7/8 years ago car seat safety didn’t really seem to exist much. Or if it did it wasn’t that well publicised. Choosing his first car seat is simple (As it still is for most people) I brought a travel system which included everything Stroller, Car Seat, Foot cover and change bag for £150. My mother in law offered to pay for it so we went for the best option without seemingly taking the mic with the money. I would have loved a silver cross pram but the price tag was just too much for any of us!
As Jack grew older and he outgrew his seat we brought a car seat from Asda on their baby event. A £25 seat job. Again money was an issue but figured the seat would have had to of passed the same tests as the more expensive ones. Right? What makes me cringe even more was that he was 1. We didn’t wait for him to outgrow his first stage seat before we moved him. He appeared to be scrunched up and not knowing any different we moved him. When Oliver was born we used the same car seat we had with Jack and again at a year old we moved him up to a £25 Asda car seat.
Our views on car seats changed when I was pregnant with Arthur. There was a big increase in awareness on seats and more was being made to raise awareness of extended rear facing seats. I instantly felt bad for moving the boys so soon into the next stage seats. There was massive recall on the seats that we were using and I threw them away. I brought Jack a Britax Adventure high back booster, Oliver had a Britax Eclipse seat and Arthur had a Maxi Cosy Pebble. Of course if money was no object we would have chosen a larger car and better seats. We went for the seats which were in budget but what were the safest. Then we learnt about Buckle Crunch!
Buckle crunch is basically when car seat is secured using the buckle rather than the webbing. If your car seat has buckle crunch and you are in a crash the buckle can fail and the seat would become unsecure. Due to our car being small (Ford Focus) and us trying to fit in 3 car seats in the back we had buckle crunch. Problem was we had no idea until I looked at reviews of new seats. I had been putting the boys in danger for so long and had no idea!
When Arthur reached around 14 months we were given a brand new Joie Stages car seat. The seat is great! You can safely rear face up to 18kgs (roughly 4 years) and is one of the cheapest extended rear facing seats available. In order for us to safely fit the seat into the car we had to rejig seating positions. Mark had to sit in the back in the middle whilst Jack sat at the front. It wasn’t ideal but it was safe.
This video explains exactly why children should be rear facing for as long as possible.
Last year we brought a new car! A Citroen C4 Grand Picasso in purple! It had a large boot and 7 seats! with the back 5 seats all being isofix. Which is one of the safest ways to fit a child seat.