A Mummys View

Telling it like it is

Sitting Comfortably and Safely

I’ve been meaning to write this post for ages and intended to do shortly after I wrote the post about my Babystyle Oyster pushchair back in August, however due to feeling horrendous with this pregnancy I just never got round to it but after recent chats with other bloggers about how much I love my Britax car seats I just had to get round to sharing my thoughts with everyone properly.

When I was pregnant with my daughter one of my most important purchase decisions was the car seat. I was so aware of the need for my little precious bundle to be safe, comfortable and secure.

According to ROSPA (The Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents) “most accidents involving children and cars occur when a child is travelling in a car that crashes or is hit by car as a pedestrian or cyclist.”

Apparently every year approximately 15 children between the ages of 0 and 11 are killed whilst travelling in cars and approximately 225 are seriously injured and 5,000 slightly injured. (taken from http://www.childcarseats.org.uk/carrying_safely/casualty_statistics.htm) However statistics do seem to be improving over the years in the UK and I think this is largely down to more road safety awareness and new car seat legislation. In recent years UK law changed to now require children to have a child seat or correct restraint until they are either 135cm or 12 years old (whichever comes first) in order to improve child safety when travelling in vehicles.

With different stage car seats and rear / forward facing car seats there’s a wealth of choice and some complex decisions to be made by parents. There are so many different brands too, all with various innovative designs and unique selling points. When I was making my choice I was so aware of the safety aspect that I actually paid for a subscription to the Which? website and looked up their guide to the best car seats out there.

There were a number of brands in the top 15 / 20 listed. However I had heard of the Britax brand and saw that they rated highly in the Which? test. I knew I wanted an ISOFIX car seat and was also buying the lightweight Babystyle Oyster pushchair and was aware that the Britax Baby Safe seats attached to the chassis of the Oyster without requiring any adaptors etc. So with this in mind and the fact that the Britax seats ranked highly in the review my decision was made.

I bought the Britax Baby Safe Plus SHR II with ISOFIX base and it was so simple to use and convenient.

The Baby Safe Plus SHR II has side impact protection and a 5-point safety harness that is easily adjusted with one simple pull. It has chest pads on the straps for added comfort for your child and can be installed using an ISOFIX base or a 3-point seat belt. The carry handle is adjustable to different positions and the headrest and shoulder strap height can be easily adjusted from the front with no faffing around behind the seat.

I loved the easy release button and the fact that I could simply and quickly lift the car seat out and with it’s integrated adaptors I could simply place it on my pram chassis and then in turn lift it off and place it in the car again.

The only thing I found I would have liked was a head hugger for my little girl. She was soooo small and her head flopped around all over in the first few weeks. If I was ever out with hubby I would sit in the back with her just to try and support her head a little but if out on my own I had no choice. Other than that I really can’t fault this car seat!

I was so impressed that when it came to buying the next seat up for my daughter I again checked out the ratings and saw Britax still rated highly so for me it was a no brainer, Britax it was.

We needed two seats with me being back at work and us having two cars so I opted for the Britax Safefix Plus car seat in Cowmooflage and hubby got the Safefix Plus TT.

The Safefix Plus TT car seat fixes to the car using ISOFIX, which has arms that retract to provide secure installation and indicators to confirm the hooks are engaged. It also has a 5 point safety harness with chest pads, again with single one pull adjustment, which can again be adjusted with the head rest as your child grows in one simple movement from the front of the seat. Great safety features include side impact protection and what Britax call a Pivot Link System which reduces the child’s forward movement in the car and therefore the risk of impact / injury. Just watching the video on this sold me immediately! Another nifty feature is a simple recline feature should your child wish to sleep

(The Safefix Plus has all the same features but with the ISOFIX foot.)

The seats have once again been great. The only ever so slight issue for me is the weight, but we bought two so we didn’t have to move them. I’ve only discovered how heavy they are for me on the odd occasion that I have had to  move them between vehicles. However I can’t see that you would expect any more when you get to this level car seat (especially with good safety features). Plus I am disabled so struggle with anything heavy anyway! I also struggled a tiny bit with the retractable ISOFIX arms on my version, the release pull didn’t seem to work as well as on my husband’s and I found it hard to get the seat positioned and anchored again if I have had to remove it for any reason. However on my hubby’s it’s been fine so I don’t know if this is just a blip on mine, I think it probably is. Overall it doesn’t affect the quality and performance of the seat on a day to day basis and I have been very satisfied. I even recommended to my parents so there’s now FOUR Britax car seats in our family!!!

