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Choosing a car seat

(25 Posts)
helenlouisey Wed 13-Aug-08 08:46:34


Am 26 weeks pregnant and starting to look into making a few of the big purchases for the baby soon, including the car seat. Am really confused (and getting a bit stressed if I'm honest!!) though as to how to choose the safest car seat, there doesn't seem to be much information on the safety of car seats apart from the which! report, which I have subscribed to, and the seat I'm considering hasn't been tested by them. Am looking atthe Aprica Euro Turn Hi Deluxe Car Seat

Anyone have this seat or have any information on it?



bogie Wed 13-Aug-08 08:56:53

It looks great but how much will you be travelling?
That is a hell of alot of money to spend on a car seat!!!!
We travel alot and had the maxi cosi then the bigger maxi cosi for ds and the were great they have won alot of awards at the baby shows aswell.
If you are very very well off and don't mind spending £660! on a car seat then go for it.

helenlouisey Wed 13-Aug-08 09:07:14

Thanks bogie, will have a look at the maxi cosi as well. I think that's the one that came out top for the which! tests. We will be doing quite a bit of travel to Wales and also over to Italy where my parents live. We will be taking lots of breaks every couple of hours during the trips, but liked the idea the baby could lie flat, but just unsure how safe it is.

littleducks Wed 13-Aug-08 09:20:42

I dont have this seat andit does look quite good but there is one issue i noticed that it might be worth asking about, it says the seat rotates to forward facing from 9kg. I would be reluctant to turn a baby forward facing this early, as research has shown that children are safest rear facing (there are loads of threads in archives if you are interested).

If the maximmum weight for rear facing is actually higher (the maxi cosi states 13kg) but it is possible to use it forward facing as well that is fine but if you had to turn the baby forward at 9 kg i would be reluctant to buy it.

I have a britax baby carrier but the maxi cosi ones are very popular and i think quite good, i have forward facing maxi cosi seats and like them.

I'm sure you know this already but the most important thing is to check the car seat is suitable for your car and have it fitted properly by a trained member of staff, who shows you how to fit the seat until you are confident to do it yourself.

helenlouisey Wed 13-Aug-08 09:35:53

Thanks LittleDuck, hadn't spotted that about it being rear facing from 9kg, will check whether this is just a possibility or whether it has to change to rear facing at 9kg. Will look out those archives on rear racing seats.

helenlouisey Wed 13-Aug-08 09:39:59

Ops sorry, just re read my last post and mean forward facing not rear facing !!! blush

slinkiemalinki Wed 13-Aug-08 09:48:07

I can only see the point of this seat if you are planning just one child! We bought a Maxi-cosi Cabriofix 0+ seat, it was great and worked as a travel system on occasion with our pram. Now our #1 is in the Priorifix we will be using the Cabriofix again for #2. It seems a lot cheaper to buy seats separately than to spend a huge amount on just one - and I have been really happy with my Maxi-Cosis.
When my daughter was small the Aprica Euroturn was new out and I remember it had very poor reviews for safety, although I am virtually certain it has been redesigned and significantly improved since then.
Is it Isofix? If not IMO you'd be better spending the extra cash on getting isofix points installed in your car and buying an isofix seat - as you can see from Which? they consistently get the top ratings for safety.

fledtoscotland Wed 13-Aug-08 09:53:49

it does look very fancy but TBH its so much money, am sure that there are others just as good and just as safe.

Jane does a lie-flat one as well

what is important is that the car seat is fitted to your car. Not all seats fit all cars as i found out when i changed my car and DS's graco fitted out citroen but not our renault.

i would go to mothercare or halfords where the staff are trained to fit seats and see what is available for your car and then make your choice from there.

babyinbelly Wed 13-Aug-08 12:06:12

I agree most important thing is if fits in car. I chose quite a bulky seat and found the seat belt only just fitted round it in my car. wouldn't go in stepdads or my dads. I also think getting a one which has good safety reviews would be better then one designed more for comfort. Obviously everyone will have their own opinion on this and both need to be considered when buying.

tinkispregnantwithpickle Wed 13-Aug-08 12:38:43

had the maxicosi infant car seat too excellent would definetly recommend

helenlouisey Wed 13-Aug-08 18:55:28

Thanks everyone - think I will head down to Halfords or Mothercare and get some advise

Tangle Thu 14-Aug-08 12:53:33

I found independent shops were extremely good - tended to have a smaller number of staff but with manufacturers training on all the stock they carried, and with stock they believed in and new inside out. They also have a personal reputation to maintain.

I, too, have a recollection that the lie-flat car seats have had some dubious safety reports.

We chose the Recarro infant carrier as it felt a lot more comfortable for DC than the Maxi Cosi. It was great, except she was quite long in the back and broad in the shoulders, and didn't fit after 7 months (although we tried her in a Maxi Cosi at that point and she didn't fit in that either...) She's now 16 months, 24lbs and still rearward facing in a Concord Ultimax - fantastic now but I'm not sure I'd want to put a newborn in it.

If you do get a 0+1 seat, make sure you can actually get a baby into it when its fitted: We looked at the Britax First Class and it's HUGE - the gap left between the door frame, seatbelt and seat was tiny with the seat rear facing and I don't think DD would fit anymore.

