Choosing the Best Baby Car Seat
Tips for choosing the right car seat for your baby or child
Got a bub on the way? Then you’re probably in the midst of trying to sort through the abundance of information you’ve found on topics like the best toddler car seats, the best convertible car seat, the best booster seats, and so on and so forth. We understand how overwhelming it is to embark on parenthood, so we have put all the information you need in one place for you. Stick with Maxi-Cosi and your child will be safe and sound in the best baby car seat in Australia.
Car seats for children: What are the laws?
The basics you need to know when it comes to correctly restraining your children while they travel in the car with you are as follows:
- Children under 6 months must be restrained using a rear facing baby capsule
- Children aged between 6 months and 4 years must be restrained in either a rear facing baby capsule or a forward facing car seat with a built in harness
- Children under 4 years of age must travel only in the back seat of the vehicle
- Children aged 4 - 7 years of age must must be restrained in a forward facing car seat with inbuilt harness or in a booster seat with the cars lap sash seat belt
- All car seats must show the Australian safety standard label to comply with rules
- Children ages 4 - 7 years old can sit in the front seat if all of the back seats are taken by other passengers under 7 years old
- Children age over 7 years old must use either an adult seat belt or a booster seat, depending on height and weight measurements
The best baby car seats and their differences
There are several different types of baby car seats and capsules for all different aged and sized children. Of course there isn’t a one size fits all approach because children grow at different rates. You will need to make judgements based on the recommendations of different manufacturers and the Australian laws when choosing the correct seat for your child as they grow.
The safest type of baby capsule are the ones that are rearward facing. They click into a base that stays in the car and some can also convert into the seat for a compatible pram. These car seats are used for newborns to about six months old.
Forward facing car seats
A restraint such as this one will have a built in 6 point harness that secures your child. Typically used from approximately six months old to four years, it is a very safe option for those children who prefer to sit facing the front of the car.
Convertible car seats
These types of seats are ideal for your growing family. They can be a little kinder on the budget too as they will be used for longer due to the convertible nature. Once your child outgrows the baby mode, the seat can be reconfigured to accommodate their growing height and weight. A convertible car seat is best for infants up to eight years old.
This type of child restraint is the final seat that your child will use before graduating to using an adult lap sash seat belt. The seat isn’t connected to the car and only uses the weight of the child and the existing seat belt in the car to restrain. These are used from approximately four years of age until they outgrow the booster seat around 12 years old.
To move from a booster seat to just using an adult lap sash seat belt, you will need to perform the 5 point check to see if it is an appropriate time. Use these questions as a guide to see if your child is safe riding in the adult option.
- Are they sitting with their back against the seat back properly?
- Are their knees bent comfortably over the edge of the seat?
- Is the lap sash seat belt low and sitting across the top of their thighs properly?
- Can they comfortably stay in this position for the entire car trip?
- In this position, is the shoulder belt across the middle of their shoulder?
What is the ISOFIX and seat belt anchor system?
When looking for the best baby car seats, you’ll come across the term ISOFIX. This refers to the installation method of your chosen car seat. It involves clipping the capsule to anchorage points that may already be existing in your car. Many new cars are compatible with ISOFIX car seats and installation is relatively straightforward. We do recommend where possible, that you have your baby seat professionally installed to ensure that it has been done correctly and will keep your child as safe as possible.
Maxi-Cosi’s “Air Protect” technology makes our seats the safest
There are so many benefits to shopping with Maxi-Cosi. When it comes to the best car seats for your baby, we have a selection of the safest and most comfortable on the market. Our patented “Air Protect” technology that is built into our car seats is designed to reduce the severity of side impact during an accident. It helps to absorb the energy by transferring it away from the infant or child's head.
For all your baby travel systems, strollers, convertible car seats and much more, check out our huge range of products designed to keep your kids safe and comfy. Get in touch with our friendly team today for more information on choosing the best baby car seat in Australia.