August 2019 Carseat, Stroller and Baby Gear Deals, Sales & Coupon Codes

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DEALS TRACKER: We find the lowest prices for August 2019 on car seats, strollers & baby gear. Bookmark this deals page and check back frequently for the latest bargains and promo code offers, so you find them here first before they sell out!

 

We’re the baby gear deal experts so we know where the really good deals are, on the stuff consumers actually want to buy. We scour Amazon and other retailers to find the best bargains. We don’t just rely on automated tools and other deals pages, so we find the best deals for you first. This is the resource other deal pages use to find deals!

Have you considered an Amazon baby registry? What do you get when you register? A free gift box valued at $35, a 90-day return policy for most items purchased from your registry, group gifting so multiple people can contribute to gifts, and more. Check it out!

What you need to know about Amazon pricing: it’s FICKLE. When a product’s price is reduced we rarely know how long it will remain at that price. Sometimes it’s a few days, sometimes it’s a few hours. The best advice we can offer you is to ACT QUICKLY if you see a great deal on something you really need or just seriously want. Just adding something to your cart does not guarantee you that item at that price – you must complete the checkout process to seal the deal. Most items on our list offer FREE SHIPPING & FREE RETURNS to Prime members but always double check this before you put the item in your cart and checkout. Not a Prime member? There’s a 30-day FREE trial. It’s a no-brainer! Try it out and score some great deals. You can always cancel before the 30 days is up if you’re not sold on the many benefits of an Amazon Prime membership.

Looking for more info on a certain carseat or booster? Check out our REVIEWS page. We have in-depth reviews of over 100 carseats and boosters. Prefer to shop at other stores? If you received great advice from us or discovered a good deal here and share it with friends, please mention us and share* our links to AmazonAlbee BabyTarget.com, Walmart.com, Kohl’s, and BuyBuyBaby.

This post and others at CarseatBlog contain affiliate links. Please read About CarseatBlog for our affiliate policy and see our Marketing Disclosure.

Select Editors’ Picks:

These carseats are among our Editor’s Picks and are reader favorites, too!

 

Chicco KeyFit30  

Infant (Rear-Facing Only) Car Seat Deals:

Indicates a CarseatBlog Recommended Carseat 

Britax B-Safe Ultra in most fashions for $219.99 8% Off

Chicco KeyFit 30 in “Papyrus” for $159.99 

Chicco Keyfit 30 Zip in “Eclipse” for $179.99 No Free Returns

Chicco Fit2 Infant & Toddler for $279.99 

Evenflo LiteMax DLX (with load leg) in “Meteorite” for $139.98 

Graco SnugRide SnugLock LX with 1-hand adjust in “Pierce” for $122.40  28% Off

Graco SnugRide SnugLock LX with 1-hand adjust in “Tansy” for $153.00  10% Off

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 Elite in “Oakley” for $149.99  32% Off  BACKORDER

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 30 in “Gotham” for $110.99 

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 30 in “Tasha” for $100.80 28% Off

Graco SnugRide Click Connect LX *Extra Base* (with lockoff) for $19.99 67% Off!

Graco SnugRide SnugLock *Extra Base* (with lockoff) for $31.50 47% Off

UPPAbaby Mesa in “Denny” for $239.99  20% Off  No Free Returns

 

Britax Boulevard CT - splash Graco 4Ever -azalea

Convertible & All-in-One Deals:

Indicates a CarseatBlog Recommended Carseat

Britax Advocate ClickTight in “Mosaic” for $349.99 ☆ 

Britax Boulevard ClickTight with ARB in “Circa” for $279.99 

Britax Marathon ClickTight with ARB in “Verve” for $279.99 10% Off  BACKORDER

Britax Allegiance in “Azul” for $159.99 

Britax ClickTight Anti-Rebound Bar Accessory for $34.99

Clek Fllo 2018 in “Noire” for $299.99  6% Off

Cosco Scenera NEXT DLX from $40.10 ☆ 

Diono Angle Adjuster for $9.99

Diono Radian 3RX in “Light Grey” for $196.05 20% Off Plus $3.94 Coupon

Diono Radian 3RXT in “Black” for $294.08 Plus $5.91 Coupon

Evenflo EveryStage DLX All-in-One in all fashions for $199.99  13% Off

Evenflo Stratos 65 in “Augustus Tweed,” “Maxton Tweed,” and “Silver Ice” for $99.99 

