Which car seat to choose for baby?

Quel siège auto choisir pour bébé ?

All mums can attest to this: choosing the right car seat is a very perilous task. It is necessary to combine comfort, functionality, maintenance, ease of installation, compliance with European regulations. For children's car safety, we believe that parents must above all be properly informed in order to choose the right child car seat adapted to the child's needs and morphology. Because, in fact, in most car accidents, the serious consequences for babies are due to improper installation of the car seat, as revealed by the Road Safety Association. This is why an essential observation should be taken into account when choosing your car seat:

The intuitive use of the product generates the right behaviors, safety starts there.

This article aims to make you unbeatable on the subject! Whether in terms of regulations, standards, or new systems advocating the safety of your child, we explain everything to you. Finally, we can talk about the design of our “ideal” automatic seat through an interview with René, the founder of Looping.

How should the car seat be placed in the car?

The car seat has been compulsory for children in cars up to the age of 10 or up to the height of 1.35 m since 1 January 1992. The latter must therefore be attached from an early age with a suitable, secure and approved device: the car seat must correspond to the child's weight and height.

In most cases, a child should be put in the back seat of your car. Indeed, non-compliance is punishable by a fine of up to €750. It is also recommended to stick to this rule until the age of 12-13 years.

Child seats are mandatory rearward facing minimum up to 9kg. However, it is advisable to leave your child in this position for as long as possible as it minimizes the consequences of frontal collisions.

However, there are exceptions. When the rear seats are broken or already occupied by a child under 10, you can install a seat for your child in the front of your car. This is also the case if the belts are unusable. On the other hand, this authorization is subject to conditions such as putting the young child in a rear-facing car seat and deactivating the airbag.

What are the regulations for car seats in 2020?

Currently two regulations coexist: ECE44 and R129. The R129 is gradually replacing the ECE44 but this does not affect the seats already approved. The deadlines for the application of R129 have not yet been clearly determined by the administration but as soon as they are, all new ISOFIX seats will follow this regulation.

In a car with children, the applicable European regulation is ECE44. You can find an orange ECE R44/04 approval label on all approved car seats. This orange label certifies that the seat complies with the basic safety requirements. The requirements are strengthened each year to reflect changing child safety needs. Today, this text is in its fourth amendment: it is called R44-04. Booster seats are replaced by tall car seats with headrests. Indeed, they really hold babies and children. Seats homologated according to R44-03 are still authorized for use, but this is not the case for those conforming to versions 02 and 01, prior to 1995.

What are the different groups defined by R44?

Text R44-04 defines a classification of seats into five groups which depend on the weight of the child:

  • group 0 car seats : from birth up to 10 kg;
  • group 0+ car seats : from birth up to 13 kg;
  • group 1 car seats : from 9 to 18 kg;
  • group 2 car seats : 15 to 25 kg;
  • group 3 car seats: from 22 to 36 kg.

What are the changes?

The European standard ECE R129, also called i-Size , which entered into force in July 2013. This standard is based on the Isofix fastening system.

The R129 or i-Size standard aims to facilitate the choice of the right car seat and to optimize baby's safety in the car. This standard therefore attempts to clarify and simplify the recommendations of the legislator.

What does this regulation say?

It therefore requires:

  • Carry baby in rear-facing position up to 15 months minimum. For what ?

Baby is fragile, we know that. This fragility is even more true at the level of the head and the neck. Before its 15 months, the head of the child is relatively heavy and its neck is not yet sufficiently developed to support the impact undergone during a frontal impact. The rear-facing position up to 15 months minimum lessens the effects of shock and protects these two parts of baby's body in the event of an accident.

Of course, you can continue to travel with your child in the rear-facing position beyond 15 months if your car seat allows it (i-Size).

self-swivel seat

  • Raise the requirements in the event of a side collision

Still in order to better protect baby's head and neck, the R129 standard obliges manufacturers to have their i-Size car seat tested using a new dynamic crash test. During this extensive test, the vehicle door is depressed in order to reproduce the effect of a side impact.

  • Promoting the ISOFIX system

To be i-Size , a car seat must be Isofix . Indeed, this installation system considerably reduces the risk of improper installation of the car seat and the risk of improperly securing your child.

  • Making it easier to choose the right baby car seat
The i-Size standard clarifies the classification of car seats. Forget the groups linked to the weight of the R44/04 standard. With i-Size, a car seat is chosen according to the size of the child. Kind of like clothing sizes.

