Shopping for the right car seat for your baby can seem like a minefield. But don’t fret – it’s not as complicated as it might seem! In the UK, the law states that all babies, toddlers and children travelling in a vehicle must use a suitable child restraint. All UK car seats are sorted into groups according to their maximum weight and / or height limits. In other words, your baby’s height and weight are what determine which car seat is right for her.
In the USA, car seat laws are set by each state. Most states require that infants use a rear-facing car seat until they’re a year old or weigh 20 pounds. However, extensive research shows that it’s safest to keep children in rear-facing car seats for as long as possible. It’s also safer to keep a child in a car seat with a 5-point safety harness for as long as you can before moving to a booster seat.
Beyond this, think about whether you want an infant car seat that you can remove from the car seat and attach to a pushchair frame (only suitable for use up to around 12 months) or whether you’re looking for a robust seat for a toddler that will remain securely fitted in your vehicle.
The most important thing to consider when buying a car seat is whether it’s compatible with your vehicle, so make sure you check this before making your purchase.
Graco Slim Fit
A slimline car seat suitable from birth to 12 years
The Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 Car Seat is designed to save space in your back seat at the same time as giving your child plenty of room to grow. Because it’s slimmer than conventional car seats, it’s a good choice if your car is on the small side or if you have other car seats in place for other children. It's designed to grow with your child, so you can convert it from a rear-facing infant seat to a belt-positioning booster seat for an older child.
It has also been engineered and crash tested to meet or exceed US standards, and has been side impact tested and SafeSeat Engineered. The seat has four different recline positions, so it’s comfortable if your child nods off on a long journey. The seat cover is washable incase of spillages and it’s easy to remove without having to detach the car seat harness.
Diono Everett NXT High Back Booster
A versatile, lightweight car seat for use from from 4 to 12 years old
This car seat is suitable from 18kg - 50kg (approximately 4 to 12 years old) and is designed to grow through multiple stages of development with your child. It’s lightweight, so it’s a practical choice if you have more than one vehicle or regularly move the car seat between family cars. Not only is it easy to adjust, its 7-position headrest, its support cushions and padded armrests provide additional comfort. Thankfully, the seat cover is machine washable and easy to remove too.
Offering good safety features, with side impact protection that has been engineered and tested to high standards, the Diono Everett NEXT is also easy to install in your vehicle with universal connectivity. Simply attach it using the vehicle seatbelt or use the integrated connectors that anchor the seat to the car’s mainframe.
Cybex Aton Q Plus
A lightweight rear-facing infant car seat
The Cybex Aton Q Plus Infant Car Sear is designed to provide the flattest possible lying angle for younger babies so it can help reduce the risk of breathing difficulties for premature babies and small newborns.
It’s a rear-facing only infant car seat, which uses a 5-point adjustable harness to secure your child in the seat, and it’s suitable for babies weighing between 4 and 35lbs. It’s also lightweight, so it’s a good choice if you have back issues which make carrying the car seat between the vehicle and the house a difficulty.
The safety features include triple side impact protection, a flexible shell lined head to toe with EPS foam, and an internal adjustable EPS-lined headrest that offers superior side-impact safety.
Maxi Cosi CabrioFix Baby Car Seat Group 0+ Isofix
An easy-to-install rear-facing infant car seat
This infant car seat it suitable for use from birth to 13kg. It’s designed to be installed using the Maxi-Cosi FamilyFix Isofix base, which you need to buy separately. It has a seat size reducer to ensure a comfy fit for newborns, and extra padding to create a comfortable head support for your baby.
This seat is travel system compatible, so you can attach it to selected pushchair frames and thus easily transfer your baby from the car seat to the pushchair and back again without removing her from the seat or waking her up. It has side impact protection for optimal safety.
Silver Cross Quantum Car Seat
A luxurious rear-facing infant car seat
This luxurious infant car seat has four seat recline positions, a padded headrest and a reducer cushion to ensure a comfortable and secure fit for younger babies. Inspired by Aston Martin, this seat is made using vegetable tanned Italian leather and Alcantara faux suede, so it’s a definite style statement.
It has an automatic tensioning system and a mechanical tilting system to apply harness tension and keep a child securely positioned in the event of a collision. It’s easy to install via ISOFIX connectors, but it’s also simple to install via a vehicle’s three-point seat belt. The high seat position gives little occupants a good view of the world.