Of course with a new baby on the way, one of the things on my mind is buying a car seat to get the little one back from the hospital – after all they won’t let you leave without one! I still have the picture of the midwife carrying my daughter out to the car on the day we left the hospital and placing her in her car seat. My mum even has one of the midwife doing the same with me some 20 years previously at the same hospital, although back then it was a carry cot and not a car seat I was placed in for my journey home. Of course these days they may not even be able to spare a midwife from the ward to escort you off the premises with your little bundle of joy, so I’m assuming it’s a case of taking the car seat in with you.
I have a choice of two car seats that attach to my pushchair to transform it into a travel system, although unlike my previous travel system it doesn’t attach directly to the pushchair, but to the chasis once you remove the entire seat which is rather space aged compared to the tank of a travel system I used to “drive”. Both car seats are from the same well known manufacturer and both come highly recommended. They may be almost as expensive as the pushchair itself, but this is an area that I’m not prepared to scrimp on when buying for my baby, much like with his cot mattress, after all the car seat, along with the seat belt could well save my child’s life should an accident happen on the road.
So which car seat is suitable for your child I hear you ask?
You need to find out which type you need for your child:
- Rear facing baby seats (Group 0 and 0+) that cater for children up to 22lbs (group 0) or 29lbs (group 0+), which can be used in the front or rear of the car. Remember they should be used based on the weight of your child, not the age and should NEVER be used in the front of the car if the passenger seat is fitted with an airbag, which is infact illegal.
- Forward facing child seats (Group 1) are for children between 20 & 40lbs and should be used once your child has outgrown his or her rear facing baby seat.
- Booster seats and cushions now come in two sizes, Group 2 which caters for children who are 33 – 55lbs and Group 3 which caters for children 48 – 79lbs, which dependent upon your child’s weight can be up to the age of around 11. Note that children who are under 135cm in height or have not yet reached their twelth birthday, have to by law, travel in a suitable child restraint. When children reach 12 or 13 they can travel using just a seat belt, however it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure they are doing so. Once the child reaches 14 it is their responsibility to ensure they are wearing their seat belt, failure to do so is breaking the law and they will be fined like any adult would be.
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