As the arrival of our new baby inches ever closer, it became time to think about the next stage car seat for Daniel.
The current seat he is using was given to us by family and is a belted silver cross seat. Its done the job, and if it wasn’t for the fact we have a new arrival soon, Daniel would be staying in this seat for a good while longer. The guidance on when to switch them to the next seat is when they outgrow the current seat. He has not yet reached the weight limit for his seat, nor is his head over the back.
When Daniel was still in the newborn phase, I read this blog post by Fiona, and it registered as something to consider down the line…. a year later and I am much more clued up on the rear facing seat debate, and over the weekend we purchased a rear facing seat for Daniel.
For us, once we started reading about the increased safety of a rear facing seat it was a no brainer, I wouldn’t feel comfortable with Daniel facing forward and I’d never want to be in the position of having an accident and wondering… what if he’d been in a rear facing seat.
It is really complex when looking at new seats, in part because the law is in that slow process of change….. it is expected that by 2030 all cars and infant car seats will be ‘i-size’ compliant. I-size is the new EU wide standard for infant car seats. It so new that, as far as I know, only one car has passed the i-size standard and only one seat – The Maxi-Cosi 2-way Pearl. No manufacturer has yet made a baby carrier to the i-size standard but they’re working hard at it.
Many mums that I have spoken to as we talked about which seats we would get were keen to move their baby into a forward facing seat, but your child doesn’t know any different and it is so much safer for them to be rear facing – the recommendation is to seat them rear facing until they are 105cm or 4 years old. I am amazed at how many parents just don’t know about the changes in regulations to car seats and the options with regard to rear and forward facing and the differing levels of safety. Current guidance for the UK is that children should be rear facing until at least 15 months old. Daniel reaches that mile stone next week.
The information available on the internet is really confusing, so we decided to go to a specialist shop for advice, and to try a number of seats in our car. We went to Pram World in Wigan, but this excellent website provides details of other retailers across the country. We decided against mothercare or John Lewis as they don’t tend to specialise in rear facing seats, nor are their staff trained to the same level of knowledge and expertise (due to the broad range of things they sell).
The staff at pramworld were excellent, explaining the different seats to us and taking time to make sure they fit in our car. We tried three of the rear facing seats in our car, and we opted for the Maxi Cosi 2-way Pearl (with isofix base). We chose this one because I liked how secure the head area looked, it is i-size compliant and has been rigorously tested, over and above the minimum test thereshold and it fit well into our car. Because of the nature of the seat, it has to be fitted professionally, so as the warehouse was closed on Sunday when we went, I am off there again this afternoon to collect the seat and have it installed. We also decided that we would switch our baby carrier to an isofix seat, either the maxi cosi pebble or cabrio-fix, I will decide when I have a look at them later. Again, based on safety. The isofix seats seem to be far more secure, and we will buy another 2-way pearl when the baby moves into the next seat in due course, so having the isofix base now means we reduce the cost later on.
Some comments I have seen is that rear facing seats are expensive, they are, there is no way of getting away from that. But we knew we had this expense coming up and so we have been saving money earnt from a cashback website over the past year, and that has covered the cost of both the new seats more or less. For us we just didn’t want to risk a forward facing seat.
Did you opt for a rear facing seat? Did you find it easy to understand the options available?