How to get the right newborn car seat in 5 simple steps
Choosing your newborn's car seat usually seems like the trickiest part of prepping for baby and many couples will either leave it right 'til the end, or agonize over it and hold up the rest of the items on their to-do list.
It's actually the easiest bit of kit to choose and buy, and you can have it all sorted and ticked off your list in the next five minutes.
Choosing your newborn's car seat
Step 1: Do you have a car?
Yes - Go to Step 2
No - Go to Step 3
Step 2: Do you want a car seat that can easily connect onto your stroller so that (i) you can transfer your sleeping baby in and out of the car, then get around, without waking them, and (ii) you can take taxis if you need to? The alternative is having a car seat that stays permanently fixed in the car.
Yes - Go to Step 3
No - Here are my recommendations:
Maxi Cosi Mica
If your car has ISOfix, the Maxi Cosi Mica works perfectly from birth to 18kg (around 4-5 years old) and it swivels toward the door so getting your child in and out is super easy.
If your car doesn't have ISOfix, the Diono Radian 3QXT safely installs with a seat belt, offers amazing newborn padding, and lasts your child all the way up to 10-12 years old.
Step 3: To make things easier, I've shortlisted the five best infant car seats available and they each have a unique feature that sets them apart from the others. Infant car seats typically last for 18 months - give or take, and all of these will fit whichever stroller you choose*. These five are all certified to the European i-Size standard which is the highest international standard available, and they all have an ISOfix base available if you have a car or end up getting one later. Simply choose the feature that 'speaks' to you the loudest and click on the link.
BeSafe iZi Go X1
The safest one in our line up, the BeSafe iZi Go X1 exceeds the European standard by a lot. This Scandinavian seat has an easy-wash cover available and offers a lot of growing room for chunky toddlers. Weighs 4.2kg.
Nuna Pipa NEXT
The lightest of the lot at just 3.2kg, the Nuna Pipa NEXT also features a full-coverage 'Dream Drape' that helps shield bub from Singapore's scorching sun and hopefully extend those precious naps.
Cybex Cloud Z
This is the only car seat that can open into a complete lay-flat recline when it's out of the car. The Cybex Cloud Z is a little heavier than most seats at 4.8kg. Also, the ISOfix base can swivel making it easier to load and unload heavy babies.
Maxi Cosi Pebble Pro
Maxi Cosi is the biggest name in infant car seats and parents will often choose the Maxi Cosi Pebble Pro for aesthetic reasons. Maxi Cosi prides themselves on enhancing the parent experience. It has an easy-wash cover available and weighs 4.2kg.
Maxi Cosi Coral 360
A revolutionary car seat, the 1.7kg inner section of the Maxi Cosi Coral 360 (it swivels!) can be lifted out of the shell (which is either left attached to the stroller or the car) and makes it so much easier to carry your baby inside. Combined weight is 5.5kg.
Stroller and car seat compatibility
This is a lot easier than it seems. Despite some car seat adapters for certain strollers being called a 'Maxi Cosi adapter' or the like, pretty much all the top-tier car seats fit on all the top-tier strollers.
The 'Maxi Cosi adapter' is used by almost all the big car seat manufacturers - the most notable exception being Britax. If your stroller or car seat is from Britax, then it will be a lot easier to match it with another Britax. If you're looking at second-tier stroller or car seat brands, they may very well use their own unique adapter. Check out our engineer's guide to buying the "best" car seat for more detailed information!
Secondhand car seats
I'm all for secondhand baby gear, except when it comes to car seats. They're a safety device which you rely on to function correctly in a car crash - at G-forces in excess of 20G's. If you are going down the secondhand car seat route, here are some points to take note of:
- Check the seat hasn't already expired. Most infant car seats have lifespans of only 5 or 6 years from the date of manufacture, not the date of purchase. This is because the polymer binders used in the plastic shell will break down over time and the seat won't retail its structural integrity. Find what look like little clocks stamped into the plastic of the car seat shell and send them over to me if you can't read the manufacturing date they represent.
- Get explicit confirmation from the previous owner/s that the car seat (i) has never been involved in a car accident (even if the child wasn't in it at the time), (ii) was never checked into the luggage hold of a plane without being packed in a box (a bag doesn't count), (iii) it has every single accessory that ever came with it (including the manual), as some of these accessories may be required for it to work safely, and (iv) that they bought the seat brand new (otherwise you need to check this list off with the previous owner too).
- If a friend of family member is blessing you the seat, and you're confident in their answers, then secondhand seats can sometimes be ok. If you are paying a stranger for their car seat, there's a bit of a conflict of interest when they're answering the questions above, so that's a bit trickier.
Want to try before you buy?
If you'd like to touch and feel these car seats before deciding, book an appointment and pop down to our boutique. We're open seven days a week, but exclusively by appointment.
See you soon!