Shoulder strap height for a newborn? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 08-11-2012, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We are getting ready to install our baby's carseat (once I can call the manufacturer on Monday and get an actual instruction manual... ours was not in the box... grr...), and I have a question about harness straps. I understand for a rear-facing infant, they should be BELOW shoulder height. But is there such a thing as too far below? Since we don't have him out for inspection yet, I have no idea how tall our baby will be. But I'd rather mess with the harness straps before we install the carseat than after. So should I just put them on the lowest setting? Or could that be too low? Or do I have this totally backwards and they should be above his shoulders? (If that's the case, same question in reverse... what's too high?)

 

Any insight appreciated! (If it matters, the seat is a Maxi-Cosi Pria 70)


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#2 of 10 Old 08-11-2012, 11:59 AM
 
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I havethe same car seat and put the straps on the middle setting of the tinyfit insert, and it fit my newborn just fine.

 

Also, I bet you do have the instructions!  On the left side of the seat on the edge of the cover is a little tag that says Instructions, and there is a little hidden velcro pocket inside the cover with the booklet inside.  Tricky, I know.


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#3 of 10 Old 08-11-2012, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the info! Luckily, I found the hiding place for the instructions via another forum, but it is good news to spread around... I looked all over the carseat for them, but still missed it!


Monkey (30) + Pirate (28) = a forever family (5/10) - Baby Bird (8/12), our long-awaited first, and one (9/13 @ 7w 6d); PCOS
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#4 of 10 Old 08-12-2012, 09:38 PM
 
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The Pria adjusts very very tiny. I would probably put it in the 2nd-to-bottom slots unless you are expecting a smaller than average newborn. 

 

It is OK for baby to take the first ride or two with the straps "too" low. If they're too low, it makes it hard to get them tight without squishing the baby, and you have to be extra careful that they don't fall off the shoulders. But with some extra diligence making sure the harness is adjusted just right, it doesn't really hurt anything for them to be too low. 

 

And, just to clarify, the straps need to be at or below the shoulders, not necessarily just below. You probably new that already, I just want to make sure it's clear. I don't move straps up to the next spot until my child's shoulders are even with the next harness position while sleeping. Her shoulders droop quite a bit when asleep, so if I adjusted them for when she's awake they'd often be well above her shoulders when she nods off. And it's better for them to be too low than too high. 


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#5 of 10 Old 08-13-2012, 05:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the info! That helps a lot. I actually didn't realize that at the shoulders was okay until I was reading the carseat manual.

 

Another Pria question, if anyone can answer it - we had the darndest time trying to get the seat tight in the car so it wouldn't wiggle. My car is old (2001 Camry) and doesn't have LATCH, so we have to use the seatbelt. I'm honestly still a little worried it isn't tight enough, and we need to move it, anyway, as we can't actually get the driver's seat in the best position for driving. What can we do to get a better fit?


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#6 of 10 Old 08-13-2012, 07:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by monkeyscience View Post

Thanks for the info! That helps a lot. I actually didn't realize that at the shoulders was okay until I was reading the carseat manual.

 

Another Pria question, if anyone can answer it - we had the darndest time trying to get the seat tight in the car so it wouldn't wiggle. My car is old (2001 Camry) and doesn't have LATCH, so we have to use the seatbelt. I'm honestly still a little worried it isn't tight enough, and we need to move it, anyway, as we can't actually get the driver's seat in the best position for driving. What can we do to get a better fit?


How are you testing it for a tight fit?  


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#7 of 10 Old 08-13-2012, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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dh was just wiggling the seat from the top and all over the place - but I just found some really good videos on installing it, and part of what they say is to wiggle it right by the belt path to check tightness.

 

Videos for Installing/Using the Maxi-Cosi Pria 70

 

After watching a bunch of the videos here, I think I have a waaaay better idea of how the seat is supposed to be installed than I did just reading the instruction manual. So much more helpful to see someone actually doing it! I'm not clear on if these are actually officially from the manufacturer or not, but I think they are.

 

Anyway, if you have any additional tips, I'd definitely welcome them!


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#8 of 10 Old 08-13-2012, 08:38 AM
 
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Sounds like that was your problem :-)    A rear facing seat will wiggle from the top, it's just how it works.   You only want to check at the belt path. :-)


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#9 of 10 Old 08-13-2012, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, that is very reassuring! I couldn't figure out how we were ever going to get it tight! I still think we may need to reinstall to get it really "right", and because I'm not sure we can get the driver's seat as far back as it needs to go, but I need to recheck the angle and see if the headrest is down, anyway.

 

Another question, if you don't mind - if we have to choose (and hopefully we don't, or can just adjust with a rolled towel), should we over- or under-recline the seat a little? I'm not sure the recline mark is quite level with the ground on either recline setting. (And I really wish they had one of those little rolly-ball recline indicators like on buckets - I'm not very confident in my line-eyeballing skills!)

 

Thank you for taking so much time to answer my questions - I really appreciate it!


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#10 of 10 Old 08-13-2012, 08:47 AM
 
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  That's the fabulous thing about the Pria70.   The seat itself is more upright than 45 degrees so it can fit in small cars, but the tiny fit insert creates the 45 degree angle within the shell :-)   So go right for the line, and you'll be perfect.   You can use a rolled towel to create the right angle, but yes, it's important to go with the angle recommended. 


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