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I had a travel system for my eldest but took it back when he was 3 months old as the wheels had gone wonky. So when my second son came along I had a buggy still but no car seat. My main bug bear with my previous infant carrier was how it attached to the car. You had to have the seat belt going over the lap section and therefore over my son's legs, which made it awkward to get him in and out of if the seat was already in the car. After a lot of investigation at the time I only managed to find a couple of infant carriers that didn't go in this way, one was at the very top end of the market and this one was about £35. As there is only 13 months between my 2 eldest money was tight so I opted for the cheaper one. I must admit due to its price I was very dubious about using it for a newborn. I was however pleasently surprised. My husband has a Mondeo and the seat tend to slope down towards the back so a lot of rear facing car seats can end up quite upright. This really worries me as the babies head kind of ends up flopped on their chest. This car seat however as well as coming with a head support also lies quite flat so even with the tilt of the actual car seats the baby doesn't tip forward at all. Another big bonus with this car seat is its lightwieght frame. Whilst the seat generally stays in the car perminantly the small frame means its quite narrow. This is very important at the moment as it is now being used for my third child so I have to be able to accomodate 3 car seat/carriers in the back and can do so easily with this. This car seat is easy and quick to install in the car. It can be installed two ways, 1) the more traditional way where the seat belt goes round the back and over the legs or 2) around the back and under the front of the seat. This canm be a little more fiddly to do as its difficult to see but if you want the carrier mainly left in the vehicle this is a good way to do it. The baby doesn't get their legs tangled up at all this way and its easier to get them in and out. There are 2 draw back for this carrier though. 1) There isn't much padding, this is in no way the kind of luxurious car seat that you yourself would like to sit in. It is however padded enough for a baby that is effectively very lightweight anyway so probably don't push on the padding too much. 2) As mentioned by other people the carry handle must be moved back behind the seat when it is in the car. So you must then push it in and pull it round to get the handle to carrying position. This is very stiff and I only occassionally manage to do it before I give up and get my husband to do it.
Now I know a lot of people might buy a very expensive car seat for their newborn child and I have to admit when we had our first child we thought the same thing as saftey is all important. However, we decided to go for a car seat that was at the lower end of the scale at around £35 at the time and is made by Fisher Price. The great thing from experience is that I think this is a great car seat and comfortable and safe. I can vouch for this as we have been using it for around four years now for all the children and it's still going strong. The one we bought was mainly red in colour with grey parts at the bottom and head of the car set. I had always thought of Fisher Price as a reliable manufacturer of children's toys and products and this is no exception. One of the things that appealed to me from the start and to this day is that it is very lightweight. We travel over to Ireland a fair bit and the last thing you want when dragging the baby around in the car seat is someting that's too heavy and tiring. This car seat is very safe and comes with a head pad and two straps that you can adjust and tighten depending on how big your baby gets up until about a year old. The handle is very easy to hold and the adjusting of the straps and using the car seat in general is simple as well which is great. Above all. we have found that you don't have to spend hundreds of pounds on a car seat when you can get one for this sort of price which is very reliable and sturdy. Highly recommended if you are looking for a cheaper alternative.
When I found out I was pregnant with my second child it was just at the wrong time, I had just given all my baby stuff away to other people who would need it, so I had to start again. I swore that I would not be spending the silly money that I had done on my first child because alot of it had got wasted. This chair was great I had already got one for her when she had grown out of the baby one due to my son being in a booster seat. This chair is lightweight the colours were neautral enough for a boy or a girl. It came with a head pad to keep the child safe that the straps also slipped though so that it wouldnt move away from the child if he/she wriggled. The straps had 3 holes to be able to adjust them to the childs growth and since they will usually spend the first year at least in this that is a good thing. It has a large handle that makes it easy to carry, and there is a little catch underneeth that you press in and you are able to pull the straps through to lengthen them for the child and If they are too loose when your child is in you just pull the strap at the front which will shorten them. The clasp is easy to close and you just push the button to undo it. It doesnt sound that different to any other car seat apart from the price I payed £30 from argos for this seat and even though it is cheap it is good quality and I am able to use it now for the 3rd child. It straps easily and safely in the car and I would highly recomend it you do not need to spend hundreds of pounds on a car seat this one is just as good.
This seat is exceptionally light weight, the body and handle are a light weight plastic with a grey and red cover with head hugger (both removable for washing), to look at it's a very nice seat but I wasn't overly convinced about it's sturdiness in the event of an accident, there just didn't seem to be any substance to the seat. It fastens using the standard 3-point harness which is very simple to use and adjust, lengthing the straps is a simple button you push whilst pulling the straps, there are also 3 high settings for them to give a better fit as baby grow, the straps just pop out easily to be moved up. The handle was one of the main things I had a problem with, you have to push down on the handle first before you can move it and it can be quite difficult and awkward to do especially if you are holding your child at the time! All in all, I wouldn't have said it was worth the £70 (approx) that most places charge for it, personally, apart from the brand name, I'd have placed it at the lower end of the scale (£30-£35 maybe)