Graco Answers your Smart Seat™ All-in-One Car Seat questions

Are you ready to buy a car seat but can’t figure out which one is right for your family? Graco wants to help you make the best decision for you, so we’ve asked our car seat experts to take some time to sit down with you and chat– how cool is that?

Join Graco Children’s Products next Wednesday, March 30 as we host two Twitter Parties!

Grab your party favors, log-in to Twitter, and have your questions ready! We’ll be ready to answer tweets from you with questions you might have about the Graco Smart Seat™ All-in-One Car Seat (or any other Graco car seat for that matter).

Not familiar with The Graco® Signature Series™ Smart Seat™ All-in-One car seat? Well, it’s the ultimate in car seat longevity! This convertible car seat fits your child from 5-100 lbs & features a convenient stay-in-car base so you only have to install the base one time. The Smart Seat™ has been side impact tested & SafeSeat Engineered, and both the car seat & the car seat base are steel-reinforced for strength and durability.

To join in the fun, here are the full event details:

Date: Wednesday March 30, 2011

Time (option one): 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. ET

Time (option two): 1:00 p.m – 2:00 p.m. ET

Hash Tag: #SmartSeat

Expert: @GracoBaby

Moderator: @GracoKelly

We will also be giving away some exciting prizes during the events – so make sure you join the conversation to win! And if you’re not a Twitter user or new to the concept of “Twitter Parties”, you can check out more information here, OR leave us your questions in the comments below and we’ll ask our experts them for you and report back!

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30 Responses to “Graco Answers your Smart Seat™ All-in-One Car Seat questions”

  1. Crystal March 27, 2011 at 9:52 pm #

    I just bought this carseat for my 7 month old son and was really excited about getting it. When it arrived I couldn’t wait to put him in. Sadly my excitement quickly turned to disappointment when I realized how difficult it is to put the baby into the carseat. The seat belt straps are way to small. I have to move the head rest up to get the extra length needed to buckle him in, which defeats the purpose of having a head rest or of the safety side impact features. If I don’t do this then I’m bending his arms in ways that are not comfortable for him and he begins to fuss because of our struggle to get him buckled in safely and correctly. Can the straps be extended any? Am I missing something? I live in AK and Don’t see my child fitting into this seat in the midst of winter with all his snow gear.

  2. anne March 28, 2011 at 8:09 am #

    Placing heavy clothing/winter gear on a child while in a car seat is not recommended because it compromises the straps making your child unsafe. I have this seat and love it. My daughter is a tall 7 month old and the straps fit her fine with the head support where it should be. I only place a hooded sweater on her while in her seat and a blanket over her lap. When it is cold out we keep a very heavy blanket or snowsuit in the car to wrap her in when taking her out. The seat is so much nicer then most on the market since the base keeps them away from the back seat and their legs are not cramped. Plus it is the only seat you will ever need to purchase since it converts to a booster. If you are having difficulty strapping him in the seat try stopping at your local babiesrus or state police and they can check the seat for you. The store we purchased the seat from allowed us to sit our daughter in the display seat and showed us how to use it before leaving the store. Best of luck!

  3. Lilfootsmommy March 28, 2011 at 11:52 am #

    Crystal, you should take the seat and your child to a state trooper barracks. Or call the barracks and find out where the closest car seat safety check point is. There a clinics you can go to. I wish I lived close, I’d help you. Everything is adjustable on car seats, it should not be a wriggle to get your child in it. If you are on twitter, reach out to me and I’ll try to help you @lilfootsmommy

  4. Crystal March 28, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

    Thanks for your feedback. Right now I only have a thinner fleece jacket on my son and continue to have this problem. I just can’t get the straps out far enough to comfortably buckle him in. He’s only 27″ long and 18lbs. AK winters tend to get really cold and I wouldn’t put him in the seat with a full on snowsuit, but a thicker coat to transfer him between the car to indoors is only practical and I believe the seat should be able to accomodate that. I’d hate to have to take his jacket off and on just to put him in the carseat. I love the seat and would hate to have to exchange it because of this small but annoying problem. I’ll try taking it back to where I bought it and see if I can get any tips. I have read a few other reviews and noticed that others were having the same problem. I just wanted to see if anyone else knew of a way to make the straps longer and if it was something I missed…thanks!

