As a parent it’s amazing what I find… well… amazing! Dribble bibs that stopped my daughter looking like she’d poured a drink down her front, finding that lost dummy just before the meltdown happens, realising that the jiggle is still the best way to get our youngest to fall asleep, realising that I really do pull stupid faces at both my children when they are eating/being fed… I could go on but I’d bore myself before I finished the list and frankly the things that I find amazing will probably make other people think that I really truly have lost my marbles.
But today I really did think that discovering there was a growing range of car seats that were specifically designed to keep young babies/children rear facing for longer was an amazing thing. Why? Because when it comes to my children, their safety is the one thing that I can never undervalue, there is not one product that is too expensive if it means maybe, just maybe, I can spare them being hurt.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the kind of parent that would wrap my children up in cotton wool and keep them away from anything fun just in case they broke a nail. I’m not that mum. I’m the kind of mum who kisses oopsies and ouchies better IF my children come to me for that kind of treatment but unless they want the attention I’ll let them pick themselves up after they’ve tripped over, watch them dust their hands off, and let them carry on like nothing happened. If my children are happy then I am happy, if they aren’t happy I’ll attempt to move heaven and earth (but only if reasonable) to make them happy again. But when it comes to car seats I am one of the fussiest people out there.
When it comes to a car seat I’m not overly fussed on price, I’ve seen cheap car seats that have been better than expensive ones and vice versa. I’m not fussed on make, I’m not going to buy it just because a celebrity has been seen with one. I will admit to having a thing for nice colours, but then I’ve got two girls and I can’t tell you how frustrating it can be having a black car seat with pink toys and pink blankets and STILL get asked whether you’ve got a little boy (pink covers don’t save you from being asked that much more often but it means the difference between shaking the questioner and being able to grin and bear it). And it is a bonus if you can recline the seat (if my eldest is upright for too long on a journey it makes her travel sick).
And having said all that, I finally come to the point that I feel strongest about. Rear facing car seats. When I had my eldest child rear facing car seats seemed to be limited to the group 0+ and group 1 seats, but they all went up to the same weight and so approximately the same age as to when your child then became forward facing. It always surprised me that rear facing car seats didn’t last for longer, go up to heavier weights, especially in light of the videos that demonstrated what could happen to your child’s neck in an accident if they were in a forward facing car seat. And now, with my second child at four and a half months old, I’m finding that rear facing car seats have improved. There’s more choice, they last longer, you can fit them into your car in various different ways, and the vast majority of them are affordable even if you are on a budget (I know there are some people out there who might think that £130ish isn’t really affordable but when you look at how long these car seats last and average the cost they really are bargains).
And, to me, the best quality of these car seats is the fact that, worst case scenario and you did get into an accident, having your child in one of these car seats means that they are pretty much as safe as they are ever going to be in an accident.