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For many parents, the most considered purchase for your newborn is the car seat. You can purchase a Group 0+ car seat to use from birth to 13kg (which is rear facing), and then purchase a Group 1 car seat to use up to 18kg (which is often forward facing). The Mothercare Madrid car seat has been designed to fulfil both these roles – it’s called a combination car seat or multi-group car seat and covers both Group 0+ and Group 1.
Fitted using your car’s seatbelts, the Madrid first faces rearward. When you baby’s big enough (weighs over 9kg), the seat is turned around and re-fitted to be forward facing. This is then used until your child is 18kg (roughly 4 years of age).
The Madrid has a 5-point harness, with chest and buckle pads for added comfort. It also has individual harness tensioners, which although a little fiddly, give a really tight fit. The five recline positions can be used whilst your child is in the seat forwards facing. A nice feature if your child dozes off on the move – as mine do on a regular basis!
When the seat is being used for a newborn, the integral body and head supports add another level of comfort. They have a nice design on them, giving the chair a modern look.
While the RRP is £79.99, at the time of review it was on offer for £39.99.
What we love
The Mothercare Madrid is a very reasonably priced car seat considering the quality and adaptability. It is simple to fit with easily accessible lock off clips. I managed to fit it in the back of a Mini very quickly – despite having to fold myself up into a ball to get the seat into the limited space!
The padding and comfort is very good. It has substantial side wings, which gave great head support when Minnie, 2, fell asleep en route.
The removable, hand washable cover is an essential feature. You’ll be using this seat for so long that it’s almost inevitable you will need to wash it at some point. There are some car seats on the market that simply don’t have removable covers (some of my friends have had to simply throw their car seats away when their children have been sick, as it has been impossible to clean the seats thoroughly).
What to watch for
There are a couple of drawbacks with having a seat that tries to fulfil both the newborn and child sectors.
First off, it is not travel system compatible (only Group 0 or Group 0+ are). This means every time you get out of the car, you’ll have to remove your baby from the seat to put him/her into a buggy. This would, however, only be an issue if a travel system was something you felt was right for your lifestyle and needs.
This is not a small car seat. It sits on a large base, so it would not be great if you had to fit three seats across your car’s back seat.
Some mums online have commented that the seat seems very upright for a newborn. For new mums, it can be worrying if the baby’s head tends to slump forward. It may be possible to minimise this by having the seat fully reclined before fitting in your car. It is virtually impossible to recline once the seat is installed in the rear facing position – the handle is under the baby’s feet, so seems inaccessible. For comfort, I’d say 2 out of 5 for a newborn, but 5 out of 5 for an older baby or toddler.
Who is the Mothercare Madrid car seat best for?
Price-conscious families with older babies.
The Madrid from Mothercare is probably at its best when used for older babies and children, rather than newborns. The forward facing position is easier to fit and use than the rear facing due to the size of the seat and the position of the recline mechanism. It has a good level of comfort for toddlers and is a budget-friendly choice.
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|Model||Madrid car seat|
|Child age (approx)||Birth to 4 years|
Dimensions & Weight
|Travel system compatible||No|
|Positions of carry handle||None|
|Removeable cover for washing||Yes|