Child Car Seats

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Types of Seat

It is very important to ensure that your child travels in an appropriate child restraint, which:

  • Conforms to the United Nations standard, ECE Regulation 44.04 (or R 44.03) or to the new i-size regulation, R129. Look for the 'E' mark label on the seat.
  • Is suitable for your child's weight and size
  • Is correctly fitted according to the manufacturer's instructions.

There are many different types available. They are divided into categories, according to the weight of the children for whom they are suitable. These correspond broadly to different age groups, but it is the weight of the child that is most important when deciding what type of child seat to use. i-size seats are designed to keep children rearward-facing until they are at least 15 months old.

Type of Child Restraint Regulation Weight Range Approx. Age Range

Rearward-facing baby seat

R44 Group 0
0 - 10kg (22 lbs)
Birth to 6-9 months
R44 Group 0+
0 - 13kg (29 lbs)
Birth to 12-15 months

R129 (i-size)

i-size (based on height rather than weight)

Phase 1

Birth to 105cm

Up to at least 15 months

Some seats birth to 4 years

Combination seat (Rearward and Forward-facing) R44 Group 0+ and 1
0-18 kg (40 lbs)
Birth - 4 years
R44 Group 0+, 1 & 2
Birth to 25 kg (55 lbs)
Birth to 6 years

Forward-facing car seat


Group 1
9 - 18 kg (20 - 40 lbs)

9 months - 4 years


Group 1, 2 and 3
9 - 36 kg (20 - 79 lbs)

9 months to 11 years

R129 (i-size)

 Phase 2
100 - 135cm
Specific vehicles 135 - 150cm

 4 years - 11 years

High-backed Booster Seat   Group 2
15 - 25 kg (33 - 55 lbs)
4 to 6 years
High-backed Booster Seat   Group 2 and 3
15 - 36 kg (33 - 79 lbs)
4 to 11 years

Booster Cushion (From 9th February 2017)


Group 3
22 - 36 kg (48 - 79 lbs) and 125cm or taller


6 - 11 years

4-11 years

Group 0 rearward baby seats, Group 0+, 1, 2 combination seats and Group 2 forward-facing seats are less common than the other types.

Many child seats cover more than one group and are adjusted as the child grows. They may be called combination seats, extended seats or multi-group seats. For example:

  • Group 0+ and 1 seats start off rearward-facing until the baby is at least 9 kg and are then turned forward-facing - some stay rearward facing until the child has reached 18 kg.
  • Group 0+, 1 and 2 seats (which are not very common) start rearward-facing up to 18kg and are then turned forward-facing (they can be turned forward facing from 9 kg).
  • Group 1, 2 and 3 seats are forward-facing. The child uses the seat's integral harness, or an impact cushion, until they are 15 kg and then uses the car's seat belt, which secures the child and the seat.
  • Group 2 and 3 seats are high-backed booster seats, although they can also be booster cushions without a back. On some of the high-backed seats, the back can be removed once the child reaches 22 kg, but it is far better to keep the back on the seat.

Change to the law about booster cushions

Regulations regarding the sale and use of booster cushions took effect on 9th February 2017. These rules mean that manufacturers will no longer be allowed to introduce new models of backless booster seats (booster cushions) for children shorter than 125cm or weighing less than 22kg.

This change does not affect existing models of seats or cushions; they will only apply to new booster cushions, not ones which are already in use and meet existing safety standards. So, parents who use old booster cushions will not be breaking the law if they continue to use them after the rule change. They will not be required to buy new booster seats to meet the rule change.

This change means that anyone buying a booster cushion should take extra care to read the manufacturer's labels and instructions in order to ensure that the one they select is appropriate for their child's use.

Click on the links below for more information about each type of child restraint: