Thursday, August 2, 2012

Car Sharing with a Toddler

When I wrote my car sharing story, I didn't mention how it works to use a Modo car when it's just me & Sprout because we hadn't actually done that yet. Transit, cycling or walking are nearly always our best options. This week, I got the chance to try out driving solo.

Tuesday I got an email from my mom saying she was meeting my cousin & her new baby at Brentwood Mall. My sister heard about it & my other cousin & my aunt... it ended up being a small family reunion. Sprout saw four of his cousins, two grandparents, a great aunt & three aunts & uncles. Brentwood works because it's more or less the mid-point between where we all live: North Van, Coquitlam, Burnaby & Vancouver.

The catch was that they were meeting at 10am & I got the email at 9:45. I thought about taking transit, but it would mean about 30 minutes of walking all together. Normally, I'd be game, but I'm trying to avoid being on my feet too much as I injured my knee on Sunday. I decided to take a Modo car.

This was the first time that Sprout &  had taken a Modo vehicle without another adult around. Normally, Oli goes & picks up the car, brings it home, then we load car seat, baby & whatever gear we're toting. But with just me, I had to find a solution to the trick of getting baby & car seat to the car--kind of like the one with the cat, mouse & cheese crossing the river by boat. So I tried what I've been thinking of for a while: strapping the car seat onto the umbrella stroller & putting Sprout in on top, then going to the car. Other than the fact that the car seat makes it a bit top-heavy, it worked fine.

Not sure if it was any faster than transit to drive, because the Skytrain isn't constrained by the traffic along the way, but I ended up doing less walking to give my knee a break. Plus, now I know my crazy car seat solution works: I can just take off in a car if I need to on short notice.

If you were wondering, it's an Avalon stroller (my review with more details here) & a Cosco car seat.

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  1. As a long time carshare user and more recent parent, we found a product here that worked pretty well when we had to move up from the infant 'bucket' to the full size seat. While not perfect, that was a few years ago and hopefulyl they have improved it.

    1. Ooh, that's a great product. Thanks for the link!

      I've thought of attaching the current car seat to a light dolly that we have (designed to hold a soft-sided cooler). I did actually use the same dolly with the infant car seat, but I found it somewhat unstable on the uneven sidewalks we have around here.

  2. There is a super light weight car seat I got at Walmart - cosco. I use it for stuff like that. Can sling over shoulder - has own bag. And is perfect 'spare' seat at only $75 bucks

    1. That sounds like the Cosco seat we have--it's not that heavy & cost $60 or $70. The bag with ours is just this clear plastic thing though. I've considered making backpack straps for it, as it has a few points along the sides where I could attach them.

  3. I'm only using a booster for mine at this point, but don't the full seats also have that long anchor strap attached to the back? I can usually just sling it over my shoulder and carry it like that.
    Thanks for the blogging on this- when my older son was that age, he was delightfully unclear on the specifics of car sharing and would ask (sometimes loudly, and in hilariously awkward contexts) "wow, can we take THAT car?" (This was back before co-op cars had any logo at all on them, so to him, any car was potentially one that I had a key to.)

    1. Yes! Sprout thinks any car could potentially be the one we're going to drive in. He'll walk over to anything parked near our house & ask, "Dwive?"


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