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In less than 18 months you'll face this decision

(20 Posts)
noid Tue 31-May-11 10:10:10

Do you get your older baby a rear-facing car seat or a forward-facing one?

There are several threads in other areas of the site at the moment. Please have a look at the information from Rospa and the crash-test videos.

At the moment, rear-facing seats are stocked by only a small proportion of retailers in this country. In Scandinavia and parts of mainland Europe they are the norm. Hopefully in nine months time, when you're looking for stage 1 car seats, they'll be more readily available.

I wasn't aware of these for my first two children, but was lucky enough to find out in time for DC3. Enjoy your pregnancies grin

Cattleprod Tue 31-May-11 10:26:13

I looked into it back in 2009 when choosing a seat for DS. I can't remember which articles I read, but many seemed to suggest that although rear-facing were much safer in head on collisions, there was not much difference in side and rear impacts, car rolling etc. Afaik the front facing seats performed better in some of the other types of crash.

I wasn't able to have rear facing as I drive a van and it would have dangerously impaired vision. Worth looking at more information for anybody who has a large car and a short legged child though!

everyspring Tue 31-May-11 10:27:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JeanLouiseFinch Tue 31-May-11 10:31:37

Hi noid. I have the Besafe IZI X3 isofix. I searched online and found plenty of stockists in the UK so you shouldn't have any problems. Enjoy the rest of your pregnancy.

nunnie Tue 31-May-11 10:50:59

It does say in here that they MAY not be quite as effective in a rear end crash, however that isn't the commonist crash.

Thank you I will have to keep my eyes open have a couple of months yet.

brettgirl2 Tue 31-May-11 10:51:47

They would perform better in the 'noticing that 2 year old has wriggled out of the harness' category.

Also at what age can kids start getting car sick? I couldn't sit in one I'd need a bucket attachment.

saoirse86 Tue 31-May-11 12:16:19

To stop a child wriggling out of the harness, the harness needs to start just around the top of their shoulders, they mustn't have any very padded clothing (like a coat) and the harness needs to be pulled tight, to the point of almost feeling uncomfortable. I had a rubbish stage 0 seat for my DD which was far too upright (despite supposedly being suitable from birth) and the harness wasn't very adjustable so when she got to about 6 months, the harness started at about the bottom of her shoulder blades before coming over her shoulders. That meant it could fall down to the side very easily. Waste of money that seat was! angry

To help prevent car sickness, don't have toys for them to play with, you'll need fresh cool air and a clear view out of the back of the car. You can also get a poncho towel like this just in case! wink

Apparently volvo have extended rear facing seats in the showrooms. I can't see them on the website but I'm planning to go in one to have a look.

Here are some retailers of extended rear facing car seats.


Mumswang Tue 31-May-11 12:31:05

See i get all the 'it's safer' but the reality for us is a) a very small car b) a very limited budget and most pertinently c) we need to be able to move it from car to car easily and safely (so we know it's fitted correctly). It's always one of us dropping off DS, with his seat, to be collected by someone else later in a different car. i can stagger into nursery, with DS in one hand and lift the seat out of the car with the other. i couldn't do this with any of the rearfacing car seats on offer

Also i have lost count of the numbers of traffic james we get stuck in, and the looong long journeys we do. With him front facing i can turn around to distract him, or chat to him, or pass him a toy he has dropped, or give him a drink or something to eat.

I agree that safety is a primary concern, but modern car seats are, on the whole, incredibly protective in the event of a crash.

and for us these problems with rearfacing outweigh the benefits of front facing

saoirse86 Tue 31-May-11 12:37:55

I know what you mean mumswang. My mum has a 3 door car with pretty small back seats. Ideally we wanted to have 2 extended rear facing car seats in the back of her car and still have room for an adult to sit between them. It's not going to happen though! Luckily she's actually thinking of buying a new car soon anyway so it'll be sorted.

It seems that these seats are more commonly used in countries where people often have bigger cars so they probably don't come up against many of these issues. And I think they're all just used to them too IYSWIM.

Just out of interest, what seat is it that you have that's so easy to remove and carry about? I'm intrigued as I thought they were all a bit of a hassle!

