There are a bewildering array of car seats, boosters and carrycots on the market, but which is the best one for you and your child, particularly when you’re on a budget? VCARs investigate…
First, Some Advice
Before you splash the cash on a car seat for your little one, there are few things to consider: The most important being your child’s weight.
Car seats are split into five categories:
Group 0 is for 0-10kg (0-22lb) from birth to about 11 months (boys) or 14 months (girls)
Group 0+ is for 0-13kg (0-29lb) usually from birth to about 15 months
Group 1 is for 9-18kg (20-40lb) or about about 9 months to 4½ years
Group 2 is for 15-25kg (33lb – 3st 13lb) and covers 3-7 years
Group 3 is for 22-36kg (3st 7lb – 5st 9lb) and covers between 6-12 years
It is important not to get ahead of yourself. Keep your child in the lower-group as long as possible but regularly check that he or she is not over the car seat’s limit. In most cases your child will outgrow the weight limit before the height limit, however, if your child has their eyes level with the top of their car seat, it’s time to upgrade.
Car Seat Advice for Newborns
Britax Technical Director Farid Bendjellal recently told Which Magazine:“‘For pre-term and newborn babies, lying flat is ideal for comfort and to reduce the chances of apnoea (respiratory problems). But for crash protection, near-vertical is ideal – however, this presents a risk of apnoea. Hence a compromise of around 45 degrees is usually chosen for Group 0+ child car seats.”
If you will have questions, contact The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents at www.rospa.com
Five Group 0+ baby seats under £100
The Hauck Zero Plus (Around £70.00) is a rearward-facing seat with a new side impact system and has achieved excellent test results in front and side crashes from ADAC (German automobile club) and Stiftung Warentest (German product test foundation).
The rearward-facing Graco Logico S HP (around £80.00) is secured using the adult seat belt. It can be installed on its own, or with a special base that stays belted in the car making it easier to fit and remove with baby already strapped in.
The Britax Baby-Safe (Belted) (around £90) is a rearward-facing carrier which can be easily installed using the adult seat belt. The seat features a unique belt tensioning system. The seat can be easily removed with the push of a release button while the base remains in the car.
The Bébé Confort Creatisfix (£69.00) is a rearward-facing seat with an easy click & go installation system. No seat belts are needed, there’s a side protection system and the chair is able to connect to Bébé’s Confort pushchair.
Phil & Teds Bebe Car Seat (Around £60.00) is a rearward-facing seat which is secured using the adult seat belt. It is lightweight, cost effective and compatible with Phil and Teds 3-wheeler buggies. It won’t win any beauty prizes and bigger babies may outgrow early but it has a 3-point safety harness, sun canopy and head cushion for added newborn support.
More reading on newborn car seats
If you’re looking for more information on the best Group 0+ Car Seat for your newborn, try Made for Mums http://www.madeformums.com/reviews/car-seats/from-birth/6.html
If you have any feedback/advice for other VCARS readers, let us know.