Multi-Use

There are many car seat choices on the market. Use the information below to help you install a convertible, combination, 3-in-1, or all-in-one car seat tightly in your vehicle. The car seat manual, as well as the vehicle owner’s manual, will provide you with the best guidance for correctly using the car seat.

installing multi use car seats

    Convertible Car Seat Used Rear-Facing With Seat Belt

    Installing the Car Seat:
    • Before you install, read your car seat instruction manual and your vehicle's owner manual. Pay close attention to the information about your vehicle's seat belt system, and how to "lock" the seat belt. Every seat and vehicle is different, which affects the way you'll install your particular seat.
    • Place the car seat base in the back seat of your vehicle, in the rear-facing position.
    • Carefully thread the seat belt through the rear-facing belt path. Check to make sure there are no twists in the seat belt.
    • Buckle the seat belt.
    • Lock the seat belt.
    • Press down firmly on the car seat base and tighten.
      • You should not be able to move the car seat side-to-side or front-to-back more than 1 inch.
    • Make sure your car seat base is installed at the correct recline angle.
      • Babies must ride sitting semi-reclined to keep the airway open.
      • Most car seats that can be used rear-facing have built-in angle indicators or adjustors to assist you.
      • As your child grows the angle may need to be adjusted, so be sure to read the manufacturer's instructions.

    Fitting Your Child Correctly in the Car Seat:
    • Place your child in the car seat with the child's back flat against the car seat.
    • Place harness straps over the child's shoulders. Harness straps should lie flat, not twisted, and be placed through the slots located at or below your child's shoulders.
    • Buckle the harness, and the chest clip, and tighten until snug. The harness is snug enough when you cannot pinch any extra material at the shoulder.
      • Bulky clothing or blankets can prevent a snug harness fit. Always buckle the baby in the seat first, and then place coats or blankets over the harness.
      • If your baby needs support, fill the empty spaces with small, rolled blankets on each side of the baby's shoulders and head.
      • If there is a gap between the buckle and your child's groin (common for young infants), try placing a rolled washcloth or diaper in the space for a more secure fit.
    • Place chest clip at armpit level. This holds the harness straps in place on the child's chest and shoulders.
    Best Practice:

    Read the car seat manual carefully and remember that children should ride rear-facing until they reach the top weight or height limit.

    Convertible Car Seat Used Rear-Facing With Seat Belt



    Combination Car Seat Used Forward-Facing with Seat Belt



    Once your child outgrows the rear-facing size limits, it’s time to switch your convertible seat to face forward.


    Installing the Car Seat:
    • Before you install, read your car seat instruction manual and your vehicle's owner manual. Pay close attention to the information about your vehicle's seat belt system, and how to "lock" the seat belt. Every seat and vehicle is different, which affects the way you'll install your particular seat.
    • Place the car seat base in the back seat of your vehicle, in the forward-facing position.
    • Carefully thread the seat belt through the rear-facing belt path. Check to make sure there are no twists in the seat belt.
    • Buckle the seat belt.
    • Lock the seat belt.
    • Press down firmly on the car seat base and tighten.
      • You should not be able to move the car seat side-to-side or front-to-back more than 1 inch.

    Fitting Your Child Correctly in the Car Seat:
    • Have your child sit with his/her back and bottom flat against the car seat.
    • Properly position the harness on your child. Harness straps should lie flat, not twisted, and be placed through the slots located at or above your child’s shoulders.
      • Most convertible car seats require use of the top-most slot for the forward-facing position. These slots are reinforced to prevent the seat from failing in a crash.
    • Buckle the harness, and the chest clip, and tighten. The harness is snug enough when you cannot pinch any extra material at the shoulder.
      • Bulky clothing or heavy coats can prevent a snug harness fit. Always buckle the child in the seat first, and then place coats or blankets over the harness.
    • Place the chest clip at armpit level. This holds the harness straps in place on the child’s chest and shoulders.
    Best Practice:

    Continue to use your car seat in the forward-facing position with a harness for as long as possible. Always read the car seat and vehicle manuals for weight and height limits.

    Combination Car Seat Used Forward-Facing with Seat Belt



    Combination, All-in-One, or 3-in-1 Car Seats Used
    as Booster Seats



    When your child outgrows the height or weight limits of the harness, remove the harness and use the seat as booster. Be sure to carefully follow the instructions on how to convert your seat to a booster.

    Some younger children may outgrow the weight or height limit of the forward-facing car seat with a harness but may not be ready to stay seated properly in a booster seat using the lap and shoulder belt. If this is the case, look for a car seat with a higher size limit.


