Keeping Little C safe has always been top of my priority. Now my quest to keep him safe is because he is just so clumsy and is destined to lose his front teeth as he just doesn’t put his hands out when he falls (bless him!).
When he was Tiny we had a baby monitor with a sensor pad. I always plaster him in sun cream and make sure he wears a hat. I’ve taught him to always walk on pavements and never to go on a road without an adults hand. The list of safety missions goes on…… So you can imagine my horror when I weigh him and he is near the weight limit of his car seat! Firstly my heart sank because money is really tight at the moment (house roof is falling off and the clutch in our car has to be replaced) and car seats (& roofs!) are just so expensive.
To bring Little C home from hospital we used the maxi cosi cabriofixwith the isofix base this was because the car seat was compatible with our pram and the seat had good safety reviews in crash test data. We were very happy with the seat and Little C was always comfortable and happy to be in it in the car.
He transferred from his stage 1 seat to a forward facing stage 2 seat at about 8 months old. The transfer wasn’t due to his weight but to his length, he had become too tall for the seat to be safe.
We chose the Britax Duo Plus as our stage 2 car seat. At the time it again had the all important isofix connections (the seat is anchored directly to the cars chassis rather than held in please with the seat belt) and good crash test data. He has been very happy in this seat, he has never moaned about going in the car and now climbs in himself. The weight limit on this seat is 18kg and Little C is just about there.
So my quest to find a replacement seat began! Little did I know just how difficult it was going to be. I was quite keen to keep Little C in a 5 point safety harness as he is only just 3 and I felt he still needed the level of support this provided him with especially when he drops off to sleep. Currently in the UK there isn’t a group 3 car seat readily available that has a five point safety harness that can be used over 18kg. We looked at lots that claimed to be from 9-36kg but from 18kg they are to be used without the integral harness as a high backed booster seat. This is because when car seats are tested they are done so with an 18kg load. Any weight above this hasn’t been tested for safety and as a result the seat could fail in an accident.
Ok hand me the paper bag as I’m hyperventilating at the thought of my just 3 year old son using an adult seat belt!!!! The thought absolutely horrifies me. In my eyes he isn’t mature enough to be in this kind of restraint. But I have no choice other than paying £599 for a special needs seat there is nothing I can do.
I have scoured every car seat manufacturers website there is and I’ll be honest what I now don’t know about car seats probably isn’t worth knowing lol. I ended up back at mothercare as we were able to try Little C in the car seats to see how supportive and comfortable they were. I’m so pleased we did this as I had a few seats in mind. Firstly the Britax Evolva 1-2-3 from what I can gather this is quite a good car seat with the 5 point harness and an ok seat used as a high back booster but Little C just didn’t look comfortable and I think if he fell to sleep he would definitely flop forwards. We tried a few more seats but they all posed similar issues. We then tried Cybex Solution Q-fix what makes this seat different from the others is the reclining headrest. It tilts the childs head keeping it in a safe position and preventing their heads tipping forward when they sleep. It has isofix fixings, side impact protection and has won several safety awards. It isn’t the cheapest stage 3 car seat on the market but we use our car daily and I like to know Little C is travelling in the safest possible way whilst in a vehicle.
Little C seems happy and very comfortable in it. As a Mama I’m not loving the cream and orange colour scheme. CREAM!! I take it the designers don’t have a chocolate cake loving monster like me lol. The covers are machine washable. There are other colour and fabric combinations available online but are currently all sold out.
The first time Little C was in the seat we had a few issues mainly with his new found freedom and the grumpiness that goes hand in hand with it being dinner time and the mothercare staff having to wake him up to install the seat! All in all a really bad combination. Some food, a penguin seat belt pad and a few sharp words from Mama and he started to cooperate. It was definitely a scary drive home knowing that he was held just by the 3 point safety belt, thank goodness the other half fell asleep otherwise he would of moaned at my 50mph speed on the dual carriageway!
So far since then Little C has been very good in his new big boy car seat. He knows that he has to sit still, mustn’t lean forwards and can’t undo his belt until we say he can.
I was sceptical about the not flopping forward theory but I take all my negativity back as it does what it says on the tin! I’m very happy with this seat and feel confident in its safety specifications but hope we never get to see it in action!