How to Installing an infant bucket seat in the minivan
As parents, we know that the safety of your baby is constantly top of mind. From living in your house to walking around town, there are lots of things to consider, but car safety is one of the most important. Meet Holly, a local child passenger safety technician, And one of our experts for all things baby. In this video, she will cover some essential tips to ensure that you installing your car seat correctly.
Hey guys! Today I’m gonna be installing an infant bucket seat in the minivan behind me. I’m going to give you some tips and tricks to make that installation easier. We’re going to start by reading our car seat manual and our vehicle manual which will give us great information about where to install our car seat, how it should be installed, and the safest position it can be in your car.
The first thing you wanna do is to make sure that you put your manual back wherever it is in your car seat, so you always have it with you. Normally car seat shaves a slot for it either in the base for infant seats, or the back of your car seats for your convertible seats. And now I’m ready to install my base. This is how it comes out of the box, usually, the latches are tight for your bars. With this particular one, I’m going to let them out by pushing the button and pulling each one out. And then I’m going to check my level indicator, and this one is not within the range that needs to safety before an infant to make sure their airways are not blocked. So I’m gonna slowly adjust the base, one click at a time until it’s within the range that I need it to be to safely install for the infant going in.
Now that I’ve got in level, I’m gonna take my two latches, and one and at a time I’m gonna find my connector points, which match the picture on the safeguard to the picture on my seat. Underneath is a rebound bar with a little “U” that it’s gonna hook onto. I need to make sure my buttons are out, my teeth are facing down, and I’m gonna push it and listen for an audible click. (click)And I can give it a tug. It’s not moving, So I know it’s securely installed. I’m gonna do the same thing on the other side.
If you’re having trouble finding them because you have a car that’s deeper, you can use your hand and guide it in with your fingers and just follow the path. Now that both sides are in, I can pull on my base and I have no movement. So I’m gonna start to tighten. For this particular seat, it used a button system. So I’m gonna push down on the button, and take one strap on one side and start to feed the slack through, creating a loop at the top, we’re gonna do it again on the other side. And I can push that excess slack through to the base where it’s stored. I still have quite a bit of movement, so I’m gonna start tightening the base. So with my forearm, I’m gonna push down with one hand. I’m gonna push my button. And I’m gonna start to use my forearm as a counterweight to tighten on both sides. And feed the rest of that slack through. If I grab at the front, I’m still gonna have movement because there’s nothing securing the front, but if I grab the back where I need to check on the base and give it a tug, there’s still less movement.
So I’m gonna tighten again using my forearm, and pushing on the button with just my upper body. I’m gonna pull through again. Release the button, pull out the slack, repeat that step on the other side. And I’m gonna continue doing that until my base is secure and I have minimal movement. Looking for less than an inch, side to side, and front to back. So if I were to pull on the front of the base, or push back, there’s less than an inch of movement, same with side to side. This tells me that my base is now secure and I’m ready to put the infant bucket seat in. Now we’re ready to install our seat into our base, so when we set it in, we’re listening for an audible click. I’m looking for minimal movement,
if I lift the seat it’s to move out, it’s not coming loose. I’m gonna move my carry bar out of the way so that when I put the little one in, I don’t bump their head. And again, listening for an audible (click) click. To make sure it’s locked into place. We’re putting a five-month-old in, so there’s no infant insert in here or headpiece. That would normally come with your seat, that’s used from about 4 to 12 pounds,I have moved the latches out of the way. The crotch buckle is in its furthest position closest to the baby. And our straps are all ready to go. So you can put the little one in. What we’re gonna do isI’m gonna hold him by his head and back. Can you. . . Carry out. And slide him in. Since he’s able to have good neck and head control, he can kinda slide in on his own. I’m gonna pull up the crotch buckle to make sure it’s not tucked in underneath him and stack, and then we’re gonna start to the position I’m in. Pull his arms though. Make sure my seatbelt is not tangled on both sides. Whenever you position, maybe reaching in underneath his bum and centering him in the seat. And then I can start to do my buckles. I like to start with the base buckles. Just make sure they’re secure. Coming across both hips, And then I’m gonna buckle the top clip, and make sure everything is laying flat. (baby cries)I know, I know. I’m sorry. From here I can tighten. As I’m pulling the slack through the bottom, I’m also pulling the slack out from his hips, and moving up through the seat belt. So that there is minimal pressure put on the baby. I’ve positioned my chest clip at armpit level, so I can draw a line from arm put to armpit and give him a tickle to make sure that it’s in position. It’s going across his chest, across the strongest bone in his body currently, which is his sternum.
His two shoulder pads are tucked out of the way safely so that the seat belt doesn’t rub against his neck. And if you can slide them down, you can see that the seatbelt comes down and around his shoulder and it’s tucked underneath. (baby cries)I know, I know. I made sure everything is properly tightened, I can also do a pinch test. If I don’t have an excess rubbing that I’m pinching that means it’s nice and tight. But it’s not so tight that he can’t breathe, and he’s doing start fish position. So he’s not splayed out. So he is now ready to go. One quick, important tidbit: I’m gonna be using a demo doll to demonstrate where the seatbelt should fall on the baby’s shoulders. It’s really important rear-facing that they go behind the shoulder, as opposed to up and over you would find in a front-facing car seat. So I’m gonna put Milly in. And she’s not gonna have a great fit in this set because we don’t have that infant bolster in. But it’s gonna be really easy to see where her buckles fall. So once I have her clipped in,
We can see where her shoulder straps are. All right now her shoulder straps are up and above her shoulder going out and up. And we’re looking for them to go down and around the back of her shoulder to her shoulder blade. So what I can do to adjust that on this particular seat is to loosen, reach behind where the buckle half adjuster is, and slide it down until it clicks into place. And now you can see that her shoulder path when I tighten. Is behind and down on a downward slope as opposed to up and out on an upward slope. This is really important because this is securing the child safely. So that they don’t have the potential to slide out of it in an accident. And also making sure it’s nice and tight, snug, and secure.
