I’ve been trying to keep my 15mo toddler in her rear facing Maxi-Cosi Pebble car seat for as long as possible, but last week I finally had to admit the straps were digging in, and her head was level with the top, so it was time for a change.
When it came to buying the next size up I didn’t have much of a choice, the only one that fits with our Family Fix base is the Maxi-Cosi Pearl, but that’s where I got a bit of a surprise. The Pearl can be forward facing or rear facing, but it turns out with our base it has to go forwards.
I know rear facing is considered safest for up to 4 years. This excellent blog piece by Fran (@whingewine) explains why very well…
Forward facing is slightly less safe but still allowed by the Road Safety Authority, so it can’t be completely unsafe…
Interestingly Lynne (@newmummyblog) in her useful blog says in Sweden rear facing is compulsory and they have lower infant crash mortality rates but there could also be other reasons for that…
I was very disappointed, because I had studied the Road Safety Authority guidelines when I was first buying the base, but in the shop (a very reputable high street baby shop) the assistant told us this was the best one for up to 4 years, and the newest model, and I didn’t ask probing enough questions.
It is great car seats have classifications and gradings but it can be very confusing so my advice to new prospective parents would be study it well before you buy, do your research, and read the above blog posts which I only came across too late.
This time round I priced up buying an alternative base or a whole new base seat/combo and saw lots of alternatives I wish I’d got first time round, but after discussing it with my husband we decided we couldn’t justify spending that much when we already have a good base. So with a bit of nervousness we decided to switch to forward facing.
I bought an ex-display model in the shop. It was the last in stock and had only recently been put out, but it didn’t come with instructions. That was fine it is really simple to use and just clicks onto the base, which has a green light to confirm proper installation. The straps are easy to adjust to get a nice snug fit.
My baby has always been good in the car and often falls asleep. I had a friend whose baby always cried in the car which made every journey a nightmare. Therefore I was hoping the change of direction might not upset things, especially as we were going on holidays the next week.
Luckily she seems to really enjoy forward facing. She likes looking out the window and pointing at things. The seat also has a recline position which she falls asleep in still.
As a driver I found it a bit weird as I could no longer see her in the seat-back mirror so that was a bit disconcerting. But when my husband is driving and I’m the passanger I can see her and she can see me and it is much nicer. Just yesterday we had great fun singing “if you’re happy and you know it” with actions in the car. That would have been impossible last week.
I still feel nervous it isn’t completely the safest option, but she is safe and secure and happy and I’m OK with that. I just hope we never have to test it out, and if asked by new prospective parents I would say pick your base carefully, it’s worth spending that but extra at the start for peace of mind later.
This post is participating in..