3rd Trimester

XP: Car seat advice

So I'm beginning to start thinking about where and when to install the base for LOs infant seat.  As of now I have DS2's seat behind my passenger seat and DS1 sits either in the middle or behind the driver (whichever he prefers as he has a booster but it secures with the adult belt).   I have looked at my cars manual and it's a bit confusing about where I can and can't put car seats with the LATCH system.  So I guess my questions for you ladies are 1)which do you prefer using the cars safety belt or the LATCH system  and 2)As long as manuals say its ok I was thinking of putting LO behind passenger seat and DS2 behind driver seat...that way the oldest can sit in the middle.  (I know we need a bigger car...lol)  

Also I fully plan on taking them by the fire dept. after I install to make sure they meet safety requirements for the state.... even though the state is kinda slack. 

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Re: XP: Car seat advice

  • The fire department might not be the best place to take them, the best place is where certified installers are. This could be an FD, PD, hospital, or school. You should be able to google and find out.

    From what I've read, the best place for the infant seat is what your car manual says. However, LATCH is for convenience not necessarily safety. So if you can get a tighter fit with the carseat using the seatbelt, then that's okay. I would try infant seat behind the passenger, so he's curbside, toddler convertible behind the driver, and oldest child in booster in the middle, as long as its a full seatbelt and not just a lap belt. Unless I'm totally mistaken and your post said you'll only have 2 in carseats. Sorry, mobile bumping!
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  • We also have consulted our car's manual and it's not very clear.  We are going to be having our 2nd child so I don't know what I'd do with 3 kids! But what we plan to do is put the infant seat in the middle and we are using the LATCH system--we have found that even though there are no latches in the middle seat, we can still use the ones on both sides of the middle.  The seat seems to be secure.  To answer your question we definitely prefer to use the LATCH system vs the seatbelts as it is so much easier to install and take out as we need to. Also it just seems to be more secure that way. 

    Your manual will probably say that passenger side is preferred over the driver's side. That's what ours said.  We have a Toyota Highlander. It showed pictures of the infant seat in the  middle but it didn't actually say anything about it... ugh, I hate instruction manuals! 

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  • imagedavis0905:

    We also have consulted our car's manual and it's not very clear.  We are going to be having our 2nd child so I don't know what I'd do with 3 kids! But what we plan to do is put the infant seat in the middle and we are using the LATCH system--we have found that even though there are no latches in the middle seat, we can still use the ones on both sides of the middle.  The seat seems to be secure.  To answer your question we definitely prefer to use the LATCH system vs the seatbelts as it is so much easier to install and take out as we need to. Also it just seems to be more secure that way. 

    Your manual will probably say that passenger side is preferred over the driver's side. That's what ours said.  We have a Toyota Highlander. It showed pictures of the infant seat in the  middle but it didn't actually say anything about it... ugh, I hate instruction manuals! 

     

    I did read that if the middle doesn't have LATCH places to not use the ones on the sides thats why they say put the seats on the sides.  IDK. I called the local FD and PD and the FD said I'd could come by the main station anytime and someone would be able to look at it and see.   The PD doesn't always have a certified person.   


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  • When I took our infant seat to the police to inspect, he said to not bother with the latch at all and use the safety belt since it's easier to get a good fit. Now reports come out that latch is only safe if the combined weight of the seat and child is under something around 30lbs. I went with whatever the officer told me since they witness what happens with car seats after an accident. Would definitely just skip the manual and go directly to a certified seat inspection. I felt way more confident about safety after that.
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  • How heavy is DS2? Did you know they can outgrow the LATCH system? The max total weight (between carseat and kid) the system can safely handle is 60 or 65 pounds. Most carseats weigh 30ish pounds. 

    The safest place in the car is where ever you feel you can 1) get a secure fit for the carseat and 2)properly and securely strap LO into the seat.  

