Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hug your kids at home, belt them in the car

Way back in the day, my aunt Cheryl had a bumper sticker on her 4Runner that encouraged seat belting your kids in the car--"Hug your kids at home, belt them in the car". I always thought it was a little bit funny, although I am sure it offended some.

Anyways, here in China I am facing the great car seat/safety belt debate.

We hire a driver whenever Nick has business to tend to. If the driver is hired for the day, I also have use of his services.  Otherwise, Sal and I walk wherever we are going.

Why not take a cab, you ask?

Seat belts.

Or, the lack thereof.

Consensus amongst the expats who have more time here under their belts is "When in China....do as the Chinese do". Which translates to riding in taxis with kids on laps.

I just can't give in to the ease of lapping Sal. Even with the ever growing threat of him growing out of his carrier and into a convertible yes-i-plan-on-re-installing-it-every-single-time-even-if-it-breaks-my-back car seat, I still plan to belt him in the car.

I guess this means we just won't use taxis here in China, unless of course, I find one of the few that have working safety belts AND ( even bigger AND) they are willing to wait for me to install it! These cab drivers here are off before your door even closes. Swerving through traffic, gas on to beat the lights...They drive like it's a race to the finish. And then the next question..what to do with the convertible car seat when we arrive at our destination? Do I carry a full size car seat, our stroller and a wiggly baby to the grocery store?

Our fullsize Quinny Buzz Stroller
Top contender for Sal's next car seat
Logistically impossible.

These are things I took for granted in the States. I never once thought about not having a car, nor did I think about what I would do when Sal graduated to a convertible seat from his carrier...and now, he's just 2 inches shy of outgrowing his carrier. The time is coming. We will buy one on our trip to the States in October. We have learned ( with formula, etc) that just because it carries a brand name, doesn't mean it meets US safety standards. It only meets standards for the country it is being sold in.

One thing is for sure, I fully intend to continue to hug my kid at home, and belt him in the car. Maybe my view is skewed due to how long it took for us to have a child to bring home. Maybe our struggles make me overprotective. Or, maybe I see that it only takes one crash and our lives would be shattered. Again. For what? Convenience.

I don't know about you, but I'm quite certain that NZ and I have lost more than our fair share of babies for a lifetime. We think we will keep this one in a bubble as long as possible. ( I kid, I kid).

Bubble? No.

Car seat? Definitely.

Even if that means that mama gets the best set of legs this side of Wuxi from walking everywhere.

Anyone have a car seat they love, don't love? I was looking into the Diono, but I believe the seat back is too high for many of the vehicles our drivers transport us in. I'm now looking into Recaro ProSport and the Graco Myride65. Chime in, please!


  1. I just bought the Britax Marathon for B's convertible. He's not close to growing out of our infant seat (I bought an oversized infant seat), but I saw a great deal and jumped on the next carseat. Diono looks excellent. I've read great reviews on them as well.

    You've (we've) definitely lost our fair share of kids for a lifetime. :/

    I was driving in traffic with someone the other day and B was crying. They told me I could just take him out of the carseat to soothe him. I said he's bruise his lungs before I'd consider doing that. Alive v. unhappy. Hardly a toss-up.

  2. We have the graco Nautilis 3 in 1 which will grow with them and turn into a booster seat but I don't know if it is too bulky/heavy to move a lot, we only take it out to clean the car of cherrios and when we fly somewhere for the rental car

  3. There are some infant carriers that have higher height and weight limits so you could stretch out the time a bit more- mine were in the "bucket" until after a year, and they were both off the charts for height.

    As far as convertibles, I love the Britax Advocate, because it has a higher rear facing limit, which was very important to me, but it is a pretty huge seat. Recaro or Diono are also great brands. Stick to your guns, mama!! Totally worth the hassle of installing and re-installing for the safety of that precious little baby!!!

    Do the cabs have the latch system or no?

    1. No LATCH or ISOFIX in the taxis.Some dont even have safety belts in back..like, not just that they dont work, btu they don't even exist (=

      Our driver's cas are newer model Buicks and Hyundais. I will have to reach into the cushions and see if I can find the brackets. I'm pretty sure they do have one of the two systems.

      Our Chicco keyfit goes to 30 lbs, but Sal is a long and lean baby, and hes at the top harness height already.

    2. Omg, those taxis sound scary!! The latch system is so quick and easy, if your drivers have it you will be in and out with your convertible in no time at all! :)

  4. We have the Britax Marathon - we LOVE it. Used it with Jeffrey from the hospital until he was 3 1/2 and have used it with Juliet since then. It has been wonderful. Very happy with our purchase.