I'm not sure IsoFix points can be fitted retrospectively - I thought they were added at point of manufacture, although all new cars now have them. My understanding is that an IsoFix fitted seat isn't automatically safer than a seatbelt seat - but its nigh on impossible to fit badly whereas its relatively easy to fit a seatbelt seat wrong and make it unsafe. As long as you can fit the seat correctly, a seatbelt seat should be just as safe.

toomuchtimeonline Thu 14-Aug-08 14:01:54

Hi Tangle - I've been researching this isofix point too. Lots of websites say that it was introduced to take away the chance of incorrect fitting and that provided you fit the seat correctly with a seat belt it is just as safe.. What does everyone else think? You want the safest option with carseats don't you but just not sure if this whole isofix thing is a big waste of money.. hmm

p.s. helenlouisey - I'm a first timer too and we decided to buy the maxi cosi for newborns. As another poster said if you're looking to have more kids you can buy a bigger seat when necessary and then use the newborn one for DC2 grin

beezneez Thu 14-Aug-08 14:15:03

A Ford dealership told me last weekend that you can get Isofix fitted for about £35 - so you don't necessarily need to buy a car that has it 'factory fitted'. Also Britax will soon have a lie-flat seat. Hope this helps.

Upwind Thu 14-Aug-08 14:20:24

Thanks Tangle, that's a relief re. the isofix. We only occasionally use our car so don't want to spend too much on a car seat but I was feeling guilty about not getting isofix if it is safer. Because we don't use the car so often it wouldn't be any trouble to take extra care with the seat. If we find we use the car more often when baby arrives we can always go back and get the isofix!

beezneez Thu 14-Aug-08 14:21:02

.... actually althought it says 'coming soon' on the Britax website it's already available on, mothercare, etc, for about £170

CJMommy Thu 14-Aug-08 14:21:19

If you are going to spend that much and research properly then look at the website 'Rear-facing - the way forward'. It says that children are much safer rear-facing up until 4 years of age. (This is all reserach based but not widely known in this country). I know this isn't relevant to you yet but reading this may influence your choices.

Upwind Thu 14-Aug-08 14:25:54

I tried to find affordable rear-facing seats for our infrequent car journeys. The small safety advantage did not seem worth the price, though hopefully that will have changed by the time our baby grows out of their carrier.

Qally Thu 14-Aug-08 15:47:41

I'm pretty sure I've read lie-flat seats just don't offer that much protection. Depressing, as you aren't supposed to leave a newborn in an upright one more than a couple of hours. Also that rear-facing are dramatically safer. The latest Which report recommended a £50 Hauck carseat as a best buy, though, based on their latest testings - does anyone have a subscription and is willing to C&P? I don't think cost necessarily corresponds with safety completely.

We don't have a car, being a very urban family, but we do hire at times and use cabs, and my mother visits a lot and drives, so we'll probably get her car fitted with an Isofix and go for a maxi-cosi. I'll get Halfords to teach us how to fit it properly so we can do it in our sleep (probably literally, parenting a small baby...)

Upwind I hear ya. The only things I'm buying new (apart from a buggy as the resale value makes that better value, especially as we benefit from the guarantee, and an Amby hammock cradle for same the reason) are the cot mattress and carseat, for safety reasons, and as non-car owners that is galling beyond belief. Hundreds spent on an item that will get used maybe once a week for a few months, and is understandably hard to sell on - impossible, if we drop it or it gets into the smallest prang, in fact we presumably then have to buy another ourselves. I never had a car seat as a kid - we were all slung in the boot of an estate car and no harm ever befell us - but I know it befall other children, and if my babe were ever harmed by not using a good car seat I'd never forgive myself, so out the credit card comes....

Upwind Thu 14-Aug-08 16:23:01

The thing is Qually, I suspect if you tried to quantify the risks, occasional trips slung, seatless in the back of an estate may well be safer than daily trips in the highest rated car seat in the world!

I've seen the aftermath of a few motorway accidents where nobody could have survived. I think that few trips, combined with good driving are really the best options and that we worry unnecessarily about the car seats. Though I will be buying one new too...

Qally Thu 14-Aug-08 16:32:14

Upwind, I agree - at the end of the day cars are dangerous, it's just that the convenience outweighs the risk. So being lucky enough to live in a city where we can do without already cuts our baby's risks massively - car seats reduce risk, but they can't eliminate it. I still think that £50 Hauck seat is a great compromise, given Which top-rated it this year (think that means it must be rear-facing, but I've not found a stockist even online, plus that means nobody can show us how to fit it, and so we'll probably go with the Maxi-cosi as a result. It's not obscenely expensive really, but it's just for occasional use for a short time, so it's annoying to have to shell out that much anyway.

At the end of the day parenting is about realities. Cost is a reality. We can't afford to hire a brand new Merc every trip, either - despite them being a safer bet than a Clio.

Tangle Thu 14-Aug-08 22:45:09

beezneez - that's very interesting re. what the dealership told you and, to be honest, I'm suprised.

If they can fit Isofix mount points to any car (even any Ford) without them for £35 that's fantastic news for people that want Isofix but can't afford a new(ish) car I'm just amazed they can add structural fittings to the chassis for so little money, and that the dealership will accept the liability for it.

beezneez Fri 15-Aug-08 09:45:27

Tangle - maybe I was too quick to believe the salesman! I've just googled and found this on the Telegraph website: "A few car companies, including Volvo (which now fits Isofix as standard on new cars), are willing to retro-fit the brackets", and this on the Times website: "Some manufacturers will retro fit the fixings, other say it’s impossible." The Britax also mentions retrofitting as a possibility.

So it does sound as if it might not be a widely available service. Thanks for querying this - I think maybe the salesman was just trying to persuade me to buy the non-Isofix car blush

In terms of which car seat to buy, everyone I know who bought the Maxi Cosi loved it so I would definitely get that if I could choose again. It does very well on crash tests and looks really comfy too.

beezneez Fri 15-Aug-08 09:46:14

sorry I meant the Britax website

slinkiemalinki Fri 15-Aug-08 23:25:33

I'd love to know which Ford dealer is fitting isofix for £35 because I just got a second set fitted - agreed the parts are cheap but labour knocks it up (takes an hr or so) and you're lucky to get it cheaper than £100. Absolutely worth it IMO!

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