Rearward facing car seats

Confused about which car seat you should choose? Here’s all you need to know about fitting and safety

You may have heard that laws on car seats are slowing transforming from one set of rules to another. Instead of seats based on your child’s weight, they are now going to be based on height; also, children will soon be in rearward-facing car seats until they are four.

The reasons behind these changes are all about safety. In the event of an accident, you want your little one to be as protected as possible and car seat manufacturers, car makers and road safety experts have been working together to help prevent serious injury – or death – in babies and children.

Scandinavian countries have had extended rearward-facing seats for years; the reductions in injuries should convince us it’s the best way to travel.

What’s available?

Choose from a seat that’s suitable to 12-15 months (75cm), one to four years (105cm) or one seat from birth to four years. The first kind can be clicked onto a pushchair, forming a travel system. Larger seats stay in the car, so you can make sure they are fitted correctly once and then just check occasionally. See our pick overleaf of some of the best models available to buy now.

Where do my baby’s legs go?

Rearward seats have more room between the baby and the seat, so you don’t need to worry about comfort. Your baby has just spent nine months in your womb with legs bent – so sitting with legs bent and crossed is natural.

Will my baby hate it?

Your baby spends the first 12 months in a rearward seat, so extending this to four years should be no problem. Adults tend to imagine their baby has emotions that really aren’t there, so don’t think about what you’re used to.

How do I keep my baby amused in the car?

Many babies go to sleep in the car – the movement and noise can help them drop off. However, if your baby is alert during car rides, look for some hanging toys and soft books to keep them amused. Music can help too.

I-Size – the facts

  • Rearward facing travel is a must up to at least 15 months old
  • To meet the i-Size regulations, improved and rigorous side impact testing is standard
  • Height classification, not your baby’s weight, makes choosing the right car seat easier
  • iSize promotes the use of ISOFIX, which has less chance of being incorrectly fitted into the car than belted car seats
  • i-Size seats will fit all i-Size certified cars and they will fit almost all cars with ISOFIX
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