When travelling in a car, children are required to be seated in a child restraint up until the age of 7.  

So you’ve noticed that there’s heaps and heaps of car seats to choose from.  Where to start… 

Basically, the option for a newborn is either a convertible car seat (suitable from birth to 4 years) or alternatively a capsule (which generally speaking is suitable from birth to 6 months).  So one might ask why would I “need" a car capsule?  Let’s consider the two options.

The Capsule 

The advantage of a capsule is that you can place your baby in the harness before heading to the car.  When you’ve reached your destination you simply can take your baby out of the car without having to worry about un-doing the harness and lifting them out.  We absolutely recommend going with a capsule that is compatible with your stroller.  This means you can simply click the capsule out of the car and in to your stroller.  And with any luck, not waking the baby whilst doing so.  The reason why you would want it to clip in to your stroller is that the capsule does get heavy if your carrying it around for some time.  By clicking the capsule in to the stroller you’re not carrying it for long at all.    

The capsule makes life so much easier particularly on school runs, when heading out to cafes and any other outing for that fact!  You’re not affecting the baby’s routine.  The baby is able to stay asleep uninterrupted during his normal sleep times.  When you get to your destination the capsule comes with you so there’s always a place for your baby to relax.  However, it’s worth being aware that it isn’t recommended to keep your baby in a capsule for an extended period of time, so that means not all day.  

One of the most compelling reasons to choose a capsule is to ensure the safety and security of your baby when travelling in the car.  Capsules are designed to cocoon your child with high side walls, ensuring your baby is secured safely within the capsule. 
 

Convertible Car Seat

The convertible car seat lasts much longer in that it restrains your baby until they are 4 years old.  The main difference between the convertible and the capsule is that the convertible is permanently fixed to the car.  Whilst you can change it between cars, you can’t carry the baby in the convertible car seat, so 9 out of 10 times you’ll ending up waking the baby when getting them out of the car.  

The biggest argument to forgo the capsule is $$$.  You don’t “need” a capsule.  However it does make your life a little easier.  There are car seats on the market now that are suitable from 6 months to 7 years (even 0 to 8 years).  So, there is the option of purchasing a car capsule for your baby to use from birth to 6 months and then purchase a convertible booster seat which is designed for children aged 6 months to 7 years.  Thereby, only purchasing 2 child restraints to take your baby from birth to 7 years.  Even with the convertible car seat, that takes your little one from birth to 4 years, you will still need to purchase a booster seat which is designed for children from 4 years to 7 years. 
 
In the end, like most aspects of parenting, the decision of whether to select a capsule or convertible car seat depends on your personal preference and your lifestyle.  Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer but just different options to choose between.

ISOFIX 101

So there are 2 capsules available that offer Isofix as an option.  That is the Maxi Cosi Mico AP Isogo and the Safe N Sound Unity Isofix.  First thing to check will be if you’re car has Isofix.  There’s no point paying the extra if you’re not going to be able to use the Isofix function.  Isofix is essentially another method of installing your child restraint.  Rather than using the adult seat belt to hold the base in your car, these two capsules will have two connectors that are attached to the base of the capsule and then lock directly into the Isofix connectors in your car.  It takes the guess work out of installing the capsule, as there is a green and red indicator to let you know you’ve done it right. 

Second Hand

Naturally, buying brand new is not in everyone’s budget.  Having said that, if you are thinking of buying your baby goods second hand, that’s great, but I would reconsider the car seat.  If buying from someone you don’t know, there is no way to guarantee that the car seat hasn’t been involved in a car accident.  If a car seat has been involved in an accident, it is likely to have been stressed and may not provide adequate protection for your precious little one. 

Don't forget...

Install your car seat a couple of weeks before you’re due.  This can avoid unnecessary stress for your journey home from hospital with your baby.

Our Pick

The Maxi Cosi Mico AP Isogo.  The Mico AP features “cool baby" wicking fabric.  This fabric keeps baby cool and comfortable and the cover is even machine washable.  The capsule also offers advanced Air Protect Side Impact Protection.  Air Protect is specifically designed to protect your child’s head in a side-impact crash.  Air Protect instantaneously reduces the impact forces of a crash - most critically, around your child’s head – by diverting them away from your child and absorbing them into the headrest.  What you might not have noticed is the way you attach the tether strap to each of the capsules.  This is our favourite feature with the Maxi Cosi Mico AP.  The clip to remove the upper tether strap is within easy access compared to the other capsules on the market, making life a breeze when getting your baby in and out of the car. 

With a 6 year warranty on the shell and 3 year warranty on the trim you can rest assured you’ve purchased a quality product.  And best of all it’s available in a selection of stylish colours.  Passionate pink, black irony, black devotion, biscotti and granite. Check out the images below.