Child Seat Advice

Child Seat Advice

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Discussion

Davie

2,794 posts

159 months

Tuesday 28th August 2018
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On the subject of short / compact recommendations...

That's the one key element that caught me out, there's nowhere that these dimensions are published (as far as I can tell!) and it would be a handy tool to work out what will or won't fit, though there's no substitute for actually trial fitting before purchase but it would help narrow the search.

I measured from the rear of the front seat, ie the furthest back point of the front seats... straight back to the front of the rear seat backrest, ie to measure how much free space there was with the passenger seat in the normal position and was quite surprised to learn that between a Mk5 Astra and a V70 estate, the latter was bigger by about 10mm.

Granted not an exact science but given some seats / bases as so long, it would be a good measure of how much space each seat consumes. Oddly, the rear seat design of her Volvo V50 is such that the leading edge of the isofix base is almost touching, whereas in my car there's a good 50mm of space and yet in both cars the top section of his seat, ie behind his head (rear facing) is only about 20mm from the top of the rear of the passenger seat. Just show how much of a difference slight variations in seat design can change things.

I would say the Maxi Cosi 2-Way Pearl we have is one of the most compact seats we tried, both in terms of overall length and also in terms of the space available to lift him up and over the side and in to it without giving him head injuries! We did try a Joie 360 of some description but the Iso-Fix base design meant it was pushed so far back in to the seat back, the seat physically couldn't spin as it was wedged against the seat... that was the one Mothercare suggested extending the Iso-Fix arms to move the whole seat away from the seat back, which just seemed crazy to me.

Probably no help at all as from my experience, it seems that there are so many variations with regards to seats, bases, car designs that it's almost impossible to confidently say X, Y or Z will fit, hence I spent 2hrs in Mothercare and Halfords trying assorted seats. I did like the Recaro effort that is a 3 in 1 set up but the thing was bloody enormous, once in the car... it was so big and tall, we couldn't actually get him in the seat!

It's all good fun...

PomBstard

3,467 posts

186 months

Tuesday 28th August 2018
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essayer said:
PomBstard said:
Timing of thread resurrection is timely...

A trip to the UK looms and we’re not sure of the child seat requirements for older kids. We’ve got an 8-y-o who is about 135cm tall - various advice says OK to not need a booster, can anyone point me to the definitive advice please? Ta
https://www.gov.uk/seat-belts-law
Thanks - 135 is the magic number...

Electric sheep

14 posts

60 months

Saturday 12th January
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Is the consensus still that lie flat seats are a safety compromise?

Giving some early thoughts (still a good few months away) to one.

Only interested in using the lie flat "function" outside of the car, for convenience (laziness) i.e. plonking it on top of a pram base instead of transferring small person from car seat to carrycot.

The Britax babysafe ones say they have some form of lie flat setting, but they don't really look anywhere close to as flat as a carry cot.

Cheers
ES

Welshbeef

37,233 posts

142 months

Saturday 12th January
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I had the Displeasure of being in a E class this week passenger seat but in front of one of those rear facing seats.

I’m 6’2” my knees were crushed into the dash so the only way I could sit was to either both feet in first ie holding the side of the door and then slide myself in..... no chance OR in normally but then sit at a massive angle with knees up but still into the dash.
I couldn’t put the seat any further back.

What horrible devices these things are - you’d need a long wheel base car for any tall person to sit in front of one. I simply couldn’t drive a car if it had that seat behind the drivers.

DoubleSix

9,495 posts

120 months

Saturday 12th January
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Welshbeef said:
I had the Displeasure of being in a E class this week passenger seat but in front of one of those rear facing seats.

I’m 6’2” my knees were crushed into the dash so the only way I could sit was to either both feet in first ie holding the side of the door and then slide myself in..... no chance OR in normally but then sit at a massive angle with knees up but still into the dash.
I couldn’t put the seat any further back.

What horrible devices these things are - you’d need a long wheel base car for any tall person to sit in front of one. I simply couldn’t drive a car if it had that seat behind the drivers.
That's why you put it on the passenger side, where your general shorter wife sits. We were more than happy to compromise comfort for safety for a short stint in our lives (4 years).

Priorities.

Adrian E

2,661 posts

120 months

Saturday 12th January
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Electric sheep said:
Is the consensus still that lie flat seats are a safety compromise?
They are definitely a compromise. The wisdom is to avoid keeping babies in a car seat for extended periods due to the risk of sleep apnea. That risk goes away a bit with a flat car seat, but they’re still enclosed to a degree and immobile. I would advise sticking to a car seat for the purpose it’s designed for and not worry about transferring between devices as required, as it’s actually better for them. Frankly when they’re tiny they sleep through damn near any movement when there’s background noise to sooth them - the fun starts when a pin drop disturbs them!


