Do I need An Infant Car Seat For My Newborn?
Of all the baby products we stress around the shops to get – the car seat is perhaps one of the most important ones. After all, it’s the one device that will save your child’s life should you ever have an accident!
But what type of car seat should you be getting?
“Do I need an infant car seat for my newborn? Or are there other options?” is a question many expectant parents ask. We hope this article will shed some light on this question for you and help you decide on the best solution for you and your family.
What is an infant car seat?
The infant car seat is the car seat most people refer to as “infant carrier”. It’s the type of car seat that can be taken out of the car and also be used on a travel system.
- It’s easy to take in and out of the car and is small and compact.
- It belongs to the car seat Group 0/0+ – which is rear facing to 10 and 13kg.
Note that most infant car seats today belong to the Group 0+ group – making them rear facing to 13kg!
The handiness of the infant car seat makes it a popular choice for parents. As it’s easy to take in and out of the car – it’s also easy to take with you to the hospital when it’s time to take the baby home. But this is not a requirement. There is no law that says you need to have the car seat with you on the ward.
Using the car seat on a travel system can also be a simple solution when you are doing a school run or popping to a shop, but always remember that a baby should never be in a car seat for longer than 90 minutes before being taken out. So remember to take breaks and let baby stretch out so that the oxygen levels in his blood can return to normal.
The other option?
The other option for a newborn is a car seat that is a 0+/1 car seat. It’s a car seat that is from birth all the way through Group 1.
- These seats are the same size as the normal Group 1 car seats, so they stay in the car once installed and are not taken out of the car, like the infant car seat can be.
However, this does not make them a bad option. Just make sure your baby fits correctly in the car seat and that the infant inserts are in place.
Always read your manual front to back after purchasing a car seat! It will tell you everything you need to know regarding the installation of the car seat – as well as how to put the baby in the seat correctly and what inserts to use.
Should you decide to look at getting a Group 0+/1 car seat – we advise you to get one that rear faces to 18kg. These car seats belong to the ‘extended rear facing’ category – and are the safest options for any child under 4 years old.
Some of the 0+/1 car seats though – are only rear facing to 13kg, so make sure you check that the one you buy is up to 18kg and not 13kg when used rear facing.
Car seats to avoid:
There are some car seats that you should avoid!
And that is the Group 0/1 car seats who are only rear facing to 10 kg. These have a shorter rear facing limit than the average infant car seat – and will not protect the baby in the safest way (the rear-facing position) for as long as possible. So these should be avoided. These seats are often ‘own brand name’ car seats, which means they are the same name brand as the actual store.
This is one the articles (of many) I wrote (and are still writing) for kindseats.com. As they have given their permission, I will continue to post my articles right here on my blog after they have been published by the company on their website/blog.
I hope these articles will help you understand how very important rear facing is to the children in your care, be them your own or others and I hope that after reading these you learn something useful to teach others and spread the word.
The main focus of my articles is of course rear facing – but we will travel between car seat comparisons, crash testing, typical myths and so forth.
Therese has completed the ‘Advanced Child Car Seat Training Course’ at TRL (Transport Research Lab) and is a CPD accredited car seat expert. She blogs about in-car safety, car seats, tips, reviews, giveaways and advice. She’s a mum on a mission to change the law and raise awareness. She is also a breastfeeding advocate and gentle parenting promoter who loves cloth nappies, baby-wearing, BLW and co-sleeping/bed-sharing.