 24-Jun-11 17:26:05

Ebay? Second hand one? I know they say not to, but needs must? I recently sold the one that had been in my Mum's car as it hadn't been used much. There are tons on there and if you find a local one you can pick it up and save postage, they really don't go for very much.

Newbabynewmum Fri 24-Jun-11 18:10:17

£25 in asda baby weeks. That's where I hit my 9mo DD her car seat and it's great. Lasts until they have booster seats too.

Marissa1984 Fri 24-Jun-11 18:18:57

Even if I get one cheap I still have to find a way of taking the car seat and the stroller on the bus with me though. Need something that's a bit more portable really.

Newbabynewmum Fri 24-Jun-11 18:59:30

Can't your gran get it and keep it her end? If that's all you're using it for. Unfortunately there's no portable solution to car seats really.

BertieBotts Fri 24-Jun-11 19:17:28

FFS "learn to drive" ?? Easy for some! confused

OP it's a massive problem, I have the same issue as I'm a single parent and can't drive either. I kept DS in his infant seat for as long as physically possible - which is until the top of their head reaches the edge of the seat shell. It was 18 months for him. Then you do have to use the toddler stage seats until they are old enough for a booster, which goes on weight/height rather than age.

The car seat I went for in group 1 (the toddler stage) was the Kiddy Infinity Pro. It is around the same price as other well-known branded seats for that age range, but not as cheap as the budget ones (however I'm never sure the budget ones look as safe, so I saved up) - I chose this because it's so easy to move between cars and fits in pretty much any car, whereas you have to check with other seats if they fit. It's also more lightweight than other seats. I don't think I could cart it on a bus though.

I think your options really are

1. Don't do any journeys of this type from the age where your DS outgrows the infant seat (will be well past 10 months unless he's huge) until he is big enough for a booster (15kg - have a look in your red book for the centile line he's on, and you can predict this)

2. Get one carseat for use at home, in your mum's car, with friends, etc, and one for your gran to keep if you do that journey regularly. Probably a cheap or second hand one for your gran (as you can check it fits her car) and a more easily moveable one for home, if you get lifts or taxis a lot.

3. Rent or borrow one for your gran to use when you go and see her if you don't go that regularly.

4. Use taxis rather than your gran's car, as there is no legal requirement to use a car seat in one.

5. Take a train to your gran's house, you'll be able to take the carseat on more easily then (you can even request assistance at the station when you buy your tickets)

6. See if your mum and gran can literally meet you on/off the bus and help carry the car seat - again the Kiddy one would be good for this as it's more light than a normal car seat.

7. Get a double buggy and put the car seat in one seat and DS in the other - might look slightly odd but for long trips it might work out ok. Or you could get a toddler back carrier - I have a really good one which only cost me £45 - and put the carseat in the buggy and carry him. This is what I'm considering doing when I go to visit my cousin in August with DS who will be 2.10, but ages off 15kg.

BertieBotts Fri 24-Jun-11 19:26:38

Also - if you have wheelchair spaces on the bus you should be fine taking the travel system on there. Just leave early because if someone is already on it you might have to wait for the next one.

readywithwellies Fri 24-Jun-11 19:38:30

There is no legal requirement iirc if journey is short and an emergency. Google the seatbelt laws. I came across it when looking at height limits. If you want to put in a seat then I have no further suggestions.

Marissa1984 Fri 24-Jun-11 21:07:53

Found this on ebay:

cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=190540703550#ht_3316wt_1139

I'm hoping it will do the trick for occasional use. Think I'll hang onto the infant carrier to keep at home with me so I can use it until he outgrows it and then I could easily take this portable one on the bus with me as it folds up small.

Unfortunately my Gran lives in the middle of nowhere and the town the bus will take us to doesn't have a train station so the only options were bus or taxi and bus is obviously cheaper.

BertieBotts I agree with the comment about learning to drive, thought it was a bit rash!

