4 month old with decent head control, britax chaperone, rear facing middle "captains seat" in a honda odyssey 2007. The seat installing into is pretty flat but when the seat is installed it isn't in the bubble ok area despite adjusting any knobs we can find. My husband thinks a towel under the front part (not near the crack, near the edge) is ok to raise the angle. We did this tonight and it gets us to the 45 degrees, Is this ok? I was going for 30 degree angle but just want it to be safe so if 45 is better....
So two issues, how to we change the angle safely, and what is the safest angle?
I don't have any experience with that particular carseat, but I do have an '07 Odyssey, so I know what you mean about the flat seat!
I'm assuming you're using the "plus one" seat that makes the middle row a 3-passenger row. It's a bear of a seat for many carseats, unfortunately. I don't think the towel under the back end of the carseat is allowed, though I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong! However, you can pull the base away from the back of the plus-one seat a bit (1-2 inches maybe) and then press down hard where the baby's feet go while you tighten. That will usually get it more upright. However it is a very flat and non-squishy seat, so it just doesn't work with all carseats. What other kids need to ride in there?
My Graco Snugride is also super hard to get in that position, though it can be done. My TrueFit fits like a dream in that seat - truly it looks like the TrueFit was made for the seat. The Scenera works pretty well too. I tried a Chicco Keyfit once and it fit pretty well. That's all I've got for seats.
Anywhere between 30 degrees and 45 degrees is fine as long as the kid's head isn't flopping forward when they fall asleep in the car. Most likely a 4 month old needs it more reclined than 30 degrees, but it doesn't NEED to be a full 45 anymore. There's nothing wrong with 45 degrees, even for an older child.
You cannot put anything under the seat to make it less reclined, you can only use a rolled towel/noodle to make a seat MORE reclined, and in that case you put it in the seat bite area.
For infant bucket seats, they must be at 45 degrees, so you only have one choice with an infant seat.
30-45 degrees is for convertible seats only, The Truefit is 35-45 degrees, and others only allow 45degrees like the complete air (although many choose to install it more upright). For older, heavier kids, I like to install seats more upright, for infants, I install closer to 45degrees, more upright as they gain head control (even when sleeping, you don't want too much head flop when they sleep for young babies)
Is the adjuster thing on the base that adjusts the angle all the way flat? Check that first and also try the 'pull the seat out from the seat bite, push where baby's feet go as you tighten' thing. That often helps.
Can you install in a different seating position? The middle is only a tiny bit safer, but a correctly installed seat is always safer than one that is not installed correctly. In my car, I have to have ds's seat outboard because it over-reclines in the center.
Thanks for the suggestions, my husband and I both tried to get the carseat pushed into the seat to be at the right angle with no luck. Took out the "plus one" middle seat and installed the britax chaperone it in the passenger side captian's chair that slides towards the middle. It is still ok to use the passenger side seat belt to secure it even though it is slid more towards the middle? correct seat belt installs are a tiny bit safer than latch right?
So now my 3yr old is rearfacing second row behind the driver, and the 4month old is close to the middle of the second row and I have another new question.
Is the rear facing three year old safer behind the driver in the middle row or in the middle of the third row?
We are planning a long car trip soon and I may need to be able to sit next to the 4 month old for part of the trip to make it bearable for her, what is the safest position for the car seats to allow this situation: one driver, one rear facing three year old in a recaro signio, and one infant in the britax chaperone next to an adult passanger.
I know this is a bunch more questions, please answer whichever ones you can. Thank you so much!
Check your car's manual, but if you are using the seatbelt that is for that seating position, and its allowed for an adult, I'd guess that its fine for a carseat as well.
LATCH and seatbelt are equally safe IF used correctly. I go with whichever I can get a better install with. Depends on the car, and the carseat which will be better. Some set up I find easier with the seatbelt, some with LATCH.
Your 3yr old - I'd say there isn't all that much difference between those two seating positions (if you have an equally good install in each).
Adult in the back seat next to baby - just don't sit in a lap belt only position (if there is one), lap/shoulder belt is much safer.