What car seat we choose for the newborn is a question that child safety specialists frequently receive.
The law says that the use of a car seat, or “restraint device” is recommended for travel by car, ie on any road, including the road from the maternity home.
Future parents, assailed by offers, advertisements, information and advice more or less well documented, it is natural to feel somehow lost and often end up making decisions that are not exactly right.
The purpose of the article is to shed some light on this category of car seats, popularly called “shells”.
A car seat can be approved (ie certified to be sold on the market) according to two criteria:
- Child’s weight (old approval standard, so-called R44.04 or R44.03)
- Child’s height or length (new standard, called R129 or i-size)
The new generation seats are generally approved according to the new standard, i-Size, which is much more practical, especially when it comes to changing the seat because parents are used to buying clothes based on labels with their length in cm, not being so practical. to sit and weigh the child every time.
Small babies, who can sit safely in a semi-inclined position, MUST be transported in a back-to-back position, the so-called “rear facing” position. This means that the shells must be mounted MANDATORY only with the back to the direction of travel. The mounting angle of the shell must be between 30 and 45 degrees, this varying depending on the model and being usually specified in the user manual of the respective car seat and checked by specialists Child Safety Center.
But what do we do if the baby was born prematurely (ie before 37 weeks), or was born at term and is very small (weighs less than 2.5 kg or less than 45 cm long)?
Most shells have a lower weight limit of 3.5 kg and a length of 45 cm. Unfortunately, most manufacturers omit information about the lower limit from which these shells can be used, putting in a generic description: from birth and then mentioning the upper limit of weight (10 or 13 kg) or length (85 cm).
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends observing premature babies in a car seat before discharge. They are placed in the shell brought by their parents to the hospital, monitoring their heart rate, oxygen saturation. If you notice a decrease in heart rate (bradycardia – heart rate below 80 beats / minute), or oxygen saturation (below 90%), then doctors recommend parents to move to another type of shell that provides a more comfortable position. Hi. This test is called the “Car Tolerance Test”, it applies to all babies born before 37 weeks, has a duration of 90-120 minutes, or the duration of the journey from maternity to home (which period is longer).
We have selected for you some models of shells that, beyond marketing, are even suitable in the special cases of very young babies or premature babies:
1.Maxi Cosi Jade i-Size is the first pram approved and tested on impact by ADAC with exceptional results (score 1.5). The general recommendation of specialists is that babies should be transported with their backs to the direction of travel, but this special pram allows transportation at 180 degrees, which is necessary for premature babies and low birth weight babies. It is recommended for children with a length between 40-70 cm, and as an age range from birth to 8 months.
More information about this excellent pram that is part of the list of recommendations of the Child Car Safety Center. Here you also have the installation video for Maxi Cosi Jade
2. Maxi-Cosi Coral
We fell in love at first sight with this ingenious car scan, light as a flake and yet so safe and comfortable for the baby.
Designed to keep you close.
The first modular car seat basket meets the highest safety standard I-Size R129, it is recommended from 40 cm to 75 cm, about 0-12 kg, ultra-light, with multiple ergonomic transport positions, a very large sunroof.
The detachable basket weighs only 1.7 Kg, its handles are retractable and ensure a comfortable use for both parents and the newborn.
The detachable basket locks easily, intuitively in the safety housing that clicks quickly based on the isofix, making installation easy.
3. Cybex Aton M i-size
A well-known and highly appreciated car seat, with excellent results in ADAC impact tests.
Aton M i-Size Car Seat from Cybex
Aton M continues the success story of the seats in the Aton Group 0 months + family, awarded several times, Aton M obtaining an excellent score of 1.6 points (good) in the tests performed by the independent organization Stiftung Warentest (Test 06/2014) .
Cybex Aton M i-Size Car Seat Features:
• Telescopic side impact protection system (LSP System).
• Automatic height adjustment of the seat.
• Height adjustment of the headrest with integrated safety harness adjustment guide.
• Integrated and foldable sun canopy of increased dimensions.
• Travel system together with CYBEX trolleys and not only.
