Daily life, advice and reviews from an everyday mummy.

Posts tagged ‘carseat’

Joie Elevate Car Seat Review

Car seats are the bane of my life at the moment. We currently own 4, 2 for dude and 2 for bear, one in each car. My parents look after the boys whilst im at work and so it was inevitable with the school runs, we would need 2 more seats for their car.

For bear we eventually decided on a group 1/2/3 seat so that the seat could grow with him and we wouldn’t have to pay out for yet another seat. Although we are huge advocates of extended rear facing, it was just not feasible in my parent’s small car nor did we have the funds to purchase another ERF.

We bought the Joie Elevate through www.very.co.uk for a reasonable £49.99. When it arrived it was easy to assemble, the booster base simply slotted onto the high back.

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The Pros:

  • The seat is well cushioned providing a comfortable seat for the child. It was also easily removable in order to put it through the wash.
  • Now the weather is warming up, the mesh sides have been great. I always find that car seats make children warm up very quickly and this airflow through the seat definitely keeps them cooler.
  • The 5 point harness so far has been great, I get so fed up with straps that constantly twist but these have been easy to buckle with.
  • Once installed the car seat is very secure with the 3 point car seat belt. Theres no movement with the seat and I felt confident that it will protect my son.
  • It has a handy cup or snack holder which is definitely a plus for us as bear is constantly dropping any type of bowl I give to him in the car.

The Cons (There aren’t many!):

  • The seat is installed with a seat belt, I much prefer the security of isofix and an option for this would have been great.
  • The release button to lengthen the straps is tricky to get to but tighening is easy.
  • Although marketed from 9 months, i believe it is not suitable for a child this young. It is much more suited from 2 years onwards. Babies under this age still nap in the car quite often and there is no recline with the seat meaning that when the child falls asleep their head flops forward. Not only is this a suffocation risk (chin on chest, blocking airway) but it is so uncomfortable for the child.

 

Overall Bear has been very comfortable in this seat other than when he falls asleep. Its a highly affordable car seat and as it grows with your child its also cost effective. It is listed as fitting most popular cars and it is light and easy to transfer between vehicles.
I would definitely recommend the seat for any toddler over 2 years.

More information is available here and it is available to buy in most retailers.

 

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Disclaimer – All views in this post are mine and in no way affiliated with the company or brand.

Car seat technology

I’ve always been passionate about car seat safety. I have bought the best car seats I could afford to ensure y children are safe in the car at all times. Bear at 19 months is still rear facing in his Britax dual fix and dude uses an isofix high back booster and will continue to do so till he is 12. 

4 out of 5 car seats in the uk are installed incorrectly and at present there isn’t a great deal of support out there to help with this. A company in the states have developed a great new piece of software built into a group 0 car seat and base to help with this problem. It has technology to level itself, create tension and ensure that the seat is correctly fitted at all times. It can relay the information straight back to smartphone app. 

I think this is great and will hopefully go on to be sold in the uk. Car seat safety is key to prevent serous injury and deaths and technology is advancing to help with this. 

Here’s a great video showing the seat in action 

Why we chose an extended rear facing car seat

I am always asked why we have forked out for 2 extended rear facing car seats. I get told I could have easily picked up a much cheaper seat so that Bear could see where he is going. Now before I explain our reasons, I would just like to point out that everybody has the right to choose their own carseats, all car seats are tested to the minimum standards and I am not judging anyone that has a forward facing seat for their little one.

All I wish is that the there was more information and explanation of extended rear facing out there for parents to make an informed choice.

I have come across many videos explaining the differences between forward facing and rear facing. It’s well worth taking a few minutes to watch this video.

Sweden had some of the lowest mortality rates and serious injuries in children when involved in car accidents. Why? Children legally have to be rear facing until 4 years old. It is 5 times safer for children under 5 to be rear facing when in the car.

Their skeltons are not mature enough to withstand the forces put upon them when in an accident. In forward facing alot of the forces are driven towards spine and neck whereas rear facing this is far less.
I have been asked whether the forces would cause broken legs due to the appearance that the childs legs are scrunched up against the seat.
My answer to this: I would rather my child had broken legs that can be fixed rather than serious neck or spine injuries that may cause long term, unrepairable damage or even death.

Alot of mums I have spoken to are concerned about the price of a rear facing seat. The carseats are becoming more and more available in the UK and you can pick them up from around £120. This is roughly similar to some of the popular forward facing car seats from Britax and Maxi Cosi.

