I have 3 kids under 5 (including a newborn), I don't have a car - what are my options?
Elise comments on Kristy’s plans for her three children (five and a half years old, three years old and a newborn) in this week’s Car Seat Chronicles.
Kristy doesn’t have a car and relies mainly on taxis to get around in Singapore. Foreseeing that she has to travel with three kids in tow, she’s on a lookout for extremely portable and quick-to-buckle (ideally wearable) restraints for her two older children, and an infant capsule for the newborn. Although she has a selection of adaptors and strollers, she prefers that the infant capsule can fit her favourite stroller, the City Select.
If you’ve three kids around the same age as Kristy’s, read further for her plan, and see what Elise has to say! You may also listen to the podcast below for Elise’s comments.
Here's the email that Kristy sent us:
We have a 5.5 year old, a 2 year old (who turns 3 later this month) and are expecting a third baby in early Jan.
We don't have a car and so for taxis, we currently use a RideSafer vest for the 5.5 year old and the Urban Kanga for the nearly 3 year old. Going forward I'm thinking – but would really welcome your thoughts:
- For the 5.5 year old, a ride safety vest although I think I need to upgrade him to a large one now (he must be over 23 kg). I would prefer this over the mifold as I can get him in the vest before the taxi arrives and into the taxi as soon as it arrives rather than having to affix the mifold (whilst keeping an eye on 3 kids on the pavement or carpark).
- For the nearly 3 year old, he's fine in the Urban Kanga for now but when I've got more stuff to carry around, I will upgrade him to the ride safety vest.
- For the newborn, I've given our earlier car seats I used for the above two to my helper for her to send back to use in the Philippines. I'd prefer an infant-only car seat. Would you recommend a Maxi Cosi or something else?
- Lastly, logistics…. I will probably try and avoid the situation where I'm taking all 3 of them out by myself in a taxi at once!! But if I needed to, my thinking is I would sit in the front and have the 5.5 year old in the middle back seat as he's best placed to communicate with as to what's going on in the back! But I know when I get in the taxi with the two children now and sit in the back in between them, most times it's a lap belt and not a 3 point seat belt, which wouldn't be good enough for the RideSafer vest. I typically order Comfort taxis. Do you know if there's a way to make sure I get a taxi with a 3 point seat belt in the middle back seat on the app? Or would this be something I'd have to include in the notes section.
Thank you very much for your help.
Here's Elise's reply and a follow-up from Kristy at the end to let us know how she went!
Hi Kristy! I think your plan sounds brilliant! To address your concern regarding taxis with lap-only belts, you may hire a ComfortDelGro limo cab, which has three-point seatbelts for every seat at the back. The only downside is that it’s more expensive, but if you’re not always travelling with all three of them together, you may consider this option.
In terms of infant car seats, I actually really like the Mountain Buggy Protect infant car seat these days! It’s interestingly not super easy to get, but we can special order one directly from the factory for you if you like. It’s narrower, lighter and has a much better fit for both newborns and older babies compared to Maxi Cosi and Cybex car seats. In fact, Cybex has recently changed the design of their infant inserts, and it doesn’t work quite as well as it used to. The Protect capsule uses the same adaptors as Maxi Cosi and Cybex seats, meaning you’ll be able to attach it to whichever pram you’ve got (ie. if a Maxi Cosi car seat fits your City Select, the Protect will fit too). I’m currently using the Protect for my youngest child (currently nine months old) - it’s the car seat we’re recommending a lot as it seems to be working really nicely.
If I were you, I’d probably hand down the small RideSafer vest to #2 and put #1 in a large RideSafer vest. Otherwise, you’re a pro; I agree with everything that you’ve said! If you’ve got anymore questions, just holler, bye! Xx Elise
Kristy decided to go with the Mountain Buggy Protect seat, and got the new Gen5 RideSafer vests (in small and large size) for her two older children. She decided not to hand down the small RideSafer to the her middle child as it was a little battered and was missing one of the metal clips. Here’s a picture of her three lovely children at the back of a taxi:
"Three in the back of a taxi—it’s actually been fine so far getting Comfort taxis with a three point seat belt in the middle seat."