Height-adjustable headrest 11 positions, for perfect adaptability and maximum protection.
The 11 height-adjustable headrest positions allow the seat to grow with the child and offer the possibility of using it for a long time.
The new system side impact protection telescopic (LSP System) absorbs the force of a side impact in case of collision, and the housing absorbs energy.
4. Graco Snugride i-Size is another shell that can be used for babies born prematurely or with low birth weight.
It is recommended for children with a length between 40 and 85 cm (18 months) and has an almost horizontal position in the rear-facing mounting, “rear-facing”. The result obtained at the impact tests performed by ADAC is 2.3.
Here’s how to install it:
5. Maxi-Cosi Pebble Pro
Another very good seat from a child safety champion, Maxi-Cosi, Pebble Pro is really a suitable model from birth and easy to install in the car.
Recommended 0-75 cm (from birth to approx. 1 year)
Pebble Pro meets the requirements of the latest I-Size safety standard (R129) in combination with the 3wayFix car base.
The included reducer offers a much improved position for the newborn.
The side walls in the head area are made of impact absorbing material, ensuring comfort and increased safety in case of a side impact.
Simple and quick to install:
• in the car, together with the Maxi-Cosi 3wayFix base.
• on all chassis on most existing trolleys.
Innovative child restraint system with seat belts, which halves the time of fixing it in the car seat.
Maximum comfort for a pleasant, safe trip.
6. Baby Jogger City Go i-Size is another model of shell suitable for babies born prematurely or with low birth weight, offered that almost horizontal position, with the advantage of installing with the back to the direction of travel, “rear facing” that shells versus prams have.
This model is also used for children with a length between 40 and 85 cm and obtained a score of 2.3 in the impact tests performed by ADAC.
Here’s how to install it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L44rVFxHmqs
7. Bugaboo Turtle by Nuna or Nuna Pipa Icon are other shell models recommended by us for babies born prematurely or with low birth weight.
And these models are used for children with a length between 40 and 85 cm, and the score obtained in the ADAC test is 1.8.
Here’s how to install it:
This is the selection of shells, or car seats for babies born prematurely, or with low birth weight recommended by the specialists of the Child Safety Center.
Other models that are marketed by sellers or manufacturers as chairs for premature babies have a lower limit from which they can be used by 45 cm (ie not in accordance with the definition) and therefore we did not consider it useful to include them in this article.
In principle, our advice to future parents is to weigh the choice of car seat very well and even if a 3 in 1 system offer may seem tempting, you should check some aspects related to the seat included in these packages:
- The length / weight from which the seat is approved, in this case we recommend those models that have clearly specified which can be used from a length of 40 cm
- The results of the ADAC impact tests (one of the few independent tests – ie not influenced in any way by car seat manufacturers). Here are the ADAC test results for this age group.
- Testing the shell at the maternity leave – insofar as this possibility exists
- If the family budget is not very large (most of the time the expenses related to the birth and the other things for the baby are high), we recommend you to rent a good shell with optimal position for the newborn (from those listed above) to get out of maternity and later move to a good car seat (if you do not expect to travel a lot by car with the newborn in the first weeks of life). Rental recommendations can be found here .
- We recommend that an adult always travel in the back seat with the newborn to supervise him.
- Never breastfeed or bottle feed your baby while traveling by car.
- Important about traveling with the newborn: do not overdo the duration of travel in the first months – ie take breaks every 20-30 minutes in the first 6 months, and then every 2 hours.
- In principle, do not use the shell elsewhere than in the car (these devices have been designed and tested exclusively for use in the car.
In Child Car Safety Center from Bucharest, as well as in the Child Safety Center in Constanta (Bd. Mamai no. 213) our specialists test on request the oxygen saturation of the newborn baby sitting in the car seat, as well as the correct angle of inclination of the car seat according to the child’s age, this program monitoring being part of the project ROMANIA CHILDREN’S CAR SAFETY FOUNDATION and part of NATIONAL CARAVAN CHILDREN’S CAR SAFETY.