This post is part of a collaboration with Hayley from Mum and Reu.
Choosing a new car seat for your baby or toddler can be overwhelming. It’s obviously super important that your little one is as safe and secure as possible in the event of a car accident and not all car seats are born equal! Finding the right one for you can be tough and there isn’t always a one size fits all solution. I’ve put together my top 5 tips for choosing a new car seat to help you find the one that’s perfect for you.
Spoiler: I’m not going to talk about budget! You know what you can and can’t afford, all of my tips still apply no matter how much money you have to spend!
Check The Legal Guidelines
I can’t stress this enough, make sure you know exactly what you do and don’t need. The law regarding car seats has changed and car seats that aren’t isize are no longer manufactured although are still available to buy. iSize car seats are safer as they require the child to be rear facing for longer, have increased side impact protection and are subject to improved crash testing. You can still buy and use non-iSize seats for now but I would advise, if you can afford it, switching to iSize if you can. The full UK car seat regulations can be found here.
Decide Which Car Seat Features Are Important To You.
There are lots of different combinations of features, for example, do you want 360 rotation, extended rear facing, a machine washable cover? There are lots of combinations available.
Read Car Seat Reviews
Look at retailer websites, forums, Mumsnet etc. for reviews on the car seat you’re going to choose. It can be really helpful for finding niggly things that would really put you off. I would also recommend subscribing to Which? because they do independent testing and you can compare directly against other brands and models. You can get a free 30 day trial that you can cancel before the monthly fee kicks in. For such an important purchase, it’s definitely worthwhile.
Ask Other Mums
Mums with older kids have already been through this and may have been super thorough in their research which will save you a lot of time and effort. I’m lucky enough to have such a friend in Hayley from Mum and Reu who gave me loads of really great advice when I was looking to upgrade. She has done a full review on the Cybex Sirona S which is the car seat that I chose so make sure you give it a read if you’re looking to upgrade!
Look for Deals and Cashback
Car seats can be expensive so always make sure you take advantage of any available deals, lots of retailers offer discounts for signing up to their newsletters or check out sites like Quidco where you can earn cashback on your purchases. If you sign up on the link above I get £5 for referring you – I’m not affiliated with them, it’s just a refer a friend scheme, but it’s an amazing site. I’ve earnt nearly £900 of cashback since I’ve been signed up!
As I mentioned above, I ended up choosing the Cybex Sirona S. Hayley’s reviews will give you the full run down but I loved it for the 360 rotation (Theo is massive and stuffing him sideways into a car seat is traumatic for us all, front loading is soooooo much easier!) and it’s excellent safety ratings for the rear facing position. It’s also extended rear facing and because Theo is tall it will last us for a decent amount of time.
Do you have any top tips for buying a car seat? Which one did you go for? Leave me a comment below.