Here is the breakdown by size of the R129 standard:

  • Birth at 60 cm
  • 60 to 75cm
  • 75 to 87cm
  • 87 to 105cm
  • 105 to 125cm
  • From 125 cm. car-seat-isize-age

As with the R44/04 standard, some manufacturers offer longer use of the i-Size car seat. Indeed, it is not uncommon to find i-Size car seats that can be used from birth to 105cm.

  • Make compatibility between vehicle and car seat easier

This is not for now but the will of the legislator is to guarantee the compatibility of i-Size car seats with recent cars. Thus, in the more or less near future, all cars on the market allow the correct installation of an i-Size car seat.

What are the approvals?

There are three different types of approvals that allow you to determine if a child car seat is compatible with your vehicle: universal, semi-universal and vehicle-specific. Universal approval does not depend on the car model. The seat is therefore approved and can be installed in all vehicles. The certification label must specify the type of certification.

  • Universal homologation does not require consultation of any vehicle list. The installation of the seat is homologated in all cars meeting the ECE R14 and R16 regulations. In the case of ISOFIX, the Top Tether, additional strap attached to the back of the car seat, MUST be attached to the 3rd anchor point of the car. In any case, this feature must be used and the vehicle's user manual must specify that the car is approved for universal ISOFIX car seats.

  • Semi-universal approval concerns cases where safety devices are required for the attachment of the seat, in addition to the standard requirements, and these devices require additional testing. For example: for some cars with storage spaces on the floor, the use of a strut can present disadvantages. You should therefore check that your car is on this list.

  • Vehicle-specific approval: the car seat has been tested in a specific crash test and is approved for this car only. The car MUST be on the car seat manufacturer's homologation list. This may include certain special features or constructions which can only be fitted to a given category of car.

What is the Isofix system?

Isofix is ​​a system that meets international standards that allows the car seat to be installed correctly without using the vehicle's seat belts. This is a big step forward in road safety. It also enjoys much better results in the event of an accident.

It is safer because the seat is not simply fixed by the belts but is firmly attached to the vehicle seat, thus limiting forward rotational movement in the event of a frontal impact. This device for attaching child seats allows an installation which is free from the risk of error. It is easier to install and it has specific indicators that turn green when the installation has been carried out correctly. While with the attachment device by the seat belt, mishandling is always possible. Like a pure and simple unhooking of the belt, unexpectedly or of the hands of the child.

It is faster because the installation is done in three simple steps. There are two versions of the Isofix system, the version with the retaining strap and the version with the strut. Both systems are equipped with three anchor points: 2 Isofix connectors and an anti-rotation system (restraint strap or strut).

Appeared in 2006 on new vehicles, the Isofix system is mandatory on all cars produced since 2011.

Isofix system: how does it work?

The Isofix system is very simple, both in concept and in use. The vehicle equipped with Isofix has two metal rings which are placed between the backrest and the seat of the rear bench seat. These rings are perfectly concealed and do not interfere with the passenger who would sit on the bench seat if there is no child seat. The baby seat fitted with the Isofix system has two metal clamps fitted with a hook at their end. An Isofix seat also has an anti-rotation system via a third attachment point. This attachment is generally in the form of a strap which is used to flatten the seat by linking it to the backrest. Or by a strut, which rests on the floor of the vehicle.

The Looping car seat

Looping launches its latest product: the swivel car seat from birth to 18kg. It is a fully scalable car seat thanks to its 360° rotation system. The attachment with its integrated isofix base allows safe and easy attachment (2 clicks are enough), so that the child is always attached in the same way. Even when there are no children on the seat, there is no risk of flying objects.

The rotation of the seat facilitates the installation of the child and the adjustment of the harness allows an intuitive use. The ease of use of the product generates good behavior on the part of the parents, because it will put you in the best possible conditions for a good installation of the seat, and thus, a good installation of the child. For us, safety starts there.


Our car seat is equipped with side impact protectors, indicators that show if the car seat is properly installed, as well as fully adjustable and one-hand adjustable harnesses including the height of the headrest. 10 positions are available for the height of the headrest. 5 inclinations are provided (two for facing the road, and 5 facing the road). You can also adjust the inclination of the seat according to the size of the child and thus adapt it to all ages.