    Converting the Car Seat to a Booster:
    • Before you begin, read the instruction manual for your seat and the portion of your vehicle owner’s manual on child restraint systems. Because every car seat and vehicle is different, it's important to follow all instructions carefully.
    • If you are converting a 3-in-1, All-in-One, or Combination Car Seat to a Booster, follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to remove the harness.

    How to use a Booster Seat:
    • Place the booster in the back seat of your vehicle. Make sure the booster seat fits flat in the vehicle seat.
    • Have your child sit in the booster seat.
    • Pull the seat belt across your child’s body and buckle the seat belt.
    • Make sure the belt fits your child properly. If the seat comes with seat belt guides, use them to achieve good belt positioning.
      • Adjust the lap belt so it lies snugly across the child’s upper thighs, not across the stomach.
      • Adjust the shoulder belt so it rests across the chest.
    • Check the fit of the seat belt often.
    Best Practice:

    Read the car seat manual carefully and remember that children should ride rear-facing until they reach the top weight or height limit.

    Combination, All-in-One, or 3-in-1 Car Seats Used as Booster Seats


    Installation with LATCH

    LATCH stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children. This system is designed to help make proper car seat installation easier. Both the vehicle and the car seat need to be LATCH-equipped in order to use the system.

    The lower anchors are those small metal bars found in many vehicles' back seats. Adjustable lower straps (sometimes called "LATCH straps") are connected from the car seat to the lower anchors to secure the car seat. All car seats should use the top tether strap in the forward-facing position. Some manufacturers recommend using the top tether strap with a rear-facing seat, as well.

    Before you install your car seat using the LATCH system, read your car seat instruction manual and your vehicle's owner manual carefully. Pay close attention on the location of the lower anchors and top tether anchor and directions on how to use this installation system in your vehicle. Every car seat is different and every vehicle is different, which affects the way you'll install your particular seat.

    Also, keep in mind that your vehicle's LATCH system may have a weight limit that differs from that of the car seat. If that's the case, you can first install the seat using the LATCH system, then switch to seat belt installation later. Always follow the installation instructions provided by your car seat manufacturer and your vehicle owner's manual.



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    Installing the Car Seat:
    • Before you install the rear-facing infant car seat using the LATCH lower anchors, read your car seat instruction manual and your vehicle’s owner manual carefully. Pay close attention to the location of the lower anchors, and directions on how to use this installation system in your vehicle.
    • Place the car seat in the back seat of your vehicle, in the rear-facing position.
    • Locate the lower anchors in your vehicle.
    • Attach the lower straps on the car seat to the lower anchors, making sure the straps aren't twisted.
    • Press down firmly on the car seat base and tighten the straps.
      • You should not be able to move the car seat base side-to-side or front-to-back more than 1 inch.
    • Make sure your base is installed at the correct recline angle.
      • Babies must ride sitting semi-reclined to keep the airway open.
      • Most infant car seats have built-in angle indicators or adjustors to assist you.
      • As your child grows the angle may need to be adjusted, so be sure to read the manufacturer's instructions.
    • Attach the infant carrier to the base.
    Fitting Your Child Correctly in the Car Seat:
    • Place your child in the car seat with the child's back flat against the car seat.
    • Place harness straps over the child's shoulders. Harness straps should lie flat, not twisted, and be placed through the slots located at or below your child's shoulders.
    • Buckle the harness, and the chest clip, and tighten until snug. The harness is snug enough when you cannot pinch any extra material at the shoulder.
      • Bulky clothing or blankets can prevent a snug harness fit. Always buckle the baby in the seat first, and then place coats or blankets over the harness.
      • If your baby needs support, fill the empty spaces with small, rolled blankets on each side of the baby's shoulders and head.
      • If there is a gap between the buckle and your child's groin (common for young infants), try placing a rolled washcloth or diaper in the space for a more secure fit.
    • Place chest clip at armpit level. This holds the harness straps in place on the child's chest and shoulders.
    Best Practice:

    Read the manual carefully and remember that children should ride rear-facing until they reach the top height or weight limit before you move them to the forward-facing position with a harness.

