Some people have more than one car and car seat so installing one in each car is simple. However, if you have one seat between two cars then installing and removing becomes a much more painful job.
All baby and child car seats come with quite clear manufacturer’s instructions to help fit the seat correctly. If you haven’t got the instructions any longer then the websites generally have a PDF version you can download. If you cannot find a copy of the instructions then you can always ring them up and they will be able to provide a copy.
Most car seats have a label on the side showing arrows and a quick guide on how to install it. This can also be very simple to follow and help ensure your child is safely seated in your car.
Baby and Toddler seats are recommended to be fit in the back of the car. It is very rare that they should be fit in the front but sometimes this is necessary. You must, however, NEVER fit a rear facing car seat in the front as this can cause severe damage to your child. If the air bag was to release it will hit the rear of the car seat and your childs head with a considerable amount of force.
Fitting a forward-facing seat is OK as long as you move the car seat as far back as possible. This will reduce the risk of injury to your child should you be in a collision.
Fitting a Car Seat Using Seat Belts
Using a seat belt is the most common way of fitting and installing a baby chair. They are simple enough to install and generally have blue guide lines for rear facing car seats and red guide lines for forward-facing. Some seats have a 3rd option which is only used if the seat belt is not long enough to go through or around the red or blue guides.
Once you start installing the seat you will need to put all your weight into the chair so the seat sits firmly into the chair. Once your feed the seat belt through and secure it the chair will be tight and firm against your car seat. Make sure there is no seat belt slack otherwise the chair will move. Then if you require further tightening, some seats to have a lever that helps with that extra bit of security.
Ensure the seat belt is locked firmly in place otherwise your car seat will start to move around the car. This is extremely dangerous especially if the child is in the seat at the time. If the belt is not locked in place then you could end up with a child strapped in the seat on it’s side. This again is very dangerous and, not to mention, uncomfortable.
Fitting an ISOFix Child and Toddler Car Seat
ISOFix points are built into cars during manufacturing stage with connecting arms. These car seats do not require the seat belt to be used when installing the seat. An additional support leg is used to prevent the seat from moving and rotating.
If you want to know if your car has them then you can easily check your vehicle handbook or contact the manufacturer.
The legislation in the UK has now been amended to allow any i-size seats to be used in the UK. These seats fit into the Isofix connectors. You MUST still check with your car manufacturer whether the isize seats have been approved. Most car manufacturers have a list that is accessible from their website that will give you information to which chairs are approved and to which cars.
Once you have found an i-size approved car, any i-size baby car chairs will fit in an i-size compatible car.
How to Fit an Isofix Baby Car Seat
- Firstly, check with your car manufacturer that your Isofix seat is compatible with your vehicle. If not then you won’t be able to fit it in the car.
- All vehicles and baby car seats come with clear instructions from the manufacturers and should be followed.
- When purchasing a car that is compatible with a Isofix car chair you will notice the Isofix slots that are behind the rear car seats. These help you connect the seat comfortably.
- You then need to locate the Isofix connectors on the seat and base and then connect them to the car connectors. Once these are connected properly you will hear a loud clicking sound and the small indicator on the seat will change to green to alert you the chair is connected properly.
How to Fit an isize Baby Car Seat
- Isize seats also use the Isofix connections in your car and the manufacturers instructions will show you show to fit these carefully.
- Contact your manufacturer to make sure that the care is approved and compatible with your car.
- In the UK the number of isize compatible cars is minimal but these are set to rise as the Isofix connectors are much safer than a normal seat belt connection
In Summary: Installing a Baby Car Seat
We highly recommend using the manufacturers instructions and guidelines to ensure that all car seats are fit safely and comfortably. All the instructions are very simple to follow and should ensure that you don’t have any issues with your childs seat.
Although instruction manuals can be boring and people tend to ‘try and do it myself’ by doing this you are putting yours and your childs safety at risk.
Most baby and toddler seats have a small pocket or storage space, this is a great place to keep the instruction manual. Although all seat and car manufacturers have some great online guides that are just as easy to follow and can be viewed on your mobile device whilst on the go.
Overall we have found that manufacturer handbooks and guidelines are simple to follow and should not be diverted from. YouTube videos are great but are not always the official guidelines so we wouldn’t always recommend these.