What is i-size?
It’s really important to ensure you choose the right carseat to ensure your baby’s safety when travelling. In the UK we now have something called i-size which I-size is part of a new legislation, regulation R129. It’s basically new way of crash-testing car seats for babies and children The key thing about the i-size new legislation that is designed to take away the confusion that surrounds child seats. It makes a child seat easier to fit into the car and easier to use. The i-size regulation has been in force for the past few years.
The new i-size seats are much easier in several ways as they’re based on your child’s height and stature rather than their weight. The previous car seat regulation was based on a child’s weight only. This can be difficult when babies and children grow at different rates.
It can be confusing, so i-size takes away that confusion, it’s quite clear that your baby must stay in a rear facing car seat until at least 15 months of age. The requirement is labelled on all i-size car seats. I for one have rear faced for much longer than this as research has shown it to be much safer in the event of a collision. The seats will have height limits as well and on the seat, you can have a look on the bottom of the car seat where it quite clearly states this.
My daughter turned 1 in January and has just transferred to her second car seat as she has outgrown her 0+ seat. We are now using the Inglesina Darwin i-size toddler seat and the matching isofix car seat base.
i-Size currently requires the use of ISOFIX (with support leg or top tether only) to fit your car seat – not seat belts.
Why? ISOFIX can reduce the risk of incorrectly installing your seat. This is the biggest safety problem around car seat use – as evidence suggests that up to 75% of car seats are not fitted correctly.
What about comfort/ ease of use?
When choosing a car seat, it’s important that babies are comfortable as well as safe. For us, installing the Inglesina Darwin I-size toddler seat was easy, we have a car that we could easily connect the isofix base to. The carseat slotted in fairly easily which saved a lot of time! My daughter has suffered from eczema since she was 6 weeks old and I found that she was always really restless when travelling. It appeared she was uncomfotable in her previous seat, wriggling around to try and itch. Aside from it’s stylish appearance, the Inglesina I-size Darwin seat has a nice layer of padding which makes it extremely comfortable for her. We have driven out numerous times and she hasn’t made a fuss at all! The sturdy head rest adjusts so as she grows, the seat will grow with her. I plan on keeping her rear facing for as long as possible.
Some points to consider and remember
- Improved protection for side and front impacts, with a focus on the prevention of head and neck injuries
- Rearward facing travel (safer for younger children) mandatory up to 15 months
- All i-Size seats promote and are fully compatible with ISOFIX cars
- Child height dictates seat choice, not weight
Whilst non i-size car seats may still be on the market for now, they will be phased out over time.