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No idea what to do about car - new dad (soon to be hopefully)!

(11 Posts)
LAC12345 Thu 12-Oct-17 16:56:37

Hi Mumsnetters
I am soon to be a first time dad and I wondered if I could ask your advice about something? It’s to do with a car but I first need to explain some background:
1.My wife and I have two cars, a 5 door car (my wife usually uses this) and a 3 door car (that I usually use);
2.My wife needs one for her job (i.e. not just for getting to that job and back);
3.I need one to drive to the local station from where I go to work (can’t get there any other way), where the car is left in the street all day. My current car is a 10+ years (a small hatchback) and I don’t want a pricey car……the station is in a smallish village in the country so not in suburb of a big city, and so theft is unlikely although it could be damaged;
4.My wife works part time and I work full time (the plan is for this to continue);
5.Although our working hours are about the same, she is much closer to nursery/child care venue than I am, so it’s likely that she will be able to drop off and collect the baby most days;
6.There will however be some days when I will pick up the baby if, for example, she is delayed in finishing work (as sometimes happens, but not often)
I don’t know much about these things but I understand that it’s very difficult getting a child seat with small baby in it into the back seat of a 3 door car. I certainly wouldn’t dispute that!
My question is whether it is necessary to replace our second car with a 5 door car. The main positive of doing this is that it would give us flexibility with the childcare as it wouldn’t matter who went to pick the baby up as both cars would then have 5 doors. The main negative is of course the cost as to buy a secondhand 5 door car is going to cost a few grand (we don’t want to get a very old car as that costs loads to maintain). We could probably afford it but having children seems quite costly so if we could avoid it then that’d help. Some of my friends think we could manage with just the one 5 door car and me either (1) struggling with the 3 door car, or (2) using taxis, on the relatively rare occasions when I would do the drop off/pick up.
Sorry this is so long but I’d really like some advice from others in the same/similar boats!? All comments gratefully received and thanks for your time!

Shrimpie Thu 12-Oct-17 17:01:59

Hello smile I used to have a ford ka 3 door and I picked up my friends baby in it many times.

It was a fiddle at first as I wasn't used to handerling a car seat or baby for that matter but once I got used to it it was easy smile

Pastabest Thu 12-Oct-17 17:04:12

Well if she suspects she may need to work late just swap cars that day in the morning?

Otherwise you will need to buy two car seats etc too?

Depending on how much maternity leave she is planning to take it presumably isn't going to be an issue immediately anyway? You could wait and see how you got on with your current cars for a while before making a decision.

bedtimestories Thu 12-Oct-17 17:05:35

We had a 3 door when we had our first, and it was fine. You could buy a base for your infant carrier to make it slightly easier, but for occasional use you may find this unnecessary. We changed to a 5 door when she was 18 nth

Sweetpotatoaddict Thu 12-Oct-17 17:08:47

I would wait and see how things pan out. Wait and see how it goes with a car seat and 3 door car. Is it an option for your wife to use your car if you are doing nursery drop off/ pick up.
We only have one set of car seats so we just figure it out, and whoever has children takes the car with the seats.

TiramisuQueenoftheFaeries Thu 12-Oct-17 17:10:08

You could also put the baby car seat in the front passenger seat of your 3-door, if nobody else is going to be riding there. This is not quite as safe as putting it in a rear seat, and would also require disabling the front passenger airbag if there is one.

Honestly, for occasional use I think you should be fine with a 3-door. It's no more than mildly awkward, and very far from impossible. As PPs say you may want to get one baby seat and two bases, one for each car, and then the seat can simply be snapped in and out of the base in whichever car the baby is in.

archersfan3 Thu 12-Oct-17 17:14:56

I had a 3 door car when my first was born and I can't deny it was a bit more awkward but I always left the carseat in the car and took the baby in and out of the car by climbing into the backseat with the baby.
If it's only occasional it would be fine. Loads of people have managed with 3 door cars over the years.

(As a slight aside I can't understand why so many people carry their babies around in carseats but maybe that's just because I'm prone to backache and it seems like a recipe for a bad back!)

Once baby is a year or so and you move onto a toddler seat the seat will have to stay in the car anyway (as they are big and heavy) and the child may well be able to climb in by themselves (whether they're willing to do so is another matter!)

Turning off the airbag and putting the carseat in the front seat could be another option - I think sometimes people are concerned about insurance with this but worth researching perhaps especially if it's only occasional- I haven't done this so don't know all the pros and cons. It's very important not to put the carseat in the front seat with the airbag active, as I'm sure you know.

TweedAddict Thu 12-Oct-17 17:27:35

We managed fine with a 5door - bmw 7 series and a 2 door soft top. If one of us needed to pick up baby. We just took the bmw. I was nice then getting into the soft top as it like we were parents for night, ie when we had someone to babysit

AJPTaylor Thu 12-Oct-17 17:31:33

its a bit awkward but not critically so. get 2 good car seats. its not worth forking out for a new car over, especially when you are entering the most expensive 3 years of your life!

BikeRunSki Thu 12-Oct-17 17:40:06

its a bit awkward but not critically so. get 2 good car seats. its not worth forking out for a new car over, especially when you are entering the most expensive 3 years of your life!


It is not that difficult to use a baby seat in a 3 door car. Just leave a seat in each.

PotteringAlong Thu 12-Oct-17 17:42:59

It's not that hard. Save your money.

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