From the appropriate baby car-seat for you, to fitting your baby’s seat in your car…
As this is both a legal requirement and something which could save your baby’s life – it certainly isn’t a purchase you want to rush into. It’s also not somewhere you want to cut corners. Whilst hand-me-down clothes and toys are great, a second-hand car seat is not always such a good idea. Second-hand car seats are likely to be older and may have been damaged (even if you can’t see damage). This means that in the event of a collision, they may not be as protective for your baby as a new seat.
At a glance
- Second-hand car seats may not be as protective for your baby as a new seat
- Due to airbags in the front, it is safer to fit a rearward seat in the back
- Most stores selling car seats will have experienced staff who will be able to demonstrate how to fit it
Seats which face the rear of your vehicle are suitable for babies. In fact a ‘rearward seat’ will be suitable for babies up to 13kg. When they are heavier than 13kg or when their head is higher than the top of the seat, they can be put into a forward-facing seat.
Due to airbags in the front, it is safer to fit a rearward seat in the back. This is where eyes in the back of your head really would be useful. You could buy mirrors to attach in your car and angle so that you can see your baby whilst driving but this is still going to take your attention away from the road – which is never a good idea. If you need to check on your baby, the best thing to do is to pull over somewhere safe.
Fitting your seat
Most stores selling car seats will have experienced staff who will be able to take the seat to your car and demonstrate how to fit it. Not all seats fit in all cars, so it’s a good idea to take the car(s) that you will be travelling in with your baby when you go to buy a car seat.
Get them to demonstrate a few times and try it yourself. After a few attempts you’ll soon get the hang of it. Some baby car seats may be fixable using the ISOFIX method – where there are fittings already in your car which the seat simply connects with. Continue to refer to the instructions when fitting the seat in your car. If you lose the instructions, simply go to the manufacturer’s website.