Baby Car Seats Buyers Guide (up to approx. 18kg)

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Everything you need to know about baby car seats

You've got the nursery just right and you've stocked up on supplies, one of the next exciting things is planning how to get your baby out and about with you.

There's already lots of decisions to make when there's a little one on the way. But, we're here to make it a bit easier and give you some top tips on what to think about so you'll have the perfect seat in no time.

Where to start

Baby car seats are designed for children weighing up to around 18kg. You'll need an appropriate car seat to be able to drive your baby home from the hospital, so make sure you're prepared well in advance of the big day.

They can be secured in your car using a seatbelt or ISOFIX base, and help protect your baby if you're involved in a collision. Once they're a bit bigger, they can move up to a toddler car seat (from around 9-36kg), and then up again to a child seat as they grow.

All car seats at Halfords are made to meet ECE or i-Size safety standards, so you can rest assured that your baby will be able to travel in safety and comfort.

Car seat groups

Once you start looking around, you'll notice that car seats are separated into groups, typically based on the approximate weight of a child. The exception is an i-Size seat which uses a child's height to determine which seat is best.

There are two groups that will suit a new born baby: Group 0 (birth to 10kg) and Group 0+ (birth to 13kg) - both of these groups are rearward facing, with some slight differences.

Group 0 car seats will often let your baby lay completely flat, which is healthier for new born and very small babies because it puts less strain on the spine and lungs.

Group 0+ car seats are more common, mostly because they can be adapted to grow with your child so they last for longer. They still give extra support to the head, neck and spine, as well as extra side impact protection.

It's also possible to get combination car seats which will cover a number of different groups. Some go all the way up to Group 2, so you're able to use the same seat from birth right up until your baby is around 25kg.

Key features

There's a lot to consider when deciding what car seat is right for you and your baby, but there are some key considerations to have at the front of your mind to help guide you.

  • Seat fitting - does the seat attach using the seatbelt or ISOFIX?
  • Convenience - how easy is it to secure the seat and child in place?
  • Removable covers - is it important to you that if there's a little accident, you'll be able to take the covers and pop them in the wash.
  • Swivelling base - some car seats can swivel in place, making it much easier to get your baby in and out.
  • No re-thread harness - car seats with this feature enable you to adjust the seat to your child's growth, without removing the harness completely.

Hopefully, you now feel a bit more clued up on the best car seat for you. However, we have over 2,800 fully trained, RoSPA-accredited staff members who will be more than happy to guide you through this big decision.

*Service not available on seats purchased from Halfords Approved Partners.