Evenflo SureRide DLX in “Carson” for $99.99

Evenflo Tribute in “Neptune” for $49.99 

Graco 4Ever in “Matrix” and “Studio” for $269.99  10% Off

Graco 4Ever DLX in all fashions for $269.99  10% Off

Graco Extend2Fit in “Gotham” for $159.99  20% Off 

Graco Extend2Fit 3-in-1 in “Garner” for $249.99

Graco Contender 65 in “Black Carbon” for $99.99  30% Off

Graco Contender 65 in “Carly,” “Corey,” or “Glacier” for $119.99  30% Off

Graco Grows4Me in “Vega” for $224.99 10% Off

Graco HeadWise 65 in “Register” for $275.49 10% Off

Graco Sequence Platinum for $169.99 15% Off

Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 in “Darcie” for $179.99 22% Off

Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 in “Loyal Grey” for $242.99  10% Off

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Convertible in “Atmosphere” for $279.98 20% Off

Safety 1st Guide 65 in “Chambers” and “Chateau” for $89.99 10% Off

 

Britax Frontier CT - kaleidoscope Evenflo Maestro - Keller

Combination Seat Deals:

(Forward-Facing with Harness + Booster) 

Indicates a CarseatBlog Recommended Carseat

Britax Frontier ClickTight in “Cowmooflage” for $251.99 ☆ 10% Off

Britax Pinnacle ClickTight in “Mosaic” and “Venti” for $299.99 

Chicco MyFit in “Fathom” for $179.99 

Chicco MyFit LE (with SuperCinch LATCH) in “Anthem” for $225.00 

Evenflo Maestro Sport in “Granite” and “Crestone Peaks” for $69.99  13% Off

Graco Atlas in “Glacier” for $99.99 23% Off

Graco Atlas in “Nyssa” for $102.94 21% Off 

Graco Nautilus SnugLock LX in “Zale” for $181.23  18% Off 

Graco Tranzitions in “Proof” for $79.99 20% Off

Graco Tranzitions in “Kyte” for $89.99 10% Off

 

Graco Affix Evenflo Amp - blue flames

Booster Deals:

Indicates a CarseatBlog Recommended Carseat

Chicco KidFit in all fashions from $89.99

Clek Oobr in “Drift” (with Rigid LATCH) for $196.05 ☆ 20% Off Plus $3.94 Coupon  BACKORDER

Graco Affix (with LATCH) in “Atomic” and “Pierce” from $52.99 ☆ 34% Off

Graco Turbo GO in “Kirby” and “Sapphire” for $17.99 10% Off

Graco TurboBooster Grow with Me (with LATCH) Highback in “West Point” for $89.99  31% Off  BACKORDER

Graco TurboBooster TakeAlong Backless in “Sonic” for $36.27  26% Off Plus $0.73 Coupon

Graco TurboBooster TakeAlong Highback in “Krista” and “Sylvan” from $78.41 20% Off Plus $1.58 Coupon

Evenflo Big Kid AMP in select fashions from $32.99 18% Off

Evenflo Spectrum in various fashions from $54.99  

 

 Britax travel system  Graco travel system - soho

Travel System Deals:

(Infant Carseat + Stroller)

Britax Pathway Travel System with B-Safe 35 Infant Carseat in all fashions for $399.99 

Britax Dual Comfort Travel System for $399.99 

Chicco Viaro Travel System with KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat in “Techna” for $319.98 20% Off

Evenflo Pivot Modular Travel System with SafeMax Infant Carseat in “Casual Gray” for $245.26 

Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger with SnugRide 35 Travel System in “Coconut” $249.99 17% Off

