baby on board:
in-car safety with little ones


Now that you have a baby along for the ride, you might find you have a few more things to think about than simply 'mirror, signal, manoeuvre'. Here are our top tips to keep your little one comfy and safe[1] when taking them out in the car with you.

car seat advice

Children need to use a car seat from birth until they're 135cm (approx. 12 years) so it's important you have the right size for your little one.

  • Group 0+ car seats are rear-facing – perfect for babies from birth to 13kg (approx. 12-15 months)
  • Group 0+/1 car seat are used rear-facing for birth and can them be moved to a forward facing position from 9kg (approx. 9 month) up until your little one weighs 18kg (approx. 4 years)
  • Group 1 car seats are forward-facing, for children weighing 9-18kg (approx. 9 months to 4 years)
  • Group 1 2 3 car seats are a forward facing booster seat suitable from 9-36kg (approx. 9 months to 12 years)
  • Group 2 and 3 car seats are designed for older children and are suitable from 15-36kg (approx. 4 years to 12 years)
  • i-Size car seat are designed so children can travel rearward facing for longer. Seats are based on your child’s height and are suitable from birth to 105cm approx.4 years)
  • Our car seat buying guide has more info on picking the perfect one

choosing a space

We know that it can be hard to leave your baby's side, but the safest place for them is in the back of the car. The best spots for your car seat is behind the passenger seat as it’s easier to keep an eye on them.

front seat safety

Rear facing car seats should never be put in the front passenger seat, just in case the airbag goes off. It's actually illegal to put them in the front: unless your car doesn't have airbags, if the front airbags can be switched off, or if there's a sensor that switches them off automatically when a car seat is fitted. You can put forward-facing seats in the front of the car, although the back of the car is best, but make sure the seat is pushed as far back as it can go to keep them out of the reach of the airbags.

limit the length of time in the seat

Try not to leave your baby in their car seat for longer than two hours (just 30 minutes for newborns), as the position doesn't support their developing spine. It may be a bit of a shame to wake them if they fall asleep during a drive (and they surely won't be happy about it either), but it's much better for them to slumber away lying flat on their back in their cot or pushchair.

mind the temperature

Cars get really hot, especially during summer, and overheating is dangerous for your little one. If you are feeling hot then your baby is most likely feeling hot too .Pop the air-con on or open a window on hot days, and don't keep them in the car too long. Never leave your baby in the car, even if you're just popping into the shop for a couple of bits and bobs.


[1]. Child Car Seats, ROSPA, [Accessed May 2019]