When I was growing up, I never sat on a car seat (mind you, I don’t think my parents’ car even had any safety belts on it at that time). When our son was born, we wouldn’t be allowed to go home with him from the hospital if we didn’t have a proper infant seat installed in our car.
The regulations clearly state that children under 150 cm tall and 15 years old who are travelling in cars/lorries fitted with safety devices, must use an approved device for their size.
When the baby and I went to Jakarta in 2011, my husband was fussing a lot about how the safety of our baby (off course!), since it was his first long-trip across continents. He was fussing about the baby might get too hot in the heat, be bitten by bugs, catch an incurable tropical disease.. the list was endless. One issue that stood out the most was that none of the cars in my parents’ house in Jakarta was fitted with infant car seat. When asked whether I was going to bring a seat from Iceland or getting one in Jakarta, I said neither, as I was going to have him in my lap all the time, because that’s what most people do there (I think it is not even regulated to use one)… and oh, the horror look on my husband’s face when he heard that!
After a lengthy discussion on how car seats are compulsory, and how we have to put safety first when it comes to the baby, I decided to bring one from Iceland. I rented an iZi Sleep ISOfix from an insurance company, because I didn’t want our own car seat to be damaged from baggage handling during transport.
Once we arrived in Jakarta, I installed the seat straight away to my parents’ car when my mum picked us up at the airport. Halfway to my parents’ house, the baby started crying and my mum forced me to take him out of his seat. But I got so scared of having him out of the seat, I ended up asking the driver to stop the car while I soothed the baby.
However, it was really hard to stand my ground of keeping the baby strapped to his seat during car trips when he started to scream and cry, because my mum would see it as some kind of torture to the baby. I try to always respond almost immediately when the baby starts crying, but taking him out of his seat and endangering his life is not one of the responses I’m willing to do. But I find it so hard to get my mum to understand this because she doesn’t even wear seat belts when she’s in the car.
Now that we’re only a week away from leaving Iceland to visit Jakarta, again I am faced with a car seat problem. Our son is now using a Kidzofix seat, which I really like but weighs 20 kilograms, so pretty much impractical to bring it with us to Jakarta and having to take it back to Iceland at the end of our trip (hufff!).
So now I’m thinking about buying a seat to be kept in Jakarta, so we won’t need to carry one every time we go there. I like the looks of Maxi Cosi Mobi and Britax Multi Tech 2, because I’d like to keep the baby rear-facing as long as possible, but the thing is, these car seats aren’t exactly cheap. After spending EUR 380 for our seat, I don’t think we can spare an extra 300 EUR for another seat.
My mum and dad have offered to buy us a seat for the baby, but I’m afraid they may get a seat that is too big, or too small, or too recalled (I found a person commenting how some shops actually selling recalled baby items).
Maybe I should just wait until our son turns 15 years old and 150 cm tall before taking him to Jakarta…