According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the use of safety seats for vehicle travel reduces the chance of death by infants in a traffic accident by 71 percent. The Graco SnugRide fits babies as small as 5 lbs., with some models now able to hold children weighing up to 35 lbs. As with all car seats, the safety of the SnugRide is completely dependent on whether you have it installed correctly in your vehicle.
Installing the Car Seat
Place the removable car seat base in a rear-facing position in a rear seat of your vehicle.
Feed the LATCH belt through the belt path on the base so that it hangs loose out both sides, making sure the belt goes under the tongue at the center of the base. LATCH stands for "Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children," a strap and hook system intended to simplify the car seat installation process. All cars manufactured since 2002 have the LATCH system in place.
Attach the LATCH connector clips to the closest LATCH anchor on either side of the car seat base. Consult your vehicle's manual for the locations of your LATCH anchors.
Push down firmly on the base while pulling hard on the adjustment belt until the base is installed tightly enough that it will not move more than 1 inch in any direction.
Lower the SnugRide seat down onto the base and push until you hear a click indicating it has locked into place. Pull up on the car seat to make sure it is secure.
Place your child in the car seat to determine which harness slot height is appropriate. The slot should be even with or just below your baby's shoulders.
Remove the child from the car seat.
Release the harness straps from tighteners on the back of the car seat.
Pull the straps out through the slots from the front of the car seat.
Feed the straps back through the correct slot from the front of the car seat to the back.
Thread the straps through the harness tightener. The strap should come through the top opening from back to front, cross over the middle bar then go under the bottom bar of the tightener. Consult the diagram in your owner's manual if you are unsure whether it is correctly threaded.
Pull on the harness straps from the front of the car seat to make sure they are securely fastened. If you have threaded them correctly, the harness should not move at all when you pull.
Securing Your Baby
Place your baby in the car seat.
Place the harness straps over each of your baby's shoulders and insert each of the two metal tongues into the harness buckle located on the crotch strap. Listen for a click to indicate they have locked into place.
Pull up on the loose straps on the back of the car seat to tighten them securely. You should only be able to fit one finger between the strap and your child's chest.
Snap the plastic chest clip pieces together and move the chest clip so it is level with your baby's armpits.
Always remember to check the level indicator on the side of the car seat before using it. If the indicator shows only blue, then the car seat is level and no further action is needed. If any orange shows in the indicator, then you will need to adjust the recline of the seat by pushing in or pulling out the expandable foot on the bottom of the car seat base. You can also secure a rolled towel under the base to achieve the correct recline level.
Never attach two LATCH hooks to one anchor.
Do not use harness slots that are above your baby's shoulders or he will not be protected in the event of a crash.