Nuna 2019 MIXX Stroller & PIPA Lite LX Travel System in “Bleu” for $849.90 15% Off

Nuna 2019 MIXX Stroller & PIPA Lite LX Travel System in “Verona Caviar” for $849.90 15% Off

 

Baby Jogger Vue BOB Duallie

Stroller Deals:

Single strollers

Baby Jogger City Tour in “Garnet” and “Juniper” for $139.99 30% Off

Baby Jogger 2016 City Mini 3W in “Gray” for $181.99 30% Off  No Free Returns

Baby Jogger City Mini GT in “Crimson” and “Evergreen/Gray” for $251.99 30% Off  No Free Returns

Baby Jogger 2018 City Select in “Red” or “Teal” for $370.99  

BabyTrend Snap-N-Go EX for $60.31

BOB Revolution Flex 2.0 Jogger in “Black” for $311.99 31% Off

BOB Revolution Flex 2.0 Jogger in “Meadow” for $311.99 31% Off

BOB Revolution Flex 2.0 Jogger in “Lunar” for $327.99 20% Off

Evenflo Pivot Xpand modular stroller for $237.99

gb Pockit Air All Terrain Stroller in “Velvet Black” and “Night Blue” for $159.95

Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger in “Gotham” $179.99

Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger in “Pierce” $179.99

Graco Snugrider Elite Stroller Frame $74.99 25% Off 

Nuna MIXX2 Three Mode Stroller with All Terrain Tires in “Indigo” for $449.95 25% Off

Nuna MIXX2 Stroller & Bassinet Set in “Caviar” for $599.95 20% Off

Thule Sleek City Stroller in all fashions for $799.95

Double Strollers  

* accepts one infant carseat; ** accepts two infant carseats; @ requires adapter sold separately

Babby Jogger City Select Lux with Second Seat in Slate for $829.99 ** 

BOB Handlebar Console for Duallie Jogging Strollers for $18.61 38% Off

BOB Revolution Flex Duallie Jogging Stroller in “Canyon” for  $479.99 25% Off

Graco Modes Duo Stroller in “Balancing Act” for $234.20  ** 32% Off Plus $4.80 Coupon

Graco Modes Duo Stroller in “Basin” for $167.99 ** 52% Off  BACKORDER

Graco Roomfor2 Stand and Ride Stroller in “Gotham” for $143.96 * 

Graco Ready2Grow Click Connect LX Stroller in “Glacier” for $179.95 ** 18% Off 

Graco Ready2grow Click Connect LX Stroller in “Gotham” for $197.09 ** 10% Off

 

   

Graco Pack and Play Fisher Price high chair

Other Baby Gear Deals:

ALL CHICCO Baby Deals Discount at Checkout

ALL GRACO Baby Deals Discount at Checkout 

ANMEATE Digital 2.4Ghz Wireless Video Monitor with Temperature Monitor for $74.99

Brica Smart Move Car Seat Travel Cart for $66.87 21% Off Plus $1.55 Coupon

Britax Carseat Travel Cart for $70.03 12% Off

Go-Go BABYZ Travelmate Cart for $68.89 23% Off

Graco Blossom Highchair in “Sapphire” for $113.74 40% Off

Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard with full-size bassinet in Pasadena for $59.99 

Graco Quick Connect Portable Napper in “Asher” for $151.99 20% Off

Graco Sense2Soothe Swing with Cry Detection Technology in “Sailor” for $199.99 20% Off

Graco Slim Snacker High Chair for $44.99 25% Off

Graco Simple Sway Baby Swing in “Abbington” for $85.10 15% Off

Halo Basinettes from $169.99

Nanit Plus Smart Baby Monitor for $298.82

Owlet Smart Sock 2 Baby Monitor for $299.00 

Owlet Smart Sock + Cam for $399.00 

SNOO Smart Sleeper for $906.50

Stokke Tripp Trapp Chair in Walnut/Hazy Tweed for $259.00

UnbuckleMe for $14.99

 

This list will be updated any time we see a great deal or promotion code below recent average prices, so you don’t have to wade through dozens of normally priced models to find the bargains. You can help us (and your fellow shoppers) by leaving us a comment if you find a deal on a carseat, booster, or popular stroller that isn’t posted yet. We recommend that you bookmark this post, as we will update it regularly! We work hard to make sure you get the best deal! If we see a bargain price on a popular model from our Recommended Carseats List, we’ll update as soon as possible!

