We all want to keep our babies safe. To do that, it’s best to invest in a good quality car seat. Car seat shopping can be a struggle because there is so much information around. Here we explain some of the terminology and offer useful tips to help you find the right car seat.




Parenting is the ultimate journey, and every journey needs to feel safe. At Mamas & Papas, we’re committed to helping parents find the perfect car seat for them, their child and their car.

We have a set of safety standards we always stick to, doing everything we can to ensure every journey is as safe as possible. That’s why we have in-store car seat experts and online advice, all to help you with your car seat shopping queries.

Ultimately, from that first seat for baby to upgrading for a toddler, we’re with you for the whole journey.

With us you get…




A father is car seat shopping. The Mamas & Papas staff member is demonstrating how to use a car seat. Behind them is a display of car seats.

GREAT ADVICE

We have an Institution of Occupational Safety and Health-accredited expert in every store. Even if you shop online, you can bring your car seat in and we’ll help you fit it.

An image of brand logos for the companies Mamas & Papas stock as part of their car seat shopping range. The brands are: Maxi-Cosi, Joie, Cybex and BeSafe.

BEST CHOICE

Our selection is carefully edited to bring you the very best car seats from the most trusted brands out there.

The Mamas & Papas Price Match logo - it is a blue circle with white text that reads 'best price guarantee'

GREAT PRICE

We’re committed to Price Matching against the rest of the high street, so you never pay more for the best car seats on the market.



Helpful Terms to Consider:

We’ve pulled together a list of the terms it’s helpful to know, features and regulations we believe in. Fundamentally, they ensure you and your child can enjoy a safer journey.


I-Size

The phrase i-Size refers to the European Safety Standard for car seats. These regulations aim to ensure all car seats keep your child rear-facing for longer, are easier to fit correctly and include Side Impact Protection.

ISOFIX

An alternative to belted systems, ISOFIX systems create a stronger connection between the car seat or base and your car. It reduces the risk of fitting the seat incorrectly and offers improved protection for your little one.

Advanced Side Impact Protect

Car seats that provide SIP are safer than booster seats as they offer all-round protection for babies from side-on-collisions.

Life Flat Infant Carriers

As newborns can’t spend more than 90 minutes in their car seat at one time, some of our seats adapt into lie-flat carriers outside the car, so you can use them for longer on the pushchair.

Belted System

A belted system is a car seat that is secured to the car via the seat belts. It is still a safe way to secure a car seat, however there is a greater margin of error on belted seats than ISOFIX. Make sure you double-check the seat before each use.

Travel System

A travel system is a pushchair that allows you to attach your car seat to the pushchair frame, so you can move your child from the car to the pushchair without waking them. Some pushchairs are already compatible, others use additional adaptors to secure a car seat.


It goes without saying, if you have any more terms you’re unsure of, just ask. There are lots of options:



Car Sear Regulations | i-Size and how it applies to your car seat

By law, children’s car seats have been subjected to accident simulation testing, regulations ECE R44 and ECE R129.

The law requires children to use the correct car seat for their age. Hence, they are expected to use a car seat until they reach 135cm or 12 years old, whichever comes first. Crucially, it’s important to ensure your child travels in the appropriate car seat.

Car seats must…

1.     Follow ECE regulation 44.04 or i-Size regulation R129

2.     Suit your child’s weight and height

3.     Be fitted to the manufacturers’ guideline


UNECE Regulation 44.04
a table of figures to support the UNECE Regulation 44.04. It reads:

Group: 0 - Weight: Brith to 10kg
Group 0+ - Weight: Birth to 13kg
Group 1 - Weight: 9-18kg
Group 2 - Weight: 15-25kg
Group 3 - Weight: 22-36kg

R.44 is a testing process for car seats; amongst other requirements, car seats undergo front-on collision testing and rear-impact collision testing.

Features of R.44 include:

–       Forward-facing possible from 9kg (approx. 9 months)

–       Car seats can be installed using ISOFIX, seat belts or a combination

R.44 Car Seat Groups

All R.44 car seats are split into 5 different groups that indicate when is best to use them. The table explains which age and weight ranges apply to which groups.


About i-Size

UNECE Regulation 129

R.129 is also known as i-Size and applies to car seats that are ISOFIX compatible. It was introduced in July 2013 to ensure car seats:

–       Are easier to fit

–       Provide better side impact protection

–       Keep children rear-facing for longer

The main changes i-Size introduced are:

–       Choosing a car seat based on your child’s height rather than weight

–       Providing rear-facing restraints suitable for babies up to 15 months

–       Including a side-impact test to ensure all seats provide better protection from side-on collisions

R.129 and R.44 run side-by-side, so parents can choose whether to buy an i-Size approved car seat, or one that complies with R44.04.




Car Seat Shopping | What to consider


No doubt, you’ll have plenty of questions about car seats. Helpfully, we have pulled together a few that you should bear in mind. They will help you narrow in on a make and model that’s right for you.


Questions about your child

How much does your baby weigh?

Where possible, it’s important to know your baby’s weight as it will dictate which car seat they need. It’s best to keep them in the lowest group possible, though some car seats cross over between stages.

What is your child’s height?

Car seats that meet i-Size regulations have height limits. Your child will have outgrown their car seat if their head is level with the top of the seat.

How old is your child?

With i-Size seats, it is mandatory to keep baby rear-facing until they are 15 months old.


Questions about your car:

What is your car’s maker and model?

Not all car seats fit in all cars, so it’s important to select a seat that fits in the car you use. If you plan to use your seat in multiple vehicle then you must ensure it will be compatible with those too.

Does your car have ISOFIX?

You should check your car has the corresponding ISOFIX anchor points, if you plan to buy an ISOFIX base. It’s important to confirm via a manufacturer fit list that the seat will fit the make and model of the car it is to be used in.

Do you know if your car has under-floor storage?

Be aware, if your car has under-floor storage then you won’t be able to use a car seat or base that has an additional support leg.

Is your car fitted with a top tether?

If your car does have under-floor storage, then a top tether connector is a good alternative. Not all cars have top tether though, so it’s best to check first.

What are the benefits of rear-facing?

The i-Size regulations make it mandatory for baby to face rearward until they are at least 15 months old, in a bid to help stop parents from turning their babies forward too soon.



Hopefully these questions should help you on your car seat shopping journey. However we also recommend having a car seat consultation. It’s crucial you learn how to install your car seat correctly, so when buying your car seat make sure to get a member of staff to give you a demonstration first. Then try it yourself! Simply pop in store to book an appointment.

Shop our Exclusive Car Seat Offers now
Book a Personal Shop now
Or book a Car Seat demonstration now


If you’ve still got more things to purchase before baby arrives, check out the rest of our Buying Guides.