Baby car seats can be confusing to install as a parent when you are trying to ensure that your baby is safe in the car. Having used several brands of baby car seat brands from infant car seats, booster car seats, and convertible car seats, I am happy to share helpful tips and procedures you can follow to safely install a baby car seat.
Here are some of the general instructions and precautions you should take when installing a baby seat in your car.
- Select a car seat based on your baby’s height, weight, and age.
- Always pick a spot at the back seat
- Check the fit of the seat
- Follow all the instructions to ensure that your baby is secure in the car.
How to put baby car seat Rear-facing;
If your baby is at least 2 years, the AAP recommends that you should purchase an infant car seat that positions your baby at a rear-facing position. In fact, the specific recommendations by AAP state that the baby should use an infant car seat until your baby reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer.
Follow the following 7 instructions to install your rear-facing infant car seat:
- First, you should separate the carrier from the base
- Achor the base to the back seat of your car
- Tighten the anchor belt until the base is snug against the seat
- Alternatively, you can thread the seat belt through the base.
- Now, pop the infant carrier into the base so that the child can face the rear.
- Double-check the angle of the base
- Check the manufacturer’s instructions if you are not sure of what to do.
How to put baby car seat forward-facing;
- Thread the seat belt through the car seat and make sure that the belt is not twisted.
- Anchor the seat with the tether that feeds over the feat of the vehicle’s seat.
- Alternatively, attach the car seat to the vehicle’s seat with latches.
Where to put the baby car seat
The baby seat should ALWAYS be placed at the back seat and not the front seat. Most people prefer to put it behind the driver’s seat hence making it easier to view the baby through the rear mirror without turning heads.
Best place to put the baby car seat
According to statistics, the safest spot to place the baby car seat is the back seats preferably the middle spot. This is because it is least affected by impact and it is away from the passengers’ airbags. It is 43% safer than the side seats.
How to put the baby car seat in shopping cart
Shopping with your baby can be stressful especially when you have no idea in the best position to place them. Thousands of babies fall off from the shopping cart which leads to minor and major injuries. To prevent this from happening to you, follow the following steps;
- Identify a shopping cart that already has a Safe-Dock in the grocery that you are in. The Safe-Docks are not available in all grocery stores but you can use this link http://www.shoppingcartsafety.com/find-safe-dock/ to find out the ones that have them near you.
- Put your carrier in the grindle
- Buckle up the harness and make sure that is tight to avoid the baby from falling.
- Once you have followed all the instructions, you may go ahead and enjoy your shopping.
How to put the baby car seat belt
You may prefer to use the seat belt to install the baby car seat instead of using the Latch system. This is also as safe as you follow the instructions below;
Use the manual of the car seat to find the seat belt path which is a set of holes that are located near the latch connector strap path on the seat.
Fix the strap of the seat belt through the appropriate path of the car-seat belt and buckle up the seat belt.
Step 3 :
Pull out the seat belt of the vehicle all the way from the retractor slowly. When it is all the way out, you should hear a click.
Step 4 :
While listening to a feel of a ratcheting motion, feed seat belt back to the retractor. If you encounter a problem, kindly consult the manual.
Pull up the seat belt up to the furthest it can go until it is tight enough. In case of a crash, the seat will remain intact just as a Latch connector does.
In the case of a forward-facing car seat, never forget to connect the tether strap to the car’s top tether anchor. This helps to lessen cases of injuries to your baby during a crash.
When you face a challenge during installation, please check the manual for instructions.
How to put baby car seat without base
Bases are usually for convenience but not necessarily for safety purposes. You may have to install the baby car seat when you are traveling, in someone else’s car or an uber. Below are the steps to follow in such a scenario;
- Place the baby car seat rear-facing, on the seat of the vehicle.
- Now pull out the seat belt and thread the lap section using the lap belt guides.
- Put the shoulder belt portion through and ensure that it lies flat. In case your car seat has a European belt path, pull it by behind and secure it.