    Convertible Car Seat Used Rear-Facing With LATCH Lower Anchors



    3-in-1 Car Seat Used Forward-Facing With a Harness, Installed With LATCH

    Installing the Car Seat:
    • Before you install the car seat using the LATCH system, read your car seat instruction manual and your vehicle's owner manual carefully. Pay close attention to the location of the lower anchors, and directions on how to use this installation system in your vehicle.
    • Place the car seat in the back seat of your vehicle in the forward-facing position.
    • Locate the lower anchors in your vehicle.
    • Attach the lower straps on the car seat to the lower anchors, making sure the straps aren't twisted.
    • Press down firmly on the car seat base and tighten the straps.
      • You should not be able to move the car seat side-to-side or front-to-back more than 1 inch.
    • Connect the top tether strap found on the car seat to the tether anchor in the vehicle and tighten.
      • This step is very important as it limits forward movement in a crash.
    Fitting Your Child Correctly in the Car Seat:
    • Have your child sit with his/her back and bottom flat against the car seat.
    • Properly position the harness on your child. Harness straps should lie flat, not twisted, and be placed through the slots located at or above your child's shoulders.
      • Some car seats require use of the top-most slot for the forward-facing position. These slots are reinforced to prevent the seat from failing in a crash. Read your car seat instruction manual carefully.
    • Buckle the harness, and the chest clip, and tighten until snug. The harness is snug enough when you cannot pinch any extra material at the shoulder.
      • Bulky clothing or blankets can prevent a snug harness fit. Always buckle the baby in the seat first, and then place coats or blankets over the harness.
      • Place chest clip at armpit level. This holds the harness straps in place on the child's chest and shoulders.
      Best Practice:

      Don’t rush to move your child to a booster too early. Continue to use your car seat, in the forward-facing position with a harness and tether for as long as possible. Always read the car seat and vehicle manuals to determine the weight limit for LATCH use as it varies for different car seats and vehicles. If your child reaches the weight limits for the anchors but is still within the weight or height limits of the car seat, reinstall the car seat using your vehicle's seat belt.

      3-in-1 Car Seat Used Forward-Facing With a Harness, Installed With LATCH



    Tether

    What is a Top Tether

    The top tether is comprised of a strap and accompanying hardware that 'anchors' the top of the car seat to the tether anchor in the vehicle. It is a component of the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system, developed to help make it easier to install car seats.

    Where is it Located?

    The top tether strap is located on the top rear of many convertible car seats.

    How Does it Work?

    By connecting it to a tether anchor, found in many vehicles, the top tether strap helps to limit forward head movement of your child in the car seat in the event of a crash. If your vehicle doesn't have a top tether anchor, contact the manufacturer or a dealership to see if it can be retrofitted.

    When should I use it?

    Read your car seat instruction manual for the manufacturer's recommendations. All car seats should use the top tether strap in the forward-facing position. Some manufacturers recommend using the top tether with a rear-facing convertible seat as well. Your vehicle type, including availability of a tether anchor, will also determine how you use the top tether.

    MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER: We recommend using the top tether whether you install your car seat using the LATCH system or using the seat belt. With both types of installations, the top tether helps secure the seat and protect your child in the event of a crash.


    Installing the Car Seat:
    • Before you install read your car seat instruction manual and your vehicle's owner manual. Pay close attention to the information about your vehicle's seat belt system, and how to "lock" the seat belt. Also look for the location of the top tether anchors, and directions on how to use this installation system in your vehicle.
    • Place the car seat in the back seat of your vehicle in the forward-facing position.
    • Carefully thread the forward-facing belt path. Be careful not to have any twists in the seat belts.
    • Buckle the seat belt.
    • Lock the seat belt.
    • Press down firmly on the car seat and tighten.
      • You should not be able to move the car seat base side-to-side or front-to-back more than 1 inch.
    • Connect the top tether strap found on the car seat to your vehicle's tether anchor and tighten. This step is very important as it limits forward movement in a crash.
    Fitting Your Child Correctly in the Car Seat:
    • Have your child sit with his/her back and bottom flat against the car seat.
    • Properly position the harness on your child. Harness straps should lie flat, not twisted, and be placed through the slots located at or above your child’s shoulders.
      • Some car seats require use of the top-most slot for the forward-facing position. These slots are reinforced to prevent the seat from failing in a crash. Read your car seat instruction manual carefully.
    • Buckle the harness, and the chest clip, and tighten. The harness is snug enough when you cannot pinch any extra material at the shoulder.
      • Bulky clothing or heavy coats can prevent a snug harness fit. Always buckle the child in the seat first, and then place coats or blankets over the harness.
    • Place the chest clip at armpit level. This holds the harness straps in place on the child's chest and shoulders.
    Best Practice:

    Continue to use your car seat in the forward-facing position with a harness and tether for as long as possible. Always read the car seat and vehicle manuals for weight limits. If your child reaches the weight limit for the top tether, but is still within the size limits of the car seat, use the car seat without the top tether.

    Combination Car Seat Used Forward-Facing With a Harness, Installed With a Seat Belt and Tether