The group 0 car seat is the very first stage and has the lowest weight range.
Car seat stages can be confusing at the best of times and trying to understand which seat does what and what that group number means can be very frustrating!
Child seats are grouped based on the weight of the child that they can accommodate.
As an example: A group 0+ seat is suitable from newborn to 13kg rear facing, a group 1 seat can accommodate a child between 9-18kg forward facing or some rear facing. Therefore if you wanted a seat that could carry your baby from newborn right through to 18kg, it would be referred to as a 'group 0+1' - as it covers both weight categories!
A group 0 car seat is suitable from newborn up to 10kg – approx. 6 months old.
These seats are generally lie-flat carriers, but there are some old rear facing infant seats and some 0-1 seats that only rear face to 10kg – so it’s very important to check your seat for its weight limit!
You can find your seats weight limit on the orange sticker (below), which will be on your restraint.
Benefits of a Group 0 car seat
Not only is the lie flat carrier suitable for use in the car, they also clip to the pram chassis – like the more common rear facing infant carrier does. The big benefit that this has over the rear facing infant carrier is that there is no time restraint on how long baby can be in the seat.
As the group 0 car seat lies flat, it keeps the baby’s spine in the most natural position and also helps keep their lungs open, so they can breathe freely. Due to this lie flat position, they are particularly good for premature or tiny babies.
Lie flat carriers can also double up as a day bed or as an over night travel bed – so they are very versatile!
The fitment of the seat places the baby’s head in the center of the car – the safest place.
Things to consider
Lie flat carriers can be much heavier than infant carriers so popping into a shop carrying the baby in the seat won’t be a frequent occurrence! The seat will really need to either stay in the car or be put on the pram chassis. Some of the seat options are also on the large side, making them too bulky to carry comfortably.
These seats can also be trickier to fit than rear facing infant carriers. They generally have clips that attach to the adult seat belt, which then clips to the seat, securing it tightly in place (see below). Some lie flat carriers may have an option of an ISOFIX base.
Lie flat carriers take up 2 seat spaces in the car. This needs to be considered if you regularly take passengers in the back of the car or if you have other children.