Electric sheep

14 posts

60 months

Saturday 12th January
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Adrian E said:
the fun starts when a pin drop disturbs them!
Sounds great, can't wait..... weeping

Much appreciated for the advice though.

Welshbeef

37,233 posts

142 months

Sunday 13th January
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DoubleSix said:
That's why you put it on the passenger side, where your general shorter wife sits. We were more than happy to compromise comfort for safety for a short stint in our lives (4 years).

Priorities.
What do you do if you have 3 (like us?) where all 3 would have to be that way for years at the same time?

Note it wasn’t compromise comfort it would have meant if the airbag had gone off my knees would be smashed and it wouldn’t function properly so had we been in a car accident I wouldn’t have been able to get out and get the children out.

Have you ever been in a taxi or bud with a child as yet? How did you manage without the rear facing seat in those situations.


Priorities.... s

Adrian E

2,661 posts

120 months

Sunday 13th January
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Welshbeef said:
What do you do if you have 3 (like us?) where all 3 would have to be that way for years at the same time?
Sounds like you need a vehicle with more upright seating position so your legs being stuck out in front of you are less of an issue for driving/passenger comfort. Mercedes Vito or similar is probably the only option available that'd allow your legs to drop at a more vertical seating position.

Child seats are the size they are because they need a minimum amount of space and impact absorbing material to work as intended in a crash, whilst actually being bigger than the child they contain.

havoc

24,469 posts

179 months

Sunday 13th January
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I'm with Adrian...if you've 3 all needing rear-facers then you need a 7-seat people carrier, or a BIG 5-seater with plenty of rear and front legroom.

Or you put them all in front-facers early.

Either way is a compromise...not nice, but a fact of life.

Welshbeef

37,233 posts

142 months

Sunday 13th January
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havoc said:
I'm with Adrian...if you've 3 all needing rear-facers then you need a 7-seat people carrier, or a BIG 5-seater with plenty of rear and front legroom.

Or you put them all in front-facers early.

Either way is a compromise...not nice, but a fact of life.
We’re front facing only it’s worked for our lot + one of ours gets hugely car sick so rear facing would be even worse.

DoubleSix

9,495 posts

120 months

Sunday 13th January
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Welshbeef said:
DoubleSix said:
That's why you put it on the passenger side, where your general shorter wife sits. We were more than happy to compromise comfort for safety for a short stint in our lives (4 years).

Priorities.
What do you do if you have 3 (like us?) where all 3 would have to be that way for years at the same time?

Note it wasn’t compromise comfort it would have meant if the airbag had gone off my knees would be smashed and it wouldn’t function properly so had we been in a car accident I wouldn’t have been able to get out and get the children out.

Have you ever been in a taxi or bud with a child as yet? How did you manage without the rear facing seat in those situations.


Priorities.... s
Buy a bigger car? Tie a knot in it? biggrin

Somewhere on this thread there’s pics of our two rear facing in a BMW 1 Series.


Welshbeef

37,233 posts

142 months

Sunday 13th January
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DoubleSix said:
Buy a bigger car? Tie a knot in it? biggrin

Somewhere on this thread there’s pics of our two rear facing in a BMW 1 Series.
f10 5 series will not take 3 seats across the rear and our other car is an S Max even with middle row fully back rear facing would cause me issues.

DoubleSix

9,495 posts

120 months

Sunday 13th January
quotequote all
Welshbeef said:
DoubleSix said:
Buy a bigger car? Tie a knot in it? biggrin

Somewhere on this thread there’s pics of our two rear facing in a BMW 1 Series.
f10 5 series will not take 3 seats across the rear and our other car is an S Max even with middle row fully back rear facing would cause me issues.
Do you have triplets?

Welshbeef

37,233 posts

142 months

Sunday 13th January
quotequote all
DoubleSix said:
Welshbeef said:
DoubleSix said:
Buy a bigger car? Tie a knot in it? biggrin

Somewhere on this thread there’s pics of our two rear facing in a BMW 1 Series.
f10 5 series will not take 3 seats across the rear and our other car is an S Max even with middle row fully back rear facing would cause me issues.
Do you have triplets?
You do know that with a rear facing seat you need to keep the child in it as long as possible ie min 5 years of age. So even if we had 2 and one front facing the middle one would foul the divers seat preventing it going backwards.

Given we do well over 10k Miles a year on days our holidays etc in the S Max it’s not the “odd” bit of inconvience - plus I physically couldn’t drive with that seat being me.

jonwm

1,219 posts

58 months

Sunday 13th January
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Rear facing ones are the killer.

