How to install baby car seats – Front facing, rear facing

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.

How to install baby car seats

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.

Baby Car Seats: Best Sellers On Amazon!

Bestseller 1
Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base - Rear Facing...
  • Doona Car Seat - From car seat to stroller in seconds! One simple motion operation. Features a 5-point harness, adjustable handlebar (also acts as an anti-rebound bar inside the car) and 3 Layer Side...
  • Washable Car Seat - The Doona car seat fabric is removable and washable. Features baby safe materials and breathable textiles, including bamboo and memory foam.
  • Travel Safe Baby Essentials - This car seat and Latch base is FAA Aircraft Approved for travel. Combine with the Doona Travel Bag (sold separately) for a seamless travel experience.
  • Included in the Box - Doona Infant Car Seat, Doona Bamboo Infant Insert, Doona Bamboo Head Support, Doona Vehicle Seat Protector, Doona Car Seat Base. 2-year manufacturer's warranty.
  • Rear Facing Car Seat and Base - Suitable from 4 lbs. to 35 lbs., Max. 32in height, this is a rear facing car seat only. Car seat weighs 16.5 lbs., base weighs 10.3 lbs. Product Dimensions: Folded:...
Bestseller 2
Evenflo Pivot Modular Travel System With SafeMax...
  • FLEXIBLE INFANT TRAVEL SYSTEM: The Evenflo Pivot Modular Travel System is a car seat and stroller combo featuring the SafeMax Rear-Facing Infant Car Seat and SafeZone Base with anti-rebound bar,...
  • VERSATILE and LIGHTWEIGHT: This car seat and stroller combo features a modular frame with 6 modes. The reversible mode permits your baby to face in or out, while the stroller coverts from an infant...
  • EASY INFANT CAR SEAT TRANSFER: This car seat and stroller combo has been designed with a stay-in-car base that allows for a quick and safe infant car seat connection from stroller to car and...
  • ADDITIONAL FEATURES: The Pivot Modular Travel System also includes an over-sized storage basket, a SafeZone base with belt lock-off system for correct installation, and large cruiser tires with tread...
Bestseller 3
Graco Slimfit 3 in 1 Car Seat | Slim & Comfy...
  • 3-in-1 car seat grows with your child from rear-facing harness (5-40 pounds) to forward-facing harness (22-65 pounds) to highback booster (40-100 pounds)
  • Slim design with dual integrated cup holders that rotate away, making the seat 10% slimmer to save valuable back seat space
  • Graco ProtectPlus Engineered: A combination of the most rigorous crash tests that helps to protect your little one in frontal, side, rear and rollover crashes
  • No-rethread simply safe adjust harness system allows the headrest and harness to adjust together in one motion
  • Choose the perfect headrest height from 10 positions to get the safest fit for your child as they grow
Save 11%Bestseller 4
Baby Trend EZ Ride 35 Travel System, Doodle Dots
  • Stroller designed for children up to 50 pounds and up to 42"
  • Dual front wheels for superior maneuverability
  • Large canopy with peek-a-boo window and large storage basket
  • Height-adjustable handle and covered parent tray is great for mom and dad
  • Swing-away child's tray with snack/cup holders
Bestseller 5
Safety 1st Grow and Go All-in-One Convertible Car...
  • Built to grow: The 3 in 1 car seat built to grow for extended use through 3 stages: Rear facing 5 to 40 pounds, forward facing 22 to 65 pounds, and belt positioning booster 40 to 100 pounds
  • Side impact protection: The grow and go’s side impact protection helps keep your child safe
  • Easy in, easy out: Harness holders keep the harness in an open position so it is easy to get your child in and out of the seat. Rear facing height is 19 to 40 inches. Forward facing height is 29 to 52...
  • Quickfit harness: With the quickfit harness you can easily adjust both the harness and headrest in one simple step
  • Wash and dry: Machine washable and dryer safe seat pad features snaps that make it simple to take off of the seat; No fuss for truly easy cleaning

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Last update on 2023-03-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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