Car Seat Buyers Guide
Car Seat Buyers Guide
The BuggyBaby Guide To Car Seats
Don’t know your ISOfix car seats from your i-Size car seats? Don’t worry! BuggyBaby understands that it can be hard to figure out the difference between all the car seat sizes and systems. That’s why we’ve created this handy guide to car seats, packed with everything you need to know to help you find the perfect car seat for your new baby.
Ready to find your perfect car seat? Discover every car seat your little one will ever need, from the early-days infant carrier to the booster up to age 12.
Protecting your little one is our number one priority. This car seat buyers guide walks you through the options. We’ll help you choose the perfect car seat for your child’s weight, size and height.
Car Seat Dos and Don’ts
Do…Come to BuggyBaby for the best prices on car seats, from Group 0+ car seats to aged 12.
Have a car seat ready to bring your little one home from the hospital – and fit it to the car in advance!
Keep your child in a rear-facing infant seat for as long as you can.
Ensure that the seat belt has enough length, particularly for rear facing seats.
Don’t… assume that every car seat will fit in every car. They don’t!
Accept a hand-me-down car seat. You never know, it could be damaged.
Use a rearward facing car seat in the front of your car without deactivating the front air bags first.
Car Seat Buyers Guide – Car Seat Groups
Car seat manufacturers have sorted car seats into categories help customers navigate the huge choice of car seats available. The most important factor is weight not age – remember little ones grow at different rates!
|Car seat group||Baby’s weight||Baby’s approx. age||Type|
|Group 0||0 – 10kg||Birth – 6 months||Lie baby flat|
|Group 0+||0 – 13kg||Birth – 12/15 months||Rear facing|
|Group 0+/1||0 – 18kg||Birth – 4 years||Rear facing / combination only|
|Group 1||9 – 18kg||9 months – 4 years||Forward facing|
|Group 1/2/3||9 – 36kg||9 months – 12 years||High back booster and harness|
|Group 2/3||15 – 36kg||4 years – 12 years||High back booster & booster cushions|
How Long Should I Keep My Child Facing The Rear Of The Car?
As long as possible. As we’re sure you’re aware, many parents choose to make the switch far too early. The reason? In a collision or impact, your baby’s neck isn’t sufficiently developed to support its head. This is why it’s safer to keep babies rearward facing for as long as you can.
Single Group vs Multi-group Car Seats: What Are The Benefits?
Single group car seats are designed to be the perfect shape for your child’s weight with additional comfort feature, e.g. most group 1 car seats have easy-adjust comfort recline. A Group 0+ car seat is also designed to be more flexible, and can be clicked on and off a pushchair travel system. Multi-group car seats adjust to grow with your child and are ideal for parents who regularly drive children of varying ages or for grandparents.
I’m On A Budget. What’s My Best Option?
A Group 1/2/3 car seat is the best value option, growing with your child from 9-36kg, approx. 9 months to 12 years.
When Should My Child Stop Sitting In A Car Seat?
The laws around car seats say that children up to 12 years or 135cm tall must use the appropriate car seat and restraint so they’re protected if you have an accident.
How Do I Know When To Move My Child Up A Car Seat Group?
Move from a Group 0+ car seat to a Group 1 car seat when your baby meets the following criteria. First, baby’s weight exceeds 13kg. Second, baby can confidently sit up unaided. Third, your baby’s head is higher than the top of the baby car seat.
Move from a Group 1 to a Group 2/3 car seat when the weight limit is exceeded, and your child’s eye line is higher than the top of the seat
Car Seat Buyer’s Guide: What’s ISOFIX?
ISOFIX is a European standard fitting system. Instead of seat belts, it uses rigid metal clips to connect the car seat to the vehicle chassis. As a result, ISOfix car seats significantly reduce the risk of incorrect installation. Most importantly, it reduces forward head movement and creates a smoother ride for your child.
Where Are The ISOfix Points?
ISOfix points are the metal bars between the base of the seat and the back rest. You can attach your car seat here, or you may choose the added security of an ISOfix base. The majority of ISOfix seats require a third anchorage point. These are found in the form of a top tether or support leg.
What Car Seat Groups Are Available As ISOfix?
The majority of new cars manufactured since 2008 have ISOfix but not all of them. To see if your car is compatible look for two metal bars at the base of the seat back, check your vehicle manual, or visit the manufacturer’s website to check out their fit finder.
Car Seat Buyer’s Guide – What’s i-Size?
i-Size is new European car seat standard. It offers better protection in the event of a crash. The main difference between i-Size car seats and regular car seats is that i-Size insist on rear facing travel mandatory until 15 months. The i-Size classifies a child’s suitability by height, not weight, and has side impact testing as standard.
What’s The best i-Size Car Seat?
The best i-Size Car Seat is one that provides state of the art safety performance as well as complying with regulation. For example, the Maxi Cosi AxissFix Plus i-Size Car Seat has a 360 swivel seat that makes it easy to buckle up your child. Just open the car door and turn the seat towards you. It features a 4-seat recline position to keep your baby really comfy while awake or asleep.
