Choose the Right Car Seat for Your Baby
Compulsory as soon as you leave the maternity ward, the car seat is not always easy to choose. Carrycot, shell pack and play bassinet or real car seat: it must in any case be perfectly adapted to the morphology of your little one. Our advice is to make the right choice according to your needs.
Car seats are divided into several groups, depending on the weight and age of the child. Seats which cover more than one age group are called combined. Since July 2013 and until the end of 2014, a new regulation, called I-size, gradually replaces the regulation currently in force. The seats will no longer be classified by groups but approved according to the size of the child. But for now, follow the guide! When it comes to infant car seat you have to consider the following options.
Find the right model for your child’s age and size
Group 0+: from birth to 13 kg
Perfect for short trips by car, the 0+ car seat can be suitable from birth to +/- 12 months. If possible, choose a model compatible with a stroller, more practical for transporting your baby without waking him up.
It is installed rearward facing, preferably at the back of the car, with a seat belt or with a base. If you have to put it in front, it is imperative to deactivate the airbag.
On the safety side, the child is held by a 3 or 5 point harness. If you choose the shell seat from the first weeks, think about the seat reducer or the headrest. Do not confuse it with a deckchair: it is not designed for naps, relaxation and shopping at the supermarket.
Group 0+ 1: from birth to 18 kg
Same principle as the previous one, but the 0 + 1 combined car seat, scalable, supports up to 18kg. Your child is installed rearward facing up to 13kg, then facing the road up to 18kg.
Do not set it up facing the road before the child is 9 months old: in the event of sudden braking, the muscles of his neck and back of his neck must be sufficiently developed.
The seat can be fixed with or without a base, using the seat belt or the Isofix system. Your little one is supported at shoulder and pelvis level by an adjustable harness.
1/2/3 seats: from 9 to 36 kg
Group 1 car seats are intended for toddlers who are already able to sit up on their own. The harness seats can be installed independently facing or rearward, while the shield seats are installed only forward facing.
The 1-2-3 combined car seats are upgradeable: they are suitable up to a child’s 36kg. They sit in the back of the car, facing the road. The child is held by a harness or a shield up to 18kg then by the car seat belt.
For more comfort during long journeys, choose a reclining seat. On the safety side, keep the backrest as long as possible: it guarantees good head support.
- The car seat must be 44/03 ECE approved.
- A crotch strap is compulsory.
- Buy it new rather than used.
- It is not recommended to upgrade too early to the next model.
- Take a good look at how it is attached to the car: it can be a real pain. Only use it with your child when you are really sure of its installation.