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5 Key facts about infant car seat placement

Did you know that the correct infant car seat placement can save baby's life in case of a car crash?

5 key facts about infant car seat placement
The best infant car seat placement.
Read our tips on where and how to install a car seat.

It shouldn't have to be stated that every parent wants the maximum safety and comfort for their child in every part of their lives.

With school runs and working lives, driving can be a big part of a modern parent's lifestyle and therefore correct placement of the child seat should be of paramount importance.

Unfortunately this is not always the case as many adults, especially men who usually refuse to read the instructions, often just stick the car seat in anywhere, buckle it as best they can and off they go.

In the unfortunate event of an accident, correct seat placement can mean the difference between life and death.


5 Tips for installing baby car seats

The following instructions will assist you in placing the car seat in the most efficient way.

  1. Ensure the seat is fitted and secured tightly. There should be no more than an inch movement in any direction and you should be using the correct harnesses and straps that are labeled on the instructions. Don't be afraid to ask for help if the car seat seems to be moving more than necessary, and follow the instructions by the book; don't create some elaborate network of string, tape, buckles and loops.
  2. Place the seat in the center of the vehicle. A recent study has indicated that the rear center of the vehicle is the safest place for the child as this protects it best from side impacts. Parents often put the baby in the front passenger seat or the rear passenger seats but according to studies performed over recent years, based on insurance claims and car accident data, the safest place is in the center of the vehicle in the rear. (University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine).
  3. airbag-switch-on-dashboard
  4. What about the front seat? You should never place a child car seat in the front seat of the car with an active airbag. In case of a crash the airbag can hit baby's head with such a force that will injure or kill him. In case you do put the baby in the front make sure you swith the airbag of first. If you cannot disable the airbag, consider moving the front passenger seat back at the maximum distance from the dashboard. If you think that having a child in a rear facing position in the back makes it difficult to keep an eye on your baby, consider using a car baby monitor or car mirror. This way there is no need to take your eyes of the road and risk an accident.
  5. Front facing or rear facing seat? You should put off buying a front facing seat until the child is over 2 years of age. Studies have found that the safest position for both the child's safety in the case of an accident, and the child's positional development is rear facing. Just because you want to see your little ones beautiful smile, don't put his or her safety at risk. Most modern seats have angle adjusters installed. The car seat should be at the right angle so your baby's head does not fall forward and close the airways. The correct angle is specified in the manufacturer's manual.
  6. Always read the manufacturer's instructions. Even if you are a macho man and can put an Ikea bookshelf together in 5 minutes, always read the instructions on car seats. Also read your vehicles manual on car seat placement as it will tell you the details based on studies and tests on the cars specs. Each car seat can be different and each vehicle is certainly different so always read all the information before putting a child in the car.


Often people do not have the patience to read the complete instruction manual. Many car seat companies offer complementary videos you can watch on You tube. It is quicker and  easier to understand the instructions when you can actually see how it's done. Here are two videos that will help you to install a baby car seat.

Infant car seat placement without a base


Infant car seat placement with base


Car seat placement with more children

multiple car seats

Check your car seat manual for recommendations where you can actually place the car seat in your car.

If possible put your baby in his rear facing infant seat in one of the outside seats and the second car seat with a front or rear facing toddler in the middle. As the baby has already extra protection being in his rear facing infant seat, the toddler will get the extra protection from being in the center.

Children placed in the center rear seating position are at a 43% lower risk of getting injured than children placed in one of the rear outside seats.

So only if this doesn't fit, then you will have to use the two outside seats. Whether you place the seat behind the passenger or driver seat, statistics show that there is no safest side.

You may like to read The Safest Car Seat Placement Within Your Car that gives the best options for seating placement for multiple car seats and multiple ages,

Fitting 3 car seats may become quite a challenge. So, for your children's safety, I recommend you get the help of a professional. Click here to find the location of a certified child safety seat technician in your area that can teach you how to properly secure your child and solve all your problems with infant car seat placement.



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