More deals will be posted as they become available. Find a deal that isn’t listed here? Leave us a comment and let us know what you found! If you found a great deal here and share it with friends and social media, please be courteous and mention us and please consider using and sharing our links to AmazonAlbee Baby, Diapers.comTarget.com, Walmart.com, Kohl’s, and BuyBuyBaby.

This post and others at CarseatBlog contain affiliate links.  Please read About CarseatBlog for our affiliate policy and see our Marketing Disclosure.

Last updated 08/10/2019

*If you monitor our page and share, please consider mentioning us. We spend a lot of time searching out deals and compiling the best ones. We’re happy if you spread the word, but please be courteous and use our links and credit our website when you do. Thank you! 

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Graco 4Ever DLX Platinum All-in-1 Car Seat Review: Love It 4Ever and Beyond!

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2019-2020 Graco 4Ever DLX Platinum All-in-One Review

You may already be familiar with the Graco 4Ever, a CarseatBlog Recommended Carseat and a 2019 Editors’ Pick. It is the seat that rocked the car seat world a few years ago by delivering the first true all-in-one car seat that actually functioned well in every mode of use. Graco has now upped its game in the luxury car seat market with the Graco 4Ever DLX Platinum! Everything you loved about the 4Ever, now with premium fabric and features such as a seat belt lockoff for forward-facing and self-tightening lower LATCH connectors. 

      

4Ever DLX Platinum Specs & Features:

  • Rear-facing: 4-40 lbs. and child’s head must be 1″ from gray headrest adjuster handle
  • Forward-facing (with harness): 22-65 lbs and 49″ or less
  • Highback booster: 40-100 lbs. and 43-57″
  • Backless booster: 40-120 lbs. and 43-57″
  • No-rethread harness with 10 position headrest
  • Adjustable base with 6 recline positions (3 for rear-facing, 3 for forward-facing)
  • Easy-to-read bubble level indicator
  • Steel reinforced frame
  • Energy-absorbing EPS foam
  • Premium push-on lower LATCH connectors with Graco’s EZ Tight™ LATCH (LATCH limit: child weight of 45 lbs.)
  • Lockoff for forward-facing seat belt installations
  • Dual integrated cup holders (assembly required)
  • RapidRemove cover
  • ProtectPlus Engineered designation (tested for frontal, side & rear impact crashes)
  • 10 year lifespan before expiration

  

Measurements:

  • Lowest harness height (with infant insert): 6.5″
  • Highest harness height: 17.5″
  • Tallest booster height: 18.25″
  • Internal rear-facing height: 26.25″ (that’s one inch below the headrest adjustment lever of 27.25″)
  • Crotch buckle positions: 5″ and 7″
  • Seating depth: 12″
  • Internal seat width: 13″
  • Widest external seat width: 19.5″ (at cup holders)

19.5″ at widest point

Lowest harness position

   

Installation/Fit to Vehicle:

In general, the 4Ever is not difficult to install and tends to have good compatibility. I tried it in several seating positions in a 2015 Ford Expedition with the seatbelt and with LATCH. I was able to get a secure install in every position I tried (outboard 2nd row, center 2nd row, center 3rd row) both rear- and forward-facing.

The belt paths are clearly labeled and color-coded both on the seat and in the manual (blue for rear-facing, orange for forward-facing, green for booster).

Installation with LATCH:

The lower LATCH strap on this model features Graco’s EZ Tight™ LATCH, which at this time is exclusive to Graco’s “Platinum” models.

