Car seats for tall babies and children

Monkey is not quite 2 1/2 yet, but at over 3ft he is seriously tall for his age and his current car seat has been feeling really small for him. Trying to look for the best car seat for your child can be so difficult as they all vary and are based on age and weight. Please note this post contains some amazon affiliate links, for further information please click here.

Car Seat groups:

Group Child’s weight approx. age of child
0 birth up to 10kg/22lb birth up to 6-9 months
0+ birth up to 13kg/29lb birth up to 12-15 months
0+ & 1 birth up to 18kg/40lb birth to up to about 4 years
1 9-18kg/20-40lb about 9 months to 4 years
1 & 2 9-25kg/20-55lb about 9 months to 6 years
2 15-25kg/33-55lb about 4 to 6 years
1, 2, 3 9-36kg/20-79lb about 9 months to 12 years
2 & 3 15-36kg/33-79lb about 4-12 years

DSC_0171Looks confusing doesn’t it? When Monkey was a newborn we started off with a Maxi Cosi Cabriofix car seat (Group 0+), with Easyfix base, for ease of getting it in and out of the car mainly. We loved it, it was such a handy car seat and we hoped it would last quite a while Unfortunately though because Monkey was on the 98th percentile of the growth chart he outgrew this seat pretty early. To move onto the next group of car seat they need to be around 9kg, which is estimated at being at about 9 months of age. Our tall baby was already 9 1/2 kg by 5 1/2 months and just far too long to be comfortable in this seat much longer.

Because of his size, as soon as he was able to sit by himself (around 5 1/2 – 6 mths) we moved on to a group 1 car seat. We chose the Maxi Cosi Axiss because we liked the handy swivel of the seat. My car (an 08 Honda Civic) has really wide back doors, which means that in tight parking spaces it is impossible to open them very far. Having a seat the swivelled when you put the little one in made life so much easier for us. We have loved this seat and it has grown really well with Monkey… until now. (In the below pictures he is in the Axiss at 8mths old and 21 mths old )

WP_001138    rp_WP_20140223_13_07_48_Pro-405x720.jpg

For a group 2 seat, they usually say the child should be around age 4, or over 15kg. A group 2 seat is also what is known as a booster seat. With a group 2 seat there is no harness and instead the child is strapped in with the car’s 3 point seatbelt, whilst sat on a seat. They vary in terms of support but it can vary from a very simple, basic little booster seat (the kind I remember sitting on as a kid) to something more resembling a car seat.

As I said at the beginning of the post, Monkey is not quite 2 1/2, but he is just growing too big for his group 1 seat. The highest level for the straps is actually below his shoulders, which means they come up and over his shoulders before going down over his chest and he just wasn’t comfortable in it any more. Plus his head was higher than the headrest, making it ever so slightly pointless. He has also just reached the 15kg mark.

But a group 2 seat, with just a normal seatbelt? Felt a bit scary to me. My friend has just moved her 3 1/2 year old onto a car seat with the normal 3 point seat belt and has mentioned how she can now pull the seat belt and wriggle around more. At a year younger than her I didn’t feel Monkey was ready for this at all. He certainly isn’t ready to just sit on a booster seat as I think he would slide off it!

I didn’t know what to do, but luckily there are seats which bridge the different groups. We popped to our local Kiddicare on Saturday morning and the young lad we spoke to there was just so so helpful. We talked about the different options and the fact that although 2 1/2 feels far too young to be in a bigger seat, that it really is weight, and in our case height, that is the most important thing for meeting the safety requirements.

In his big Boy Car Seat, the Kiddicare I seat

In his big Boy Car Seat, the Kiddicare I seat

We tried out one of the Kiddicare Opus SP Group 1/2/3 car seats which definitely bridge the gap from a group 1 to a group 2 seat. It can be used as a group 2 car seat, using the cars 3 point seat belt restraint, but it also has a 3 point harness which you can remove as the child grows. The key factor for us was that this harness has more height levels, at and it’s highest level it is comfortably above Monkey’s shoulders, which is where it should be rather than part way down his back! It was also incredibly good value and a lot less than we had thought we would probably spend on a car seat, at just £39.99. There aren’t many seats on the market (that I have found anyway) that bridge the different group boundaries and the sales assistant showed us one other more expensive brand, though we couldn’t see anything about it that made it seem worth the extra money. There didn’t seem to be any extra padding or safety features etc.

We were really happy with this and about ready to buy when the sales assistant recommended we have a demonstration in the car. We weren’t fussed but said yes and thank goodness we did as sadly the seat didn’t fit in my car! The angle just wasn’t right and there was a big gap between the back of the seat and the car. Thankfully they had the same design seat with a few variations for just £10 more. The Kiddicare I seat  (sadly I can’t find this available on their website but it was in stock in the Peterborough store). It has moveable arm-rests (not a big selling point) but also wedges on the bottom of the seat which you can lift to change the angle of the seat. With these lifted the seat fit perfectly into my car, phew!

