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Preparing the Model S for a baby seat

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by Vigile, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. Vigile

    Vigile Member

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    My S85D should be here in about a month and I'm looking for suggestions on making it ready for my 4.5 month old daughter. I have to have a car seat base installed all the time, so I am thinking I will have some kind of seat cover on the NG seats to protect them from being pinched/etc by the base itself. Also, I probably will want a mirror to put on the headrest that points towards the front so I can see her while she is in the rear facing car seat and I am driving.

    Any moms/dads have suggestions for me there?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Lyon

    Lyon 2016 S P100DL, 2016 X P90D

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    I have a mat under the car seat to protect the seat from spills and things. I guess it's also got some padding but kid seats are just hard on the car seat when installed properly and there's really nothing you can do about it.

    I used to have a mirror but they're hard to keep set correctly.

    I think I got both of these things at Target.

    Here's the seat cover, it works pretty well. http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Infant-Elite-DuoMat-Black/dp/B00368CLXW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1447532124&sr=8-2&keywords=seat+protector+car+seat

    The mirror is harder to order online. You need to get one that doesn't need to go under the headrest to mount. I would suggest going to Target and looking at them... as awful a prospect as that might be.
     
  3. donhorton

    donhorton New Member

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    My daughter synched that base down very tight and no damage was done to my seat. Also she called Tesla and they told her not to put the seat in the middle.
     
  4. Vigile

    Vigile Member

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    Yeah, I think behind the passenger seat is generally the accepted practice.

    Thanks for the link Lyon, I'll look it over. If anyone else has any suggestions, let me know! :)
     
  5. tomp

    tomp Member

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    I have our infant in the center and toddler behind the driver. The infant car seat base is attached via the seat belt, as that location doesn't have a latch. I don't have any sort of seat protectors, but I do periodically remove the carseats/base and vacuum/clean.
     
  6. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    Probably misunderstood the question. Car seats can go in any position, but only the two outboard locations have LATCH connectors on vehicles newer than about 11/2013. In other words, you can center install, but you have to use the seat belt. Center is generally considered safest (further away from doors for side impacts), then behind the driver (self-preservation instinct), then the passenger side.

    OP:
    Beware. You're about to enter murky waters.

    Lots of mats are available to protect your seats, but you have to be careful: many make it difficult to install the carseat safely. Lots of people will tell you it's impossible to install a seat safely with a mat, but as long as the manufacturer guidelines for installation can be met you will be fine. Typically, the seat can move no more than 1" in any direction. That's seriously tight, and even with a mat your seats are pretty unlikely to bounce back to "like-new status."

    Some seat manufacturers make and crash test with their own branded mat. Clek does, and I think Diono and a few others do as well. Presumably you already have the seat, so check if your brand makes one. Also, be aware that some people have reported mats like the Prince Lionheart actually causing damage (printing transferring from mat to seat, etc.), so be careful about that.

    Regarding the mirror, we decided against it. In some vehicles they're fine because you can anchor them to the headrest posts to ensure they don't become missiles in an accident, but we don't have anything like that with our fixed headrests in the S. Maybe you could construct something to utilize the rear seat anchor somehow? I will say I drove our little one around for 15 months and never really felt I needed to see him back there. Hearing turned out to be plenty to convey mood. :smile:

    Good luck!
     
  7. Discoducky

    Discoducky Active Member

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    I agree, the only thing that I put under the car seats was essentially a vapor barrier to protect against fluids and other hazardous substances getting on/in the seats as putting anything that disrupts the seat from being stationary is considered to void the warranty of the seat. Maybe others allow this and retain the safety standard.

    The mirror I found had to be rigged to stay over the headrest, but it wasn't that hard. Just made a loop of the velcro strap and adjusted it to fit. It stayed put fine.
     
  8. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    I found a mirror that mounts with suction cups instead of straps, it's attached to the glass roof and works great. Didn't bother with anything under the seat base though.
     
  9. Vigile

    Vigile Member

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    Thanks for the additional input everyone, I'll continue to do some research! I don't have to worry about the baby making a mess quite yet - not old enough to demand food/drink while in the car. :)
     
  10. ken830

    ken830 Model S (Res#P12,447)

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    We have an early 2013, so we still have LATCH anchors in the center position, so we use that. We do use a mat on the bottom for spills, but not against the seat-back. There is definitely slight wear from the car seat, but it's not too bad. The worse is where the LATCH anchors are -- you can definitely see a gap between the seat-bottom and seat-back.

    The mirror situation is a bit weird because of the fixed headrest. Our mirror has a long tether and hook that can hook onto the latch anchor on the back of the seat-back, and then can kind of sit on-top of the headrest. In quick, tight turns, it will shift, but we never take quick, tight turns when the baby is in the car, so it's not an issue.
     
  11. Boourns

    Boourns Member

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    Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I am trying to sort out the LATCH situation for my soon-to-be-delivered Model S and am finding conflicting info. Most info I am finding says that that earlier production cars did have 3 sets of LATCH connectors, but in late 2013 Tesla removed the center set. But the manual available through My Tesla only shows 2 sets, saying that to put the seat in the center I need to use the seat belt. My car's production date was 12/15/12, VIN 2413, so it should have center LATCH connectors, right? This must be a case of the manual being applicable only to the latest Model S?
     
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  12. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    It is. Tesla, frustratingly, only maintains one user manual for the Model S. For those of us with older vehicles, much of it is misleading or outright wrong. LATCH positions is one of those cases. Model S had one center LATCH anchor until approximately November 2013 (my late November delivery has the center LATCH, but also came with a user manual addendum that Model S no longer had a center LATCH - so I was right on the cutoff).

    That 2012 will have 5 total LATCH anchors (so not 3 full sets, as you were expecting), one of which is shared between the center and passenger positions. Note that when center-installing using LATCH, the seat will actually install slightly off-center in the vehicle due to that shared anchor. That means only a very skinny person will fit in the rear passenger-side seat.

    If the car you're buying comes with the original paper manual it'll have the right info. Like an idiot I recycled mine, not realizing the on-screen manual would be more and more inaccurate with each passing year.
     
    • Informative x 1
  13. Boourns

    Boourns Member

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    Excellent, thanks. We use the center seatbelt in our current cars, so it will be nice to be able to utilize the LATCH anchors. It makes removing and re-installing the car seat to clean the car much easier.
     
  14. -Noel-

    -Noel- Member

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    One thing that I've noticed is that toddler seats can sometimes leave a mark on Tesla's headrest. Any suggestion on how to avoid that? Is there something people use (between car seat and headrest) to protect headrest?
     
  15. Fusion

    Fusion Member

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    Is there anchor points in the back? I only see the ones for the sides but not for the back anchor.
     
  16. Shelly

    Shelly Member

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  17. davidc18

    davidc18 Member

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    Yes, there are back anchors. They are hidden under the carpet on the seat backs and very hard to find but they are there.
     

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  18. Fusion

    Fusion Member

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    Thanks!!! There is a slit now that I look.
     
  19. cman8

    cman8 Member

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    I used two seat protectors like this. One for the base and one to protect the backrest from their dirty little feet and what ever they will most likely throw.
     
  20. ICE FREE

    ICE FREE How we used to roll

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    I use a thin pad under the kids car seats and I rotate them every time I wash the car. The older one uses a booster and the little one uses a latch car seat. So, rotating them prevents permanent marks from forming in my current car's seats. My new MS that's coming next month will see new padding and both will be in boosters so I won't have this problem anymore.
     

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