My 10-month-old is outgrowing his Doona infant capsule, what seats are next?
In this week’s Car Seat Chronicles, Elise discusses Jan’s restraint options and personalises a progression plan for her ten-month-old son, Chase.
Jan is searching for a new car seat for Chase, as she feels that he’s uncomfortable in his Doona car seat, and that he’s going to outgrow it soon at ten months old and ten and a half kilos. Although Jan and her little family rely on taxis/Grab, they occasionally ride in the grandparents’ Toyota Altis — which doesn’t have ISOfix or a top tether anchor. Jan prefers car seats that are simple to install and easy to manage as she often takes taxis/Grab alone with Chase and has to handle the car seat, stroller and shopping bags all by herself. While it’s not necessary, she feels like it’s an additional plus point if the car seat is suitable for plane and school bus usage as well.
If you happen to share the same situation as Jan, read away! Alternatively, you may listen to the podcast above. xx
Hi Jan, thank you for reaching out to us. At Chase’s current growth rate — ten and a half kilos at ten months — it is likely that he still has another six to 12 months in his Doona, if you choose to use it for longer. At TaxiBaby, we encourage parents to continue using their infant car seats for as long as it is safe to do so because it will never get as convenient as these infant capsules. Plus, since you love the Doona so much, it’ll be great if we can keep him in that.
You may have already noticed that Chase is starting to resist any car seat, and starts to be all squirmy, nervous and frustrated when you buckle him in. It almost seems like the car seat is uncomfortable or that he’s in pain, even though he’s not. Chase’s probably going through a big developmental period — a phase where children start crawling more, pulling up on furniture, getting all ready to start toddling. Whenever children go through physical development milestones like this, their bodies will develop an incredible urge to explore their newfound physical skills and thus, being confined in their car seats doesn’t complement that urge. Therefore, it may not be that he’s uncomfortable in the Doona, just that he doesn't want to be restrained.
Once Chase has graduated from his infant car seat, you will find that your options narrow significantly in terms of having a taxi-friendly car seat, to two main ones: the Urban Kanga and Cosco Scenera NEXT.
Now let’s look at the Urban Kanga in detail. It’s got wonderful features — it’s lightweight, portable and fits in most standard luggages. However, the downside is that it’s a forward-facing car seat, which is five times less safe compared to a rear-facing car seat that he’s currently in. The Urban Kanga needs to be installed in the taxi/car before Chase gets buckled into it, whereas for your Doona, Chase is buckled into it before the taxi arrives and you’ll probably just lift the Doona and Chase combined into the taxi and buckle the car seat in.
The next option you have is the Cosco Scenera NEXT, which functions in a similar manner as your current Doona — child buckled in advance, lift child with the seat into the car seat, install the car seat. I’ve got three kids and my eldest (four and a half YO), has used both the Cosco and Urban Kanga. I find it easier to use the Cosco when I’m on my own because of the ability to do half the work before the car arrives. Plus, the Cosco Scenera NEXT allows you to rear-face Chase, and hence it’s a safer option of the two.
The Cosco Scenera NEXT weighs about the same amount as the Urban Kanga and they’re both legal in Singapore. The two car seats, however, have different lifestyle features (as shown above in the comparison chart). Have a look at these two seats online and please do come back to me if you have any questions, and we will go through those in order to fine-tune your search for a good solution for Chase. Bye! xx Elise
Following up, Jan sent over the picture of her little bub in his Doona car seat. Look at Chase helping mommy with the groceries, how cute! Besides that, Jan further consulted Elise on the different models of the Doona and asked if she should purchase a Maxi-cosi car seat instead, as she is currently looking for a stroller that offers both lie-flat and upright positions.
Hi Jan, there are both US and EU versions of the Doona, but they don’t differ much. Chase can continue using the Doona until his head becomes taller than the top of the car seat shell. I noticed his shoulders are pretty broad, and hence the car seat may be uncomfortable for him as the car seat tapers at the top. However, it won’t be unsafe until he exceeds the weight limit, which is 13 kilos, or when his head becomes taller than the top of the car seat. Chase looks like he’s got long legs, but it doesn’t pose any safety concerns in the infant capsule. I reckon that he has at least six months or longer left in this particular car seat.
The answer to your question about the Maxi-cosi is that you will have lesser timespan with it. Perhaps you can purchase a next stage car seat (either Cosco or the Urban Kanga) and use that sparingly, then use your Doona whenever you can. I reckon the Mountain Buggy Nano is an awesome stroller — it’s now lay flat! —and it fits both the Cosco and the Urban Kanga. Let us know what you’ve decided to roll with, safe travels! xx Elise
Jan has decided to keep Chase in his Doona and purchased a Nuna Mixx to use as a stroller. She has set her eyes on the Cosco when her little one outgrows his car seat, and hopes that it can be easily hacked onto her stroller. If you know of a Nuna Mixx + Cosco hack, send us some photos — we’ll let Jan know and feature it in our Strollerhacks database!