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Old 12-04-2012, 01:32 AM   #1
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Infant car seat install

Well, baby is just about due. Figured I should probably install the infant car seat.

Question is:

My 2012 VW has the LATCH system but only for the outboard rear passenger seats. If I were to install the seat in the centre, I would have to use the car's seat belts to restrain the seat.

So: LATCH system but more vulnerable to side impacts/vehicle intrusions...
Or
Seatbelt-restraint but safer in the middle of the car?

The seatbelt-restraint is supposedly just as safe as the LATCH system but it still leaves me wondering...
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:08 AM   #2
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Both. Can't you use one latch out each passenger seat, but still keep the car seat in the middle?
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:18 AM   #3
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I've personally been using the middle in my ls400 for my daughter, its abit more work to load her in and out of the car especially now that shes 8 months, but I feel safer when shes in there compared to the sides.

I'm switching over to the next step up seat in the next month or so, and I think I'll still keep her in the middle for the time being.

congrats by the way!
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:39 AM   #4
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Congrats! That's weird that it doesn't have LATCH in the middle seat, usually it's underneath the seat back for the middle.

I would still use the middle seat for the car seat.

What car seat do you have? I have the GRACO snugride and the latch system on that seat is much harder to use than the Diondi SuperLatch system.

Take it down to the fire department and they can do a free check as well.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:05 AM   #5
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The middle is a bit more work to put your kid in. BUT.. When you are driving, if the baby starts to cry or get restless, it is much easier to attend to the baby when you are stopped at a light. Not to mention it's also safer.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:31 AM   #6
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i use the middle. that way if your friend/wife/inlaws/parents are watching the kid they can be on both sides. plus i figure the chance of side impact having the baby in the middle is best. if you can do both that's best but i don't see anything wrong with the seat belt, it's what it is designed for.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:38 AM   #7
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Congrats!

My 2005 Honda Pilot is configured like that too (no LATCH in the middle seat). So I have a Britax Marathon (pretty massive) installed in the middle using a 3-point seatbelt restraint. Without a doubt, it's the safest seat in the car! Having the car seat installed in the middle also makes it more convenient for passengers to get in/out of the back row too, as both doors are still accessible. Your baby will also have the option of interacting with two adults on either side.

I can't remember - if your infant car seat uses a base (which is secured to your car), is there something that prevents it from flipping upwards?
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:50 AM   #8
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Just pop her in the middle use the seatbelt its no less safe then the latch. Its probably safer as its intended to hold in 200+ pound people unlike the latch system.
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:28 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Phil@rise View Post
Just pop her in the middle use the seatbelt its no less safe then the latch. Its probably safer as its intended to hold in 200+ pound people unlike the latch system.
I believe in an accident the latch system operates slightly different than seatbelt. Most seatbelts are designed to pull tight, then slowly peel away, whereas the latch is supposed to hold tight.

That said, both systems work well. When I drove my friends kids around in their baby seats, I usually used the latch system. It was a giant pain to use in my Accord, especially trying to latch to the base of the Acord's seat, but it was fine once I got used to it.

Personally, if you wanted to keep your kid in the middle seat, I would use the seatbelt. Using both systems might create an unintended situation should you get into an accident.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:10 PM   #10
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Thanks guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wetordry View Post
Both. Can't you use one latch out each passenger seat, but still keep the car seat in the middle?
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That's how I had installed it in the first place but with that method, the passengers on either side of the seat wouldn't be able to buckle in as the LATCH straps would be covering them. Then I went on VWVortex and, supposedly, VW states that I'm NOT to use the LATCH system in the middle that way as that's not the way it's been designed. I can see how that is as the LATCHs would not be completely perpendicular to the force applied (in say a frontal collision) as they would be stretched towards the seat.

The car's manual doesn't say not to use the LATCH system that way but does state that I'm either to use seatbelts in the middle or LATCHs or seatbelts on the sides.

