Baby, you can drive (in) my car
It’s a momentous day. All right, it’s not actually that momentous (even for me, and I get excited by Minnie doing almost anything – except blowing raspberries at mealtimes).
But it has forced me to put my researching hat on again. Minnie is now 9kg. Yes, 9.04kg if we’re being precise (and just under 20lbs for people like me who have little concept of metric weights). Which means she’s now able to move from her rear-facing baby seat to a group 1 car seat.
That, thankfully, should last for another few years until she weighs 18kg, at which point I have to do this all over again.
I’ve actually managed to get this far without thinking much about car seats at all. We were lent our original baby seat by friends (I know car seats are one of the few things you shouldn’t hand down, but these are two of our closest friends so not only am I certain they won’t have secretly damaged it in an accident, I suspect they look after their possessions more carefully than me) and it has served us well.
A Maxi-Cosi Pebble (currently on offer at Kiddicare), it was light enough to carry when she was small, clips very helpfully into the Isofix base, has a small hood against rain (and sun), attaches to our buggy and generally does everything you’d like a car seat to do.
And for now, it seems she can stay put. Although forward-facing Group 1 seats are suitable from 9kg, everyone everywhere recommends you keep your baby in a rear-facing seat as long as possible.
If you have a Group 0 car seat, that lasts up to 10kg (from birth to around 11 months for boys and 14 months for girls), while a Group 0+ – as we have – is from birth to 13kg. Oh, and some Group 1 seats are also rear-facing (but harder to get hold of, while others are also combination options which can be converted for Group 2 and 3 as well, which is where my brain starts to melt slightly).
Thankfully Which? has a very helpful overview if you’re trying to wrap your head around what your child needs when, plus their usual set of best buys if you’re a subscriber. And the key recommendations are that babies stay in a rear-facing seat until they are at least 15 months old or they reach the weight limit for the seat or the crown of their head is level with the top of the car seat.
So far, we haven’t hit any of these – and based on her current growth rates, she might not hit 13kg for well over a year, so I’m guessing she’ll get too tall before she gets too heavy.
For now, I’m deferring the decision, and the jingly dangly owl/bear/mirror combo which lives on the carry handle gets another few months of pummelling by a pair of small pudgy fists.
Then I really will get my head around how to choose the best car seat for a toddler.