The saga of the carseat…


Essentials for having a baby:

  1. somewhere to sleep (tick – moses basket duly acquired from Freecycle)
  2. something to feed the baby (tick – boobs, but just in case a sterilizer set and bottles purchased from Kiddiecare)
  3. nappies, a good supply whether you reuse or sposie
  4. a carseat

My mantra whilst pregnant was “you need a car seat to show the midwife or they won’t let you take the baby home.”  Everything I heard/read indicated that I would physically have to show the child strapped into its car seat before I would be allowed to go, hence I took the view that only one of the little carrier type seats would be appropriate.  Fair enough, you can get one for around £30, but naturally that’s not how I go about buying a car seat…oh no.  You see I like to research…and I like a spreadsheet…

Hence I set out to do my research (hey, I’m a lawyer, it’s been drummed into me).  My conclusion from research is that unless I buy a car seat with an isofix base it will not be safe.  First task, buy a car with isofix attachments, easy enough, most cars have them…mine didn’t…but that’s because I had a 2 seat Vauxhall Tigra, it doesn’t need Isofix, because it doesn’t have a seat suitable for a baby…

Anyway, we buy new car, big enough to accommodate baby (and incidentally our 2 cats, this is a real bonus because we had been driving up and down to my parents for a year with the passenger carrying the cats on their lap…fun was had by all.

Now Isofix car seats are expensive, but not prohibitively so.  However when you add in the car base, it’s a bit pricey.  Plus if you factor in that you may well need a new seat and potentially base within a year that’s a problem (well actually it’s only a problem if, like us, you have no money because you live in a money pit).

We attend Toys R’ Us to view car seats.  I painstakingly explain to the Turk why we need this type of car seat, this base and then at 9kg we will move up to this car seat.  Now if we opt for the expensive base now we can keep that base for the next car seat, at 9kg.  Yes well after that car seat we move to the next one, no that doesn’t have a base, it faces the front…it’s different…yes well that’s the way it is…

This conversation goes on for a long time.  The Turk turns to other car seats and begins extolling the virtues of saving the pennies.  He points to a particularly ugly car seat which is extremely reasonable at £60 which advises it can accommodate children up to the age of around 8 (or something, I can’t remember).  I am pretty convinced that this seat is effectively a death trap.  We enlist a staff member in our argument who quite reasonably points out that all car seats have to meet the same standards…

…time passes…

Essentially it ends with me storming out of the store in tears…it’s not my proudest moment.

We decide to give car seat shopping a rest for a few weeks…

Post Script:

We end up buying a Britax First Class Plus (suitable from birth to 18kg) chosen because it can be rear facing up to 13kg.  I conducted further research and concluded that actually being rear facing for longer was more important for us…plus it was less than half price in Kiddiecare…ok and it’s cowmooflage – hilarious – we love it.

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