I am pleased with the decisions we have made, however like I have said it can be a tough choice and everyone has different requirements. There is a debate as to whether we should adopt the avenue of having rear facing child car seats until children are 4 years old as in some Scandanavian countries. Now this is a whole other topic to touch on (should you wish to read more you can do so here) and you will also find a wealth of information online just by googling! However if you do want to do your own research to find the car seat that best suits you then I would recommend the Which? website, it played a huge role in helping me and my husband to make our decision and it also had some comments regarding rear facing seats for older children too.

Safe Travelling!

x

Disclaimer: No product was supplied or payment made for this post, this is an independent blog post based on my own opinions.

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The Comical Moments of Venturing out for the First Time with a Newborn

So a few posts on twitter recently got me back to thinking about my experiences of first venturing out with my little one and boy it wasn’t easy! Not so much because I had had a c-section and was walking like John Wayne, that of course was a problem. No it was more the humourous yet frustrating incidents that occurred on the outings!

1.) I am sure that’s not meant to happen:

Having had a c-section I couldn’t drive so one of my lovely mummy friends kindly came to pick me up with her newborn to go to a local breastfeeding and weigh in clinic / group. Arriving in our local town we got our little ones out of the car and I lifted by Britax car seat on and placed it on the pram chassis. All was fine for the rest of the morning until we returned to the car. I pressed in the button on the top of the handle to release the car seat from the chassis and lifted the car seat up… well I say car seat, the whole pram chassis came with it! Erm… ok I was pretty sure that wasn’t meant to happen. What came from this was five minutes (I kid you not) of me and my friend desperately tugging at the car seat, trying not to shake the poor little baby sat in it too much. Eventually after some battle we prised it free and got on our way. However this wasn’t to be the end of it! This happened on a regular occasion for the first three months!!! I had to carry a can of WD40 in my boot to release my child! I got some pretty strange looks in the car parks I have to say and at the time it really didn’t feel funny especially if I was out on my own. A couple of times I was close to tears! However I must say I do now look back and have to laugh! It was so ridiculous!

2.) Oh my god she didn’t just do that did she???

At 6 weeks I was given the all-clear to drive so headed to the group in my own car to meet my friend there. I had no sooner got into the car than my daughter started screaming, and boy do I mean screaming. There’s always that awkward problem where you are driving, trying to concentrate on the road but desperately watching your child through the car child mirror begging them to please stop crying and singing nursery rhymes in a hysterical manner… well yes that was me for the whole journey into our local town. When I got there I opened the car door, released the car seat straps and placed my hand under my daughter only to step back aghast! Oh no! she hadn’t had she? Oh yes she had! Houston we had a problem… a Big, Big, Big problem, one hell of an explosive nappy which had come through all her clothes and on to the car seat. The smell was incredible! I just picked her up, placed her in her pram and hurried as fast as I could through the town to the group, knowing I would be stripping her off to be weighed. I entered the room with a hysterical, screaming child, covered in poo, red in the face and… oh yes I forgot to add, she had a peeling flakey face too as the olive oil I had been recommended to use on her had made her skin go all flakey! It was a beautiful moment!  kind of like “Hi everyone, this is me and this is my adorable daughter…!” I was, you could say a little stressed but relieved to be able to strip off my daughter and calm things down a little!

3.) The weigh-in melt downs

I should also add that out of 24 weigh-ins I went to at that very same group my little girl had a hysterical hissy fit melt down every time I put her on the scales bar twice! I was the mum everyone looked at, some probably in horror and some in pity! Of those two times she didn’t cry I had arrived early and none of the other mums were there to see it! That’s called sods law!

4.) What? You want to go out, eat or shop? I don’t think so… I’m hungry!

I breastfed my daughter for the first 4 and a half months and was pleased with my achievements. However they don’t actually tell you how hard and time-consuming it actually is. The amount of times I would attempt to get out of the house and have to sit back down and feed her was unreal! On one shopping trip I was all set to go with my mum, she was in her car seat and we were about to leave, when she started crying for food. So I undid her car seat, took her jacket off and fed her, almost an hour later we were ready to go! On arriving at the shopping centre and heading into the first shop, my daughter again cried out for food! I had to go into the baby change feeding room and sit with my mum again for over half an hour! Almost 3 hours after first attempting to leave the house we were finally ready to shop! Then there was the time my friend and I sat in a cafe for almost 4 hours having lunch and bought several drinks because as fast as one of our baby’s stopped feeding the other started! It’s a good job the cafe wasn’t busy and the staff were really supportive!

I’ve come to the conclusion looking back that it definitely wasn’t easy, people certainly are not joking when they say it can take you three hours to get out! However… it’s all part and parcel of being a new mummy, it seems like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel but I can guarantee there is! If you are just starting out on this new adventure, I promise you, you will look back and laugh, if you have been there done that and got the t-shirt I am sure you will agree with me that it all makes for a more interesting experience!

How about you? How did you find the first trips out? Any humourous or crazy stories to share?

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