The choice of a car seat for your baby is one of the single biggest decisions you will make in your parenting journey. With so many options on the market in New Zealand, where do you turn, to make an informed decision looking for the safest car seat in New Zealand 2023.
Whether it's your first baby or your second or third, the journey home from the hospital with your bundle of joy is the most exhilarating and scary ride with your little one in the back seat. Having been lucky enough to have had four children it was only on the last that I truly felt comfortable knowing that my little one was safe and secure. The reason for that was the car seat my new baby daughter was travelling in.
I can honestly say I now feel slightly guilty that my other three children didn't have the same level of comfort and safety. I'm going to list our choice of the safest car seat in NZ for 2023 at the bottom of the post but prior to that, I'm going to take you through the steps you need to take in selecting the car seat.
Side impact - As car seats have steadily got safer, car seat features like side-impact security are now more than just a luxury but a necessity. Side impact security such as energy-absorbing foam and SIP (side impact protection) pods form the new wave of car seat protection standards.
Value for money and length of use - Let's be honest having a baby can be very expensive. You need to make sure you are getting value for money on the big-ticket items like your car seat. In my opinion, the best value for money is buying a convertible car seat. This is one you can use from newborn (6lbs or 2.7kg) to roughly 4 years of age or 29kg. A good quality convertible car seat can cost from $700 - $1500 which is very cost-effective when you consider that you don't need to buy a capsule which can set you back between $400 to $600 additional.
How long should a child be rear-facing in NZ? - It is now recommended by Plunket that children stay rear-facing until they are aged two. In the case of a collision, your baby will be in a better position to avoid injury if they are rear-facing. A rear-facing car seat will absorb most of the crash forces and supports the head, neck and spine. When children ride forward-facing, their heads - which for toddlers are disproportionately large and heavy - are thrown forward, possibly resulting in spine and head injuries.
Don't buy second hand - In these times of sustainability, this may seem like an offhand statement however it comes straight from the Consumer NZ website The reasons for this are numerous but include, may have been bought overseas and may not comply with safety standards, may have been involved in an accident, can deteriorate from friction or from exposure to the sun. Basically you don't have the full picture so it's best to avoid for the safety of your baby.
Materials used - Don't just consider what the car seat looks like, you also need to look at the materials used to make the seat. It should be made from natural fibres that are fire-resistant like bamboo and not materials treated with flame-retardant chemicals.
A safe vehicle - Please be under no illusion the best car seat won't be any good if the vehicle you are using is not up to standard. A well-maintained vehicle with a current WoF is a must. Balding tyres or brakes that need repair could result in a nasty accident. While in NZ you can buy cars very cheaply, this is often a false economy and in the long run, it's better to buy a newer car that will have less mechanical issues.
Oh and our pick for New Zealand's Safest Car Seat 2023, well it's the Nuna Rava. It's now the only brand of car seat we sell on the website. Below are a couple of pictures of my 4th baby in the Nuna Rava on the way home from the hospital with her big brother in awe. 2 days old and already the apple of her 3 big brothers eye.
We hope this article on the safest car seat in NZ 2023 has been informative, please start a chat on the website and talk with one of our expert operators or view the entire car seat range here.