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The mother in law is covinced that there are car seats out there suitable from birth to toddler but im not convinced as I can only really find car seats in "stages" rather than these ones she thinks exist. Anyone able to clue me in. Im a little confused x
They do exist and are called a group 0-1 seat. Some of the seats here would fit the bill (though not all, check the descriptions). They are all able to continue to face backwards until the end of group 1 (18kg), which is safer. incarsafetycentre.co.uk/category/extended-rear-facing/.
I expect there are equivalent seats which forward face but I don't know about those
She's right, there are plenty. In addition to the ones listed in the link above (not all are from birth on there but many are) there are a few other slightly cheaper options if you have budget constraints. Isofix seats like the joie I anchor, hauck varioguard and casualplay bi-care fix and belt fixed ones like the joie tilt, steadi and stages. All of those can stay rear facing to 18kg. There are further ones that rear face until 13kg then have to be turned around such as the britax first class plus, concord ultimax and too many others to name.
I have a klippan kiss which is suitable from birth to 18 kg. It wasn't cheap but its big selling point is that if your baby is under 10kg the baby seat part can be removed from the car base with the child still in it. With 0/1 seats like the first class, the whole seat has to stay in the car. This is one reason why people often start off with a stage 0+ seat with a handle. Another reason is that many 0+ seats can be used on your pushchair. Its a question of your personal preference really.
If you have a toys r us they have the joie stages and casualplay bicare fix, so I assume most stores have basically the same stock and I saw both in our local one yesterday. Mothercare have some of the britax seats too, ours has the first class, the dual fix and the max fix. The in car safety centre are really useful remotely too as they keep information on what seats fit particular cars.
OP, it's worth a trip to the Glasgow Pram Centre. I know it's a trek but they have a wide range of car seats and knowledgeable staff. We spent 2 hours trying lots of seats in both cars. They also deliver so we didn't have to traipse back down to finally make the purchase. Halfords were, quite frankly, useless.
We went with the Cybex Sirona in the end and we're really pleased with it.