- Buckle the safety belt
- Activate the locking mechanism by pulling down on the shoulder belt.
- To make sure that your installation is tight, push on the car seat and pull on the safety belt.
- Always double-check to make sure that the installation is level
How to Put Britax Car Seat
Whether it is Britax B Safe, B-Safe 35, B-safe ultra or Endeavor Car seat, the installation steps are;
- Place the base on the car seat
- Pull the base up and down until the red marker is visible between the two lines on the recline indicators
- Firmly pull to remove lower connectors from the storage in the base
- After pulling the lower connectors to lengthen, pull them to the car seat anchors until a click is heard
- Tighten the straps by making sure that they are flat to the base
- Ensure that the recline angle is correct
- Place the baby car seat on the base and push until a click is heard.
How to put a newborn baby in the car seat
- The baby may be upset and probably even cry when you are buckling them up but that should not be a cause of alarm. Just stay calm and ensure that the are safely strapped.
- Make sure that it is the right fit especially on the shoulders and legs.
- Ensure that the straps are at or below the baby’s shoulders and the strap fits in well between the legs.
- Always make sure that the head is in a safe position.
- Recline the car seat appropriately
- After strapping in, swaddle the baby
- You may set up some entertainment for the baby to keep them engaged
How to put the baby trend car seat back together
Putting back the baby trend car seat back together can be really hectic but here are some steps that you can follow;
First, return the smaller cover piece on both edges until it fits.
Return the larger cover piece on both sides by fixing the straps through the holes on the cover seat.
Switch the car seat to the backside and make sure that the red dial is all the way up by twisting it until the bolt is at the top.
From the front, fit in the strap through to the hole and make sure that the strap is not twisted. Get a butter knife or something that can pull up the strap from the backside.
Once you have both straps on the backside, pull them up and then fix them onto the c-ring with gaps on both sides.
Flip the car seat to the front side and you can now adjust the headrest height by spinning the red dial. You then fix the seat cover appropriately on the outer side.
How to put the car seat in baby trend jogging stroller
Placing the car seat in the baby trend jogging stroller is not a complicated process when you are aware of how to go about it.
Always ensure that the straps are well fixed and the car seat is stable on the stroller. Below is a video that sheds more light on how to go about it;
How to put the baby in Uppababy and Mesa car seat
To ensure that the baby is well-fitted in the Uppababy Mesa seat, follow the following steps;
- Unlock the straps and adjust the headrest height of the seat cover.
- Place your baby on the car seat and fit in the straps of the car seat through the shoulders and laps.
- Pull the straps until they are tight enough for the baby’s safety and do a pinch task
- The harness must be at or below the baby’s shoulders
- Position the chest clip at armpit level
How to put the baby in the car seat during winter
The winter season can be quite hectic because you need to keep your baby warm as well as ensure that their safety. These are some of the steps to follow when putting the baby in the car seat;
- Keep the car seat at room temperature to reduce the loss of the body heat of the baby in the car.
- You will need an early start when heading out because you have a lot to assemble and the baby may not cooperate as usual.
- Dress your baby in thin layers and include hats, mittens, socks, and booties.
- Ensure you tighten the straps of the car seat harness and do a pinch task
- Use a blanket or a coat over the straps after buckling the baby up
- ONLY use a car seat cover if it does not have a layer under the baby
- Any item that did not come with the car seat may not be well tested hence may be a danger to your baby
- Pack an emergency bag for your car for safety purposes
- About the Author
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Hi there! I am Ashley Davis, a mom of three kids and the editor here at Motherhood HQ. I have been a parent since 2011 and have been doing full-time consulting as a baby sleep expert since 2019. When I am not researching or testing the next baby gear hitting the market, you’ll find me teaching my toddlers a trick or two – especially over the last few months with the lockdown. I hope you’ll find my guides and reviews helpful as you make your next purchase decision. If you have any questions, you can reach me at email@example.com.