Your baby’s first car seat is one of the most important pieces of baby equipment that you will use for your little one’s first year or so. Babies must be rear facing in the car to ensure they have the very best protection. By being rear facing, their head, neck and spine is kept aligned which offers maximum protection against the most dangerous types of collisions.
There are two types of car seat your baby can have, an infant carrier or a combination seat. Infant carriers are lightweight and portable, and often fit to the pram. Combination seats tend to stay fitted in the car, however they last much longer – approximately up to age 4.
- Most seats have a weight limit of 13kg
- Outgrown at 13kg, or when the top of the head is level with the top of the seat
- Removable inserts to allow the seat to grow with your baby
- Legs are in no danger if they are hanging over the end of the seat – this is not uncomfortable for babies, or dangerous for their legs.
- Approved for children from birth – 18kg.
- Outgrown at 18kg, or when little one’s eyes are level with the top of the seat as a general rule – always check your manual for height limits.
- Some seats are very upright and while approved, are not ideal for a small baby
- Removable inserts allow the seat to grow with little one
- May offer more leg room for older rear facing children
- May be approved to rear face up to 13kg, or 18kg.
Key things to look for
- Choose a seat with a rear facing weight limit of at least 13kg.
- Many combination seats have a rear facing limit of 13kg or 18kg – if you buy a combination seat, think about how long you want to rear face your baby.
- Choose seats with deeply padded side wings for side impact protection
- The carry handle on the baby seat also acts as a roll bar, ensure it is used in the correct position in the car
- A base with your baby seat can make fitting quick and easy, and reduces the risk of misuse
- NEVER fit a rear facing seat on the front seat where there is an active airbag