If you're in the market for a new baby car seat, we've just tested 21 child car seats, including a large range of infant carriers suitable for your baby in the first year of his or her life.
Read on to find out about the child car seats we've reviewed and key advice on shopping for and fitting a new car seat during lockdown.
The Joie i-Snug is, as the name suggests, an i-Size car seat. That means it's compliant to the latest car seat regulations (R129). It fits into your car via the i-Base Advance or you can strap it in using the adult 3-point seat belt.
The seat has a Tri-Protect headrest, with three extra layers of protection inside the side wings and an infant pillow designed to help cushion your baby in a side impact collision.
There was plenty of buzz around the Maxi-Cosi Coral when it launched at the end of last year, as it was dubbed the world's first i-Size approved 'modular car seat'.
This means it comes in two parts; the inner carrier, which weighs just 1.7kg and has built-in fabric handles so you can lift your child up easily, and the plastic shell of the car seat which remains installed in the car.
It's designed to make it easier for parents to carry their newborn to and from the car and reduce the risk of incorrect installation.
The Nuna Pipa Next is an i-Size car seat that's approved for use with babies measuring 40 to 83cm, which is birth until they're aged about 15 months.
The Pipa Next has a no re-thread, 3-point harness which should make it easy to buckle your little one in, plus a green indicator on the base to demonstrate the seat has been fitted properly.
Last year Silver Cross expanded its car seat range, adding to the ever-popular Simplicity car seat, with four additional models, including the Silver Cross Dream, the brand's first i-Size baby car seat.
It can be installed into your car with the Dream i-Size Base or via the vehicle's adult seat belt. Silver Cross promises it will provide 'the best in safety, comfort and ease of use', all things we check in our own child car seat testing.
This baby car seat is slightly different from the models above, because while it's suitable to be used from birth, it will last your child much longer, as it's an i-Size seat approved for use up to 105cm, which is around four years of age.
It's an extended rear-facing car seat, and your child will remain facing backwards for this whole period (some seats have the option of turning forward if you wish). It has a 'twist' function to turn the seat to face the open car door to help you get your baby strapped into the seat more easily.
We'd normally advise parents to purchase their car seat from a high street retailer in person, so they can receive professional advice about the right kind of seat for their child, and get it installed correctly.
However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, most people will not only buy their car seat online, but also have it delivered to their home to install into their car themselves. If your child is in need of a car seat (or you're buying your first one for a soon-to-arrive newborn), we'd advise the following:
Our highest-scoring car seats aren't just safe, they're also comfortable and, most importantly in the current climate, easy to install. Make sure you take a look at our to ensure you pick a good model.
Once you've picked the seat you want to purchase, make sure you've also checked that it will fit in your car, particularly if it can only be installed via the Isofix anchor points in your vehicle. Many car seat manufacturers have online tools, information or instant chatbots that will let you know whether your chosen car seat is compatible with your car.
Follow our tips to ensure you've fitted your car seat correctly.
1. Read the instructions that come with the seat
This is the most important thing to do - even if you had a previous version or similar model from the same brand, look over the instructions in case there are any changes.
3. Carry out your own car seat checks
Use the to help you look out for common fitting problems once your seat is installed, including twisted seat belts, loose harnesses and issues with Isofix connections.