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Buying Guide: Newborn Car Seats

Need to get a newborn car seat? Work out what features to look for...

A newborn car seat is an essential bit of kit to buy before your baby’s born. By law you’ll need to have a car seat to take her home, even if you are travelling by taxi. The most common type is a Group 0+ infant carrier, which is suitable from birth until 12-15 months.

An alternative is a carrycot specially designed for travelling by car. This lets your baby lie flat, which is healthier for her spine, but takes up more room. When it comes to fitting the car seat, ask someone in the store to give you a demonstration and always do a trial run before your baby arrives. Not all carseats are the same. When you’re looking for which one to buy, there are some key pointers to bear in mind.

  • Look for a seat that is roomy and supportive. Insert cushions can provide extra comfort for newborns.
  • Look for a kitemark on the label indicating that it complies with British safety standards
  • Make sure the carseat is easy to get in and out of the car and also comfortable to carry.
  • For greater flexibility its handy if the seat can form part of travel system where it can be clicked onto a pushchair chassis.
  • Ask the retailer or check on the manufacturer’s website to make sure it’s compatible with your make and model of car.
  • ISOFIX allows a seat to bolt straight onto the car chassis rather than being secured by the seat belt. Not all cars have ISOFIX fitting so check your car manual.
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