From baby baths to diaper bags your list of ‘essential’ can seem endless. The good news is that a lot of things can be purchased after baby’s birth, as and when you need them, so there’s no hurry to have every item on your wish list straight away. However, there is one piece of equipment that is vital before the big arrival, and that is a car seat. After all, how are you going to get your little bundle home from the hospital without it? Of course, finding the right car seat can be overwhelming as there are so many brands and types to choose from. Luckily, we’ve put together a list of questions you need to ask before you hit the shops.
Tips for buying a car seat #1: Is it the right size for my baby?
From rear-facing chairs to high-back boosters and combination seats, the choice is astonishing. Added to this, the system for classifying each car seat can feel equally mindboggling. Don’t panic though, because the only thing you need to know is that your choice of car seat is based on your baby’s weight. Car seats are split into groups, and each group covers a specific weight range.
- Group 0: 0-10kg, which is from birth to around 6 months
- Group 0+: 0-13kg, which is from birth to around 15 months
- Group 1: 9-18kg, which is roughly from 9 months to 4 years
- Group 2/3: 15-36kg, which is roughly 4 to 12 years
Tips for buying a car seat #2: How long will it last?
Buying a new car for every stage is a costly business so in order to get the most bang for your buck you may choose to opt for a convertible car seat. These seats cover a range of groups, which are as follows:
- Group 0+/1: 0-18kg, from birth to around 4 years
- Group 1/2/3: 9-36kg, from around 9 months to 12 years
- Group 2/3: 15-36kg, which is roughly around 4 to 12 years
Tips for buying a car seat #3: Is it rear-facing?
It is recommended that from birth to around 9kg your baby travels in a rear-facing car seat (those that face the boot of the car). The reason for this is that a rear-facing car seat provides greater protection for your baby’s head, neck and spine, than a forward-facing seat. In the event of a crash it reduces the risk of death or injury by a whopping 90 per cent.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that you should only move your tot into a forward-facing seat when they’ve exceeded the maximum weight for their seat, or the top of their head is higher than the top of the car seat.
Tips for buying a car seat #4: Does it work with a buggy?
If you plan to get out and about with your new arrival with relative ease, a wise investment is a travel system. This clever creation combines a buggy with a car seat and is a breeze to use, as the car seat simply slots onto the buggy. The idea is that you cut out the stress of disturbing baby every time you move them from the car seat to the stroller. Genius!
Tips for buying a car seat #5: Is it safe?
It’s the biggest question of all and obviously you want to be sure that the car seat you are buying is safe for your little one to travel in. But rest assured, if you’re buying from a respected retailer, all car seats that are on the market have been tested and approved for the current safety standards. However, because safety technology improves all the time, it’s recommended that you buy a new car seat, rather than a second-hand one
For newborns to around 15 months
Doona Evolution – Dhs1,895
The Doona is a car seat with integrated wheels, so it easily flips from a car seat to a stylish pushchair. Clever!
Maxi-Cosi Pebble – Dhs1,150
Suitable for babies from birth to 13kg, this sophisticated seat is compatible with a range of pushchairs so you can form a travel system.
For toddlers aged nine months to four years
Maxi-Cosi Tobi – Dhs1,150
This forward-facing car seat has side impact protection in case of a collision. It is suitable for children aged from nine months to four years.
Maxi-Cosi Axiss – Dhs1,950
With eight recline positions; this forward-facing seat is comfortable for long journeys. It also has a spin function that allows the seat to rotate 90 degrees (either left or right), making it easy for you to seat your little one inside the car.
Joie Stages – Dhs1,000
A great way to save your cash, this seat is designed to stay with your child from birth up to seven years. It starts as a rear-facing seat and adapts into a forward-facing seat as your child grows.
For children four to 12 years
Joie Trillo Luxx – Dhs699
The Joie Trillo Luxx converts into a backless booster and has a seven-height adjustable headrest, making it great value for those who want to invest in a quality seat that lasts.
Maxi-Cosi RodiFix – Dhs1,350
This car seat offers superb comfort with its easy to recline function. It also has adjustable height and width options, so the seat grows with your child.