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Confused about car seat regulations? Find baby car seat advice here.

Car seats

First baby - completely clueless

24 replies

vgiraffe · 30/09/2016 13:10

Hi, I am expecting our first baby next year and am starting to look at products. Car seats have completely thrown me - how are there so many options?? I get the different groups, isofix etc but I don't get how you actually decide on one when they all look the same. Also why would you go for a 0+ car seat when there are ones that would last a lot longer? And what is the difference between a £50 car seat and a £300 car seat?

OP posts:
Mummernot · 01/10/2016 05:32

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MrsJuerdoNorksko · 01/10/2016 05:37

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BeedlesPineNeedles · 01/10/2016 06:03

Not sure why you've got such bonkers replies so far, unless I'm missing something. I'd suggest you go to the car seats topic and read some earlier threads.

GuybrushThreepwoodMightyPirate · 01/10/2016 06:06

I have no idea why you've got two such bizarre responses OP. The 'baby carrier' style seats are handy because you can lift the baby in and out of the car still in the seat so if they are asleep you (hopefully) avoid waking them and can clip them straight onto a pushchair chassis. You don't want them to spend too much time in the car seat, but for quick stops at the shop on your way home etc. it can be really handy.

In terms of brands, try looking at Which? for safety test results. You don't necessarily need the most expensive at all, but the cheapest ones probably aren't great.

If you've got more than one car in your family then maybe consider getting one baby carrier type seat and one of the combination seats which you've seen. Depending how often you use each car this could be a better use of your money.

Hope that helps.

lastnightiwenttomanderley · 01/10/2016 06:12

Eh? I'm confused by the first two responses to this!

Anyway, DS has just turned one and we have been through this (currently bewildered by next stages!). Reasons for getting a group 0 in my opinion are:

  • group 0 can be removed from the car with the baby still in. If you ever need to pop to the shops, this is a lifesaver! DS would always fall asleep in the car and this meant I could run I'm with him, grab milk and bread and get back with him still sound asleep.
  • size. DS was a skinny bean. There was no way he would have been as secure or safe in one of the multistage seats, imo. Newborns are, well, tiny by comparison! I also don't think.the multistage sears recline quite as much, young babies shouldnt be too upright.

I'd also recommend an isofix base as it will make it much easier getting them in or out with minimal disturbance and I liked knowing he was secure.
Frustratedmummy79 · 01/10/2016 06:20

I'm not sure what's going on with the replies's my take on it. The 0+ seats often transfer onto a buggy base (with adapters) and so they are useful for quick trips out when baby falls asleep in the car. They don't recommend babies stay in car seats for long periods so I wouldn't advise doing this regularly but it is useful when you're nipping somewhere. The vast majority of people I know have gone for the maxicosi cabriofix/pebble which I seem to remember are middle of the road price wise. They last about 15-18 months depending on size of your baby. I think there are new regulations about how long little one must be rear facing as this is much safer. You'll need to look this up. Don't rush them into a forward facing position as many parents I know have done.
If you narrow it down to a few seats I would look up reviews, I think Which have reviews on things like this. Hope that's helpful...

Soozikinzi · 01/10/2016 06:44

Reported the first two posts

MrsJuerdoNorksko · 01/10/2016 06:51

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daisiesinherfootsteps · 01/10/2016 07:11

Well you really have stumbled on the bottom of the barrel weirdos this morning OP! Seriously? Go play on AIBU, rather than un-witty retorts on a bog standard, sensible question in the car seat forum.

Seats are a minefield OP. My advice would be

  1. Choose your pram/buggy/travel system first as for all the reasons above they are not all compatible with all.

2. Pick the lightest one you can find that has a good safety review. Babies seem tiny but grow fast and those seats are handy but seriously heavy to lift around.

We avoided the very cheapest but went for mid-range with good reviews. Beyond a certain price point IMO I think the benefits are more comfort and aesthetics than safety. For spares for grandparents we went cheaper and probably less good on comfort and recline as only for occasional short journeys. (That's group 1 plus though, don't usually need a spare infant carrier as it travels with them).

I'm not sure exactly when this new isize becomes compulsory (meaning rearface to 15months minimum) but worth making sure you know all the requirements.
fitzbilly · 01/10/2016 07:23

Another thing to consider is what car you have, and whether the car seat will fit in the car .

We have old cars, so needed seats that were not isofix, but some of the 0+ car seats needed very long seat belts to work, and in one of our cars the seat belts just didn't extend long enough.

I like the 0+ car seats as you can lift them in and out easily, then you can get one that will last till they are 4.

New recommendations are that they are rear facing for as long as possible, ideally till 4, so that narrows down the options.

kenicka · 01/10/2016 07:25

Don't worry they are the same person.

AyeAmarok · 01/10/2016 07:27

The things people troll about never cease to amaze me.

Anyway, placemarking OP for some of your good advice! I'm in the same position.

wherethefuckisthefuckingtuna · 01/10/2016 07:38

With our first I bought a car seat in a fit of excitement in the sales. It had good reviews etc etc and was a really good price. But it was a Recaro and didn't attach (even with adaptors) to my pushchair. It was my single biggest regret in terms of baby purchases.

