Everything You Need to Know About Newborn Car Seats
It’s time to leave the maternity ward! You’re wondering: Which newborn car seat is right for a safe journey? Parents may be confused or overlook the criteria needed to make their choice. There are some essential elements that ensure your newborn’s safety in the car.
The newborn car seat
This is one of the most important pieces of equipment for your baby! It should be purchased before the baby is even born.
Newborn car seats are made for babies from birth to 10 years old. There are two types of car seats for babies:
- the car seats “shell” (cosy): from birth until 13 kg, 15 months (R44/04 standard) it is versatile and safe. It is the best car seat for newborns because it will allow you to take the baby out of the car without waking him up and it fits on the stroller (if compatible). The shell is light, so it won’t be heavy if you wear it with your baby in it. It is fixed on an Isofix base, or with the passenger’s belt, always with the back to the road. It can be installed on the front seat if the airbag is deactivated.
- Car seats gr 0+/1: from birth to 18 kg, (40 to 105 cm). This car seat for babies and newborns is installed in the car at the back only and is fixed with the belt or Isofix. Your newborn is held in place with a shield or harness. This newborn car seat is less versatile than the shell, but it lasts longer. You will install it from the back at first, then face the road after 15 months.
Some models have multiple newborn car seat positions for comfort during nap time. They swivel 180°, or 360°, on the base to seat your baby without contortion.
Recommendations for choosing your car seat
A car seat for newborns offers many advantages, such as helping to respect your baby’s sleep patterns and times. Since the car seat for newborns is installed with the back facing the road, it offers an incomparable level of comfort and safety.
How to choose the best car seat for newborns?
To help you choose the best newborn car seat, we have selected a set of elements to take into account in your choice.
- The weight of the seat: how much does the seat weigh and how much will it weigh when baby is in it? If your lifestyle requires you to transport your baby regularly, this criterion will be important to you.
- Maximum usage: until what age can baby be safely installed in this seat? The maximum weights and sizes for each car seat vary, which may influence your choice.
- Approval: What standards and criteria does this newborn car seat meet? R129 or R44/04?
- The mode of fixation: if the car seat for newborns requires a base or not, or if it has the isofix system.
- Compatibility: whether the car seat is compatible with a large number of strollers or not.
Installing a newborn car seat correctly
9 out of 10 parents do not know how to install a car seat correctly. It is recommended to install it in the middle of the back seat of the vehicle or in the right rear seat behind the passenger, which is the safest.
The newborn car seat can be installed in the front seat. However, the airbag must be deactivated for a rear-facing seat because it can cause very serious injuries if it deploys.
Belt-mounted car seats:
- You must read the instructions carefully, put the belt through all the holes provided for this purpose by the manufacturer and tighten it well;
Car seats with isofix attachment:
- Top tether strap: you must check that the vehicle has a suitable hook to install and maintain it in place;
- Strut: you should avoid placing it above the storage compartment, at the foot of the rear seat. It can be installed behind the compartment hatch or inside.
Over time, your newborn car seat will show signs of wear and tear, and may need to be repaired in the event of an impact. We recommend that you contact your manufacturer, or a professional, before making any repairs yourself so as not to reduce its ability to protect your baby from bumps during travel.
In conclusion, the best newborn car seat is the one that will guarantee your baby safety and comfort. However, if on average a newborn baby can stay in a car seat until 15 months, it will be necessary to check the size and weight to see if the seat is still suitable for his safety.
Cheap newborn car seats do not guarantee infallible safety. You should not hesitate to check that the car seat complies with current standards and to test whether your baby feels comfortable in the seat you choose.