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Car seats - too confusing, help please!!!

(26 Posts)
Beesok Wed 20-Jul-11 21:41:24

Hope this is a good place for this thread, we are in the process of ordering our buggy and need to make decision on car seat - specifically, do we need a base?

We don't own a car so the car seat in London would only be used for the cab ride home and random taxi rides here and there, however, both sets of grandparents live abroad where we will be travelling within the year of baby's birth and there we will def. need a car seat as driving full time. Question is do I need a base or is it enough to secure the car seat with seat belts - we will be using different cars in different countries so dragging the base around will be a pain but I do not want to compromise on safety....

Any advice would be hugely appreciated!! smile

sidorek Wed 20-Jul-11 21:44:14

same dilema here... we are looking at the car seats which can be secured by a seat belt, but I wonder if it is secure enough? any thoughts?

Icoulddoitbetter Wed 20-Jul-11 21:49:26

I don't have Isofix so my Britax SHR was fixed in by the seatbelts. IIRC it's not necessarily the Isofix that makes them particularly safe, seatbelted seats can do just as well in crash tests.

harrygracejessica Wed 20-Jul-11 21:52:08

I've got graco car seats and don't have the bases, we just do the seatbelt each time. The only time it's a pain in the bum is when it's raining but we have twins so have to put 2 in each time.

Icoulddoitbetter Wed 20-Jul-11 21:58:39

I've just checked "Which?" and the best buy group O+ car seat is belted, as are alot in the top ten.

ksaunders Wed 20-Jul-11 22:00:41

I think that you need a 'bit' that is installed in the car for isofix so wouldn't necessarily work in taxis or hire vehicles. We install ours with the seatbelt and is definitely secure, the seat stayed secure even when we were hit from the back.

ksaunders Wed 20-Jul-11 22:07:41

Just to add, here is a link explaining 'Isofix' seats and how although they will eventually be standard in all cars...they aren't at the moment:
www.childcarseats.org.uk/standards/isofix.htm

nannyl Wed 20-Jul-11 22:50:50

You will be fine without a base

the britax babysafe II SHR is very very safe without a base (marginally safer with a base though) but still safer than many based car seats.

Ironically the Graco is SAFER belted than when use with its base shock

If using the car seat in different cars (esp taxi's etc) then honestly really dont bother with a base as it will be a faff and might not fit.
The Base can also not be used where there are floor storage compartments (which is highly annoying for me and my car, cause it has isofix, but these foot stores means there is no group 0 baby car seat that can use the isofix points)

I have the britax baby safe II SHR (safest seat currrently tested by which when based, and when belted) It is also officially approved for use on airplanes, so if flying, if you choose to buy baby a seat then she can sit in it then too

Rootatoot Wed 20-Jul-11 22:55:43

We've been given one of each. We can't use the isofix in our car but can secure the base with seatbelt which makes it easy just to click seat in and out but, BIG BUT, the base weighs a ton! It would be totally impractical for you to move this about. They're really for bunging in your car and leaving there. The other seat we were given is great. It just fits with seat belts, really good side impact protection, very very lightweight. Really like it and it's a doddle to put in and out. I'd go for that kind of thing. I can't remember the make off hand but I did look it up when we were given it and I know it has good reviews so they're just as good, so long as correctly fitted.

howabout Thu 21-Jul-11 03:45:47

Don't think a base is practical if you are using multiple cars and transporting the car seat.
I have just bought one without a base and it is v secure when fitted with seatbelts.
Most people I know seem to see the main advantage of the base being the ease of clipping the car seat out with the baby in it. However leaving babies in carseats for extended periods of time is not good for them and mine always woke up the minute I took the carseat out of the car anyway and they are heavy. I am using a sling instead.

Beesok Thu 21-Jul-11 08:22:36

Thanks everyone! This is very helpful smile I am so glad the base is not necessary as not having yet another piece of baby equipment to log around is great news (esp. that I am NOT one of those light packers grin)!!!

Sidorek got your message sorry for not responding - will write back today smile

SleepySuzy Thu 21-Jul-11 08:26:07

I think a base is an expensive waste of money if you don't own a car. The idea is that the base stays in the car so you just click the car seat in and go

notasausage Thu 21-Jul-11 12:30:58

A word of warning on bases - if you have a family friendly MPV style vehicle with the handy rear footwell storage you can't use any of the maxi cosi bases. I have a 2010 Peugeot 3008 and thought getting a base would be no problem. I am gutted that I can't have one for such a straightforward reason. Manufacturers listen up!

JJWMummy Thu 21-Jul-11 13:22:47

No need for a base, just a luxury if you own a car and use it regularly for school runs etc.

Certainly wouldn't by one for travelling abroad as they are seriously heavy.

Funny you should mention the faults of MPV's notasausage, we're changing our Zafira because you can't move the middle row of seats with child seats strapped in as they move as a bench, poor DS1 has to bend himself in two to get in the back seats, he's a very tall 12 yr old!

Vix286 Thu 21-Jul-11 15:41:36

Just one thing about fitting car seats with belts only, we have found the Ford Focus cars have short seatbelts so we can't use certain car seats we have had to get a base, my friend had the same issue with her Ford KA.

I know you can't get family etc to change cars but it was something we were so surprised about as I thought a seatbelt was a seatbelt!

phlossie Thu 21-Jul-11 16:21:11

Go somewhere like Mothercare - they're v knowledgable and helpful and will try out car seats in the back of a car to demo correct fit etc. Half the safety comes from whether or not you fit it correctly.

spilttheteaagain Thu 21-Jul-11 17:07:45

We were told that the main reason bases are perceived as safer is because they remove the user error factor of seat belting the car seat in. So as long as you aren't slapdash and pay attention and strap the seat in properly everytime there is no reason you need a base. Save the dosh!

eeyore2 Thu 21-Jul-11 17:40:34

You really don't need a base for what you're looking for. Just buy a decent rear-facing infant carrier like a Maxi Cosi cabrio or what have you. Very easy to belt in.

Beesok Thu 21-Jul-11 19:16:29

Thanks again - I hope that we won't have a problem with seat belts, none of the cars is a Ford ;)
We were recommended the Maxi Cosi cabrio so will check it out in the stores - however, as we don't own a car and won't be travelling with baby until January I don't see how we can "try it out" confused but am sure it's not that hard to belt in? ;)

SleepySuzy Thu 21-Jul-11 19:24:12

In mothercare and John Lewis they have actual car seats so you can try the infant car seat out in the shop.

nannyl Thu 21-Jul-11 19:32:47

they do sleepy suzy... BUT they can be different to your car.... and a seat that fits safely on that seat, might not fit safely in your car.
(I imagine every car seat they sell fits that seat!)

Useful for showing you how to fasten the seat (ie where the belt goes) but no good at determining if the seat fits safely in safe in YOUR car smile

SleepySuzy Thu 21-Jul-11 19:34:38

Sorry yes, that's all I meant. Just so you get a feel for how easy they are to fit.

SleepySuzy Thu 21-Jul-11 19:36:07

And the op doesn't own a car which was why I suggested it smile

nannyl Thu 21-Jul-11 19:37:46

ok smile

yes great to be shown on a real car seat if you dont have a car

TheTeaLady Tue 26-Jul-11 22:21:35

Definitely find out the make and model of cars you might be driving, i.e. your parents vehicles' v. We did loads of research into carseats and got ourselves totally confused. And in the end, only one kind fitted safely into our car! All that thinking for nothing!

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