Graco EZ Tight LATCH

Graco has a demonstration of the EZ Tight™ installation here – And yes, in some vehicles like my Expedition, it really can be as easy as it looks in the demonstration. Although you still need to apply force to get it to tighten, in a best-case scenario there isn’t the usual pulling and tugging of the LATCH strap. For people like me with less than stellar joints in the hands, this can be a huge bonus. Unfortunately, the EZ Tight LATCH feature doesn’t work well in some vehicles or seating positions. Sometimes, you just can’t get an adequate LATCH installation no matter how much force you apply to the seat. Luckily, you always have the option to switch to a seatbelt installation if you can’t get the seat installed tightly with the LATCH strap. Reminder – when installed properly, the carseat shouldn’t move more than 1″ from side-to-side or from front-to-back when you test for tightness *at the beltpath*. 

The 4Ever DLX Platinum has a single LATCH strap, which means it needs to be manually switched between the different beltpaths when you switch from rear-facing to forward-facing or vice versa. The process isn’t as complicated as it is on some seats, but not as easy as on some others (see video below). One thing I found frustrating was that the LATCH strap had to be moved not only when changing between rear- and forward-facing but also when changing from a LATCH to a seat belt install. If you are installing this model with seat belt, the LATCH strap and connectors must be stored in the other beltpath, to keep them out of each other’s way.  

Forward-facing LATCH weight limit: 45 pounds. For kids who weigh more than 45 lbs., install the 4Ever with seatbelt and tether.

Center LATCH installations with Non-Standard Spacing: Not allowed. Only use LATCH in the center seating position if the vehicle manufacturer allows it and the lower LATCH anchor bars are spaced 11” apart when measured at their centers (i.e., standard lower anchor spacing).

Inflatable Seat Belts: This car seat CAN be installed with the inflatable seat belts found in some Ford/Lincoln vehicles; just route the seat belt over the closed lockoff when forward-facing. Other types of inflatable seat belts are still incompatible for use with the 4Ever DLX Platinum. There are no issues when using the seat as a belt-positioning booster, although watch to make sure the shoulder belt retracts properly through the belt guide.

Lockoff: All 4Ever DLX models (including this platinum model) have a lockoff for forward-facing installations using seatbelt. There is no lockoff for the rear-facing beltpath but that is less important because you can use the lower LATCH anchors all the way up to the 40 lbs. rear-facing weight limit.

Rear-Facing Carseats With European Beltpath Routing

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European Beltpath Routing

Phil7teds Alpha - Euro baseless installIf you’re not already familiar with the term – let me explain. It references a particular way to install a rear-facing convertible or infant carseat without using the base. European belt routing is only for installations using the vehicle’s lap/shoulder seatbelt. It does not apply to installations using the lower LATCH anchors or to installation of the infant seat base. Only some seats sold here in the U.S. allow European belt routing but it has become a popular feature so we decided to make a list of which seats currently available allow it.

Benefits of European Belt Routing:

When the shoulder belt is routed behind the shell of a rear-facing child restraint it helps to maintain a semi-upright position during a frontal crash. Limiting the downward rotation that a rear-facing seat makes during a frontal crash has several potential benefits. Maintaining a more upright angle during a crash means the impact loads are distributed more to the back of the child, which is ideal. The more a rear-facing seat rotates downward in a crash the more the impact loads are applied to the child’s shoulders and neck – as it stretches, pulling away from the body. The other potential benefit of maintaining a more upright orientation during a crash is that it may reduce the likelihood of the carseat striking the back of the front seat or console directly in front of it. If you are familiar with load legs on rear-facing only infant seat bases, then you’re already familiar with these safety concepts. Euro belt routing gives you the flexibility of having the safety benefits of a load leg without having to carry a base with you as you travel.

Installation Issues & Incompatibilities:

The biggest potential issue with Euro belt routing is that some seatbelts aren’t long enough to accommodate this routing. If that winds up being the case in your vehicle – you can install the seat without the base using the traditional seatbelt installation method instead. None of the carseats that allow Euro belt routing actually require it. They may recommend it, but they don’t mandate it. That’s because the carseat manufacturers understand that it’s not possible in all vehicles due to seatbelt length which varies from vehicle to vehicle.

