Choosing a car seat is one of those essential purchases that come in your Pregnancy To Do list, along with cot, babygrows, ridiculously cute baby hats and super-extra-worryingly-thick sanitary pads.
But it’s often once they grow out of those first carry-them-around-in newborn seats that often come as part of your pushchair travel system that the decision making sets in.
When my oldest (now 16) was moving into a bigger car seat (at around 9mths) he had a ‘toddler booster’ – basically a polystyrene seat with an attached back that the car seat belt fitted round. By the time he started school, we’d unzipped the back and he was on the booster seat only.
I know. I shudder to think now. This was only ten years ago!
Of course, the big seats said they would go up to age 9, but really, what over-paranoid parent would inflict that on their child? It was clearly some marketing ploy by the car seat manufacturers to get you spending more on their products for longer.
Just take a quick look at this video from Britax – it’s less than 30 seconds, and clearly demonstrates why that whole booster seat thing was such a bad idea…
Oh how much more we know now. And thankfully the law has changed, too.
Roll on to child no. 4, and though she’s approaching 9 now, my daughter begs regularly to be measured, just to see if she is big enough to come out of her car seat. Sadly for her, she still has another 4cm of growing to do – so for now, she stays encased in that purple seat that has served her so well for so many years (in the UK, car seats are law until the child reaches either 135 cm in height or 12 years old).
We all want our children to be safe – and obviously that includes travelling in the car. The law states that it’s the drivers responsibility to ensure that all passengers in their car are safe; and there is a fixed rate fine of £100 if you are caught, going up to £500 if it goes to court.
But frankly, the threat of a fine is the least motivating factor when you’re talking about your child’s safety, isn’t it? It’s just really important to buy the right car seat, and there are certain things you need to take into account;
- Whether or not the seat will actually fit in your car
- What are ISOFIX fittings and does your car have them?
- The height or weight of your child
For us personally, the solution was with Cybex. It’s awesome – Bear at almost 9 is still in the Cybex Pallas she started using at around 9mths old. Eight years is pretty good value on the initial investment, I’d say.
But this super-handy article on LV= talking about the best car seats on the market actually suggests the Cybex Solution Q; it’s a Group 2/3 and for children between 15-36kg (approx age 4-12)
If you’re looking for a car seat that can grow with your child, then the Cybex Solution Q Fix is perfect. Fitted with the ISOFIX system, this seat features integrated height and width adjusters, so that your child can always be in an optimally safe position. Additionally, the seat has a built-in mesh ventilation channels that allow the air to circulate around your child so that they are always comfortable, even on hot days. Another great feature of this chair is the patented head protection that it offers. The headrest within the chair reclines with your child in order to prevent their head and neck falling forward during sleep and ensures that your child’s head is cushioned within the protection panels.