No Car Seats. You have probably hard us mention this a few times before. Elijah doesn’t use a car seat here in China. This is not some radical choice of ours. “Hey, let’s go gluten-free, avoid GMO’s and while we are at it, let’s ditch the car seats too!” Nope… this is just the way of life here.
We get around in taxis, private cars (ie. Uber rides), and on the bus. None of those allow for a baby seat. The back of a taxi is typically a grubby place, with white seat covers and metal bars that separate you from the driver. Whoever decided that taxis in China should have white seat covers clearly needs to have their head checked! But that is not my point, so let me get back on track.
The back of these cars that we get around in are not fitted to carry car seats. Not only that, but life in China is NOT like life at home. There is no extra hand for carrying a car seat, and no extra minutes to instal that car seat when you’re trying to stop your child running into oncoming traffic. Often there are a mere 3-5 seconds between the taxi stopping, you getting in, readjusting your child on your lap, and trying to untangle the three bags on your arms. Before you know it, your journey has begun! Factoring in a car seat would be IMPOSSIBLE!
Not only that… also imagine how most expat moms here have 2-4 children. A car seat over in China (unless you have your own car and buy a car seat for each of your kids) is just not an option for taxis and private car rides.
That being said, we are about to embark on a two month long road trip around Europe. Our sweet son has only used car seats twice. Once in South Africa when he was 6-7 months old. The second time was when we went to the States just after his first birthday. Although still quite laid-back, toddlers have a much stronger view on things. Travel with a one year old is vastly different to that with a two year old. We have therefore prepared ourselves for the fact that he might just plain hate that stinking car seat, but we will strap him in and hope for the best!