If you plan on putting your baby in the car, it is essential to buy a car seat. You should buy this before the baby's birth if you want to take the baby home from the hospital by car. It's important to research different car seats with safety in mind.
The following are considerations which you need to keep in mind before buying a car seat for your baby:
- Babies must be placed in a rear-facing infant seat until they are 15 months old, but some Isofix bases may support more than one type of seat.
- Not all car seats fit in every car, make sure that whatever car seat you choose fits in your car.
- If buying an Isofix seat, check that your car has built-in mounting points (most cars made after 2002 have these).
- Read all instructions carefully before your baby is born to enable you to bring the baby home from the hospital
- Choose a car seat that can also be attached to your pram base as part of a travel system.
- If it is necessary to use your front car seat, make sure you disable the airbag, as your baby could be seriously injured if the air bag is deployed.
- Some retailers offer a car seat fitting service.
- Always check the recommended age and weight for your chosen car seat as stated in the manual.
- If it is necessary to buy a car seat second-hand, ensure that no part of it has been broken and that it has not been in a car crash (even if apparently undamaged). Try not to purchase an older model as safety technology improves frequently.
- Look for a model that has a 5-point harness, side-impact protection and works with a latch system.
- Check to see if straps of the car seat you're buying will be easy to adjust as your baby grows.
It is worth reading the recommended government guidelines here – Government Guidelines.
Note - you may need to buy an adapter to fit the car seat to the pram.
The following are popular car seats and Isofix bases, with some online positive customer reviews. Click on a product to read reviews or to purchase: