Yes, I have finally chosen a new car seat for Annabelle! I have spent the longest time deliberating, researching and choosing the right one. Apart from safety, my biggest considerations were comfort and cost. In terms of comfort, my little girl falls asleep quite easily in the car and when she sits in some seats, her head falls to one side and it makes me worried about her neck. This is a particular concern on long journeys as we travel to Cornwall every six weeks or so. I used to drive to London once a month but since I became pregnant with baby no.2, I’ve only done that journey a couple of times.
The other factor affecting my decision was cost. We had already purchased the Maxi-Cosi Cabriofix for the 0-9 month stage, the Pearl for the 9 month to 4 year stage and the Familyfix base to use with both these chairs so I was reluctant to buy another seat now knowing that Annabelle could use the Pearl for another year or so. I initially decided on the Britax Evola 1-2-3 Plus because it was only £100 and would last until she was 11 years old so I could use the Familyfix base with the Cabriofix when baby arrived but then I made the mistake of reading too many reviews and over thinking it. A lot of the negative comments seemed to suggest that the big issues were comfort on long distance journeys and the positive ones all seemed be written by grandparents or people who had bought the chair for occasional use. I put off buying a seat for a while but it was always there niggling at the back of my mind.
Then I had the dilemma that Annabelle wouldn’t be ready for a stage 3 car seat for at least another year and she is so small for her age, she probably wouldn’t be able to fit in it when that time arrived. The baby would definitely need the Pearl car seat by then. Reluctant to buy a second Isofix base to use for a year and struggling to find anything I liked on the market that was suitable for a 3 year old, I started looking at the Kiddy Guardianfix Pro 2. A few of my friends have this car seat but I had two concerns with the chair. Firstly, I was worried that Annabelle wouldn’t like the brace that covers the torso area and secondly, I was worried about the cost. At £250, it was a lot of money to spend and I could have purchased two seats for that price, one until Annabelle was 4 years old and then another for ages 4-11. To be honest, after spending so much time thinking about car seats over the summer and worrying that I’d be stressing over whether the baby will outgrow the Cabriofix before 9 months, I bit the bullet and bought it. I’d been keeping an eye on the price of the chair for the last three months and it had always stayed constant so unfortunately I had to pay full price.
I have been pleased with the seat so far and so has Annabelle. I struggled to attach the chair to my Isofix at first but I managed on my third attempt and then I had trouble securing the seat belt. I’ve got there after the third car journey (good things come in threes eh?) and Annabelle has fallen asleep in the seat already. She looked comfortable and the brace didn’t look like it caused her any discomfort either.
Hopefully this review of sorts has been useful for you. I definitely found this to be the baby and toddler item I have spent the most time thinking about. Other than this, it was the buggy that I ummed and ahhed over for a similar time (I chose a Bugaboo Bee three years ago and will continue to use it with a buggy board for Annabelle once baby arrives). Bx
*Update: We get along brilliantly with this car seat. Annabelle’s head and neck are well supported on long journeys, she is comfortable when she falls asleep and is happy with the brace. The only issue I have is with my car (Toyota Prius) as it can be quite awkward to attach the seat belt but this is because of the restrictive nature of the plug.