Do I Have To Update My Existing Car Seat To An i-Size Car Seat?
Not at all. i-Size isn’t a change that you have to make. It’s just more choice for customers. It will run concurrently with the current R44-04 car seat regulations. These still have a lot of life in them.
Car Seat Buyer’s Guide: Your Car Seat Options
Also known as infant carriers, these rear facing, bucket style seats are perfect for that first journey home from the labour unit. Note: babies should spend no longer than two hours in an infant carrier for optimal spinal development. Ideal when combined with an ISOfix car seat or belted base unit for easier and safer fitting.
What Is The Best Group 0+ Car Seat?
The Joie Gemm 0+ Car Seat is a bestseller and rightly so. With side impact protection and an infant insert, this great Group 0+ car seat provides all-round coverage for your baby’s little body. The ideal companion to the popular Joie pushchairs.
Rear facing seats offer better protection for baby’s head, neck and spine so this type combines Group 0+ benefits with forward facing functionality. Baby faces rearward to 10-13kg (depending on model) then forward to 18kg, however some newer models let your child face rearward to 18kg.
What Is The Best Group 0+/1 Car Seat?
The Maxi Cosi Pearl Smart i-Size car seat provides a very simple switch between front to rear facing and has an adjustable harness and headrest.
From 9-18kg, or around 9 months and 4 years, Group 1 car seats are a great longer term investment. A multi-stage choice which gives you the option of seating your child in the safer rear facing position for longer, many are i-Size and ISOFIX compliant too.
What Is The Best Group 1 Car Seat?
The Kiddy Phoenixfix Pro 2 Car Seat has lateral head rests. These prevent your child’s head from tilting to one side and provide a safe position for your baby’s head without impacting their ability to see out.
If you’ve been using an infant carrier these multi-group seats grow with your child to last the rest of their car seat days. Use Group 1/2/3 with integrated harness from 9-18kg; once the 15-36kg is reached, simply stow the harness away and use the 3 point seat belt instead. Again ISOFIX options are available.
What Is The Best Group 1/2/3 Car Seat?
The Joie Every Stage 0+/1/2/3 car seat is a bestselling model that can be utilised in rearward facing mode from birth to around 4 years, or 18kg.
Proper support for head and upper body is still essential when your child has outgrown a Group 1 car seat. A high back booster provides everything needed for safe travels until 135cm or 12 years old.
What Is The Best Group 2/3 Car Seat?
The Britax Kidfix SL car seat is comfortable, easy to use and conveniently can be moved from car to car.
Car Seat Buyer’s Guide: Car Seat Accessories
Bases & Adaptors
We sell a range of ISOfix and non-ISOfix bases such as the Britax Baby Safe ISOfix Base and the Graco SnugRide Car Seat Base. These are handy for swapping car seats if yours is a two car family. Adaptors such as the Phil & Teds Car Seat Adaptors, are indispensable. Again, one size doesn’t fit all so be sure to check.
The Out n About Newborn Support is custom made to fit the super popular Out n About Nipper Single v4 Pushchair, and Out n About Nipper Double v4 Pushchair. Use with the lie-low reclining car seat seat to keep baby’s head safe and supported in those early days.
Protect your baby from the elements with a clear plastic raincover. They fit snugly over baby car seats (that’s group 0 and group 0+) to keep little one nice and dry. We love the Britax Baby Safe Universal Raincover.
Car Seat Protection
A seat protector is a sound investment to prevent wear and tear to your vehicle from car seats (and multiple juice spillages ruining the leather!) Not only that it keeps your little one’s car seat level and securely positioned. The Britax Car Seat Saver is a great buy and works with belted or ISOfix car seats.
Back Seat Car Mirrors
A back seat car mirror allows you to keep a close eye on baby while you hit the road. The Maxi Cosi Back Seat Car Mirror has a wide angle view and can be adjusted in any direction to keep your little one in sight. It’s crash tested, too.
Keep lively feet off your pride and joy with a set of kick mats. Good value and easy to fold when you’re done with them: Britax Kick Mats are a car and sanity saver.
Back-of-seat organisers, toy holders and pop-up bins turn chaos into calm by keeping little ones’ favourite things within easy reach. The Britax Seat Organiser is essential for long journeys to granny and grandad’s.
Car Seat Buyer’s Guide: Safety Considerations For Your Car Seat
Before You Set Off:
Check there are no twists in the seat belt or harness.
Check the position of the adult belt buckle. Only the seat belt webbing should sit frame of the car seat.
Check that the harness is firmly fitted; you shouldn’t be able to fit more than two fingers between the harness and your child’s chest.
Check your car’s headrest isn’t obstructing a forward facing child seat.
Remove your child’s padded coat and replace with a travel blanket or fitted footmuff for secure fitting.
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