Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Car seats saga lesson 1.

                                            8 rules when checking baby seats out.

We all need a baby car seat and whoever designed the things were having a chuckle but here is my guide to finding the easiest car seat if you are disabled, have a bad back etc.

See below,Motability ,a fab charity for those on DLA mobility component.
Rule 1: If you are due to renew your Motability car then make sure it has isofix seat attachments. I am quite sure this is something most modern cars come with.It really is as simple as click the isofix base in and then wack the car seat onto the base and go, no mucking about with seat belt straps to secure the seat which is impossible with restricted movement, pain, weak muscles etc. If you do have Motability but your car is not due for renewal but are pregnant and you feel your circumstances and need are drastically changing then talk to Motability staff, they go out of their way to help.
New Vauxhall Meriva with doors that open differently allowing easier access to child seat and has isofix.

Rule 2. If you don't get Motability and have an old car don't worry,go to Halfords and Mothercare for your car seat and they will run a free service to fit the seat into your car so don't struggle on your own.

Rule 3. Check how the carry bar works because it also acts as the roll bar so you need to be able to put it up and get it down, we forgot to do this with a rather expensive model which I'll talk about in the next blog, we were so excited we could work the safety belt release button we forgot many other aspects! I can not get the handle down to get my son in and out because there is a button either side of the seat and you have to push both in whilst pushing the bar down with your head!
Maxi-Cosi Pebble Car Seat - Intense Red
Car seat, easy button to press to release straps, negatives are the difficult carry bar mechanism and deep seat!
Rule 4. Can you work the safety harness button? Can you A) do up the seat belt and click it into the safety belt mechanism and B) Can you work the button to release it?

Rule 5. Contact the charity,Remap. I haven't gotten them to look into our seat yet but I have already said what stars these guys are. I always feel it is the charities rather than government lead organisations that produce the real life changing work for Disabled people. Time for an analogy: I always find tribute bands are often better than the real thing,people really try because the tribute has to work for its money, the big guns with millions of pounds do a half hearted performance,look a bit bored,wish they were else where,feel a bit resentful of their mates in the private sector raking it in without having to deal with moany public etc etc. I can not praise Remap enough, if you have a need that isn't able to be met on the market or have already purchased something and realised you can't work it they come to the rescue and adapt it.

Remap site

Rule 6. Try a travel system at Mothercare, get them to fix the car seat in, they will be happy to help,get them to allow you to wheel the travel system out and practice to see if you can lift child in car seat out and onto buggy base, if you haven't got your baby you will have to engage the old brain and imagine a heavy weight in the seat or take a few tins with you or flour. I could never hope to lift a child out in the car seat,it would break my elbow and wrist joint. Personally I prefer the system of a car seat in place and just having to struggle with the baby. Have a buggy folded out, ready to plonk baby in straight away and have buggy right up to the car so you are not lugging baby for any distance.

Rule 7. Check how deep the baby seat is, if it has whacking great sides and you have very restricted arm movement and much pain do yourselves a favor and walk away from the seat, even if it has a nice big button to release the harness, isofix etc. I stupidly didn't think about this aspect of a seat, now I have a heavy 9 month old and I just can not even start to lift him out of his car seat because of the built up side parts of the seat.

Rule 8. Don't feel worried if like me you actually can't take your son out on your own, they will be walking soon as some yummy mummies have reminded me on here. They will soon be climbing into their own car seat and you will be able to take him to Playschool or anywhere else. Let me quote from "How to teach your baby to read"  by Glenn and Janet Doman, two top bods in the world of child development answering the question of "If your child reads too early,will he be deprived of his precious childhood?", answer "Nonsense! What he likes the most is spending ever minute at work and play with his family, nothing,just nothing,can compare with his family's undivided attention and if he had his way that's the way he'd arrange it."We took our son to John lewis at the weekend. We went to the toy department and he spent the whole time looking and giggling at me! Couldn't care less about the toys or anyone else there.

The next blog on Car seats will take place once I have checked out the market and gone through every seat with a fine tooth comb!



  1. Wow! I found your blog via Mumsnet and have been reading it all day - it is such a treasure trove of information.
    Isn't Remap fantastic!
    I have MS and want to be a parent and your blog has made me feel incredibly positive and can-do.
    Thanks and best wishes.

  2. If I have helped any one who comes across this page with a disability believe they can be a great parent or believe they are being a fantastic parent then I feel I am doing something right. Thank you Charlotte and if you come across anyone else in a dilemma direct them this way. Above all society is lucky that disabled people are having children, a breed of children taught compassion, consideration, thoughtfulness and to be non judgemental not to mention bright because most our activities are calm and more playing board games, reading books etc. You will manage and you will find your own hints which you need to pass on, keep the creaky parents help flowing x Above all you will be great I am sure x

  3. I've just come across your blog whilst searching for advice on car seats for disabled parents and I've sat and read each entry. I think you're doing really well. I have cerebral palsy affecting my left have side and can really use my left arm or hand. My current problem is finding a car seat that I can use with my headstrong 17 month old daughter! From a physical point of view it does get easier, I also have a four year old son and he pretty much looks after himself physically! I personally struggle a lot with the notion that there are lots of things I want to do with my kids but can't and it gets me down at times so reading your blog is very reassuring

  4. Thanks both, I await the day my son walks with huge expectation of it being a little less tricky on the old bones, mine not his. I would try the Maxi Cosi axis Annii because it swivels on its axis to face car door and is what I use now. It means no more struggling to get child in as swivel seat, grab child with both arms and walk up to seat, no yoga position needed! The Carkoon is supposed to be out soon but I have not seen one yet, it is going to swivel too apparently. Go check at Halfords for the maxi axis and then buy cheaper online if the principle works x