Newbabynewmum Fri 24-Jun-11 21:10:54

Just cause theres no leal requirement you can't seriously be suggesting that OP doesn't use a car seat are you? Because we all know that'd be ludicrous. The eBay idea is the best.

readywithwellies Fri 24-Jun-11 21:37:58

Well it was an option. Whether the op does it is up to her. Taxi use is also ludicrous then!?! wink

BertieBotts Fri 24-Jun-11 22:12:29

Hmm. I wouldn't get that portable seat. It looks practical but it doesn't say that it meets EU standards, and just from looking at it, I doubt very much that it would meet them (the "safety certificate" linked to is too small to read as well) - which means it wouldn't be legal and might not be safe.

You can't really use the emergency clause in this situation as it's a pre-planned trip. I'd go with the taxi, or hire a seat, if I was you. It might cost a bit more but if you don't see her that often, it should even out. The cost won't be that high. Here's a company who offer it: www.all4kidsuk.com/category/baby-equipment-hire

BertieBotts Fri 24-Jun-11 22:25:36

Having had a bit of a google about that portable seat, I can't find any information on it, at least not in English, but I've found a larger picture which clearly shows it has more than one clip which means there is no way it could conform to EU standards as seats here have to have a one-click opening mechanism. Also the brand name appears to be Vietnamese and all the shipping options are coming from China, both countries with much lower car seat safety laws than UK. I'd steer well clear.

cestlavielife Fri 24-Jun-11 22:31:06

this one will last til age 12 converts to booster and is 34 99 - three taxi trips worth?

www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/3754494.htm#pdpFullProductInformation

ninja Fri 24-Jun-11 22:33:26

What about Freecycle - get your Gran to try and get one off freecycle/charity shop/borrow (H's Mum borrows when we go to visit)

BranchingOut Fri 24-Jun-11 22:46:13

Sorry, but I don't really like the look of that portable seat either.

I agree this is a huge problem. Keep your infant carrier for as long as possible. After that, I think the best options are:

1) Leaving a second car seat at your Gran's house. Buy one online and get it delivered to her?

2) Carrying car seat with you. To go on flights we have used a Sunshine Kids Car Seat bag from Amazon - about £10. The bag is huge and obviously still very cumbersome, but it does mean that you can sling it over your back while still having two hands free to push the buggy.

Marissa1984 Fri 24-Jun-11 23:30:41

Good point about the EU regulations, I'll give that a miss. Shame there isn't something similar that does conform. Guess I'll be looking for a cheap car seat then and perhaps let my Gran have the infant carrier seems as now ds is so heavy I find it difficult to use as anything other than a car seat!

Marissa1984 Sun 26-Jun-11 11:32:22

Well I'm definitely just going to get a cheap car seat from somewhere.

I've spoken to the seller of the portable soft car seat who insists I am misinformed and that it is legal to use this in the UK, even though I mentioned the R44 regulation and single button release mechanism. They have mentioned CE marking and EN 13209, however the latter seems to relate to soft carriers i.e. the ones you wear on your front or back.

So does this mean that this item is illegal in the UK and should I report this to ebay?

readywithwellies Sun 26-Jun-11 14:24:38

If it were legal, don't you think one of the big chains would have grabbed it with two hands? Report away! smile

blackeyedsusan Sun 26-Jun-11 23:21:26

learnign to drive would be ideal... but the cost of lessons is shock

BranchingOut Mon 27-Jun-11 12:35:06

I remembered something the other day, but you need to search for the threads to make sure that I am not making this up...

There was a thread along these lines and the conclusion came to was that you could buy a Britax First Class Plus (suitable as an infant carrier and then becomes a forward facing Group 1 seat). With the right adaptors, apparently this might fit on the chassis of a Quinny Buzz or Zapp (bought cheaply from ebay).

Hope this helps. Anyone else shed any light on this?

qwertysue Sun 03-Jul-11 22:30:09

is there a freecycle that runs in or near your area?, on our facebook in our area somebody has set up a freebies site, where people can ask if anybody in their town has a certain unwanted item? its all free, nobody is allowed to mention or ask for money and it works quite well, i helped 4 people out last week, 1. needed a lift to the pdsa, 1 desperatley needed a pram for her child, and the 3rd requested did anybody have any camping things. the 4th got given a baby changing unit that i no longer needed. there are lots of people on the site giving away alsorts of un used or un wanted things, ranging from bedding, to microwaves etc. prehahp you could set up a site like that? as there are an awful lot of people who are in exactly the same boat as yourself, but Many Many people who are able to help.

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