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Car seats for premature twins - lie-flat ideally? - help please!

(30 Posts)
fuffinhelp Wed 21-Jan-15 19:40:25

Hi Mumsnet, total newb hoping to benefit from your advice please!

I had premature ID twins at 27+5, the NICU has advised us to try lie-flat car seats, due to their airways being really soft and issues with head-lolling. We'd already bought Mothercare Madrid seats (on half price - good for twins!) which are group 0/1, but quite curved, before realising we'd need any different. We obvs want them to be as safe as poss and not at risk of any pressure on their airways, so ordered Britax Baby-Safe Sleepers for the first few months. I have a decent-sized family car (Saab 93)...I thought...until the Britax seats arrived. They're carrycot style, and have to fasten sideways on. Really great, if you're not too bothered about having the door open all the time, or having both babies fully in the car at any one time sad You could probably lie a three-year old down in one of these, and it's impossible to get both seats in the car, so we returned them. I think these are the only lie-flat car seats on the market at the mo (Pretty disappointing when you think that multiple pregnancies are more likely to result in premature births and need lie-flats, but you can't get more than one lie-flat seat in a car.)

We then ordered Tiny Traveller inserts, under the impression that these would flatten out the curve in the existing car seats, but they arrived today and are basically just flat themselves, with nothing to lessen the curve of the car seat confused although they do have head support.

We're not able to get a different car. We're not looking for anything that needs to be compatible with a system, as I'm just going to lift them out of the car seats into the pram for getting around.

Basically, what do you think about any other options available? Is there anyone else out there who has premature twins and a similar dilemma? Anyone with prem twins who can recommend a good flat-ish or supportive car seat which will comfortably fit two in a car? Have you used anything to lessen the curve of car seats? Would love to hear your thoughts/experiences please, as I'm starting to really worry if they'll be ok in the seats.

Waffles80 Wed 21-Jan-15 20:28:14

Hi there - congratulations on your little ones, and I hope they are doing well.

I don't have any specific advice / experience as my babies were prem, but big enough to sit safely in a normal car seat. But I did wonder if it would be worth calling either Tamba, or an organisation like Bliss, who might have some knowledge / experience?

Artandco Wed 21-Jan-15 20:33:32

Tbh I don't think there are.

There are a few like Stokke izi sleep, that lie flatter when out of the car but you still have to sit right up to use safely in the car. That's the same for all that would fit x2 in one car

Personally I would say just don't use the car for a few weeks if possible. Make sure one adult sits between them when you drive home so can keep a close eye on them, then try and just walk/ sling/ stay at home with them until they are a bit bigger. Tbh you probably won't want them around too many people due to catching germs etc until they are at least past due date anyway.

Pico2 Wed 21-Jan-15 20:33:43

You could call the In Car Safety Centre in Milton Keynes - they sell a massive range and give great advice.

BertieBotts Wed 21-Jan-15 20:37:01

Maxi Cosi seats are expensive but they have an insert for newborns which makes them flatter.

I believe you can also make an insert with a rolled up towel - you need to be careful, because adding anything under the straps heightens the risk of ejection in the case of an accident, but I believe there are ways to do it which aren't risky in a rear facing car seat. I'll see what I can find for you. Unfortunately I think all of the true lie flat seats are carrycot style and designed to go across two seats. Plus most of them get appalling safety ratings, the Britax being the leader. I think there is a Jané one too? But might not be on the market any more and also might take up two spaces in the car.

The issue is that with rear facing because of the forces present in an accident the seats have to be at around a 45 degree angle. So even if you find one which is less curved and more flat with a bend at the pelvis, allowing a sort of sitting position (DS's seat was like this and it was the Mothercare own brand one they had seven years ago, I know it's changed since then.) - it might still be too high.

One thing that might help - if you use a seat which is fitted with the car's seatbelt rather than isofix, you can usually push down on the top of the car seat to make the seat tip back somewhat, which changes the angle and can make it more shallow.

Whatever you do I would try it in the shop before you buy.

Artandco Wed 21-Jan-15 20:38:09

Ah ok looked at seats your using,they really are upright

Not lie flat But a few to look at:
-'kiddy Evo lunafix
- be safe izi sleep

Sarsparilla Wed 21-Jan-15 20:47:31

We had a Britax First Class which has a newborn insert with head support, and the fact that you can recline it quite a bit as well makes it fairly flat (unless the design has changed - it was a few years ago).

Worth a look maybe.

I think if it was me, I might be tempted to get one of those, and one of the lay flat ones, and keep swapping the babies round.

trilbydoll Wed 21-Jan-15 20:51:14

Jane do the transporter but I suspect it will be the same as your other ones, a sideways carrycot.