    DD1 4.14.10
    DD2 8.22.13
    MMC 1.4.17 at 16w
    Expecting #3, EDD 1.29.18

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  • imagedavis0905:

    But what we plan to do is put the infant seat in the middle and we are using the LATCH system--we have found that even though there are no latches in the middle seat, we can still use the ones on both sides of the middle.  The seat seems to be secure.  

    that is horrible advice. There are no center LATCH tethers because you shouldn't be using them in the center. Either use the seat belt or move the carseat.  

    https://www.thecarseatlady.com/vehicles/the_latch_system_10.html

    DD1 4.14.10
    DD2 8.22.13
    MMC 1.4.17 at 16w
    Expecting #3, EDD 1.29.18

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  • imageLoppy19:
    imagecwhitloc:
    When I took our infant seat to the police to inspect, he said to not bother with the latch at all and use the safety belt since it's easier to get a good fit. Now reports come out that latch is only safe if the combined weight of the seat and child is under something around 30lbs. I went with whatever the officer told me since they witness what happens with car seats after an accident. Would definitely just skip the manual and go directly to a certified seat inspection. I felt way more confident about safety after that.
    The weight that the LATCH system can hold varies between each car seat. ETA: Also, if your seat belts don't lock in place after installing the car seat then they are not safer than latch.

    The combined weight limit, for all LATCH systems in all cars and all carseats, of the carseat and child is 65 pounds. The only variation is how much the carseat actually weighs. (This applies to the lower anchors/tethers only, there are different standards for the upper tether.) 

    As of 2014 all carseats will be required to have a sticker that states this information. 

    Certified technicians are being told, that if the carseat manual and car manual are not in agreement or do not clearly state a limit that parents should be advised to discontinue the use of the lower anchors/tether for a child heavier than 40 pounds.  

    DD1 4.14.10
    DD2 8.22.13
    MMC 1.4.17 at 16w
    Expecting #3, EDD 1.29.18

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  • imageMrandMrsFireFighter:
    The fire department might not be the best place to take them, the best place is where certified installers are. This could be an FD, PD, hospital, or school. You should be able to google and find out. From what I've read, the best place for the infant seat is what your car manual says. However, LATCH is for convenience not necessarily safety. So if you can get a tighter fit with the carseat using the seatbelt, then that's okay. I would try infant seat behind the passenger, so he's curbside, toddler convertible behind the driver, and oldest child in booster in the middle, as long as its a full seatbelt and not just a lap belt. Unless I'm totally mistaken and your post said you'll only have 2 in carseats. Sorry, mobile bumping!

    Yes All of this. Go to seatcheck.org to find a certified technician (CPST) to check your seat. They will have the most current advice regarding which seats to put where. 

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  • Well, I'm sorry for giving "horrible advice"...I'm not an expert and don't pretend to be (I'm also extremely hormonal and sensitive today so your comment hurts  me) But I did do my research and the consensus seems to be that the middle seat is safest.  If you were to get hit by a car on either side, logically, the seat in the middle is safest.  https://children.webmd.com/news/20080507/safest-spot-for-babys-car-seat 

    I will consult with a certified technician just to put my mind at ease and of course will make any changes that are recommended. 

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  • https://www.thecarseatlady.com/car_seats/rear-facing_seats_7.html

    this also confirms my point that center is safest EVEN if there is no latch in the center.  If there's no latch you can use the vehicle safety belt. 

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  • DH is a certified installer and its my understanding that the LATCH and seat belt are equally safe, just a different way to install. As far as safe positions, statistically middle is safest, second is passenger side, and then driver side. But I agree with PPs about seeing an installer near you as these things change all the time.
    image

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  • imagedavis0905:
    We also have consulted our car's manual and it's not very clear.nbsp; We are going to be having our 2nd child so I don't know what I'd do with 3 kids! But what we plan to do is put the infant seat in the middle and we are using the LATCH systemwe have found that even though there are no latches in the middle seat, we can still use the ones on both sides of the middle.nbsp; The seat seems to be secure.nbsp; To answer your question we definitely prefer to use the LATCH system vs the seatbelts as it is so much easier to install and take out as we need to. Also it just seems to be more secure that way.nbsp;Your manual will probably say that passenger side is preferred over the driver's side. That's what ours said.nbsp; We have a Toyota Highlander.nbsp;It showed pictures of the infant seat in thenbsp; middle but it didn't actually say anything about it... ugh, I hate instruction manuals!nbsp;


    I know it's been said already, but I need to stress that unless your manual specifically says its acceptable, you cannot "borrow" side LATCH components for the middle seat. Bad idea.

    The middle is generallu the safest, yes. But if you have a child without the insulation of a full car seat, for example the child in the booster, they'd most likely be better off in the middle, with infant on the side.
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  • imagedavis0905:

    Well, I'm sorry for giving "horrible advice"...I'm not an expert and don't pretend to be (I'm also extremely hormonal and sensitive today so your comment hurts  me) But I did do my research and the consensus seems to be that the middle seat is safest.  If you were to get hit by a car on either side, logically, the seat in the middle is safest.  https://children.webmd.com/news/20080507/safest-spot-for-babys-car-seat 

    I will consult with a certified technician just to put my mind at ease and of course will make any changes that are recommended. 

