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Confused about car seats

(15 Posts)
KatieWatie Wed 08-Jun-11 18:19:03

I wondered if anyone can clear this up. I bought a travel system that had a baby car seat in it (up to 15lb I think it said in the blurb). I saw on here that you need a car seat when they're born or the hospital don't let you take them home!! Then I saw this on my local news http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-13679025
which implies you can't put them in a car seat until they are 3 months old.

So what am I supposed to do, how do I get baby home from hospital (it's 30 mins in car and about a 3 hour walk...) or is there a special lying down type car seat that has totally passed me by??

Sorry if this is a really stupid question with an obvious answer.

KatieWatie Wed 08-Jun-11 18:19:38

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-13679025

Try that link again, it didn't "convert automatically" confused

PrincessScrumpy Wed 08-Jun-11 18:24:33

Swindon hospital are doing tests which may change car seats in the future but from what I saw on the news they were testing newborns/prem babies in the next size up seat - the type my dd went into at about 14 months. As long as the seat is group 0 then you are fine. They've always said not to put them in a car seat for any length of time but they are now looking at lying down ones.

There are always panics about everything to do with babies and things have changed so much in just 3 years since my dd was born and I'm now pg again.

Someone might say something different as it's just my interpretation.

JeewizzJen Wed 08-Jun-11 18:25:17

That article is only an indication of some research, not a change in law or policy, and it also refers specifically to babies being in car seats for long periods of time. I believe it's already not recommended that babies stay in car seats for longer than 2 hours at a time anyway.

The hospital won't let you leave with the baby in the car without a car seat. It's a legal requirement. So you've done the right thing in buying one smile

emsyj Wed 08-Jun-11 18:26:42

You do need a car seat from birth. I think what the article is trying to cover is the potential problems that the position of a 'newborn' car seat can cause. Generally I think the guidance is that a baby should not spend more than an hour in a car seat at a time (but preferably the shortest time possible) because the position a small baby is put in is not the optimum one for breathing and spine development.

You can get lie-flat car seats but they are not usually as safe statistically as the rear-facing more 'upright' style. There might be one that is brilliant by now tho, it's ages since I bought DD's newborn car seat!

I would interpret the article's reference to car seats being designed for babies 3months and up as meaning they are best suited to babies of that age, although that is just my interpretation.

Spagbolagain Wed 08-Jun-11 18:32:03

It's research, which maybe will be used to design the next generation of car seats. In the meantime, a group 0 car seat is what you need for your newborn. These are rear-facing and cradleshaped, and im sure will be what is in your travel system. You shouldn't leave them in it for more than a couple of hours as it is bad for their spines for prolonged periods, and as the article says, is not the best position for breathing. So if your baby was premature or had some breathing issues anyway i would be more careful about the amount of time in it, and it sounds like this is what the artic,e is talking about. if you are on a long trip, plan in plenty of breaks. Other than that you'll be fine, don't worry!

SecretNutellaFix Wed 08-Jun-11 18:32:04

the three months issue refers to babies staying in them for long periods of time (more than two hours) when not travelling.

A rear facing group 0+ car seat is the safest way to transport your baby as their head, neck and spine will be held in line, supported by the car seat in the event of a crash. It reduces movement which is especially important for very young children whose muscles cannot take the forces that occur in a car accident.

Spagbolagain Wed 08-Jun-11 18:33:21

And emsyj's last paragraph, that's how I read it too

nannyl Wed 08-Jun-11 18:44:20

some car seat such as the maxi cosi cabrio fix and britax babysafe have a thing / design that makes newborns have more of a lieing down position

not completely flat but alot flatter for when they are small.

You DO need a car seat, its a legal requirement, but best not to let them be in it for too long. (another reason to avoid travel systems, as they force you to get baby out and be in a lie flat buggy / carry cot / pram) though of course there are times when a travel system is useful.

pettyprudence Wed 08-Jun-11 18:44:59

seconding all of the above, but just to let you know, britax do a lie flat car seat/carrycot. not sure if its worth the money though as they are not in them for very long - a couple of months max!

SecretNutellaFix Wed 08-Jun-11 20:00:05

to be honest prudence- I don't rate them personally. There is nothing preventing side to side head movement when the baby is lying down in them in an accident, and if the baby isn't strapped in tightly, they are going to move a lot more.

I would probably only get one of those if I was doing Cardiff to London journeys or longer at least twice a week.

nannyl Wed 08-Jun-11 20:11:43

Have just been on which? and watching the crash test videos of baby car seats.

The britax lay flat car seat is actually a BEST buy and recommended.
Watching the dummy baby in the crash their head / neck moves LESS than some other "conventional" rear facing baby car seats.
(Every other lay flat car seat that which? have ever tested has scored really bad, but this new britax one actually protects baby really quite well)

(Though not as well as the britax Babysafe plus II, which is protects baby even better)

sleepybump Wed 08-Jun-11 20:18:59

Just to add a little balance to the lie flat car seats - I've been reading about them and they are apparently just as safe (under EC regs) as the more widely used (in the UK) sit-up ones, and for some models deemed safer in some types of accidents (rolling the car I believe). But most of those I read about had head hugger-type cusioning, though I'm sure I saw some without too (older models perhaps?)...

personally I can't afford to buy a lie-flat or I would have, I'm happy with the car seat I have inherited (know the history of) as it will only be short journeys I intend to take smile

x

HauntedLittleLunatic Wed 08-Jun-11 20:19:12

There is prior research to support the fact that sitting in a car seat can cuase a fall in blood oxygen (from New Zealand I think), and premature babies are particularly at risk.

It is not ideal to have babies in car seats for prolonged periods. Hence the reason that I hate to see people using travel systems as an alternative to a lie flat pram or pushchair - particularly for tiny babies. They are designed for popping into shops when baby is asleep at best (and making maufacturers money at worst. They are not designed for an all day stroll around a shopping centre.

One of my babies did go blue when sat in a car seat - although she was premature - so I have first hand experience of this.

Babies do need to be strapped sercurely into an age appropriate car seat (including a standard 0/0+ seat) when travelling in the car. They do not need to be left in it when you get in from journey and they are still asleep. They do not need to be left in it whilst you browse around the shops.

sleepybump Wed 08-Jun-11 20:21:31

ooo xpost!...goes to watch the Which vids... (hadn't thought of that)

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