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A baby car seat is a must have for your newborn as the law requires children to use car seats until they are 12 years old or 135 cm tall.
With so much information to take in and so many options to choose from, buying a car seat is one of the most difficult and often expensive purchases soon-to-be parents will make. The perfect car seat will protect your baby and keep them comfortable, allowing you to transport them safely and conveniently.
A baby and toddler car seat must be rear facing until they are 9kg or 15 months old. The reason rear facing car seats are safer is that they will provide greater protection to a baby's head, neck and spine should a collision occur. UK car seats must conform to one of two regulation standards: the new European-wide, ECE R129 (i-size car seat) or the existing ECE R44 regulation. The best car seats should meet safety regulations, be comfortable and able to set up with one pair of adult hands, so parents don't need to rely on the help of others to install or transfer the car seat.
There is a huge range of information on car seat requirements and we recommend you read up on this before making the choice on your car seat. The NHS also provides some great resources to help you make the right decision. Once you know what you're dealing with, our list has a range of car seats perfect for every family.
Our Top Choice
Joie Every Stage Group 0+/1/2/3 Car Seat
We love this seat because it is designed to meet the safety needs of every child group from birth to 12 years old, meaning it is the only one you'll ever need. The seat has added safety protections including a reinforced steel inner seat shell, guard surround safety panels and side impact protection to keep your child safe. The seat's built in ventilation and head and body support for infants ensure a comfortable fit for your child.
- Price: £180
- Age: Rear facing car seat from birth to 18kg/4 years. Forward facing from 9kg to 36kg/12 years
Best For Busy Parents
Maxi Cosi Mica 360 Spin I-Size Car Seat
There will be no more baby car seat induced back injuries thanks to this one click, 360 rotating seat, offering you flexibility and convenience. The seat has multiple recline positions and a range of safety features including its hexagonal structure, five point harness system, rebound bar and innovative shell, all designed to protect your baby from crash forces. It has built in ventilation and a removable ClimaFlor inlay to ensure a more safe and comfortable fit for newborns. Plus it has removable and washable covers to make life easy for busy parents. Baby car seats don't get much safer than this one and if you've got the budget, we think it is the perfect option for your newborn.
- Price: £299
- Age: Suitable from 40 to 105 cm
- Regulation: R-129
Best For Added Safety Features
Nuna Rebl Plus 360 I-Size Car Seat
This seat spins 360 degrees and is enhanced with a 20% thicker steel wall and 35% stronger steel frame to give you peace of mind knowing your child is safe. The Nuna Rebl Plus can be used as an extended rear facing car seat and aside from a huge number of safety features, it includes a removable, airy seat cover that will make messes on the road a problem of the past.
- Price: £299
- Age: Recommended for rear facing riding from 40–105 cm, birth–4 years/child weight 19.5 kg and forward facing from 80–105 cm/child weight 19.5 kg.
Best For Cute Designs
Cosatto All In All + Baby To Child Car Seat
This super cute option enables extended rear facing travel and will meet your child's needs from birth to 36kg (roughly 12 years old). This newborn car seat has a range of safety features including a five point harness system and extra padding to keep your child snug and secure. Cosatto makes this one in a range of cute patterns so your kids will look fab while cruising around town.
- Price: £199.95
- Age: Supports rearward facing up to 18kg and forward facing up to 36kg
Best For Extra Comfort
Graco SlimFit LX Car Seat With Isocatch Connectors
This one will keep your child comfortable at every stage of development, designed to shift from rear facing, to forward facing to high back booster to meet the needs of your child from birth to 12 years old. This seat has loads of safety features and its true shield safety technology will let you relax on car journeys knowing your child is protected.
- Price: £190
- Age: Rearward facing infant car seat (birth to 18kg ),forward facing 5 point harness car seat (9-18kg ), high back booster (15-36kg)
Best For Speedy Seat Changes
LETTAS Car Seat For Child Group 0+/1/2/3
Another seat that grows with your child until 12 years old, this one claims its 360 degree swivel mechanism saves parents 122 seconds of struggle getting children into their car seats. This seat is packed with safety features and is a more affordable option that will adapt to your child's needs as they get older.
- Price: £143.99
- Age: Rearward facing position from birth to 9 kg and forward facing position from 9 to 36 kg
Best For Families On A Budget
Nania Car Seat Group 0+/1
At just £43.99 and packed with safety features, it's clear why this rear facing seat is an Amazon bestseller. This one offers superior side impact protection and has a five point harness system to keep your baby safe and secure. Plus, it comes in a range of designs that will let you find the perfect fit for your child.
- Price: £43.99
- Age: Rear facing from 0 - 9kg, forward facing from 9kg
Best For Families Who Love To Travel
Bugaboo Turtle Air By Nuna Car Seat
At just 3kg, this seat is the perfect companion for families on the go. The ultralight transport system is full of safety features including a three point harness and adjustable head support and it is designed to fit seamlessly in your car, with your Bugaboo pushchair and even on an aeroplane.
- Price: £179
- Age: Suitable for children 40 cm to 83 cm in length
Best For Extended Rear Facing Travel
Britax Multi-Tech III Car Seat
It doesn't get much better than this best toddler car seat that supports extended rear facing travel from 9kg to 25kg. It has a five point safety harness and a foot prop for added stability. This extended rear facing car seat has deep, padded sides that provide added side impact protection. Plus, the seat has a number of other safety features to ensure your child is riding in total comfort and safety.
- Price: £300
- Age: Suitable from 9 months to 6 years (9-25kg)
Best For Families With A Bigger Budget
Britax Dualfix I-Size Group 0+/1 Car Seat
Parents with back pain can rejoice thanks to this 360 degree swivel chair that lets you decide between forward and rear facing (in accordance with the law of course). The seat is engineered with superior safety features to absorb and redirect shock, reducing the risk of a head or neck injury should a collision occur.
Kidadl Best Buys selects the top parent-recommended products across the web for families of all ages. If you liked our suggestions for best rear facing car seats for babies and toddlers then why not read our suggestions for the best lightweight buggies and baby playpens.
- Price: £325
- Age: Rearward facing suitable from birth to 18kg, forward facing suitable from 9kg
The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.