With so many different car seats available, it can be a daunting prospect for new parents to narrow them down to a single choice. Before you buy it is important to do as much research as possible to ensure you choose the right one for you and your child.
Here are five important features to look at when you are making your decision.
Many new parents feel like they have to buy the most expensive possible car seat for their child in order to offer the greatest amount of protection possible. The fact is though that the vast majority of available car seats offer a very high degree of safety so there’s no need to pay over the odds if you can’t realistically afford it. Set yourself a budget and check the safety ratings and reviews of the seats that fall in your price range.
There are two main ways to secure a car seat in place:
ISOFIT seats, while more expensive, are becoming more popular with one of the main advantages being the ease with which the car seat can be secured and removed.
If you’re buying a seat for a newborn then you might want to look at going for a travel system which allows the car seat to be removed from the car and connected to pushchair base.
Not all car seats are compatible, so read up on which ones are suitable and be sure to buy the other relevant accessories as a specific seat may work with one particular travel system but not another.
Car seats are categorised depending on the weight of the child that uses them. If you’re buying for a newborn you’ll want to go for a Group 0+ seat, which will generally last them up until 12-15 months. If you would prefer to buy a ‘second seat’ that will last your child longer then go for a Group 1-2-3 seat, which should last them from around nine months old to 12 years old.
Do as much research as you can into the comfort of your shortlisted car seats, particularly if you’re going to be making plenty of car journeys with your child.
Look out for features that may benefit your child such as extra padding, headrests, and multiple recline positions. You can even get seats with in-built cup holders so that your child always has refreshment to hand. There is also a wider choice of colours now so if you’d like a pink car seat for your little princess, that’s also an option.
Customer reviews are a great tool here, you can get real opinions from people who have used the seats on a daily basis and use these to help inform your final decision.