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Traveling in a big city with a baby. What do you do about the car seat??

Traveling in a big city with a baby. What do you do about the car seat??

Old Jun 16th, 2006, 04:10 AM
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Traveling in a big city with a baby. What do you do about the car seat??

What do people do in big cities about about the car seat when transporting from place to place??
In a few months we will be going to San Francisco with our baby and I am not sure what to do about it. We will not be renting a car, but rather use public transportation. I cannot imagine taking the big car seat from place to place while site seeing and going in and out of restaurants.
What to do??
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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 04:27 AM
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Leave the car seat in your car. I don't quite understand the problem.
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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 04:57 AM
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The OP is not driving or renting a car while in San Francisco. The question is what to do about the baby and a car seat when using public transportation, like a taxi. Obviously, a taxi driver will not have a car seat in the car and you don't want to be hauling a car seat with you from place to place, not to mention the time it would take to fasten the car seat each time. What do people do when traveling with a baby?

I don't have the answer, but it is a good question.
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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 05:16 AM
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In NYC people take their babies in the back seat of the taxi with them, no car seat.

Honestly, in the city when taking cabs you don't use a car seat.
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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 05:19 AM
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I understand the question. The solution is to leave the car seat at home.

I have never seen anyone use a car seat in a taxi; most drivers would be unwilling to go to the time and trouble to let you install one just for a short ride. Other modes of public transit, such as trains, buses, and subways, do not have seat belts or other means for installing one.
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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 05:19 AM
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And if you take subway, bus, trolley, train, you just hold the baby or keep the baby in the stroller. People who live in the city do this every day.
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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 06:04 AM
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What about the strollers that use car seats as their seats for the baby?
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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 06:18 AM
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The problem, of course, is the safety of the child.
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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 06:35 AM
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We lived in NYC when our kids were very small--two were born there---and I was absolutely paranoid about being in the backseat of a taxi with my "unprotected" child. We didn't even have a car in the city for 7 years, so I kept my carseat in another state.

There's no good way to handle this, drummer. You either walk, and push the child in a stroller, or use public transportation without the car seat. In a taxi, if the seat is not tethered properly (and I don't mean just by the seatbelt) it doesn't work as designed, anyway. Our Junior League sponsored a day each year where parents could come and have their safety seats checked by a certified installer---over the years I only saw ONE that was put in the right way. So, you have to wonder how much actual protection an average child has in a carseat.
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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 07:52 AM
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There is a product called Sit N Stroll that is a combination stroller and carseat. It's clunky and I always end up bruised, but it's perfect for this kind of situation. Not the best stroller, not the best carseat, it has a retractable handle and wheels that fold up into the base of the seat. You do not have to take baby out to make the switch, which means it's very tricky for heavy babies. In New York, I found it easier to stick with strollers in subways, but SF trains don't go everywhere you need to go, so this would probably be your best bet. Good luck.
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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 09:12 AM
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Miikesmom,

If someone won't take their child in a taxi without a carseat, the only viable solution is to leave the child at home until they don't need one or postpone the trip for a few years.

Most of us grew up without ever using a carseat, and everyone I know never uses one when they're taking cabs in the city.


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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 09:15 AM
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I can remember as a child standing up in the front seat of my parents car driving down the road.

That and laying in the back windshield of the car on long road trips.

When did car seats become mandatory?
 
Old Jun 16th, 2006, 09:52 AM
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Nina:

I understand the inconvenience of it. I am 55 years old, so I certainly grew up without using a car seat and obviously lived to tell about it. However, we know more now and many people are very hesitant to take their child in any car without the child being restrained.

My son is almost 20 years old, so I don't have to worry about it any more. However, I have a good friend who drove to Chicago this weekend with her family and the only reason they didn't fly is because they have two toddlers and refused to get in a taxi without the children in car seats.

It certainly is a legitimate concern of parents. Of course, the odds are that nothing will happen. Some folks just aren't willing to gamble. I can appreciate that.

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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 10:09 AM
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Mikesmom, I don't think I'm disagreeing with you.

Whenever I took my kids to the city (which was often), we went by train, then taxi, no carseats. I think if some parents aren't willing to do what 99.99% of parents who live in cities do, they have to postpone the trip or do what your friends did....although I find it hard to believe they drove around in their car in Chicago rather than taking public transportation. Seems a little extreme to me. If you're in midtown chances are you won't go over 15 mph anyway. Anyway, if it made them happy.....
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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 10:19 AM
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My friend was very adamant about traveling in a taxi without car seats for her children. I'm not sure I would worry about it quite as much as she did. I agree that they wouldn't be traveling far in a taxi and probably not at high speeds except, of course, the trip from the airport to downtown Chicago. She felt it was just too risky, so they drove to Chicago.

I'm sure most people just go with the odds. Probably what I would do.
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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 10:24 AM
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My friends with kids in NYC use a Sit N Stroll or variation. My friends in SF who took cabs made the cab driver wait while they installed a carseat. Carseats are a law, at least in my state of California. When your kids are bigger, 3 or 4, maybe you can be more relaxed in a pinch.
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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 10:34 AM
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Maybe they could get some of that really big bubble wrap...it doesn't weigh very much.
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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 10:39 AM
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Most the people I know with kids just take the risk with Taxis (on the rare occasions when they take them). However, on a bus or on a train I can't imagine anyone needing a car seat. I've been taking the train and bus for years, and everyone generally just carries their children aboard.
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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 10:42 AM
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sfamylou - I know for sure that in Chicago and NYC, taxis are exempt from the carseat law for children. Not sure about SF. I know they also are required to wait for you to install the carseat if you choose, but that doesn't mean they all will.

Still, even if you find a cab willing to wait while you install a car seat, you're then stuck with a car seat while you're out all day unless you use the Sit N Go type system.

And for everyone who says, "We rode around standing in the front seat, riding in pick up truck beds, etc. and we lived to tell about it." consider that you'll never hear from those who didn't live to tell about it, because they didn't live. Progress is a good thing . . .

I don't mean to imply that it's wrong to ride in a cab with an unrestrained baby. Just that carseats in general are a good thing that shouldn't be looked down on or ignored just because they didn't used to be available and people lived.
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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 10:45 AM
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I live in the city and never brought a carseat into a taxi although I didn't ride taxis all that often. I would hold my little one in my lap, and put the seat belt over the 2 of us.

Many people take strollers onto the subway and keep their babies/toddlers buckled in the stroller. If you do that, make sure you use your stroller breaks because they can roll. And always hold on to the stroller as well to keep it steady.
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