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I can't remember - if your infant car seat uses a base (which is secured to your car), is there something that prevents it from flipping upwards?
No, there's nothing that prevents the front of the car seat base from lifting off the seat. I tried it last night and I could lift the front of it about 4-5 inches. This is due to the fact that the car seat base is installed only with the lap belt portion of the seatbelt and is secured at the rear of the seat. There's nothing holding the front of the car seat base down.

I have a Peg Perego Viaggio SIP 30-30 (something like that).

Even with the LATCH system in the outboard passenger seats, the front of the car seat base still lifts up. Not sure what I can do about the lifting though.

EDIT: I just remembered. I'm supposed to flip the infant seat's carrying handle towards the car's seatback(pointing to the rear). That would limit how far the infant car seat would be able to rotate (ie: how far the front end of the base can lift). There's about a two inch gap between the handle and the seatback.

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Just pop her in the middle use the seatbelt its no less safe then the latch. Its probably safer as its intended to hold in 200+ pound people unlike the latch system.
That's what I was thinking too. Just that it doesn't seem quite as "neat"...

Quote:
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I believe in an accident the latch system operates slightly different than seatbelt. Most seatbelts are designed to pull tight, then slowly peel away, whereas the latch is supposed to hold tight.

...

Personally, if you wanted to keep your kid in the middle seat, I would use the seatbelt. Using both systems might create an unintended situation should you get into an accident.
Yeah, we're definitely NOT supposed to use both systems at the same time. I suppose one system might interfere with the other in terms of force distribution, etc.

As for the seatbelt system, yes, you have to put your car's seatbelt in lock-mode (retract-only). If your car doesn't have that feature, then the car seat comes with a metal clip to solve that issue.

Even though I don't live in Richmond, I'm going to visit the Richmond Fire Department to get them to do their free car seat clinic.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:38 PM   #11
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We had a similar sort of issue in my wife's Equinox. It has LATCH in all three positions, but depending on where you put the seat dictates how useable the back seat is for passengers.

Best to RTFM.. the owners manual, that is.

We found, though it's safer, the middle seat means you can't carry a passenger on the right rear. It's completely unusable as the LATCH position pushes the seat towards the right, and covers up the seat belts. Putting the seat on the left or right means you can still put two people in the back with the baby (though it's get-a-little-closer, don't-be-shy territory).

Your mileage may vary... but we found that with me driving, and wifey riding shotgun... she couldn't reach baby with the seat in the middle with the rear-facing baby stuff. Plus getting in and out with the seat adapter and the handle clearance, etc.. it was best behind the driver's seat. Now that our daughter is two and a half, it's a lot easier as she's forward facing now.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:25 PM   #12
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the only difference is that i have it behind the passenger seat.
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:33 PM   #13
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No, there's nothing that prevents the front of the car seat base from lifting off the seat. I tried it last night and I could lift the front of it about 4-5 inches. This is due to the fact that the car seat base is installed only with the lap belt portion of the seatbelt and is secured at the rear of the seat. There's nothing holding the front of the car seat base down.

I have a Peg Perego Viaggio SIP 30-30 (something like that).

Even with the LATCH system in the outboard passenger seats, the front of the car seat base still lifts up. Not sure what I can do about the lifting though.

EDIT: I just remembered. I'm supposed to flip the infant seat's carrying handle towards the car's seatback(pointing to the rear). That would limit how far the infant car seat would be able to rotate (ie: how far the front end of the base can lift). There's about a two inch gap between the handle and the seatback.
Ahh don't worry about the seat lifting upwards. The chances of a car getting hit from underneath are pretty much nonexistent! I was just curious... And you're right - once the infant seat is attached to the base, it won't flip up by much, especially if you position the carrying handle like that.

Once you move to a bigger front-facing car seat, if it's being installed with only a lap belt (2-point), then you definitely want to use the anchor/tether at the top of the car seat to prevent it from tilting forwards.
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:28 PM   #14
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The base when installed should be very tight, so that it lifting shouldn't be an issue.

Also, is you have leather seats make sure to get a seat protector underneath!
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:52 PM   #15
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I thought ICBC claim centres offers free tips / tutorial on how to install the seats correctly etc?
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