 

Rear-Facing Carseats that Allow Euro Beltpath Routing:

Infant (Rear-Facing Only) Seats

Model Rear-Facing Wt Limits Rear-Facing Ht Limits
Baby Jogger cityGO 4-35 lbs. up to 32"
Britax Endeavours 4-35 lbs. 32" or less
Britax B-Safe Ultra 4-35 lbs. 32" or less
Chicco Fit2 4-35 lbs. up to 35"
Clek Liing 4-35 lbs. up to 32"
Cybex Aton 4-32 lbs. up to 30"
Cybex Aton 2 4-35 lbs. up to 30"
Cybex Aton M 4-35 lbs. up to 30"
Cybex Aton Cloud Q 4-35 lbs. up to 30"
Cybex Aton Q 4-35 lbs. up to 30"
Doona Car Seat 4-35 lbs. up to 32"
Graco Classic Connect SnugRide 35* 4-35 lbs. 32" or less
Graco Click Connect SnugRide ALL MODELS Check Label Check Label
Graco SnugRide SnugLock ALL MODELS Check Label Check Label
Mountain Buggy Protect 4-35 lbs. 32" or less
Nuna Pipa 4-35 lbs. 32" or less
Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 4-35 lbs 32" or less
Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 Nido 4-35 lbs. up to 32"
Phil&teds Alpha 4-35 lbs. 32" or less
Urbini Petal 4-35 lbs. 32" or less
www.CarseatBlog.com  © 2019 All Rights Reserved

*Graco now officially allows European belt routing ONLY with the Classic Connect Graco SnugRide 35. This update is retroactive and applies to all Classic Connect SnugRide 32/35 models. The last of the Classic Connect SnugRide 35 models will be expiring in the next year, so check your date of manufacture if you have one. All Classic Connect SnugRide 32 models are expired.

 

Convertible Seats

Model Rear-Facing Wt Limits Rear-Facing Ht Limits
Combi Coccoro 3-33 lbs up to 36"
www.CarseatBlog.com  © 2019 All Rights Reserved

coccoro euro beltpath routing

 

Updated July 2019

Are You Making These Carseat Mistakes?

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5 Common Carseat Mistakes Parents and Caregivers Make

MaggieMargeDriveMost parents think, “I got this,” when they look at a carseat. I mean, really, it’s just some straps that go over your kid, right? Everyone who has a kid has to use a carseat, and we all know there are some parents out there barely qualified to have kids in the first place who are able to get from point A to point B and keep their offspring alive, so it’s not rocket science, right? Wrong. Sometimes we make mistakes that we look back on and say, “I can’t believe my child survived my parenting!” It’s a saying in our house that we’re not saving for college; we’re saving for the therapists’ bills, lol. Let’s look at some very common carseat mistakes and see their simple fixes so your offspring can ride safely enough to make it to college… or therapy sessions—whichever way your family sways.

1. Loose Installation

Whether using the lower LATCH connectors or the seat belt for installation, your carseat moves more than 1” when you give a tug at the belt path. Make sure you tug at the belt path only; that’s the only place where the carseat is connected to the vehicle. If you check for tightness anywhere else on the carseat, it’s going to move more than 1″. There’s nothing holding it to the car there, right?

Let’s define “tug”. A tug is like a firm handshake or a shake on a shoulder that doesn’t move someone’s head back and forth (heh, you don’t want to give them whiplash). You use your non-dominant hand to give this tug so you’re not tempted to shake the rivets out of the seat.

correct incorrect

1a. Can’t Lock the Seat Belt (Loose Installation Corollary)

Sometimes your installation is loose because you can’t figure out how to lock your seat belt to keep it tight on the carseat. Seat belts lock either at the retractor or at the latchplate. All model year 1996 and newer vehicles must have locking seat belts and some vehicles manufactured before 1996 have them as well. The retractor spools up all the length of the belt and is hidden inside the wall of the vehicle or inside the vehicle seat back. At least 90% of all modern vehicles have switchable retractors that can lock the seatbelt to hold a carseat tightly in place.