When you put the baby in, you can check for height if you feel like it’s too high, pop them out, slide it down, check again. Once you have this set, it’s good for at least a month or two. Depending on how quickly the baby grows in height. Weight’s not necessarily affected by where the seatbelt buckle falls on the shoulders. For this particular seat, the adjustment for the re-thread harness is on the back. So I can pinch it, slide it down, listen for that audible click to know it’s in place. Now I can check the height on my baby to make sure the positioning is correct under the shoulder. And then I can turn this seat around show how it needs to be under the shoulder blade as opposed to going up and over with it was in a higher positioning. So this car seat does offer two ways to install without the base. Both using the vehicle seatbelt, the first way is going to be the US standard, which is just pulling up the belt, going across and back.
So I’m gonna pull this seatbelt out. This car seat is marked with “carrier only” belt routes. So you’ll know that these little clips hold the seat belts in place. (click)Slides around, Buckles in, Audible click of the seatbelt, And bringing the slack back up. Right now the seatbelt is not locked in, so I’m gonna give it a good tug all the way out gently and slowly. And I’m listening for an audible click. When I pull on it, it no longer retracts. Which means it’s now in the locked position, so I can start to tighten my car seat. I’m gonna start from the base of the seatbelt, bring all my excess slack around, across to my sliding latch, then bring it all the way back through, up, and into the retractor. Once I’ve done this and it’s tightened, I can give that base a tug, I have less than an inch of movement on either side, and front to back. We’re looking for the same thing as we would if we were installing it with the base. Since our car seat does not have a level, there’s a blue line usually or some kind of line on a car seat that will say”It needs to be level at this point. “For this one, it is a blue line. Carry only install. Should be leveled with the ground, So because at this point it’s not level, I can slightly adjust my car seat, and make sure that my line is now level to the ground. Once the baby is secure and buckled in, and our seats are buckled in without movement. We’re at the appropriate angle.
We’re ready to go. Some car seats are now offering European belt installation also. Which is slightly different from standard US installation of going across with your shoulder strap, coming back to the back of the seat. So you would install it the same as the beginning, goes across, you’re gonna allow enough slack to go over, through the belt-positioning, buckle it in. . . But from here I would start your tightening because you’re gonna go around the back of the seat, and it’s gonna slide into this slot I made available for the European strap positioning. Otherwise, it’s all the same, you’re gonna pull out your retractor, Make sure it’s nice and tight. And then work out that slack from the backside of the seat where the belt starts. Around the back of your car seat, through the shoulder strap, and then again back up into the retractor.
You wanna double check again that the level of your seat, and that everything is secure with minimal movement. Some infant bucket seats their base has a different kind of latch system still works the same where it clicks into the “U” underneath the seat, but instead, it has an alligator clip. So when you install it you’re gonna want to make sure that instead of going up and through, you go down and pull down. So we’re gonna pop it in,(click)Listening again for that audible click, giving it a light tug to make sure it’s secure. Then I can do the same thing on the other side. (click)Again, listening for that audible click. So this seat does not have an automatic system to tighten, So I need to manually do it. So I’m gonna use my forearm with one hand, and with the other hand, I’m gonna grab the base strap and start to tighten using my upper body only. And making sure there are no twists, no curves. I’m gonna do my tightening. Now with a seat like this, it’s gonna be very easy to overtighten, if you use your entire body. So if I were to climb in and put my whole body on the seat, I’m compressing down the entire seat,
That’s over 200 pounds of force. By just using my forearm, I’m applying minimal weight, which is comparable to having them fit into the seat, that would imply the same amount of pressure. So this is really tight, and I would be concerned because it’s pushing into the seat at all points. So it’s applying a lot of extra force to that seat, so I’m gonna actually loosen it a little. And make sure it’s nice and secure now, and it has less movement and less pressure against the seat. So if the seat is over tightened, I have over 200 pounds of pressure on this seat right now for a seat that’s only weighted at 35 pounds. In an accident it could fail, the plastic could give, the seat could give, the seats are designed to hold a specific weight and when you apply too much pressure it could fail. And it doesn’t have the ability to move the way it should move, and the way it’s designed to move in an accident.
Most car seats also come with an infant insert and directions on how to use them and when to use them can be found in your manual. They’ll either be in the front in the positioning section for setting up your car seat in the back with additional information. It’ll list the weight requirements for when you use it, usually, a newborn is between 4 and 12 pounds, and it’ll also let you know when to take it out. So for this particular car seat, it’s got the base here, which is a bolster to lift up their bottom to make sure their airways are clear. And also offers head and neck support, So the baby’s ability to control their own head and neck movement. This bottom piece can be removed after 11 pounds when the baby properly fits properly in the base of the car seat. And this top piece can be used as the baby gets bigger. Usually about the four-month mark, when their harness is ready to be moved back. -We’ve tested some of the top infant car seats on the market to help you pick the right one. Check out our best infant car seat review. To learn more and make the best product pick.