Traveling with Babies: Do you really need to buy a car seat?

maxi-cosi-pebbleFor a long time before our baby arrived, I was in two minds about whether to buy a car seat for our baby or not. Car seats can be expensive, considering the fact that we don’t even own a car. The only reason I was even thinking about buying a car seat was in order to bring the baby home from the hospital after delivery and for those rare occasions when we might need to hire a cab. Another occasion could have been when we flew to India with the baby. Though many airlines offer a bassinet for babies, they are limited in number for each flight and there is no guarantee that you will get one every time, and to travel long haul with a baby strapped to your chest or in your lap sounded to us like a big nightmare.

So, I had my eyes on a few car seats which were not too expensive and kept a check on any offers online as well as offline. It finally happened that I ended up buying the Maxi Cosi Pebble.

This car seat has very good reviews everywhere and is accepted on all major airlines. Its market price was around 2400 SEK, but I got an excellent deal for it via babyshop.se, where it only cost me 1200 SEK after discount. So, it was a great buy. I also had the option of buying the 349 SEK car seat from Biltema, and in retrospect I feel it would also have worked out just fine if I were only going to use it in taxis locally. But since my plan was also to use them on airplanes when we visit India, I wanted to have the most approved model so that there is no confusion with the staff on a plane.

But, do you really need a car seat to bring a baby home from the hospital after delivery? I found that if you called up a taxi company, such as Taxi Kurir, you could then ask them to send a taxi with a car seat. So you don’t really need one of your own, unless you actually own a car and intend to use it regularly. Otherwise, with a good stroller, the public transport in Stockholm is excellent and one doesn’t really need to travel around in a taxi. I do not intend to do that either and am looking forward to many metro and bus rides with our baby in her Bugaboo. But you need to decide what works best for you. For me, it was a great deal at a great price and I could afford it, so I went with it.

So, in a nutshell, my belief is that you do need a car seat if you have a car. This is quite obvious. However, if you don’t have a car, then you can consider saving that money and spending it on something else, considering that taxi companies do offer the facility if you call and book in advance. It all depends on how big a use you think it is going to be, will you be flying with your baby with this car seat? How long can you use the specific car seat before the baby outgrows it and needs another model? Can you get by with a cheaper model, like the one from BilTema I mentioned above? Another important factor to consider is how good a resale value a specific car seat has as that can reduce the final cost of ownership.

Do share your thoughts on this with me by commenting below.

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