As I travelled around the world in the old, pre-kids days, I was introduced to a lot of new words for things. One of those words, in Australia. was ‘doona’. Which means duvet, apparently. Warm, snuggly, comfortable…if that’s how you wanted to feel, then that’s what you had to ask for.
Last week, we headed off on an altogether different holiday. Three kids crammed into the back of the car, with our destination much closer to home: Somerset. And Little B had a Doona of her own. Except this one isn’t a duvet. It’s a car seat.
A very clever, unique and revolutionary car seat. Because it has flip out wheels that can instantly turn it into an easy-to-use pushchair, and then flip back up to make it a fully functional, comfortable and safe car seat again.
It sounded almost too good to be true! Could it live up to it’s snuggly, comfortable Australian alter-ego name? We have been finding out…
Getting the Doona out of the box, the first thing that struck me was just how user friendly it is. Although I had had a demonstration of how it worked at the Baby Show, I’d not tried using it before myself; and despite that, within seconds I had mastered flipping the wheels out, extending the handle and then transforming it back into a car seat again. First without a baby sitting in it, and then with Little B in situ.
The same was true once we got it outside, and into the car. The Doona can be installed using a standard car seatbelt (or an isofix base, which is available separately) and although it took a little bit of tilting to get the belt around the back of it, we were soon all set and ready to head off down the motorway.
Little B seemed comfortable and played happily with her toys, shielded from the sun by the generous canopy.
Being able to use the car seat as a pushchair too was a huge benefit to us as with three kids in a five seater car, space is at a premium when packing for a holiday. I think its the first time we’ve travelled without all of us having bits and pieces almost up to our middles, stuffed into every nook and cranny to try and fit everything in. Not having to slot a separate stroller in somewhere really made a big difference – I just hoped that the Doona would work for us while we were out and about on holiday as well as just heading there in the car…
And it did!
We nipped out for swimming sessions, went to visit the local (cider) farm and had plenty of family strolls around the site, all with no trouble at all. The Wee Man was massively impressed that it was light enough, and (with the handle unextended) low enough that he could push his baby sister around too. Cue one very proud big brother!
So far we are very impressed.
For holidays, it’s a definite winner. Next week we’ll be using it for more boring, everyday activities – look out for an update on how the Doona handles school runs, shopping trips and a visit to the pool 🙂