Car Seat

Our Guide To Choosing Your Car Seat and When To Upgrade

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Not sure when’s the right time to move up a car seat? Read on for expert advice from the Kiddicare team.

which car seat

Is it time for a new car seat?

It’s amazing how quickly they grow up. All of a sudden your newborn baby bundle is nearly nine months old and on the move! But how do you know when it’s time for a new car seat?

Remember: think height & weight.

There’s no denying it: little ones grow at different rates – so using age alone to determine which car seat is needed can be risky. That’s why we now use height or weight as the deciding factors.

Car seats are separated into groups which are based on the weight of your child. The exception to this are i-Size seats which use your child’s height instead.

Which car seat will I need?

Choosing your car seat

  • All car seats sold at Kiddicare meet the United Nations Regulation, ECE R44.04, or the i-Size regulation, R129, which runs alongside R44.04.
  • The safest way to travel is to keep your child rearward-facing for as long as possible as it provides better support for the undeveloped head and neck in the event of a front-on impact. We sell a wide range of i-Size car seats which offer extended rear facing until the child is at least 15 months old. Not sure what i-Size means for you? You can learn more
  • Not every car seat fit all cars, so you’ll need to check which models your individual car seat is compatible with.
  • Choosing an Isofix seat (which fixes into anchorage points in the vehicle) reduces the risk of the car seat being incorrectly fitted.
  • If you’re feeling unsure, you can come into our Kiddicare Peterborough store for a free fitting and a safety check. We will help you ensure the car seat is suitable for your child’s weight and size, and is correctly fitted according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Child’s WeightApproximate Age RangeSuitable Car Seat
Baby weighing up to 13kg (29 lbs)Birth to 12-15 monthsGroup 0+
Rearward-facing baby seat
For i-Size rearward facing travel is mandatory up to 15 months old. Check the baby’s height is within the range of the i-size seat. Refer to manufacturers guidelines.Birth to at least 15 months oldi-Size
Baby or toddler weighing up to 18 kg (40 lbs)Birth to 4 yearsGroup 0+ & 1
Rearward and Forward facing Combination seat
Baby or child weighing up to 25 kg (55 lbs)Birth to 6 yearsGroups 0+, 1 & 2
Rearward and Forward facing Combination seat
Baby or child weighing up to 36 kg (79 lbs)Birth to 12 yearsGroups 0+, 1, 2 & 3
Rearward and Forward facing Combination seat
Toddler weighing from 9 kg to 18 kg (20 – 40 lbs)9 months to 4 yearsGroup 1
Forward-facing Seat
Toddler or child from 9 kg to 36 kg (20 – 79 lbs)9 months to 12 yearsGroup 1, 2 & 3
Forward-facing Seat
Child weighing 15 kg – 36 kg (33 – 79 lbs)4 to 11 yearsGroups 2 & 3
Forward-facing Booster Seat
*Children weighing 22 kg – 36 kg (48 – 79 lbs)6 – 11 yearsGroup 3
Booster Cushion

The general rule of thumb is to choose a car seat that’s rear facing for as long as possible – moving to a forward facing position too soon can be dangerous because baby’s neck may not be sufficiently developed to support a relatively heavy head. Keeping rear-facing for longer is always safest.

Kiddicare car seat fitting

What about i-Size car seats?

I-Size is the regulation for child car seats (ECE R129) introduced in 2013, making car seats easier to fit, offering better protection from side impact and enabling rearward facing for longer. All I-size seats use Isofix fitting points, so you will need Isofix fitting points in your car if choosing an I-Size car seat.

It’s important to note that i-Size runs side by side with the existing R44.04 standards until atleast 2018. Parents can choose whether to use seats that meet either standard. You do not need to swap your current models for i-Size ones unless you wish to do so.

Key areas of the i-Size regulation:

  • Based on the child’s height, rather than weight. Ensure your child’s height is within the range of the seat.
  • Children in i-size car seats stay rearward facing until at least 15 months.
  • I-size includes a side impact test to ensure the seats provide better impact from side-on collisions.

I-Size car seats will fit an i-Size approved vehicle. Check with your vehicle manufacturer for details.

Any other questions about i-Size? Pop into our Kiddicare store and a member of the Pit Stop crew will happily give you a demo, or send us an email and our Customer Service team can help you.

Important Safety Advice Before you Start

  • Remember, never use a rear-facing car seat in the front passenger seat without deactivating the front air bags. Airbags are designed to protect adults, but can seriously injure a child.
  • Take time to read the car seat instructions before fitting, and ensure that everyone
    who will be fitting the seat is confident in doing so.
  • The seat should be fitted as tightly as possible – there should be no excessive forward or sideways motion. Check the seat regularly to ensure it remains securely fitted.
  • When fitting the child in the car seat ensure the harness is tightened correctly so that only one or two fingers can fit between the child’s chest and harness. Winter clothing can affect the effectiveness of the harness, so check every journey and remove any coats.
  • Try to discourage your child from playing with the buckles. Never cover or modify the buckles to prevent your child from playing with them, as this may seriously affect the quick release mechanism in an accident.
  • Use an additional rear-view mirror to keep an eye on your child while driving, to avoid having to turn around.

Still unsure which seat is right for your little one? To help, we’ve created a handy guide on choosing the perfect car seat. Or pop into our Kiddicare store and one of our Pit Stop crew will be happy to advise. Already got a car seat? We’ll make sure it’s safely fitted while you’re there, no matter where or when you bought it.