What is the Law?
Child car safety laws and standards are being developed constantly to improve safety. By law, children must use a car seat that complies with EU safety standards until they are 12 years old or 135 cms tall. Babies must be rear-facing until they are at least 15 months old (previously 9–12 months).
What seat should I buy?
There is a choice of two seats for your newborn, the rear-facing only Group 0+ infant carrier which is suitable from birth to 15 months or the convertible Group 0+/1 seat which fits rear-facing to start and then turns to the front when the suitable time comes. These seats are expensive but will evidently save you money in the long run as there is no need to buy two seats. There are even seats that can take you the whole way from birth to 12 years but as yet they haven’t been produced under new R129 regulations. These seats cannot however be taken in and out of the car as they are heavy and anchored to the ISOfix. It is a personal choice but having the ability to transfer your ‘quiet’ sleeping baby from the car to the pushchair base without waking them is in our opinion essential, even if you do only use it for 9 months!
Maxi Cosi Pebble + £199.00 johnlewis.com
Maxi Cosi is the Volvo of car seats and we can’t resist the Pebble + 1 (Group 0+). Their newborn insert makes sure your tiny baby fits snuggly. With the use of their 2wayFix base, fitting the car seat doesn’t get any easier, simply click in place and off you go! This base can also be used with their Group 1 seats, suitable for babies from 9 months to 4 years. The Nuna Pipa Lite LX 2 is, as it says, exceptionally light – almost half the weight of other infant seats on the market. It boasts flame-resistant fabric but without the need for flame-retardant chemicals, keeping natural cotton and Merino wool fabrics next to baby’s skin. This seat comes with the ISOfix ‘Pipa base’ but unlike the Maxi Cosi Pebble + it cannot be fitted in the car without it.
Nuna Pipa Lite LX £250 nuna.eu
Out and About
With the use of an adaptor, most infant carriers are compatible with pushchairs, fixing to the pushchair chassis to make a flexible ‘travel system’. Doona 3 have created an amazingly practical car seat with built-in wheels, perfect for short trips. It is, however, not recommended to leave your baby in these seats for more than two hours as they need to lie flat to promote healthy spine growth and ensure they get good oxygen levels.
Doona Infant Car Seat £289.99 doona.shop
Joie i-Level £250 includes base uk.joiebaby.com
Cybex and Joie have both solved this problem with their genius lie-flat infant seats...business class travel for babies!
The Joie i-level 4 has a fantastic adjustable recline and can be used in the lie-flat position whilst in the car – so less guilt and panic on long journeys.
Cybex Sirona Z £320 + Base Z £185 mothercare.com
The Cybex Cloud Z easily converts to a lie-flat position outside the car. It is a modular base seat system which uses the same ISOfix Base Z for the Group 0+ and 0+/1 Sirona Z seat. When used with this base, the seat is able to rotate 180 degrees, making putting baby in the car blissfully easy.
Cybex Cloud Z £225 + Base Z £185 mothercare.com
The longer you can keep your child rear-facing, beyond the mandatory 15 months, the better. The Nuna Norr has the Swedish Plus Test approval. A Plus-tested seat ensures the child is not exposed to high neck forces in a frontal collision, so this seat (suitable from birth to 4 years) is only rear-facing.
Nuna Norr £350 nuna.eu
The Dualfix M i-Size from Britax 6 (from 3 months to 4 years) and The Joie Spin 360 8 (from birth to 4 years) are both designed to carry your child comfortably rear-wards until they are 18kg/105cm (around 4 years) but with the clever rotating mechanism which many Group 0+/1 now have, you have the option to turn the seat forwards once your child reaches 15 months. Rotate the seat towards you for easier access. The Cybex Sirona Z 7 has a distinctive pod design with bold colours and the extra side impact protection is a fantastic added safety measurement.
Britax Dualfix M £350 includes base mothercare.com
The AxissFix Air is a wonderful new Group 1 seat for use from 4 months to 4 years; it can be used forward or rear-facing (up to 87cm or approx. 2 years). This seat has been fitted with built-in airbags giving extra head, neck and shoulder protection.
Maxi Cosi AxissFix Air £550 includes base johnlewis.com