This is how you test for a switchable retractor: Pull the shoulder belt portion of the seat belt out of the retractor slowly and smoothly until you reach the end and can’t pull it out any further. Then feed a few inches of the belt back into the retractor. You may hear a ratcheting sound as the seatbelt feeds back into the retractor in the locked mode (although some retractors are very quiet most will make a noticeable clicking sound once they are switched into locked mode). Stop after feeding a few inches of the belt back in and try to pull it back out again. If it won’t come back out, it’s locked and now you know that this seat belt has a switchable retractor that you must switch to the locked mode if you are installing a carseat in this seating position.

Other seat belts lock at the latchplate (male end of the seat belt). These are mostly found on Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles. To see if your seat belt locks in these vehicles, buckle the seat belt and pull up on the lap belt. If it holds tight, your latchplate locks.

lightweight locking latchplate

If you can’t get your seat belt to lock because your car was made before 1996, you have to use either a carseat with a built-in lockoff or a locking clip. If you want to read more about locking clips, you can click here. Lockoffs that are built into certain carseats are much easier to use than a locking clip and worth the extra price. Read about which carseats have lockoffs here.

2. Loose Harness

Yeah, you can’t just buckle the harness, it has to be snug on the kid or they’ll go flying out of the seat. If you can take a pinch of the harness above the chest clip, the harness is too loose so pull it tighter.

Pinch Test

3. Chest Clip or Belly Clip?

You know those plastic pieces that clip together across the kid’s middle? That’s called a chest clip. Some carseat manufacturers’ get all uppity and call it a harness retainer clip. Call it what does and where it goes and you’ll never forget! Chest clip. The top of the chest clip is placed at the armpits. Any higher and it’s at the kid’s throat, especially for babies. Any lower and it may not be able to do its job as a pre-crash positioner.

chest clips

4. Trusting Your Pediatrician for Carseat Advice

Do the initials “CPST” follow your pediatrician’s MD after his name? If not, he’s not qualified to give you carseat advice. Just like I’m not qualified to give you medical advice on your child’s rash (gee, that really does look like Ichthyosis en confetti—you should have that checked out), your ped is not qualified to give you advice on vehicle safety matters. Between charting, keeping up with ever-changing youth medicine, and making hospital rounds, most peds simply don’t have the time to keep up with the dynamic field of child passenger safety unless it’s a special interest. That’s why you come to us for answers on vehicle safety.

5. Turning Forward Too Soon

You may not admit it online, but turning your wee one forward before age 2 is really dangerous. I’ve heard all the arguments in my 18 years of tech-ing: my child’s legs hurt because they’re scrunched, my best-friend’s-mother-in-law’s-phlebotomist’s-daughter’s-pediatrician told her to turn her son forward at 9 months because of a risk of hip injury, my child has to be able to see the iPad screen we spent top-dollar for, and so on. The truth is, if you turn your kid forward before age 2, *you’re* the one who is uncomfortable with the idea of rear-facing, not your child. Studies and years of rear-facing children have shown that rear-facing is not only safe, it’s loads safer for kids.

It’s so important to rear-face your toddler that some carseat manufacturers now mandate it, at least for some of their carseat models. Britax requires a 2-year and 25 lbs. minimum on all of their forward-facing harness-2-booster seats. And Evenflo says that your kids must be 2 before they can be turned forward-facing in their convertible seats. I’m not pulling your leg—it’s right there in the manual.

 

Commercials on TV claim that the best way to start your baby’s life is to use the best diapers or best formula (if you can’t breastfeed, of course). We feel the very best thing you can do for your kid in the child passenger safety world is to use an appropriate carseat or booster on every single ride. After the infant seat is outgrown, continue to rear-face your child until they reach the rear-facing height or weight limit of their convertible carseat. And install the seat tightly. And tighten the harness appropriately. And make sure the chest clip is properly placed. The crazy thing about kids and carseats is that there are so many things that can go wrong with them that we need an entire profession to help parents get it right! I remember making some of these mistakes—and more. Aye yi yi. It’s amazing we’re all still here.