So your baby has grown out of the capsule and you're ready for the next stage of car seat. If you purchased a European capsule it can probably take your baby right up to 13kg, though some children will outgrow their capsules in length before they outgrow them in weight. As a general rule, if the baby's head is more than an inch from the top of the capsule, and the shoulder straps are coming out of the capsule at the baby's shoulders, not too far below, you'll be in need of a new car seat - check your capsule's manual, though, as individual models can vary.
To rear face or not to rear face
At one year old, it's a good idea to rear face your child. In the event of an accident, a rear facing infant will be supported by the shell of the car seat. Remember high-school physics? 'An object will continue moving at its current velocity until some force causes its speed or direction to change'. In a rear facing car seat, the shell of the car seat will stop the child from moving. In a forward facing car seat, the harness will stop the child from moving, placing strain on the child's neck and spine. This is especially pronounced for babies, as their heads are quite heavy in relation to their body.
Things to look out for
Does your car have ISOFIX? There are plenty of ISOFIX toddler car seats around, and these tend to be quite easy to install. If you don't have ISOFIX, you can look for a child restraint that installs using the car's three point seatbelt.
How long can you use it for? Most toddler car seats will take your one year old right through until they are 18kg (4 years old). Some might last longer, and some fit into the 'Jack of all trades, master of none or maybe one' category (we don't sell any of those).
Below are our recommendations to parents looking for a car seat for their one year old. Of course the seat that you choose will depend on a few things; what fits best into your car, how long you want to rear face your child for, your budget, if there are younger siblings you might want to pass the seat onto, and so on. It's always best to try the car seat with your child and your car before you buy.
ISOFIX Toddler Car Seats
The BeSafe Izi Modular car seat is ideal if you want to extend rear face (ERF) your child, as it sits forward from the back seat, providing ample leg room right up to 105cm (around 4 years). It's also made by a great brand, renowned for their safe car seats. The base is sold separately, and also fits a baby capsule, so you can use the same base for the capsule and toddler car seat.
BeSafe iZi Modular i-Size Car Seat - Sale was $579
BeSafe Izi Modular Base
CasualPlay BiCare Fix will rear face and forward face your child right up to 18kg. It installs using an ISOFIX base, which is included.
CasualPlay Bi Care Fix Sale was $650
The MaxiCosi 2 Way Pearl will rear face your child to 105cm (around 4 years old). The base is sold separately, and also accepts a capsule (baby car seat). It's a great option if you want to buy the base and capsule before the baby is born, and then buy the toddler seat when your baby is one year old (or so).
Maxi Cosi 2WayPearl Car Seat - Sale was $549
Maxi Cosi 2wayFix Base
Seat belt and ISOFIX installation
The below seats can be installed using ISOFIX (latch) or the car's three point seat belt (never both at the same time). This is a good option if you are going to use the same car seat in more than one car, but not all cars have ISOFIX.
The Safety 1st Guide 65 is a popular seat, as it can rear face infants and toddlers to 18kg (about 4 years), then forward face with a harness to 29kg. It can be installed with your car's three point seat belt, and also using Latch, which is basically the American name for ISOFIX.
Safety 1St Guide 65
The Recaro ProRide Convertible Car Seat will rear face your child to 18.1 kg (around 4 years), then forward face with a harness until 29.5 kg (6+ years). Recaro is a really popular, safe, car seat brand - with over 100 years' experience making seats for cars and racing cars, they know how to make sitting a pleasure, even for their smallest customers.
We hope that you found this article helpful. Please do contact us if you would like to know more, or pop into store and we will be happy to show you the car seats and try them out in your car.