The product we offer is durable and of high quality. It significantly reduces the risk to your baby in an accident. Finally, for more practicality, the cover is removable and machine washable.

In order to guide you more on the characteristics, circumstances and choice of creation of our new favorite, the creator of Looping has answered a few questions.

To which standards is the rotating car seat G0+/1 subject?

As this is a product to be placed in a vehicle, the rotating car seat is subject to European regulation ECE44 (including dynamic tests: "crash test") which will be checked during a simulated shock on a test bench , the effectiveness of the restraint system and the condition of the seat after impact.

In addition, materials and textile parts are subject to chemical requirements and flammability tests based on “the toy standard” which is a reference in the world of children.

How do you ensure that the product complies with the standard? 

The seat must above all be approved by the factory that manufactures it in a European country and by an accredited laboratory. Its approval number affixed to the product authorizes its placing on the market. Regular tests are carried out every 5000 manufacturing cycles and the factory is audited every year in order to maintain the car seat's approval number.

For our part, we complete this normative process with random tests to ensure that there are no deviations in manufacturing. These additional tests may relate to dynamic tests, the chemical part, or flammability.

Why is the car seat designed for babies under 18 kg? Why not go further?

Within the framework of European regulation ECE44, car seats are defined and tested according to weight ranges. A seat can combine several groups, but we preferred to limit ourselves to Group 0.+1 in order to maintain optimum performance and offer the possibility of leaving the child rear-facing for as long as possible. We then recommend supplementing with a group 123 seat which will ensure continuity of comfort and performance, the passage of the child from one seat to another being done naturally according to its morphology. Parents will thus be able to cover the entire duration of use with 2 car seats (therefore a reasonable budget).

Does the price of a car seat guarantee quality? 

Yes and no !

  • Yes, because you have to use quality materials, high plastic thicknesses, comfortable and shock-absorbing textile coverings and choose technical solutions that ensure correct installation of the child in the car seat, and of the car seat in the car. For example, for this last point, the Isofix solution (more expensive than fixing by belt) stands out as more reliable, easier to install correctly and therefore safer.

  • No, because car safety must be seen as a whole, starting with the choice of a good car in terms of crash behavior (not necessarily the most expensive), securing the seat properly in the car (the seat is too often incorrectly installed and ruins all safety efforts) and finally proper installation of the baby in the seat with an appropriate harness adjustment and a rear-facing position for as long as possible, depending on its morphology and temperament. Safety also depends a lot on the behavior of the driver, which no equipment in the world (except the autopilot) will be able to control. All the elements of this chain are to be considered and a single lack can seriously affect overall security. Whatever its price, an expensive car seat (because it is very reinforced) but where the child is difficult to install, will be less efficient than a less expensive but easy-to-use seat allowing parents to avoid making mistakes and stay calm and relaxed.

What are the advantages of the rotating car seat compared to a simple car seat or even compared to the GR0+ car seat? 

Depending on the vehicle, the space available between the door (which opens more or less) and the passenger seat can be very limited and make installing the baby in his car seat very complicated. This can lead to poor installation, annoyance of the baby and the parents, which is detrimental to driving. The rotating car seat makes it possible to have the child in front of you when installing it in the car seat and therefore, even in a small space, to adjust the height of the harness and its tension perfectly and without stress.

It also allows you to be able to calmly check all the points before turning the seat in the desired direction (rear facing for as long as possible) and sitting down calmly behind the wheel. The possibility of keeping your baby facing the road for as long as possible very significantly reduces the risk of trauma to the spine and head compared to an impact facing the road. The rotating seat allows you to choose this safer position at any time and very easily. it also allows you to use your seat for children of different ages.

How did you acquire your “expertise” in the use of products and the standards to be respected?

Our experience of more than thirty years in the field of children's equipment, our own use, the constantly renewed curiosity, the permanent listening of users, and finally the active participation in the French and European standardization commissions allow us to have an overview of the issues related to the use of a product intended for children and used at the same time by adults.

If the adult often gives his opinion and his recommendations, the baby does not have the means to express himself on his feelings and it is our duty to take this silent point of view into consideration. We therefore have knowledge of the standards, regulations and decrees to be scrupulously respected, but our job is also to go further and use our various experiences to make products designed for parents and designed for babies.

I hope I have helped you in choosing your car seat. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us on our social networks or on the address love@looping-baby.com. Thanks for reading this far. :)

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