I have 3 kids. 5,4 and 1. I had to change the wife’s lovely cupra for a 5008 as we couldn’t fit all 3 in the back of my 3 series or A5 sportback, we moved our youngest out of his rear facing one early on age but not on weight. But according to the new regs he should be in it till he 21 or something stupid like that.

Now we have 2 high back boosters and isofix front facing for my youngest. Not many cars will fit even this arrangement. My 3 series can just get the 2 in the back. Eldest then goes in the front in the booster if we use my car.
There is no room for the wife when we do this though (happy days) any family trip is done in the wife’s car now which is a bit of a pain as my car is fully expensed through work but the car scheme only had an S max as a 7 seater and didn’t fancy that as my car for 90% of the time that I’m on my own.


DoubleSix

9,495 posts

120 months

Sunday 13th January
quotequote all
Welshbeef said:
DoubleSix said:
Welshbeef said:
DoubleSix said:
Buy a bigger car? Tie a knot in it? biggrin

Somewhere on this thread there’s pics of our two rear facing in a BMW 1 Series.
f10 5 series will not take 3 seats across the rear and our other car is an S Max even with middle row fully back rear facing would cause me issues.
Do you have triplets?
You do know that with a rear facing seat you need to keep the child in it as long as possible ie min 5 years of age. So even if we had 2 and one front facing the middle one would foul the divers seat preventing it going backwards.

Given we do well over 10k Miles a year on days our holidays etc in the S Max it’s not the “odd” bit of inconvience - plus I physically couldn’t drive with that seat being me.
Listen, you are obviously looking this from the perspective of someone who has chosen not to use rear-facing. That's fine, but you don't need to justify the choice to people on the internet. It's your choice.

From my point of view, safety was the absolute number one priority. So we have massive bulky Norwegian extended rear-facing seats for our kids. Bloody inconvenient to move between vehicles, big impact on passenger leg room, huge cost etc. But we made it work, even in the wife's 1 Series.

Don't kid yourself you couldn't possibly go rear facing for all these reasons your listing, it's just a choice you've made. And strangers on the net aren't that fussed.


Welshbeef

37,233 posts

142 months

Sunday 13th January
quotequote all
DoubleSix said:
Listen, you are obviously looking this from the perspective of someone who has chosen not to use rear-facing. That's fine, but you don't need to justify the choice to people on the internet. It's your choice.

From my point of view, safety was the absolute number one priority. So we have massive bulky Norwegian extended rear-facing seats for our kids. Bloody inconvenient to move between vehicles, big impact on passenger leg room, huge cost etc. But we made it work, even in the wife's 1 Series.

Don't kid yourself you couldn't possibly go rear facing for all these reasons your listing, it's just a choice you've made. And strangers on the net aren't that fussed.
Strangers read threads if they are tall they might be interested in hearing from others.
Clearly some only have 1 child and then that can work but to have 3 rear facing beside each other a tall person simply couldn’t fit a tall passenger in the front seats - I know I’ve tried it. Safety for me is to be able to drive the car and function it if I cannot drive correctly or emergency stop it imply doesn’t pass go.

Northernlights

54 posts

130 months

Sunday 13th January
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Evening. On the off chance the OP or the owner of Mazda 3 is reading (I've read back as far as 2015 and can find no reference), does anyone have any advice for an Extended Rear Facing seat that'll fit a 2014 (current, pre-facelift) 3 please? With little one's current newborn MaxiCosi Cabriofix, I can only just squeeze my 6'1" frame in front (fine around town and I do the distance driving to avoid the issue), but we have concerns about whether the front seat will be at all usable at the next stage. If one of us needs to go in the back, so be it, but we'd like to avoid it if possible.

Any help greatly appreciated.

Will

kambites

57,205 posts

165 months

Sunday 13th January
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DoubleSix said:
From my point of view, safety was the absolute number one priority.
Frankly if that's the case, the solution is to avoid letting your children anywhere near a car or a road wherever possible. Yes, ERF is fundementally safer in a head-on colission but if you dig into research that demonstrated that, the difference is marginal enough that the odds of accident survival across the spectrum of accidents they analysed is only a handful of percent better in an ERF seat than a forward facing one... someone who drives their children 5000 miles in a front facing seat is subjecting them to less risk that someone who drives about 5500 in a rear-facing one.

Of course getting your children to walk where possible will have two benefits - it'll reduce the odds of them being involved in a RTA and (far more importantly if you measure health and safety by improvement in live expectancy) it'll improve their physical fitness. Personally I'm quite happy with a forward facing child seat but there's no way I'd drive our daughter to school on a regular basis.


ETA: Of course there's no right or wrong to these things, but personally I like to at least understand the statistics. smile

Edited by kambites on Sunday 13th January 18:13