2nd Stage Child Seats
Once your child reaches 9kg/20lbs they can be transferred into a group 1 (forward facing or rear facing) child seat. This seat will last until they achieve the maximum weight for the group 18kg/40lbs, in age terms normally about 4 years old. DO NOT BE RUSHED INTO TRANSFERING YOUR BABY INTO A GROUP 1 CAR SEAT, AT THIS AGE IT IS GENERALLY SAFER FOR THEM TO TRAVEL REAR FACING FOR AS LONG AS PRACTICALLY POSSIBLE.
Group 1 child car seats are secured into the car by using your normal 3 point car seat belt or by using the Isofix system.
Many experts would agree that this group of child car seats is the most difficult to fit safely in to a car because of a problem called "buckle crunch". In the U.K. we take buckle crunch very seriously.
So firstly let's try and describe buckle crunch.
Let's pretend you had a pencil and you wanted to break it. If you pulled it from one end and a second person pulled from the other the chances are the pencil would not break. Now if you placed the pencil in both your hands and "snapped it" the pencil would of course break immediately.
In theory we have described "buckle crunch", except you need to replace in real life the pencil with the buckle located on the cars seat belt.
Unlike infant carriers, group 1 car seats often lie back so that when little one falls asleep they can be reclined. By this age Oxygen desaturation (see stage 1) is probably far less significant so the angle they are sitting at is less important, though of course your baby would much prefer to be comfortable!
Some people find fitting a group 1 car seat securely can be a bit tricky, but if you learn the fit of the seat and practice, it will soon come naturally.
Extended Rear Facing Stage 2 Seats
As some of you may be aware and may be researcing, extended rear facing is fast becoming a popular answer for many parents. With an extended rear facing car seat you can keep your child rear facing until around 4 years old.
It is alleged by some that rear facing can be 5 times safer than forward facing. In Scandinavia it is law that children have to stay rear facing for a much longer time than here in the UK.
There are pro's and con's and these can be viewed on the 'Rear facing debate page'