The weather has been really good, so on Saturday we decided to pack up the car with a picnic, blankets, scooters, bikes, nappies, football and (eventually) jump in the car and drive to the park.
It is fair to say that the ‘park’ at Rickmansworth ‘Aquadrome’ is a park with some bells and whistles. There are two large lakes, lots of swans, geese and ducks plus various other water birds that will remained un-identified, plus a really good children’s play park. Oh yes, there is a cafe and a beautiful walk through the woods by the river, as well. All in all it is a fabulous place for the family and the kids love it! We are lucky to have some wide open spaces near where we live and after a week of working and school, we all need some good Hertfordshire air.
It is not a long drive from where we live in Northwood but clearly you need to be prepared and ensure that you carry whatever is needed to have a leisurely afternoon without feeling the need to have to leave to seek provisions. We took the Landrover, as oppose to the hatchback, as it is convenient and spacious, especially when we are five plus we had a fair amount of collateral to carry. The children are twelve, nine and two. Jack, our youngest, travels in a maxi cosi tobi car seat. We have two cars and two car seats. However Jack is over 15 kilo so we tend to swap around the car seat depending on the car we are using and the length of the journey we are undertaking.
The two car seats we have are different. One is a high backed seat, while the other is one of those designed to grow older with the child, and we now use it as a base. It is, what is often described as, a booster cushion. It was purchased prior to March 2017 so is therefore legally compliant. (note: if you have purchased a seat post March 2017 check the updated regulations for carrying infants, as there have been some changes to the law). Retailers are now recommending high backed seats for infants between 15 and 20 kilo and some will even ‘trade in’ your old seat for a replacement seat.
Our strategy is to use the high backed seat for longer journeys where Jack is more likely to sleep. In such trips we find he will need some neck support. If he is in a booster then he generally ends up slumped over to one side, falling out of the seat belt. Not only does it look hugely uncomfortable it does not look safe, so we now ensure that if it is not a short trip we always use the high backed seat. The booster is fine for short journeys, local drop off at nursery and local short hops.