Babies and car seats – the good, the bad and breastfeeding

The We Man always loved his car seat. From day one, as we travelled home and he slept happily, the car was a great place to be with a baby (and pretty much one of the only places he would actually sleep as well!)

Bubby D arrived, and we expected the same easy ride…

But it turns out, not all babies love the car!

Howling and screaming accompanied every car ride, long or short, for several months after we welcomed her into the world. I wondered if it was because she couldn’t see me, and so I wedged myself in the back between the two car seats (which the Other Half found hilarious to watch). I considered perhaps she was hungry and attempted to breastfeed her whilst she was strapped in and I was too (even more hilarious, and let me tell you unless you have quite a large car seat and are pretty well endowed yourself it isn’t going to happen…) and then, eventually, we changed car seat.

Bubby D was much happier, and I realised that although they all look fairly similar, not all baby car seats are created equal…

Things I never really considered first time round, but definitely know about now include:

    • using a baby seat with an isofix base makes the seat higher, as well as being more easily and safely secured, and allow your baby to see a bit more of the world as you drive along
    • dangly toys, flashy light things, noise making mobiles and other ‘car seat entertainments’ DO NOT WORK. Well, not for longer than two minutes, anyway.
    • some baby car seats are bigger than others. They might all look fairly similar, but in fact being the same size on the outside doesn’t mean that the internal space is the same. When we got Bubby D’s second seat, for example, I realised that our original baby seat was in fact much slimmer and less deep – and that explains why the Wee Man outgrew it at 6 months (he was very tall though – taking after his 6’5” Daddy…)
    • It’s worth spending a bit more to get a decent seat, with a good safety rating. Companies such as K and Co. offer a good range of seats that you can pay for weekly to spread the cost if the full amount makes your wallet want to cry! Cheaper seats are out there – but they’re likely to be less comfortable, and less safe – and if you know you’re likely to have more than one child it’s even more worth your while to get a nice safe and roomy one, as we found out.
    • and finally, if you are going to attempt breastfeeding a baby in a car seat, think about getting a group 0+ seat which doesn’t have a carrying handle. Otherwise, unless you’re an amazing contortionist, there’s no chance!

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