Top tips for choosing the right car seat for your new baby

Having your first child is an exciting and often daunting time with so many questions rushichecklist-1316848_1280ng around in your head: “Where will the baby sleep?” Do I need to move or renovate?” “Do I need a new car?”

It’s a time for some big decisions and some that you’ve never had to make before, like what will be the best child restraint for my needs.

This is one decision that we’re going to help you with. We’ve done the hard work for you and outlined some key questions you should keep in mind when looking at the right car seat for you and your baby.

A restraint that grows with your baby
Child restraints come in all shapes and sizes and when your baby is first born, a rear-facing car seat is compulsory, as this is the safest way for newborns to travel. What you should consider though is if the seat you buy is adaptable to become forward facing when your baby grows. Most toddlers prefer to be able to see out of the car and to see you, so consider if the car seat you’re buying gives you this flexibility.

Carry that weight
Newborns and babies tend to do a lot of sleeping in the car, so consider getting a child restraint that can be taken out of the car and carried with you so you don’t wake up your baby. Many restraints can also clip into a pram base, which can be a really convenient option.

Future planning
Also think about any subsequent children (although this may be far from your mind with a new baby!). Can you fit a toddler seat and a baby restraint in the back seat? Check where are the anchor points located.

You need standards
Check that any restraint you’re considering is Australian standard certified, and you can go further to see if the restraint has been Child Restraint Evaluation Program (CREP) tested which puts it through additional testing.

Machine clean
You’ll want your baby to snuggly fit in the restraint so the kind of lining will be important but equally important will be how easily it can be removed for cleaning (and preferably machine washable). It’s extraordinary how much mess such a tiny human can make!

Fitted to perfection
Where possible, always get your baby restraints and car seats professionally installed. Use a Roads and Maritime Services authorised fitting station for advice on installing and using the restraint.

Click here to find your closest Authorised Child Restraint Fitting Stations.

HelloCars Hot Tips

  1. Plan you car needs early in your pregnancy
  2. Get your car seats fitted by a professional at least four weeks before the due date.
  3. Keep spare nappies/wipes/baby bags in the car for emergencies
  4. Get 24-hour roadside assistance to help you in emergencies e.g. flat battery, locked keys in car, flat tyre. All cars bought from HelloCars offer complimentary 12-month Roadside Assistance with NRMA.