Meet our little model. Her parents are putting her in the Graco SnugRide 35 Click Connect that her older brother used. They made sure that it hadn’t expired, they cleaned it according to the instructions in the manual, they verified that they had replaced the buckle in the Graco recall, and they moved the straps down to the lowest slot. But now when they tighten the harness around her, there’s some slack even when they pull it as tight as it can go. What went wrong?
Fortunately, Graco has a system for shortening the harness for smaller babies. Once we follow their directions, this seat should offer a safe and snug fit for this Little.
We’ll start with the car seat that our model is sitting in, the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35. It has four slots for the harness straps. Let’s label them 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Which Set of Loops Should I Use?
Now, let’s turn the seat over. The car seat’s manual defines each set of harness loops in this way:
Upper loops — For Graco car seats with four harness slots these loops are used with the lower two harness slots.
End loops — For Graco car seats with four harness slots these loops are used with the upper two harness slots.
These are the sets of harness loops that the metal splitter plate at the back of the car seat is threaded through.
Following the directions in the manual should keep the harness at the appropriate length. Hopefully this article can add some clarity to that process!
For Graco car seats that have four harness slots (the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 30 LX, Graco SnugRide Click Connect 30, Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35, and the Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 30), the upper harness loops are used with slots 1 and 2, and the end harness loops are used with slots 3 and 4. This is less complicated than it sounds, let’s take a closer look!
When the upper harness loops are used, it’s important to hook them into the splitter plate so that the strap falls in front of the splitter plate. This is specific to Graco seats; other car seats require the opposite placement. Please check your seat’s manual for confirmation.
The Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 35, also known for a time as the Graco SnugRide 35, has three harness slots. For this seat, you use the upper loops harness for the lowest harness slot, and the end harness loops for the middle or upper harness slot.
Some car seats feature an additional way to shorten the harness at the hips. The Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 30 and the Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 35 have loops at the end of the straps that go over the baby’s hip. Each side should be on the same hip loop, but whichever hip loop setting gives a snug fit for your baby is fine.
The hip loops are adjusted by way of a metal anchor clip. The anchor clip is placed into the loop with the prongs coming out of the loop. The anchor clip is then snapped into the plastic tabs.
The Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 30 features three loops at the waist as opposed to the two loops on the Classic Connect 35. The SnugRide classic connect 30 has a ‘tunnel’ into which the excess hip strap is placed.
Other Graco Harness Systems
A few Graco car seats have a different harness system than the ones we’ve described above.
For Graco car seats that adjust in the seat’s rear, the strap length is adjusted from the back of the seat. These types of seats don’t have webbing at the front to pull to tighten the harness.
The Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40 and the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 LX have what is known as a no-rethread harness. The straps move up and down when the headrest is moved up and down. These straps are not shortened with the method in this article.
The Graco SnugRide 22, also known as just the “Graco SnugRide”, is a discontinued seat that only has two harness slots. If you are using this seat, check the manual that came with it, as some have restrictions on which loops are used and some do not. If you do not have your manual, use the end loops for the upper slot and the upper loops for the bottom slot.
Here’s our little cutie fitting well in her Graco SnugRide 35!