Mumswang Tue 31-May-11 12:47:30

It's a kiddy infinity something or other. I'd highly recommend it, i can lift it with one hand (and i'm 8 mnths pregnant), it's virtually impossible to incorrectly install, DS can't escape because it has a cushion thingy rather than straps, even the grandparents can be trusted to put it in their car correctly (remembers time they dropped off DS and the raincover was on his psuhchair upside down, later i noticed his nappy was back to front) (apols for hijack)

Beesok Tue 31-May-11 14:13:20

Sorry to hijack this thread a bit blush but you ladies seem to be very experienced with car seats unlike me - we live 10 minute walking distance from the hospital where I hope to give birth and was wondering do we really need a car seat if we're going home in a black cab? Will the pram carry cot be OK for such a short journey (in quiet back streets)?
Am not trying to compromise on the safety of my LO but we don't have a car and don't intend to get one anytime soon so car seat really won't be needed?
We plan to walk or take buses most of the time + occasionally black cabs to get around - do we need one?
Thanks for your advice smile

everyspring Tue 31-May-11 14:15:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Beesok Tue 31-May-11 14:22:27

Thanks everyspring - we don't "travel" that much, live pretty central so a max cab ride anywhere is 15 minutes and I don't like the idea of baby spending time afterwards in a car seat (in a restaurant or at friends' house etc)
Do cabs refuse to take babies in carry cots?
What about slings and carriers? Can I hop in a cab with baby in a sling? Again - we're talking about a max 15 min journey...

moonbells Tue 31-May-11 14:24:36

I brought a great seat back from across the pond with me a few weeks back after I was lucky enough to get work to pay me to go to a convention. It RF to 45lb (20kg) and then FF to 65lb (almost 30kg). We just don't have anything similar available over here.

My trouble is that DS has been FF for going on 3y so persuading him to RF again until he gets to 20kg might be a little tricky. It does FF under 20kg too, but...

saoirse86 Tue 31-May-11 14:35:41

Mumswag I'd heard those kiddy car seats are supposed to be safer than most FF car seats too with the cushion.

Beesok I'm not sure where the law stands on the car seat issue for you. Maybe it'd be worth contacting a local taxi firm to ask them. The thing I have thought when offered a lift for a short journey when I don't have a car seat with me is if something was to happen and my child was injured or worse, could I ever forgive myself and would I do it again? Well of course I wouldn't so for me it's a no-brainer! There are some cheapies on the market like this one or you could get a second hand one. Maybe one of your friends has one knocking about that they're not using.

everyspring Tue 31-May-11 14:45:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Beesok Tue 31-May-11 14:51:37

saoirse86 thanks smile I am happy to buy a carseat if it's needed (and I think it's recommended you don't use second hand ones?) but I am just looking at the practical side as well as safety - if we're going on a short cab ride (black cab not normal car) where we will be spending a couple of hours it is a hassle to take both car seat and pram esp if I am travelling alone...
I guess now that i think about it the sling idea is not so apealing but a baby secured in the carrycot would be safe enough?

saoirse86 Tue 31-May-11 15:01:13

You can use second hand ones. It's just about knowing it's never been in an accident, not really old, not been exposed to extremes of temperature etc. I would also say a properly secured second hand seat is safer than no seat at all.

I wouldn't say the carrycot idea was exactly safe as it's not secured to the car, and the baby isn't secured inside it, but possibly safer than nothing.

Obviously it's your LO and your decision as it's legal, it's just not something I'd be willing to do. An accident can happy any time, any place, and even a low impact can be devastating for a young baby as they don't have the head and neck strength developed yet.

I really don't want to sound like one of those judgey/preachy MNers but I think if anything ever happened, you'd wish you'd dealt with the hassle of a bit of extra equipment. smile

Beesok Tue 31-May-11 15:04:43

not at all saoirse I am not willing to compromise on LO's safety so if it means taking the bus or lugging a car seat so be it ;)

CalmInsomniac Tue 31-May-11 15:52:38

Beesok you could keep your buggy up in the back of a black cab, face baby backwards with the break on and it' would be like transporting someone in a wheelchair. Can you strap your baby into the carrycot? We always just used the pushchair-chair, lying flat, for our DD straight after birth. She was strapped in with a 5 point harness. But we didn't take her in a cab in that. We did take her in one in her stroller later on, facing backwards as I said.
Some carrycots can be attached to the car with a seat belt.
Second safest would be if child is actually attached to you in a sling as a PP said. When in a cab in Paris we always attached LO to us in a baby bjorn sling, with the seatbelt under the sling.
It's just if they aren't attached to anything, and the cab breaks suddenly/crashes, they may fly out of your arms.
We live centrally in a city but have always had a car seat so we can accept lifts when offered, and use hire cars. We got 2nd hand ones through people we knew so we trusted they hadn't been in a crash. I think if you ask around and find one from a source you trust, you wouldn't regret picking up a car seat. We got a mothercare one from a friend of my DH's aunt (!) and it goes from birth up to 13kg so DD is still in it at 17 months.

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