 

Monkey loves his new big boy car seat and we are relieved to know he is safe and comfortable in a bigger seat. Do you have tall children? How did you get on choosing car seats? Did they fit into the ‘average’ age bracket?


We're going on an adventure

Super Busy Mum

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

36 thoughts on “Car seats for tall babies and children

  1. I have to say that I find the whole car seat thing to be confusing! Yes, I know they need them!, but the groups, different types and recommended ages etc. are hard to follow. Glad you found one that’s right for Monkey, and it is a good job you tested that other one out! x

  2. I have petite girls so height hasn’t been a problem for us, we use for our eldest (almost 5) the britax 123 evolva, although suitable from 9 months we moved her into it at 2 and a half when she needed to vacate her current seat for her sister. It has a 5 point belt that is removed once the child reached 18kg and she reached this over the summer so has now moved to an adult belt at almost age 5. I have had to remind her to stop leaning forward to reach things when we are moving many times already.

    • Ah sounds like a very similar seat but its amazing how much is just dependent on their size rather than age, if she needs reminding not to move in the seat then Monkey definitely isnn’t ready yet!! xx

  3. I can’t remember what age we moved JJ into a booster seat but I’m pretty sure it was before he turned four. I believe it was probably the point at which we needed the intermediate for EJ so JJ must have only been a couple of months off four. I like the sound of your first seat with the swivel, and also the one you have now – it’s always great to have a product which adapts to growing children. I wasn’t really fussed but I know a lot of people who were insistent on getting those seats that face backwards up to the age of four. I thought that would be uncomfortable (where do the legs go?) but apparently they’re much safer. I don’t think safety is an issue in a well designed front facing seat though. X

  4. I found it so hard to find a group 0+/1 Osian was way too tall for his baby seat the straps no longer stayed on his shoulders properly and looked very unsafe but he was still way under the weight for forward facing. I was so stressed trying to find a good car seat, and we have no local big baby shops, we have a small mothercare which didn’t have any I could physically see so had to trust the reviews I read online, which wasn’t ideal.
    I’m glad you found a good seat :) xx

    • oh gosh it must be even harder when there are no helpful shop assistants nearby, things really are only designed with average little ones in mind, doesn;t make it easy to shop for our tall babies! xx

  5. Our girls are both tall, Kitty especially and she was the size for a booster seat long before I was truly happy with her in it. So now we have Cosatto Zoomi seats so that she’s still in a five point harness, because even if she’s tall enough for a booster, at not quite 4 she still seems a bit too little and squishy to be loosing some of those straps; and as she grows we can turn it into a booster. It also has pink dollys all over it which doesn’t hurt either!

    • Oh that does sound like a good one, it’s amazing how height means they are “safe” in a normal seatbelt so much earlier, just doesn’t feel like they are ready for it! xx

  6. We’ve had a bit of an ordeal with car seats, so bloody confusing and expensive!! We got a cosatto one recently as he needed much more leg room in the back, even though the old one was meant to be good for another 6-8 months. Glad you found one he likes! xx

    • So helpful! Thank you, I wanted to write it as I struggled to find much information or examples from other parents with tall children about what we should do! xx

  7. So glad I found this! You have reminded me I need to adjust the shoulder straps for my toddler as she has grown over the summer! Carseats are so confusing! To think when I was little my mum just put me in a carry cot loose on the back seat!!!! #brillblogposts

  8. We don’t drive, si never have given too much thought to car seats. Sometimes if we have to go somewhere we will go in granda’s car, so we have car seats for that but they aren’t great, Caitlin is ready for a new one and I like the sound of this. She is 4, but I want a booster seat that offers real support unlike some that you can get!

  9. Crikey, it is such a minefield of law and restrictions isn’t it?! I wish they made it a bit easier! This summer Grace has grown tall enough so no more booster seat or anything for her – a complete relief! Thanks for linking to PoCoLo :) x

  10. Both my boys are tall so good to read about this. Their Britax seats (I’m an ambassador) are perfect for them so would recommend those. Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts

  11. I have a tall one on the 98th centile too but he has a Recaro seat and a bit of room left yet. But I’m scared about the normal seat belt too as he’s nearly at the weight limit for the the harness! This one is a good choice. #triedtested

    • it’s so difficult isn’t it? And not something you necessarily think of when choosing a seat, definitely good to look out for a combination seat when the time comes for yout little one to move on too! xx

  12. I think Ben was nearly 4.5 by the time we moved him onto a three point harness and I remember feeling terribly worried about it so I’m not surprised you weren’t keen to do it with your little fella! Glad you found something to solve the problem for you x

    Thanks for linking up with #TriedTested this week x

  13. Wow…what a fabulously detailed post. We don’t drive {yet} but will be next year so we’ll have all of this seriously confusing car seat hunting to come I think. Thanks for the info hun and for linking up with #MMWBH xx

Thanks for taking the time to write something. I love comments and read every one xx

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>