Choosing a car seat is one of the most difficult things about shopping for your new baby, at least in my opinion. No matter what age or size they are there seems to be so much information out there and I’m never sure what’s a law and what’s a guideline. When you’re standing in front of a huge wall of car seats in the shop there’s a lot of information to digest and I think it’s a pretty emotive topic – we all want the best for our children!
What are the ‘groups’ of child safety seats?
Car seats are often categorised by groups – you should always be informed by what weight and height your child is as well as their position in the seat and not just change their seat because of a birthday.
“0” — For infants weighing no more than 10 kg, and aged under 9 months.
“0+” — The recommended weight for them is up to 13 kg and the age – under 18 months.
“1” — For children weighing between 9 and 18 kg, and aged from 9 to 36 months.
“2” — They are used for children around 4 to 6 years old weighing from 15 to 25 kg.
“3” — They are made for children aged 4 to 12 years weighing 22 – 36 kg.
So how do you choose a car seat?
I’ve always found the huge choice a bit overwhelming, especially when you have to read so many leaflets and visit lots of different shops to try the seats out.
One of the best places to browse seats for your child is at www.autodoc.co.uk – I love the way you can easily compare all the stats and figures without marketing spiel getting in the way and they have a really broad range of brands.
Common Car Seat Problems
Actually choosing the kind of seat that best suits your child, car and budget is really only half the battle. According to experts, more than 67% of car seats are fitted incorrectly. It won’t matter how many safety features a car seat has – if it’s not fitted correctly it won’t be safe. Here are the five most common fitting mistakes.
How to decide
So you’ve found a child safety seat that seems to suit your child and your car, you’ve read up on the importance of installing it correctly and maybe even looked into having professional do it for you. Now it’s the really fun part, actually making a decision! As I said I have always found this a daunting task – as it’s so important. My advice would be to gather as much information as possible from experts, manufacturers, retailers and other parents then take a deep breath and go for it.