Saturday, 9 October 2010

How to harness your infant:

  • Read the entire child safety seat manual.
  • Your baby's head should be at least 2 inches (6 centimeters) below the top of the safety seat.
  • Infant-only seats are usually designed with a 3-point or 5-point harness. The harness should always be placed in the slots and should always be at or below your baby's shoulders. Most models have a chest clip that holds the harness straps together. Move the clip so the top of it is level with your baby's armpits.
  • All harness straps should fit snugly, especially over the shoulder and thigh areas. Straps should always lie flat, never twisted. If you can pinch any harness webbing between your fingers, it's too loose.
  • Dress your baby in clothes that keep his or her legs free. This will allow you to buckle the latch crotch strap properly between the legs. If it's cold outside, harness your baby first and then cover him or her with a blanket (never cover your baby's head). Never buckle a blanket under or behind the baby.
  • If your baby slouches to one side in the seat (common among newborns), place rolled-up cloth diapers or rolled hand towels on each side of the shoulders. There are supports specially designed for car seats, but only use them if they came manufactured with your safety seat. Never place any kind of padding or blanket under your baby — this can affect the harness's ability to restrain your little one.
  • If your baby's head flops forward (also common with newborns), check the angle of the seat. Use a towel or blanket to tilt the seat back slightly (a 30- to 45-degree angle is best).