When we moved here, E flew in her Britax Roundabout. However, through a series of misadventures, that car seat is broken and unusable. The very short version is that I took off the cover to wash it and the styrofoam that made up the head guard was snapped.
This was irritating, but hardly an issue. We don’t own a car, and while SG has car seat laws, as in every other country, they don’t apply to cabs, which are our main source of transportation. I’ve met a few moms who use the sit n stroll carseat, but that looks like a nightmare, both in terms of installation in cabs and discomfort while pushing it. Some moms use the CARES system that was made for airplanes, and I’ve even met a few moms who found European distributors of a vest to use in the cab which, like the CARES system creates a 5 point harness. They all seem like a lot of crap to haul around, and the car seat is too big, too bulky and too damn heavy to carry around (although I’ve seen one or two moms who also do that).
Which is a long justification before saying I just strap my kid into the regular seat belt in cabs. It works out fine, and now as soon as she’s in the cab she starts insisting that we “bucklely bucklely.” About five minutes later she’s asking for out, but she does at least get that she needs to be strapped in.
But we are facing the long airline ride back to the US, and I’ll be driving my car around Boston for a month, so a new car seat is in order. Britax has come out with an upgraded line of carseats with much higher weight limits (although that’s not a huge consideration with E). However, it’s an arm and a leg to ship them to SG. So our current plan is to buy a new Britax, and have it shipped to or picked up by my in-laws.
My logic was to get a cheap car seat to just use on the plane to the US and then toss. I bought a car seat off craigslist for 50 SGD (about 37 USD) and I thought the brand was “Safety First.” Obviously I wasn’t paying attention to anything other than if it would fit into an airline seat, as today I looked at it and saw the brand is “Safety fits.” It also doesn’t work with my travel system, so I think I need to throw it away (I don’t have a manual, and I don’t think it’s ethical to resell it on CL).
Which leaves with the dilemma of
- paying to ship the carseat here just to have a good car seat on the ride to the US, where otherwise it will be waiting, installed and inspected by the local police, which just seems like a waste of 150 USD. This assumes that Magic Beans will get the car seats in with enough time to ship it to me and have it arrive before we leave (they don’t have them yet…Amazon does, but can’t ship to Singapore, and having my in-laws ship it directly would cost over $400 USD).
- just to use the CARES system and pray I don’t need to haul her through the airports (or can hire one of those golf carts–anyone know anything about that?)
- to buy yet another cheap car seat here off craigslist (although good car seats here are few and far between)
- just figure out a way to haul this one around (my travel system connects the car seat to the wheeled carryon, creating a faux stroller and minimizing what you carry/push around), maybe using bungee cords.
- Not check my stroller with the luggage and push her in that, which creates issues in that the Bugaboo travel bag (non optional when flying) is huge, and would create both a third and fourth wheeled thing to push–as the storage compartment in the Bee is fairly small and can’t hold more than one personal item, this just adds to the problems.
- Have E straddle the carry-on bag and ride it (which she’s done plenty), tying her to it with bungee cord (like a seat belt) and creating a pseudo stroller. My concern is that this wont’ work if she’s sleeping or tired and uncooperative and needy about being carried.
Keep in mind it is NOT possible for me to get on the plane with less than two wheeled carry-ons and two personal items. We don’t travel light, it’s not changing, seriously don’t even waste your time trying to convince me it can or should be done. I promise I will tell you about when X happened in the air with E and why now I need Y to deal with it happening again. Especially considering the trip to Boston from Singapore is 36 hours of travel door to door, 22 or so of it in the air. Especially Especially considering it’s just the two of us.
This is the time when I really wish I had a stronger back. I’d use the MOBY/ a leash while bouncing around airports and just use the CARES on the plane. But that’s just not an option. Carrying her for a block is an issue for me as her weight has almost certainly gone above 20lbs and is possibly near my carry limit of 25.
I’m likely to just call whatever airline we end up traveling with and figuring something out, but I’m seriously stressed at 8 weeks out (almost to the day…we’re flying out Nov 4, which is 8 weeks from Thursday).
I also kind of resent that this is an issue, but it’s the cost of my getting a month at home when R only gets a few weeks.