I have previously written a review about the first rear facing seat we purchased, the Maxi Cosi Milofix. You can read that here. I would not personally recommend this seat.
We curently have the Britax Dualfix and Joie stages.

I will write a review of both of these seats soon.
Both are available to buy at major car seat sellers such as Mothercare, Halfords and Toys R Us.

For more information on rear facing here are some great websites to look at.

http://www.rearfacingtoddlers.com/

http://www.rearfacing.co.uk/

http://incarsafetycentre.co.uk/

The Maxi Cosi Milofix Car Seat Review

So we recently needed to purchase a new car seat for bear. He had pretty much outgrown his Maxi Cosi Cabriofix and hated being in it as his shoulders were so squashed. After ALOT of research we decided on the Maxi Cosi Milofix. I have always thought of Maxi Cosi as a great brand with safe products there fore we wanted to continue using them.
Our first problem was sourcing one as Mothercare only sold them in specialist stores. After tracking one down and getting it demonstrated in the car, we were off.

The seat is rear facing till 15-18 months. You can choose to have it forward facing from when baby meets 9kg. It has 2 seating positions in forward facing (upright and recline) and just 1 position is rearward facing.
The seat is pretty compact for a combination seat and when fitted, sat behind the drivers seat easily.

It is available in 5 different colours, we bought it in Thunder Black.

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It is fitted with the isofix points in the car with a top tether reaching into the boot. It was easy to install and would be easy to transfer between different cars if needed.

To switch between rear facing and forward facing, the seat does need to be removed from the car and then 2 levers on the bottom of the base are pulled and the base swivels around.

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The headrest was adjustable and didnt require any rethreading of the straps, it was just one single movement. The 5 point harness seem fine and did its job.

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From the photo above you can see that when the seat is on a flat surface in rear facing mode, it looks well reclined. In rear facing you cannot change the recline on the seat. This is where we started having problems.
If you look at most car back seats, they are not flat. In our car, the back seats recline backwards towards the back as this design is deemed safest for an adult in an accident. However this worked against us for this car seat.
The recline caused the car seat to be more upright and therefore when Bear fell asleep, his head was on his chest practically curled over.
I tried to move the headrest , manuvere him in the seat but nothing worked to change this position.
I took the seat back to the shop who advised there was nothing that could be done as the recline of the back car seat could not be changed. They admitted that this problem had been common as most newer model of cars are designed with this recline.

Because of this, we decided to return this car seat. We did not feel that it was safe for Bear to sleep with his chin on his chest.

Overall: The seat is a great seat to Maxi Cosi’s normal standards. The extended rear facing is good if you dont want to shell out for a full ERF seat. It is compact and light and easy to transfer between to cars. The only downfall is the lack of recline in rear facing, as this is marketed ‘from birth’, I would not happy to put a newborn baby or even my 8 month old in it with how upright the seat is.

The seat is available from many retailers for around £225.

The cost of living…

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So today’s post is more of a rant!

Baby stuff can be so expensive! The annoying thing is that these companies know people will shell out for specific items.
My son is now 8 months old, hes a chunk and so a new car seat was in the pipeline. After shopping about for what was out there, it came to light that rear-facing was now recommended for as long as possible. I wasn’t sure on this idea so decided on a group 0/1 seat which enabled him to be rear facing till 15-18 months. I got a great deal on a car seat which actually turned into small nightmare due to incompetant sale staff. (Review on this seat coming soon). So back to the shop I went, after a mind boggling 40 minutes in the shop and testing car seats in the car, there was one, yes just one that would fit my requirements and my actual back seat! The only problem…. the seat was £350! Now that seems a ludicrous amount of money to spend on a car seat however, just as the manufacturers know, I (and many other parents) was not willing to scrimp on something that could save my childs life. So after giving my husband a small heart attack on the phone, we paid for the seat.
Now is this fair? Yes we are privileged enough to be able to afford the safest seat out there, but why should the people that arent have to compromise their child’s safety? Theres probably a large amount of parents that throroughly research these kind of baby items, therefore the manufacturers know that they are going to pay the cost if it is dubbed the ‘safest’.

More needs to be done to make the safest car seats accessible to all, no child has more right to life than another.

NB. The car seat we bought the first time was the Maxi Cosi Milofix which didnt work out for us. The one we ultimately decided on was the Britax Dualfix. I’ll be adding reviews of both soon!

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