They also do a car seat that is hinged, so can be lie flat or not. Maybe called the matrix? I don't know how that sits in the car bit it might go lengthways.

stargirl1701 Wed 21-Jan-15 20:52:39

BertieBotts Wed 21-Jan-15 20:54:55

You can't recline the First Class in the rear facing position, only forward facing. It's pretty upright in RF.

BertieBotts Wed 21-Jan-15 20:55:15

The matrix is the one I was thinking of but I think it goes across the bench seat too.

BertieBotts Wed 21-Jan-15 21:02:13

If you think about how the forces would apply in an accident - totally rear facing + lie flat would be a disaster because all of the force would be straight on the baby's head and they'd break their necks or be brain damaged. Sideways is a compromise because the force can be spread but not as safe as being held sitting upright, where the force can be spread over the shell of the seat and curved around the spine. It's illegal to make a seat where the baby is facing forwards (and I think you'd have the same problem except with legs rather than head/neck). So I think what you are looking for is impossible.

This is ancient now, and refers to slings, but it's a very good explanation of why the curved airway can be dangerous for newborns and how it works. I found it reassuring to read how quickly it can be remedied and understand it a little bit better.

Based on the information in there, I would keep car trips as short as possible and possibly consider using those monitors you can get for cots which alert you if a baby is in breathing distress. Let someone sit in the back with the babies at all times and if there is a problem, you only need to take them out of the seat for a minute to "reset" their breathing again.

BertieBotts Wed 21-Jan-15 21:03:46

Those kind of slings are banned now, BTW, so the issues affect car seats and slings you tie yourself which are too loose.

Sarsparilla Wed 21-Jan-15 21:07:27

I'm pretty sure you had to recline the First Class fully before installing it in either direction.
I'm sure I would have made sure to follow the instructions carefully with my pfb, but maybe the instructions have been updated, or my memory is playing tricks.

Felyne Wed 21-Jan-15 21:08:48

Someone I know had a baby who couldn't have a usual car seat due to abdominal surgery. I'm pretty sure this is the one they had:

Sorry about massive link, hopefully it works. Britax Baby Safe Sleeper.

BertieBotts Wed 21-Jan-15 21:14:37

If you see how the "wedge" is used in this photo, you can do the same thing with a rolled towel or a pool noodle across the whole back seat. As long as everything is tight and still fits then it's safe - I've seen the pool noodle in particular mentioned a lot.

BertieBotts Wed 21-Jan-15 21:15:40

Sars we might be talking about different models - I think there's been a new one out since DS used one. New one was released in 09/10 maybe?

BertieBotts Wed 21-Jan-15 21:16:21

Although I have seen a lot of comments online about it being too upright for newborns.

FatimaLovesBread Wed 21-Jan-15 21:16:46

You definitely can recline the first class in rear facing. It's suppose to be in the most reclined position

Would something like a pebble or cabriofix and regular breaks from the car seat not be ok? They look a lot flatter than the Mothercare one

ChocLover2015 Wed 21-Jan-15 21:29:46

Felyne that is what the OP said she had in her first post and the problem is that 2 won't fit in.

thingamajig Wed 21-Jan-15 21:33:22

My normal, rearfacing car seats came with one of [ these]] (Others are cheaper but this is the best picture) Which go someway to flattening the seat.
As someone else said, don't overestimate how much you will go in the car with tiny tiny babies aswell. A month will make all the difference to the strength of their airways.

fuffinhelp Wed 21-Jan-15 21:41:49

Wow, MNers, you're fab! Thank you so much for all your suggestions, lots more research possibilities now. Will have a look in between hospital visits. Your replies have totally hooked me into MN!

Thank you Waffles, it's been v stressful, a difficult pregnancy all the way through (misdiagnosed miscarriage, twin to twin transfusion, emergency surgery with 40% chance of survival, more twin to twin transfusion) and some stressful times after delivery, but they are amazing little girls and seem to be doing well now. I'm hoping if we can get the car seats right, then maybe we can all be a bit more 'normal' and put the stressful times behind us??

nousernamesleft Wed 21-Jan-15 21:54:14

I'd second the britax first class plus with the newborn inserts, in fact, if you want the inserts I have, I'm happy to pop them in the post for you now my twins have outgrown them.

Felyne Thu 22-Jan-15 12:34:04

ChocLover2015 sorry, you're right. Drives me mad when people don't read the post properly and here's me doing exactly that! Oops blush

Pico2 Thu 22-Jan-15 15:33:13

Would this be any good

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