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Baby car seat & pushchair guide

From choosing your baby's first car seat to picking the right pushchair - these are important purchases that will see you through the first year of your baby's life.

 
Get help with our handy guides and product selectors.
 
Choose your baby's first car seat now as you will need it for baby's first trip home from the hospital. No parent wants to put their baby in danger, but every car journey is a risk. We don't set out to have accidents but they happen, and a baby is a very vulnerable (and very precious) passenger. Just as adults should wear seat belts to prevent unnecessary injury in a crash, your baby needs to be secured too. A car's seats and seat belts are simply not designed for babies and young children; they need to have their own car seat and harness to hold them tight in an accident. A car seat is a real lifesaver.
 
Baby Travel Guide
    Before you decide which car seat is best for your child you will need to know the weight and height of your baby. When buying a car seat remember to pick the right car seat for their weight.

    Understand the benefit of keeping your child in a rearward facing car seat up to the age of at least 15 months. A rear-facing child car seat reduces the risk of injury in a head-on collision by more than 80% when compared to a conventional forward-facing seat with harness system, as the force of an impact is distributed evenly over a large area. Rearward facing car seats now keep children up to the age of 4 years old rearward facing.

    Decide whether you want to fit the car seat in your car by the adult seat belt or using Isofix fittings. If your car has Isofix mounts you can select from a range of Isofix compatible seats that offer quick and easy installation. They offer a minimum risk of incorrect installation and optimise safety by means of rigid connection between child and seat and car.

    It is crucial that you know how to install your car seat correctly. Our Babies R Us advisors in store will demonstrate how to fit and install your car seat before you buy. Find your local Babies R Us store now.

    Every child under 12 years old, and up to 135cm in height are required by law to use an appropriate child car seat or booster seat when travelling.
 
Groups, weights and ages explained

Car Seat Guide

 
    Which? has worked with major car seat retailers including Babies R Us to come up with the Child Car Seat Retailer Best Practice Charter to provide extra peace of mind when buying a car seat.

    Use our step-by-step car seat selector tool to help you compare and select the best car seat for your child based on their weight, how you would like to fit the car seat, your price range and your preferred brand.

     

    Introducing i-Size


    What is i-Size?

      'i-Size' (ECE R129) is a new regulation for child car seats that will run in parallel to the current regulation ECE R44/04 for the next few years. i-Size is designed to increase the safety level for children in cars.

      i-Size does not replace ECE R44/04, but does offer the most stringent safety performance.
     
    i-Size Key Points

    Why is i-Size safer?

      i-Size seats provide better head and neck protection, thanks to the longer rearward facing of 15 months. i-Size also provides better side-impact protection because, for the first time ever in a child car seat regulation, it includes a set of minimum performance criteria for this type of collision.

      i-Size seats are also much less likely to be installed incorrectly, because they have a simple place-and-click fitting procedure using the car IsoFix anchorage points and does not involve the car's seat belt. In addition, the i-Size regulation will help prevent up-sizing too soon, from a rearward facing seat to a larger forward-facing one. That's because it has the clearly specified requirement of 15-months-old.

      And finally, i-Size means more peace of mind. Not all current child car seats fit all car models securely. However, all i-Size car seats do fit most cars equipped with the ISOFIX system. It's still best to check the compatibility between the car seat and the car with a car fitting list.

    What is ISOFIX?

      ISOFIX is an international system, which provides the safest, simplest and quickest method of correct installation of a child car seat. Instead of using the regular car seat belt, the ISOFIX system secures the baby seat to the car chassis via two specially incorporated anchor points behind the car seat.

      ISOFIX also helps reduce the forward and sideward movement of the seat and limits rotation through a special support leg. For the past 10 years, EU legislation mandated that all new cars must have ISOFIX anchor points as standard. Hence, currently approximately 60% of all cars on the road have ISOFIX anchor points.
     

    FAQs

     

    Getting Out and About

     
      For the first year of your baby's life, your pushchair will be your main mode of transport and you'll be surprised how far you'll walk. Choosing the right pushchair to suit your lifestyle is crucial.

      With so many pushchairs on the market, there are endless options. But, choosing the right pushchair for you is what's important.
     

    Do you live in the country or in-town?

      Small wheels are more suitable on smooth surfaces and are very manoeuvrable; around shops, on busy streets. Large wheels are more able to cope with rough or rugged ground; on country walks.

    Do you live in a house or flat, on the ground floor or on the second or third floor?

      Two things are crucial to consider: the width of your hallway and stairs. Will you be able to leave the chassis open and still have room? Do you need a compact fold and even one that can freestand? How heavy is it, can you get it up the stairs to your flat?

    Do you regularly use the car, public transport or walk?

      If you are a car user, the size of your boot and the size of the pushchair folded with the seat unit on are crucial - check your dimensions. Weight can be an issue when it comes to escalators and stairs, so bear that in mind if you take the train or tube.

    Do you have more than one child?

      Having twins or a second child has it's own challenges: twins need a side by side double buggy to allow either or both to lie back and sleep - the width is crucial - check your front door width. Siblings can use side by side or front/back tandems, there are some excellent ones at Babies 'R' Us.

      For the first year of your baby's life, your pushchair will be your main mode of transport and you will be surprised how far you will walk. Choosing the right pushchair to suit your lifestyle is crucial.