Whenever my baby fell asleep in the car going anywhere, I would have to wake him up by transferring him from the car seat to the pram/pushchair.

This time around I've bought an Uppababy pushchair second hand in fab condition. As they really do seem great (and as a tall lady, the handles are loooong) and we're going to get a Maxi Cosi pebble that will attach to the pushchair chassis. They have great reviews and seem very popular.

Having a car seat with a carry handle is very handy as you can just take them straight out in the car seat without unbuckling them.

IzzyIsBusy · 01/10/2016 07:40

Has also managed to troll a bereavment thread this morning. Sick fucker.

Laineymc7 · 01/10/2016 08:00

Pop into a specialist shop they will explain everything to you. I was clueless too. For my baby I got a maxi cosi. They are very good and very popular. Baby found it comfortable too. You need a special baby seat and they need to rear face. Isofix and maxi cosi of similar is best. Other good makes are be bsafe, cybex . if you are planning on have another child it's a good investment. I've always bought good car seats that meet the safety guidelines and perform well in tests. Good luck with choosing. I have no idea why you got two crazy relpies first.

Laineymc7 · 01/10/2016 08:02

First time around I took my car to the specialist shop. Let them help me pick and got them to fit it in the car for me. Saves a lot of stress. There will be one near you.

EmGee · 01/10/2016 08:11

You really don't need to spend a fortune. I have always bought Britax as they are a good, solid, reliable brand with a very good safety record. They are also reasonably priced and if you shop around, you can often get them on offer.

I would opt for an 0+ seat initially which you can use until the baby is 9kg. This can be clipped into an isofix base or you can strap it in using the belt. (I have done both). Mine were small babies so were in it until 12 months or so. Then I got the next seat up which is from 9-18kg (roughly age 4 years).
I have always gone for isofix because it stops the car seat moving around when you are driving without kids. These are more pricy than non-isofix but I think, much safer. My kids are now on the next size up and we have Britax and Cybex Isofix models - these will do until the kids are old enough to travel without seats.

Re deals, I bought a buggy once and the (Britax) 0+ carseat was an added freebie! And if you wash the covers regularly and spruce the seat up after you've finished with it, you can either gift it on or resell it.

MrEBear · 01/10/2016 08:14

Infant carriers make it easier for a tiny baby. Means you can settle them in the car seat in the house and put a blanket over them. Rather than trying to do that in the car or get baby from the house to the car without them getting cold.
Big thick padded anoraks and snowsuits are not recommended for use in a car seat. They stop the straps fitting securely and can mean the child is projected out of the seat in the event of a smash.

The new i-size regulations run alongside the older regulations and will do for a while. The big differences are i-size is isofix only and goes on height rather than weight. I-size are side impact tested, but most manufacturing companies were doing that anyway which is a good reason to avoid some of the really cheap seats.

The older regulations go on weight 13kg max for infant carrier, I can't remember the max height for the i-size pebble+. However if you look at the maxicosi pebble and pebble + the only difference appears to be the newborn insert bit. The shell appears to be identical.

The group 1 (toddler seats) with i-size they are rear facing, the minimum age to turn a child in an i-size seat is 15mths. The old regs minium age / size was 9mths and 9kg. The max height is 104cm the old regs was 18kg.
Even under the old regs most children outgrew seats in height before weight.

Hope that helps.

vgiraffe · 01/10/2016 08:43

Thanks so much for all your helpful replies! Will never understand trolls...

Hadn't realised only the first stage fits onto pushchairs etc so that makes much more sense and sounds worthwhile. Will have to check what fits my car, think it will take isofix but not sure.

OP posts:
WindInThePussyWillows · 01/10/2016 08:51

I would seriously recommend a trip to a John Lewis with a baby department, you can try them out on different pushchairs, have a good demonstration, lift them..etc

I was so baffled online they all look the same so really helped me.

What a weird post to troll HmmGrin

Mummyamy123 · 01/10/2016 08:56

Have a look on the 'in car safety centre' website :)

MigGril · 01/10/2016 08:56

Worth noteing that some cars that don't come with the isofix bars in them can have them added as they have the points on the seat frames. All you need to do is go to the car dealer and ask them to fit the bars and play for them. Not very expensive and worth having of your going to be using carseat as even boast seats can have the isofix option and are safer then having a seat belt. So its worth finding out if you can do this if your car doesn't already have them.

MrEBear · 01/10/2016 12:04

Personally I would not spend the money on putting isofix into a car that doesn't already have it. There are car seat options and bases that don't need it.

MigGril · 01/10/2016 12:25

You can only add the bars if the car already has a shasy that will take them. It is very cheap to do and knowing that it's very easy to not fit a carseat correctly even if you know what you are doing. I know I've unintentionally twisted the seat belt when fitting our non isofix seat. Which can be desasterues in a crash, I would always go for isofix if you can.

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