A car seat is bound to be near the top of your to-buy list when it comes to having a baby. But, before you rush into an impulse buy, it's wise to do your research to make sure you select the correct one.
Firstly, it's important your car seat meets the UK safety regulations and secondly, it's integral to find the perfect one for your car and lifestyle.
You should buy your car seat and practice fitting it before your bundle of joy is born as you'll need it to transport your baby back home. Take a look at our top car seat picks…
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What safety regulations to baby car seats need to meet?
Car seats in the UK have to conform to one of two safety standards; ECE R129, known as i-Size, is the newest European-wide regulation, while ECE R44 is the existing regulation based on your child's weight.
i-Size car seats keep babies in a rearward-facing position until they are 15 months old and must be fitted with the Isofix anchor points attached to the seat or base. Meanwhile, weight-based seats fall under the ECE R44 regulation and are categorised into groups, with Group 0+ seats suitable for newborns up to 13kg, and Group 1 seats for babies from nine to 18kg.
7 of the best newborn car seats
Ickle Bubba Radius 360 Spin car seat
Radius 360 Spin Group 0+/1/2 Isofix Car Seat, £189, Ickle Bubba
A 360-degree rotating car seat is well worth investing in and will save time and hassle when it comes to putting baby in the car and taking them out again. Designed to be used from birth up to 25kg (roughly seven years old), the Ickle Bubba's Radius car seat provides long-term protection.
The rear-facing position can be used for longer than many standard car seats, up to 13kg (around 15 months), and comes with a 38-degree recline which is more comfortable and safer for newborns. The rigid ISOFIX installation also secures the Radius to your car.
Bugaboo Turtle Air by Nuna car seat
Bugaboo Turtle Air by Nuna car seat, £199, Bugaboo
This ultralight car seat is suitable for your newborn from day one, and designed in collaboration with premium car seat brand Nuna.
It offers comfort for your baby on the road and fits seamlessly onto a Bugaboo pushchair. Suitable for babies up to 15-months-old, it comes with a baby inlay to help your little one be super snug and a sun canopy.
Cybex Cloud Z i-Size Baby Car Seat
Cybex Cloud Z i-Size baby car seat, £197, Mamas & Papas
Winner of the Which? Best buy car seat in 2019, this group 0+ seat is suitable for babies from newborn up to 13kg, and features several safety features to protect your baby and give you extra piece of mind. They include an energy-absorbing car seat shell and a linear side-impact protection system to significantly increase your child's safety in a side-impact collision. When purchased with Base Z, light and sound indicators will also confirm when the seat has been installed correctly.
The seat also features 11 headrest positions with integrated harness guides, and a removable seat insert creates a near lie-flat position that is perfect for premature and newborn babies.
Joie Baby i-Spin 360 Group 0+/1 i-Size car seat
Joie Baby i-Spin 360 car seat, £269.95, John Lewis
The Joie Baby i-Spin is a Group 0+ and 1 car seat that will be suitable for your child from birth up to four years, and features a handy 360 degree rotating seat that makes it easier to get them in and out. It has six recline positions that can be used for both forward and rear-facing, along with 19 adjustable leg support positions to provide better stability.
But that's not all; from a safety perspective, the seat benefits from Guard Surround safety panels, which provide added security for the head, body and hips, and a TriProtect headrest that has three layers of protection inside the wings.
Maxi-Cosi Marble car seat, £279.99, Maxi-Cosi
Maxi-Cosi has long been a popular choice for parents, so you can rest assured that the new Maxi-Cosi Marble car seat is a safe option for your baby. Suitable from birth, the innovative design allows your baby to lie almost flat in the reclined position, making it one of the comfiest options.
The seat offers optimal protection against side impacts and has a comfortable inlay for a better fit and eight recline options, as well as an ultra-protective sun canopy with peekaboo window, so parents can check on their little ones without disturbing their nap.
Ickle Bubba Mercury i-Size Car Seat With Isofix base
Ickle Bubba Mercury i-Size car seat, £319, Ickle Bubba
This i-Size car seat features a reinforced shell technology with advanced side-impact protection and a three-point harness to keep your baby safe on the move, along with a six-point adjustable headrest with air flow ventilation to ensure they are cool and comfortable too.
Extra benefits include the fact that it is both Isofix and non-Isofix compatible, is compatible with most pushchair brands to create a travel system, and has a four-year warranty.
Doona car seat
Infant car seat, £329, Doona
Welcome to the world’s first complete and fully integrated travel system - a stroller and car seat in one! It’s the only car seat to have been tested and certified as an Infant Car Seat, a stroller and an infant carrier, has a unique 3-layer side impact protection, anti-rebound bar crash technology, 5-point safety harness and ergonomic infant insert.
Plus, it comes in 8 colours including this blush pink, black, blue and natural.
And the best car seat accessory
Cocoon baby blanket, £32.99, Cocoon Babies
And lastly, you'll want a cosy car seat blanket to keep your baby snuggly. Cocoon Babies' selection comes in two sizes, from newborn to six months, and six months to 12 months, as well as a range of colourways. The blanket has holes for the seat straps to fit through, so there's no need for baby to wear an extra coat or winter suit, plus it's been crash safety tested and is proven to provide added protection for your baby's head and chest whilst in the car seat, giving you 100 per cent peace of mind.
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