How to install baby car seats – Front facing, rear facing
Proper installation of the baby car seat is KEY to ensure your baby enjoys maximum safety and comfort during a ride.
Unfortunately, most parents get confused about how to properly install a car seat in their cars.
This is probably because different car seats come with different restrictions and installation methodologies, making the installation task a bit challenging.
In the post below, we’ll take you through a step by step guide on how to install the two most common types of baby car seats—the front-facing and rear-facing models.
How To Install A Rear Facing Baby Car Seat
A rear facing baby car seat is typically the one used for infants and toddlers (i.e., from birth up to 2 years old). And it should be installed in your car’s back seat.
Because a typical infant car seat features the infant carrier and a bae, you need to separate the two parts for easy installation of the base into your car seats.
The separation is pretty easy as you simply use a lever or button (check your car seat user manual for more info).
Once you’ve separated the two parts, follow these instructions to install the base into your car back seat:
Step #1: Place the baby car seat into place (the back seat) and use one of the following methods to hold it into place:
- Use the anchor system: this method is ideal if your baby car seat comes with an attached belt with 2 hooks. Simply snap the 2 hooks onto your car seat’s designed spots (metal bars) to secure your baby car seat.Remember to tighten the anchor belt attached to the base to make it feel as snug as possible against the seat.
- Use the seat belt: if your baby car seat lacks the anchor system, then it means you’ll have to secure it to your car backseat using the seat belt. Simply pass your car belt through the provided openings on the baby car seat base and buckle it.
Ensure the seat belt passes through and fits cleanly, without looking twisted or bunched up.
Step #2: put the baby carrier into the base. Place the carrier in such a way that your little one will face the rear of your car when you strap him/her in.
The carrier must click as a sign that it’s into position. If you’re unsure whether it has clicked into position, try taking it out using the provided button/lever and then taking it back into place.
Step #3: Lastly, adjust the car seat angle. The rear-facing baby car seat usually comes with a base that you can adjust its angle.
Setting the seat angle is quite easy as most models feature a level indicator that shows you the correct angle based on your baby’s age, weight, and height.
If you’re riding with an infant who is not yet able to lift their heads to breathe properly, you should keep the seat in a more reclined position.
How to Install a Front Facing Baby Car Seat:
The front-facing car seat is designed for preschoolers or children aged between 2 to5 years. You should use this seat ONLY when your young one hits the upper weight or height limit of the rear-facing seat above.
Like the rear-facing seat, you should also install this front-facing seat onto the back seat of your car.
Steps to follow:
Step #1: Attach the forward-facing seat to your vehicle seat. You can do this using one of the two methods explained below:
- Using tether: use this method of your baby car seat comes with an attached tether than runs over the top of your vehicle seat and then latches into a metal anchor at the back of your car seat.If you have this type of front-facing car seat, locate the anchor at the back of your seat and latch your baby car seat tether to it. Be sure to tighten the tether belt for maximum security.
- Using latching system: if your front-facing car seat features latches instead, this is your part. This type of car seat typically presents you with two buckles with metal hooks attached to its bottom.
Latch these hooks onto the designated spots where the bottom and back of your vehicle seats meet. Remember to pull on the buckle belts to obtain a tight anchoring.
Quick TIP: If your front-facing car seat with latch system also has a tether and/or a place to pass the seatbelt through, we advise you to use the additional anchor system to obtain an even higher level of security of your seat.
Step #2: Confirm that your car seat is well anchored in place. If you have done your job well, the front-facing car seat shouldn’t move more than an inch front to back or side to side when you pull it at your car seat’s belt path.
If you notice the seat is moving, that’s a RED flag! You need to act ASAP by tightening any belts or straps that look loose. You don’t want to risk the safety of your little angel!
Extra installation TIPS to keep in mind:
- Choose the right back seat: both the rear facing and front-facing seats are meant for installation into the back seat.
We suggest that you choose the seat directly behind you (the driver) to enable you to easily check on your baby via the rear mirror without necessarily turning your head.
- When securing your baby on the car seat, tighten the straps such that you can’t pinch an extra material on them at your child’s shoulders. Ensure the straps aren’t twisted.
- Avoid placing extra materials, such as blankets underneath the straps securing your baby in place. If you want to cover your little one, strap him/her into place first, then put the cover.
- checkIf your front-facing car seat features both the tether and latch anchoring system, avoid the temptation of using both systems at the same time for safety reasons. Likewise, if your rear-facing car seat has both seat belt and lower anchors, use only one of them and NOT both.
- checkAbove all, ALWAYS use your baby car seat manufacturer user manual as your primary source of reference when installing your car seat.
How to install baby car seats: Final Word
No more confusion! Whether it’s your first time installing a car seat or you forgot how to do it, this guide will take you through the basics of properly installing the car seat.
Remember, properly installing your baby car seat is crucial in ensuring your baby enjoys maximum safety and comfort.
Follow our above guide and tips on how to install your baby car seat if you want to enjoy 100% peace of mind throughout the journey when riding with your baby.
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