When traveling with a baby, you require a car seat that’s travel-friendly. This is parenting skills 101, isn’t it? You could be a frequent traveler or a city dweller. Driving your own car or using taxi services like Lyft and Uber. Whatever the case, you should know how to install car seat without base.
The thing about convertible car seats is that they demand latch systems and tethers for installation. While these are great, especially the Britax Frontier, Pioneer, and Pinnacle. The latch system and tether are not great for speedy installation.
And when the answer to the question, is a car seat base mandatory, is no. Then there’s no harm in choosing a travel-friendly, baseless car seat. To make your little one a part of your travel experiences!
Choosing the Best Travel-Friendly, Easy-to-Install Baseless Car Seat
So how do you go about buying the best bucket-style infant car seat? To begin with, know that there are two types of such seats. The first is the standard version. While the other comes with a European belt path.
The thing about the majority of infant carriers is that they’re equipped with a base to add convenience. That means you can plop the base onto the installed base. Wait till you hear the click sound and that’s about the gist of it. But a greater part of these seats you can install without the base too.
It’s only natural to take factors like easy installation and safety into account when buying infant car seats. So if you’re always using taxi services, then you should go for the European belt path type of car seat. The belt path lets you stretch the seat’s shoulder part behind the car seat. Then you can secure this with the help of the special belt at the back.
With this kind of infant car seat, you get two spots instead of one for the belt to hold the seat. Now please note that the installation of a baseless car seat is very much possible even if the European belt path is not used. However, this seat’s second anchor certainly assures more safety if you’re a regular traveler. So you know why it’s the better choice.[YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhP_B-S90HY]
How to Install Car Seat without Base – Practice Before Travel
The first time should be a practice session. You’ve got to keep practicing until you get it right. You can do this both without your baby and with him/her.
Practice installing the baseless car seat on both the sides of the car’s back seat and the center. The latter has proven to be safer than the former. But the center seats tend to bump out slightly. And this might make installation tricky.
So what is the right answer here? Well, whichever spot feels more secure to you, just go with it. The goal is that you should feel comfortable with the place and position.
How to Install Car Seat without Base – Steps for Installation
Let me walk you through it…
- Start by placing the car seat on the back seat of the vehicle. The rear part of the infant car seat faces the front. Never place the car seat in the front near the airbag.
- Now pull out that seat belt. Thread the belt’s lap through the guides installed on the infant car seat.
- To make sure the shoulder belt lies flat, put that portion through. But in the case of the European belt path, pull that shoulder belt part behind the infant car seat. And then secure the thing in the belt path.
- Does your car seat come with a level indicator? If yes, then now is the time to check it.
- Then buckle the car seat’s most important feature. It’s the safety belt.
- Now activate the other important feature, the locking system. You can do so by pulling down on that shoulder belt.
- To ensure tight installation, push on car seat as well as pull on safety belt. Wiggle the seat a little. Does it move more than 1 inch? Most likely it won’t, and it shouldn’t either.
- And lastly, check twice to see if the car set is level.
How to Install Car Seat without Base – The Ultimate Checklist
Keep in mind that checking and double-checking are not going to make matters worse. On the contrary, these last-minute pointers are only going to make the experience safer and more secure.
- Your little muffin should be buckled properly into that car seat. Make sure the straps are secured correctly. Don’t include any unnecessary add-ons or poofy coats. And fasten the chest clip at the armpit level.
- If traveling by cab, tell the taxi driver to begin the meter during your installation part. This is very helpful if you don’t want to do things in a hurry. Your whole attention then will be dedicated to installing the car seat properly. Without feeling rushed or getting frustrated.
- The seat should be tight after installation. Meaning no wiggle room in every direction. At least no more than an inch! The infant car seat should be level too. And the seat belt locked of course. You don’t want to make rookie mistakes.
- When you shut the car door during installation, the driver might think you’re ready to go. So avoid doing that until you’re fully done with the installation part.
When using car services like Lyft and Uber, you have to go with a baseless car seat. Because the one with a base comes with latch systems and tethers that are time-consuming to install. So for speedy installation, you can rely on infant car seats without the base.
As for how to install them properly, I have discussed step-by-step instructions. Along with last-minute tips for ensuring a safe, secure ride. If you think the installation part is tricky, then I have only one word to make the task easier. And that word is PRACTICE. Keep practicing till you can install that baseless car seat like a pro!