How to manage 2 or more children with car seats in a taxi
Hi, I’m Elise, mum of two (soon to be three!) under three in Singapore. I’m also and engineer and internationally certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. Getting around Asia without your own car (whether you live in Asia or you’re passing through) can be a nightmare in itself, let alone trying to keep your kids safe at the same time. Sometimes parents who would absolutely use child restraints in their home countries, travel to Asia and tell me they aren’t planning to use safety restraints since there is usually no law requiring it. But think about it this way - in Asia, traffic is usually more chaotic than in their Western counterparts, so the risk of having a traffic accident is greatly increased. Add to that the realization that this chaotic traffic is likely to increase the emergency response time, and therefore increase the time it takes for your injured child to receive medical attention. If that wasn’t compelling enough, some Asian countries, particularly in regional areas, don’t enjoy the quality of medical care you may be used to in your home country, and you have a recipe for disaster. So when travelling in Asia, there is an even greater reason than just the law, for you to avoid injury to your child. So let’s see what your genuinely practical options are...
Just when you thought you’d mastered the car-seat-in-taxis thing and either experienced liberating holidays or avoided spending the better part of your child’s college fund on buying a car in Asia, you find yourself with TWO kids (or, the horror, THREE kids!) in case seats and the world is no longer as it seemed.
There are lots and lots of options for taking one child in a taxi – no matter how old or tall your child is. But as soon as there is more than one child, your practical options narrow significantly. Don’t fret, there are still workable options out there – here are the most popular configurations:
1. Choose a double stroller which can accommodate two car seats
Not all double strollers are created equal, but the best ones can accommodate two car seats at once. The following strollers can carry two infant car seats, one infant car seat plus one convertible car seat (such as the Cosco Scenera NEXT), or two convertible car seats:
- Baby Jogger City Select (with the multi-model car seat adapter frames – both seats can be either forward or rear facing)
- UPPABaby Vista (with the Chicco car seat adapter frames)
- Contours Options Elite Tandem (with the universal car seat adapter frames)
- Baby Trend Snap-N-Go double (no additional adapters required)
2. Move your older child to a the next stage restraint and use your current set-up for your newborn
Young children are much safer in a rear facing car seat with a five-point harness, but if there is a decent age gap between your children, your older child may be able to graduate from their current car seat into either a forward facing car seat, harness restraint or booster seat.
An amazingly portable option is the Urban Kanga folding car seat, which is a forward facing car seat, certified to European crash test standards. The Urban Kanga is the perfect travel solution that reduces space and makes it easy to carry along with you wherever you go. It is suitable for children 9 months to 18kg (approximately 4 years of age) and can be easily installed with a vehicle’s three-point seat belt. This clever little guy can fit in the basket of some larger strollers or hang from the handlebars in its provides carry bag.
The RideSafer Delight is an innovative wearable child restraint which positions the adult seat belt over the strongest areas of their growing skeleton. It is designed for children aged 3+ (below this age, children are safest travelling in a car seat such as the Cosco Scenera NEXT or Urban Kanga) and is easy to carry around, and install in a taxi. It’s certified to US crash test standards and available worldwide at taxibaby.com from $229 SGD. The RideSafer comes with a crotch strap and you can add a tether strap accessory if you choose; both are optional to use, but they significantly increase the level of protection offered to your child, so it’s strongly recommended. The RideSafer Delight is certified to US crash test standards (FMVSS 213).
For older kids, the mifold is an excellent option. Arguably the smallest, most lightweight booster seat, the mifold also positions the adult seat belt across the strongest areas of your child’s body. It is suitable for children aged 4+ and is certified to European crash test standards (ECE R44-04).
These are all options that are designed to be lightweight and portable. You can even stow them away in strollers with larger baskets.
3. Get creative with your second car seat
An amazingly portable option is the Urban Kanga folding car seat, which is certified to European crash test standards. The Urban Kanga is the perfect travel solution that reduces space and makes it easy to carry along with you wherever you go. It is suitable for children 9 months to 4 years old (or 9-18kg) and can be easily installed with a three-point seat belt. This clever guy can fit in the basket of some larger strollers or hang from the handlebars in its provides carry bag.
Another consideration - the Cosco Scenera NEXT is such a lightweight seat, that you have almost unlimited options when choosing how to carry it. Consider using a shoulder strap, sitting it on the sunshade of your stroller or infant car seat, wedging it into your stroller’s basket, or using a bungee cord to hang it off the back of your stroller.
The Urban Kanga can tuck/wedge into the basket of some larger strollers (and even some of the smaller strollers if you’re lucky!) or hang its carry bag from the stroller handlebars.
4. And if you have a car?
Not all car seats will fit two- or three-across in the back seat of a car. The Britax Two Way Elite and the Cosco Finale are two of the best in class.
The Britax Two Way Elite is one of the safest car seats in the world. It's certified to European crash test standards, braces against the front seat with Swedish-style tethers, and has a maximum rear facing weight limit of 25kg. It's certified under ECE R44-03, the European crash test standards. While the Two Way Elite is narrow enough to fit three-across in most cars, it may not fit in some smaller cars.
Travelling in a rear-facing car seat is always 5 times safer than travelling in a forward-facing car seat. When you absolutely have to have your child seated forward-facing, the Cosco Finale is one of the safest options. The Cosco Finale is certified under FMVSS 213, US crash test standards.
The Britax Two Way Elite can go rear-facing until your child weighs 25kg and the Cosco Finale can go forward-facing until they're 29kg. After you've reached those weight limits, both products convert into high-back booster seats.
In terms of cost, value, safety and ease of installation, you can't go wrong with either of these car seats. Please do take into consideration, however, that the Cosco Finale can only be used with a top tether. Not all vehicles have a top tether, so if you're looking for a good value forward facing car seat and you don't have a tether, you might want to consider the Joie Elevate.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!