    Middle seat *is* safest, the "horrible advice" is using the LATCH from the two side seats to install a center seat. The only cars in the USA that have had center LATCH (as in, all 3 seats have their own LATCH) is Saturn, and they no longer make cars. You should not 'borrow' one LATCH from the two side seats, this is not how it is meant to be used. If you install in the center seat, use the seatbelt.

    As PPs have said, LATCH & seatbelt installation are EQUALLY SAFE. LATCH was created to try and make installation easier, but in reality it's made it more of a headache because people still don't know how to use it correctly.

    Bottom line: If you're installing in the center seat, and your vehicle is NOT a Saturn (ie does not have a center LATCH,) then use the seatbelt to install the carseat, and do NOT borrow one LATCH anchor from each of the side seats.

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  • imageAurora317:
    imagedavis0905:

    Well, I'm sorry for giving "horrible advice"...I'm not an expert and don't pretend to be (I'm also extremely hormonal and sensitive today so your comment hurts  me) But I did do my research and the consensus seems to be that the middle seat is safest.  If you were to get hit by a car on either side, logically, the seat in the middle is safest.  https://children.webmd.com/news/20080507/safest-spot-for-babys-car-seat 

    I will consult with a certified technician just to put my mind at ease and of course will make any changes that are recommended. 

    Middle seat *is* safest, the "horrible advice" is using the LATCH from the two side seats to install a center seat. The only cars in the USA that have had center LATCH (as in, all 3 seats have their own LATCH) is Saturn, and they no longer make cars. You should not 'borrow' one LATCH from the two side seats, this is not how it is meant to be used. If you install in the center seat, use the seatbelt.

    As PPs have said, LATCH & seatbelt installation are EQUALLY SAFE. LATCH was created to try and make installation easier, but in reality it's made it more of a headache because people still don't know how to use it correctly.

    Bottom line: If you're installing in the center seat, and your vehicle is NOT a Saturn (ie does not have a center LATCH,) then use the seatbelt to install the carseat, and do NOT borrow one LATCH anchor from each of the side seats.



    Mobile thumbs up. We posted at the same time.
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  • imageMrandMrsFireFighter:
    imagedavis0905:
    We also have consulted our car's manual and it's not very clear.nbsp; We are going to be having our 2nd child so I don't know what I'd do with 3 kids! But what we plan to do is put the infant seat in the middle and we are using the LATCH systemwe have found that even though there are no latches in the middle seat, we can still use the ones on both sides of the middle.nbsp; The seat seems to be secure.nbsp; To answer your question we definitely prefer to use the LATCH system vs the seatbelts as it is so much easier to install and take out as we need to. Also it just seems to be more secure that way.nbsp;Your manual will probably say that passenger side is preferred over the driver's side. That's what ours said.nbsp; We have a Toyota Highlander.nbsp;It showed pictures of the infant seat in thenbsp; middle but it didn't actually say anything about it... ugh, I hate instruction manuals!nbsp;
    I know it's been said already, but I need to stress that unless your manual specifically says its acceptable, you cannot "borrow" side LATCH components for the middle seat. Bad idea. The middle is generallu the safest, yes. But if you have a child without the insulation of a full car seat, for example the child in the booster, they'd most likely be better off in the middle, with infant on the side.

    lol, yup, we must have posted at the same time. Great minds think alike.

    As stated here, the most "vulnerable" passenger should be put in the center seat, and rear facing children are always more protected than forward facing children. IE: If you have a toddler or child that is forward facing, put THEM in the middle seat, and put the rear facing infant or toddler on one of the sides.

    ALL of this is a game of statistics. When people say passenger side or driver's side is the 2nd or 3rd best placement, it's because of the percentage of accidents that occur from the opposite side. Center is safest because regardless if you're rear-ended, t-boned, or hit head on, you're in the center, and as far away from the impact as possible. If you are on the passenger's side and hit on the passenger's side, then obviously it *would* have been safer to be on the other side of the car, but there is absolutely no way to know where when or how you'll be hit, in the event that you are. 

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  • I'm a car seat technician and after installing multiple carseats I like the latch system much better if you can get a good fit.
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