Which car seat for which age?
One of the most common questions we are receiving is: “when is the right time for my child to change to the next car seat?” – and this is a great and very important question!
Different regulations focussing on weight, height and age and can make it quite confusing. Choosing the appropriate car seat for your child is the first and most important step for a safe journey.
LittlePeas provide three types of car seats: baby carriers, toddler car seats and high back booster seats. We call them Group 1, Group 2 and Group 3
Group 1 – Baby car seats
The baby car seat is the first car seat that your child will use from newborn to approximately 12 months of age, plus or minus a few months depending on height. The most practical guide for you regarding the right time to change seats is: when the uppermost point of the child’s head reaches the highest point of the seat and when the baby can hold their head steady, then it’s time for the next stage car seat!
The baby car seat is always installed rear facing in the car. It can be installed either with the vehicle belt or with a base, both being equally safe when fitted correctly.
What to think about when choosing a baby carrier:
When choosing a baby carrier for your newborn baby, we at BeSafe recommend you to think about the following aspects:
– Choose a baby carrier with a 5-point harness to ensure highest safety
– Make sure that the baby carr seat will grow with your child and that its harness is easy to adjust in height
– an ISOfix base will make everyday usage easier and the installation simpler
– Choose a light weight baby car seat that makes carrying it around easier and more comfortable
– A sun-canopy that is not conntected to the carrying handle can often reach further and thereby protect your baby also from the low-standing sun and wind
– An i-Size approved baby car seat has been tested for side impacts
Group 2 – Toddler car seats
The toddler car seat is the second car seat for your child. It can be used from approximately 6 months of age up to four years, depending on the height and weight of your child. Once your child’s shoulders do not fit beneath the headrest in maximum position anymore, your child has outgrown the seat and should switch to a group 3 seat.
According to the regulation UN R129 (i-Size), children must remain rear facing for at least 15 months, but we at BeSafe recommend to keep your child rear facing until at least 4 years of age, preferably longer. Some seats in this group can be used both rear or forward facing.
An additional test called the Plus Test ensures that the car seat has undergone tougher crash tests than required by regulations. Only rear facing car seats can be approved according to the Plus Test.
Toddler car seats can be installed with an ISOfix-base or the vehicle seatbelt. It can be purely rear facing, rear- and forward facing (combi car seat), or forward facing only.
What to think about when choosing a toddler car seat:
Your child will use this seat for approximately 3-4 years and a lot will happen during these years. That’s why BeSafe recommends you to think about the following when choosing the seat:
– Your child will change in height during the time of use, therefore it is important that the seat will grow with your child, both in height and leg-space.
– Since it is proven to be five times safer for children up to four years of age to travel rear facing, make sure that the car seat offers enough space to follow this recommendation
– A car seat that is mounted with ISOfix can more quickly be moved between cars and is easily installed – Choose a car seat with indicators that signal you when the seat is installed correctly.
– A Plus Test-approved car seat has undergone tougher crash tests than required by the ECE R44/04 and UN R129, thus providing even higher safety levels
Group 3 – High back booster seats
This is the car seat that your child will use for the longest time. By law your child should sit in an approved car seat to at least 135cm or 12 years, whichever is the soonest. Using a high back booster seat instead of only a booster ensures that your child is provided with a side impact protection during the whole period of use.
A high back booster seat can be installed with just the seatbelt or with ISOfix.
What to think about when choosing a high back booster seat:
– Choose a booster seat with a high back that cannot be removed. This way your child is also protected against side impacts during the whole period of use.
– One of the most common misuse issues arises when the belt is being placed in belt horns, therefore choose a booster seat without belt horns
– Booster seats tend to be a bit upright in the car, thus choose a seat that can be adjusted during the journey