I went back to work last month (a very detailed blog post about my denial of leaving Harry to follow!) It was only when it came to the practicality of going back to work that I realised we needed to purchase three (yes, THREE!) car seats! What with the husband and I sharing nursery drop offs and pick ups and my parents needing a car seat for the two days they are having Harry, we realised we needed three seats and better get a wriggle on choosing some.
Harry has been in a Maxi Cosi Pebble since birth. It is an exceptional car seat – safe, sturdy and easy to use, especially paired with the 2way fix isofix base. We chose this seat after doing bags of research and testing several seats (yes Harry is our first – how can you tell?!?) and because it worked well with our iCandy Apple 2 Pair pram. Our plan was to then purchase the 2 way Pearl when Harry outgrew the Pebble. The main reason for this is because we want Harry to be rear facing for longer with an isize car seat.
Lots of friends and family are skeptical about isize car seats – “he will prefer to be forward facing”, “if it was that important they would make it mandatory immediately”, “they are so expensive, it’s just a ploy for the companies to make more money”.
I’ve read article upon article about isize and why it is so much safer for children to be rear facing in car seats for longer. It is five times safer. Not two or three (which would be reason enough for me anyway) but five times – that’s huge. If there’s any way of keeping Harry safer I will do it. Even at the expensive of the price of car seats – they are double the price.
So then it came to choosing. We first purchased the Britax First Class Plus car seat which although is absolutely fine, we found hard work due to it being belted as opposed to having an isofix base. It may have been laziness on our part but having to elbow the seat belt out of the way to get a wriggling Harry in and out of the seat just wasn’t for us. So that seat is going to my parents! It’s only getting used max twice a week and is perfectly fine. Harry can rear face in it until he is approximately four years old.
So back to the drawing board for the two main car seats for our cars. Although we love Maxi Cosi and they are without a doubt our favourite brand for seats, we just couldn’t afford to buy two of the 2 Way Pearl and another 2 Way Fix Isofix base. So we went off piste!
We visited Mothercare for advice and to take advantage of their car seat fitting service. They recommended the Joie IAnchor Advance car seat and IAnchor Advance base (which was free if you bought the car seat from them on special offer). They tested it in one of our cars and explained how it worked. The seat has seven different recline positions and is rear facing until
approximately four years of age and forward facing from 15 months. It is suitable for newborns and has extra padding to accommodate a newborn baby. It seemed to meet our needs so we ordered two.
We’ve only used one (one is on pre order) and it’s a hit with Harry! He is slightly higher than the Pebble so can nosy out of the window and each time he’s been in it he has fallen asleep – bonus! The only downside for me is that even on the furthest recline, Harry’s head does fall forwards slightly when he nods off but from reading several reviews, that is fairly standard for the next stage car seats.
Although I’m disappointed that we couldn’t stick with Maxi Cosi based on the cost of buying two, overall we are pleased with our Joie I-Anchor Advance. It’s a nice looking seat, good value for money and means our little man can be rear facing until he is around four years old, so as safe as possible. Win win for us!