The Joie Stages is a fab seat. It’s affordable, it has nice safety rating and it lasts from birth to about 7 years old (55 lb). It rear faces from birth to 18 kg (40 lb) which is around 4 years old and then after the child has outgrown it (by weight, because it’s quite tall in the shell) it turns into a High Back Booster (HBB) up to 25 kg (55 lb). In this mode the seat is quite awesome as well because it has a really nice and snug seat belt fit, which is very important.
Note! A child under the age of 4 has an underdeveloped pelvis and risks “submarining” in a HBB because a correct lap belt fit is difficult to get. The pelvis being underdeveloped means the iliac crest is too narrow to hold the belt in place. Please use car seats to their maximum before taking the next step up. One step up is one step down in safety!
Because the Joie Stages is installed very much like an infant car seat, it means that it takes up a bit more belt then other ERF seats. Far too often we hear about someone desperate for a Joie Stages, they come to the shop to try it in the car, and the shop assistant with dismay will tell them that the seat doesn’t fit the car because the seat belt is “too short”.
Sometimes this is true but you would be surprised to know that a lot of the time it does fit -you just need the correct install method.
HOW TO INSTALL THE ‘JOIE STAGES’ WITH SHORT SEAT BELTS
Download the PDF:
METHOD 2 – DECREASING RECLINE, THEN FULLY RECLINE
One of the simplest ways is option 2. Simply start out the install with the seat in the upright position, install the seat and then recline it fully to the correct recline, which is marked with a blue arrow and is recline nr 4.
Note! When installed rear facing the Stages must always be used on full recline! It is the only blue arrow (4) all the other reclines are marked with red arrows which indicates Forward Facing.
GETTING THE SEATBELT AS TIGHT AS POSSIBLE
By putting weight on the car seat and pushing the car seat down into the car interior seat, you would be surprised over how much more seat belt you can pull. Pull super tight and while holding it tight, feed the seat belt slowing back into the inertia reel. This will guarantee a really nice and firm fit. This also works in both Forward facing and Rear facing.
CHECKING SEAT BELT FIT – IS IT TIGHT ENOUGH?
When you check to see if your car seat is fitted snugly, always remember that it is NOT at the top of the seat shell you check, but at the BOTTOM of the seat which is called “the belt path”. We would usually say “check the seat fitment at the belt path”.
This is especially important in Rear Facing car seats, but do also apply to Forward Facing.
I hope that armed with this information (and you can print out the PDF) you will be able to fit your Joie Stages when you thought you wouldn’t be able to!
Have a wonderful weekend and I am happy to announce that my FB page has a new section called “Car Seat Install Tricks”, if you have any more tips and tricks you would like to submit feel free to either PM me on Facebook or send me an email: erfmission AT gmail DOT com .
Have a great weekend friends! x
Therese has completed the ‘Advanced Child Car Seat Training Course’ at TRL (Transport Research Lab) and is a CPD accredited car seat expert. She blogs about in-car safety, car seats, tips, reviews, giveaways and advice. She’s a mum on a mission to change the law and raise awareness. She is also a breastfeeding advocate and gentle parenting promoter who loves cloth nappies, baby-wearing, BLW and co-sleeping/bed-sharing.