One of the UKs leading car seat experts, Margaret Bolt from Rear Facing Toddlers reviews her top four car seats and tells you why they are her choices.
Choosing a car seat for you newborn baby can be both stressful and complicated.
Safety is the number one concern followed by comfort and ease of use. Having an expert outline four of the best makes it all so much easier.
This seat is one of the most popular infant seats in the UK. To me, I think its appeal is its simplicity. In a way, it’s quite a basic looking seat, but that makes it easier to use. Despite the fact that it looks quite small it will easily last most babies 15-18 months and it looks very comfortable. It can be used on all three of Maxi-Cosi’s in-car bases and comes in a range of colours with a matching footmuff as an optional extra.
As well as Quinny who are owned by the same company as Maxi-Cosi, the CabrioFix can be attached to lots of different pram chassis, such as Bugaboo, iCandy, Joie, Stokke etc. It weighs 3.6kg.
Silver Cross Simplicity
What I like about this seat is its size. It looks quite chunky and it’s definitely bigger than most. Most infant seats go up to 13kg, but they are usually outgrown by height at around 15-18 months long before that weight is reached. The Simplicity will easily last an average toddler longer than 18 months. It comes with a footmuff and only fits on Silver Cross pushchairs. It can be fitted in the car with the seat belt or on an Isofix base which is available separately (Isofix is the base that enables the car seat to fit in and secure your baby rear facing). This one weighs 4kg.
This seat is similar in size to the CabrioFix, but has a five-point harness and an integral headrest. Because this is an i-Size seat which have to undergo a side inpact test, the i-Gemm has a padded newborn insert which not only supports the head like in other seats, but also the body. It has an extending hood with a zip up mesh panel, so it allows air to circulate whilst giving excellent sun protection. On its Isofix base it meets the i-Size standard (designed for size and weight), and when fitted with the seat belt it meets regulation 44/04 (crashed tested as normal and can be used without an i-size base). The i-Gemm fits on the same pushchair adapters as the Maxi-Cosi seat. It weighs 4.6kg.
Britax Baby-Safe i-Size
This is an i-Size seat which is one of the biggest infant seats on the market, and as long as the child hasn’t reached the 13kg weight limit, the Baby-Safe i-Size will fit for about 18-24 months. The seat’s backrest adjusts as the child grows, starting off almost flat for a newborn and becoming more upright when the headrest is raised. It can be fitted with the seat belt, but this seat’s Flex Base is adjustable to suit the angle of the vehicle seat. Not all cars are the same and some have very sloped seats, which can make rear facing car seats too upright. Newborns need to lie in a car seat with their back no higher than 45º, to stop their heavy head from falling forward which can affect their breathing. Most Isofix cars seats have a fixed angle and some are not suitable for cars with sloped seats. The Baby-Safe’s Flex Base solves this problem by adjusting the seat’s angle to suit the car. As well as Britax’s own prams, this car seat also fits other prams again with the same adapters. The Baby Safe i-Size is 4.8kg.
Costs of Baby Car Seats
These seats all cost £100-160, which the Isofix bases costing around £120-150 on top. If you’re looking for something a bit cheaper then I highly recommend the Joie Juva, which costs just £40 plus £90 for the optional belt fitted base.
To find out more about safety laws and car seats click here
If you want to know the injuries and government concerns about leaving babies in car seats too long then click here