What baby car seat should I buy? Convertible child car seat vs capsule
It seems to be quite simple if it goes about choosing the car seat for newborns but there are different types of baby car seats available on the market.
By the law, small children should be kept rear facing at least until they are 15 months old. It has changed over the years and the period for rear facing traveling has been extended from 9 months until 15 months. This is one of the reasons, many of the front forward facing seats had been designed to be used from 9 months before the new regulations applied. You may find a lot of car seats marked as suitable from 9 months.
For the first months of life, your baby must face the back of the car!
There are 2 different options you can go for considering travels with your newborn. One is a standard baby carrier car seat also known as capsules seats and the other is a convertible car seat.
CAPSULES INFANT CAR SEATS
Does everyone need one?
Yes, you will need a baby carrier car seat to leave a hospital or a birth centre and travel home safely with your new arrival.
How long are baby car seats good for?
Child car seats experts agree that it is ideal for a baby to remain rear-facing as long as possible, ideally until they are 2 years old. Depending on the size of your baby, rear-facing capsules are usually designed to accommodate a baby up to 9 months or 13 kg. As mentioned above, infants must remain in rear-facing seats until they are 15 months old which can only be achieved with a convertible car seat.
You may ask if it’s worth to buy capsules car seats at all. Although they are suitable just for the first few months of life, there are many pros of buying it.
CONVERTIBLE CHILD CAR SEATS
Convertible car seats are the seats that convert from a rear-facing for babies and toddlers to a forward-facing position. They are suitable to be used from birth to somewhere between 4-6 years old, depending on the seat.
A convertible car seat has a much longer period of use compared to the capsule.
Most of the convertible car seats are also rotating which means they can spin completely around and be used BOTH forward AND rear–facing without a reinstall.You can also swing it to face the car’s door, making it easier to get your child in and out. Convertible car seat are better value for money. If you get a seat that has a large age range (e.g. 0-8yrs) you will not need to by another car seat for your child, which could be more cost effective.
There are also some cons of using convertible car seats.
If you decide to buy a convertible car seat and use it from birth, make sure it has padding or a newborn insert that helps your baby fit comfortably and safely.
No matter if you buy capsules or other child car seat, always remember to make sure they are quality and EU-approved weight-based seats. These have a label showing a capital ‘E’ in a circle and ‘ECE R44’
These photos show an infant car seat ( left) and a convertible, rotating style seat ( right)