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We're thinking about not getting a car seat. Is this crazy?

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 
I definitely know that a car seat is generally something that everyone needs, and until this week we hadn't questioned the idea that we would need one too. However, we can't figure out when we would ever use it.

We don't have a car. We live in a city where we can walk most places (work, stores, parks, friends' houses, etc.). We frequently take the bus or the subway, but we almost never take a cab. My in-laws live only about a mile away from us, and they're planning to purchase a car seat for one of their cars which they will leave installed all the time. We do ride in their car or borrow their car sometimes, and we'll probably continue to do that once the baby arrives. We could easily borrow the car seat from them if we had a planned outing in some other car, although it seems like that is unlikely to happen very often since virtually all of our friends use public transportation too.

My worry had been about a medical emergency, but my wife pointed out that in a true emergency we're unlikely to take the time to install a car seat in a cab or a zipcar--we would either call an ambulance or my in-laws or hop in a cab with the babe in our arms. If it was less of an emergency (i.e. a sick child's doctor appointment) we would probably use my in-law's car regardless of if we had our own car seat or not.

Are we missing something here? We may well be--this will be our first child. What else should we be considering? Does it sound to you like we need a car seat?

Thank you!
post #2 of 56

The only thing I can think of is that a couple people I know that called ambulances for emergencies had to have a car seat for the ambulance.

 

Otherwise it is better to wear the baby in a bus than use a stroller.

post #3 of 56

If you don't have a car, then there is not much point to buying a car seat. I guess that would be like buying gas for a car you don't have. Plus, since your in-laws are buying a seat for their car, if something did happen where you travelled or something, I guess you could perhaps borrow it.

post #4 of 56

Ambulances generally have car seats of their own.

post #5 of 56

I say wait at this point. If you ever decide yes you need one you can get one later. : )

post #6 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post

Ambulances generally have car seats of their own.



IDK happened to two people...

post #7 of 56
I would skip a carseat in this case.
Even in the instance of needing an ambulance, this family would only have a seat if they were at home, otherwise they would be out on public transit and have to say they would need to run back home!
Plus if they live in an area with such buses and subways I'm sure the emt are use to people not having carseats.
post #8 of 56

I think you probably don't need a carseat.  I'll also disclaim that I'm a bit more carseat-oriented than most people.  However, I would buy a $40 Cosco Scenera, which should fit from birth to about age 3, and keep it at your house.  It is unlikely that you'll be faced with an emergency where you'll need a seat, but if you do you're not going to want to go shopping right then and inlaws might be out of town for the weekend of whatever.  I think $40 for a three-year "insurance policy" is a reasonable investment.

post #9 of 56

It doesn't sound to me like you need one, but I have heard of a few cases in which the hospital would not release the family after the birth until they proved that they had a car seat. might want to double check with your hospital about that. I guess you can just borrow the in-law's for that situation though...

post #10 of 56
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your replies, everyone. You've raised some useful things for us to consider.

In case it is useful to anyone else, I checked with my local rescue squad, and they told me that it is now required by the U.S. Department of Transportation that all ambulances and medic units carry child safety seats. So if you're in the U.S., you should be ok in an ambulance without your own car seat. I'm glad that's the law now!
post #11 of 56

How are you planning on getting home from the hospital (provided your are birthing in one)?  As a PP stated many hospitals require a car seat for dismissal tho I assume there are exceptions. If your IL's are driving you home and already have the car seat properly installed in their car then I think you are all set. If you find you need one later you could buy one later. 

post #12 of 56
Thread Starter 
Good question. We're planning a home birth, but if we and up transferring my in-laws would bring us home, so we could use their car seat. Thanks for thinking of that!
Quote:
Originally Posted by HollyBearsMom View Post

How are you planning on getting home from the hospital (provided your are birthing in one)?  As a PP stated many hospitals require a car seat for dismissal tho I assume there are exceptions. If your IL's are driving you home and already have the car seat properly installed in their car then I think you are all set. If you find you need one later you could buy one later. 


Edited by escher - 6/9/11 at 6:40pm
post #13 of 56

My vote is don't get one. I don't drive and have three car seats for two kids. They take up so much space and are very rarely used. One I had to have to leave the hospital, another my mom bought for my dd and I think my sister sent me the third, I don't really remember since I just walk everywhere or take the bus... I used them  both for about a week straight when grandparents were visiting but other than that they collect dust!

post #14 of 56

"almost" never take a cab is not the same a "never" . just buy a cheap one

post #15 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post

"almost" never take a cab is not the same a "never" . just buy a cheap one



Why?  She could just borrow her IL's.

post #16 of 56

Not infant seats, at least not where I am.

 

Ambulances here have seats that are attached to the wall.  They are facing backwards, but completely upright, and they're for kids who can sit on their own.

 

I didn't have a car when my child was younger, and made a number of ER trips during his first years.  None of them were ambulance worthy (e.g. a fever of 105.4 after Tylenol, bumping head and passing out from crying but Dr. wanted him checked out, croup).  None of them were such an emergency that I couldn't wait to buckle in a carseat.  However, in all those cases, I certainly wanted to be there within 1/2 an hour, so walking to the inlaws, or calling and waking them up, or waiting for them to come back from the grocery store etc . . . wouldn't have been an option. 

 

I'd buy a seat.  If I really couldn't afford that, I'd have my inlaws get an infant seat with a base, keep the base installed in their car, but have the infant seat with my child (e.g. at my house when he's there, travelling back and forth) so I could use it in an emergency.

post #17 of 56

Sounds silly to buy one, to me, especially since you can always borrow your inlaws when you need it. I'm going to guess that if you live in a big city, you probably have a smaller home, so finding a place to store a carseat could be a pain.

post #18 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PenelopeJune View Post

I'm going to guess that if you live in a big city, you probably have a smaller home, so finding a place to store a carseat could be a pain.


You're absolutely right--the main reason we would not get a car seat would be because we didn't want to store it in our tiny apartment if we weren't really going to use it. Thanks for clarifying that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momily View Post

Ambulances here have seats that are attached to the wall.  They are facing backwards, but completely upright, and they're for kids who can sit on their own.

 

I didn't have a car when my child was younger, and made a number of ER trips during his first years.  None of them were ambulance worthy (e.g. a fever of 105.4 after Tylenol, bumping head and passing out from crying but Dr. wanted him checked out, croup).  None of them were such an emergency that I couldn't wait to buckle in a carseat.  However, in all those cases, I certainly wanted to be there within 1/2 an hour, so walking to the inlaws, or calling and waking them up, or waiting for them to come back from the grocery store etc . . . wouldn't have been an option. 


Thanks for sharing your experience. It's useful to hear. So in those cases where you were heading to the ER but not taking an ambulance, did you strap the car seat into a cab? And then did you carry the car seat along with your child when you arrived at the ER? I'm just trying to picture how it is done.

The ambulance thing seems trickier to me, since even if we have a car seat at our apartment, our child could have an emergency away from home in which case we would have to rely on whatever the ambulance had anyway. I don't know. Hopefully we never have to ride in an ambulance with our child, although obviously I want to be as prepared as reasonably possible.

Thanks, everyone, for sharing your experience and ideas!
post #19 of 56

So it sounds like you will have access to a car seat, even if you don't store it at your house?

 

If the child is injured, the ambulance will transport. But they don't take guests so in the event of an injury to an adult in your hospital, they wouldn't let you both hop in generally. And certainly not restrained.

post #20 of 56

Get one, just in case.

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