Although Singapore’s public transport system can be super convenient with buses running every 10 to 15 minutes and MRTs arriving on a dime, sometimes we just want to skip the crowd and hop in a taxi. Thanks to super-useful ride-sharing apps on the market, it’s easier than ever before to get a private car to take us to any beach or park on the island for less than $20. However, what none of these taxis come with is a proper child seat, which means that you either have to lug one around yourself, or take the bus – mega irritating! But as dad of two, David Sandgren, has found out, no parent should have to choose between safety and convenience. We spoke to David about his own experiences as a dad commuting in Singapore and why he decided to make his own car seat, TinySeat…
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family…
I’m a dad with two kids: Jakob, four and a half, and Emma, one and a half, and I’m married to Su Mei. We’ve been living in Singapore for 12 years and we love the warm people, the melting pot of cultures, the opportunities and, of course, the everlasting sun!
What’s a typical day like for you as a dad?
Wow, that’s actually a much more challenging question than you might think! Each day is different, although there are a few common factors. I’ll make sure to bring my son Jakob to school every day. From there I continue to do my day job, spending lunches and breaks working on TinySeats. As much as possible, I try to come home in time to have dinner as a family so I can play with my children before helping them get ready for bed. My wife and I take turns in reading bedtime stories. Late evenings and nights are then once again dedicated to TinySeats.
How has being a dad changed you?
Being a dad is a fantastic phase in one’s life. The challenges are plentiful but so are the rewards. Having two small bundles of love and joy has taught me to be more patient, be a better listener… and survive endless nights without sleep! What used to be important before has lost a lot of its charm and instead been replaced by the precious everyday moments like walking Jakob to school or swimming in the pool with Emma.
Do you consider yourself a hands-on parent?
Yes. I was born and raised in Sweden where the culture and society are geared for parents to equally share the work (and joy!) of bringing up children. My wife and I take turns getting the kids ready for bed, dress them and make sure they eat enough. I have to admit though, Su Mei is in charge of homework time. My Chinese is unfortunately non-existent, leaving little options there. But in return, I’ll always make sure to drop Jakob off at school every morning.
What’s one thing you wish you knew when you first became a dad?
How the small things in life, such as going grocery shopping or jumping up and down in a puddle, could be so much fun when you’re with a kid. If I knew, I would have become a dad a lot earlier!
What inspired you to start TinySeats?
My son Jakob outgrew his infant carrier when he turned one and although I didn’t own a car then, I had to purchase an expensive and bulky car seat, as most taxi-cabs and ride-sharing services didn’t provide appropriate car seats for children. This sparked my research journey into the kind of car seats available in the market. That was when I realised there was a gap in the market as none of the available solutions answered all my needs as a parent.
Why should parents be excited about TinySeats?
TinySeats is imagined by parents for both children and parents, with an uncompromising focus on safety yet still being convenient and portable. The three-in-one convertible functionality ensures that the seat always remains age appropriate. The ISOFIX (international standard for attachment points for child safety seats in passenger cars) facilitates quick installation without the risks associated with normal seatbelt-based seats. No parent should have to choose between safety and convenience! I want TinySeats to be the solution – a car seat that offers convenience, portability and safety and that caters to all relevant ages.
Our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign is now open and TinySeats is slated to launch in the market in the beginning of 4Q.
What advice would you give to parents kids to get their kids to use car seats?
Start when the children are young and be consistent. No car seat means no car ride; it doesn’t matter if it’s a short taxi ride, on a holiday trip or in your grandparents’ car back home from school. Make the car seat an unquestionable part of commuting with a car and use an age-appropriate seat. It’s not only for safety, but it’s also about the child’s comfort.
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