  5. Crystal March 28, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

    lilfootsmommy-thanks for the feedback. I think I’m going to try your’s and Anne’s suggestons. I am definitely going to try and figure out how I can work past this problem. I’m not on twitter, but maybe I should sign up so that I can communicate with other moms…THANKS!

  6. Virginia March 28, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

    Hi! I just bought this seat as well. I noticed my seat has three “sticker-looking” heat transfers on the side safety impact and on the shoulder pad harness, saying “Safety Tested” on each side of the head rest and “65 lb. harness” on the shoulder pad. We originally thought they were removable stickers but they are heat transferred onto the seat — pretty unattractive looking and not at all keeping with the design of the seat and the fabrics. I noticed all of the model pics on the site don’t have these stickers — is there a reason they’re not in the photos but on the actual merchandise?

  7. Kelly Voelker March 28, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

    Hi Crystal – You should definitely be able to adjust the straps. If you could e-mail me at I can help you too! Thanks -Kelly, Graco

  8. Crystal March 28, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

    Kelly – I just emailed you.

  9. Kelly Voelker March 28, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

    Hi Everyone,

    Here are a few tips on how to get the straps to be a little bit longer so you have some more room.

    First, pull up on the headrest to make it taller than you would need for your child.
    Next, push on the button on the harness adjustment (located on the front of the seat just above the recline handle).
    Then, pull up on the two harnesses to gain additional strap length.
    Finally, adjust the headrest back to the proper position for your child, and pull on the crotch strap to get the harness to tightly fit your child.

    If your child is older, you can also remove the infant support to give them a little more room.

    Please let us know if this helps!


  10. Jessica March 29, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

    I’ve never won a twitter party but I may have to check this one out!

  11. Angela A March 29, 2011 at 7:58 pm #

    @leCreoleMoon RSVP I can’t wait!

  12. Nikki March 30, 2011 at 8:51 am #

    @mommyisshopping RSVP. I have a 3 month old and we are using and love your snugride. I will be following to hear all about this.

  13. melissa March 30, 2011 at 8:58 am #

    rsvp are there winner for this party i love graco!

  14. Megan March 30, 2011 at 9:30 am #

    I’m wondering if the harness slots will truly support a child from 5lbs-65lbs(I’m assuming you stop using the harness at 65 lbs). From what I’ve heard the Snugride doesn’t fit smaller babies well, because the harness slots are not low enough. I have a Nautilus for both of my children, and for my older child, I know he won’t make it to 65 lbs because the top harness slot isn’t high enough(Granted by the time he out grows the harness, he will hopefully be ready to booster). I also would like to know how many crotch buckle placements there are. There are only 2 on the Nautilus, and as far as I know you aren’t suppose to have the crotch buckle going under the child… Well with only 2 placements, that’s means you aren’t going to get full usage out of the seat. If possible, could you please provide the harness height measurements, for the lowest and highest placements, as well as the crotch buckle placements.

    Thank you.

  15. Megan March 30, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    @ Crystal
    I know it is difficult to have to take your child out in the extreme cold, and manage to keep them warm. However, you should never have a winter coat of any kind on them while strapped in their car seat. The thickest “coat” the should ever wear in a car seat should be either a thin sweater, or one layer fleece jacket. You might want to look into getting a car seat poncho, or making one. The coat can compress in an accident, and your child could be severely harmed. You can better understand this by placing your child in the car seat, with their coat on, and tighten the straps to where they should be(pinch the strap together at the shoulder, you should barely be able to pinch it). After you have it sufficiently tightened with the coat on, take your child out of the seat, take their coat off, and strap them back in. This should show you how loose the straps truly are, and that is how loose they would be in the event of an accident with a coat on. Hope that helps.

  16. Linda Stewart March 30, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    I absolutely love this seat. I only wish I could join the Twitter party today. Maybe I’ll be able to catch bits and pieces. I will follow along as time allows.

  17. Shannon March 30, 2011 at 9:48 am #

    I wish the car seat was more affordable. I can afford the $300 that is being asked but I have friends who can’t afford that much for a car seat and they want their children to be just as safe as the rest of us but the economy has caught up with them and so many others. Is graco doing anything to help families with financial strains get safe car seats for their children?

  18. Paula Caudill March 30, 2011 at 11:19 am #

    I need a Graco car seat just like this one for my little grandson, he is granny’s pride and joy! Graco is one of (if not the best) brand of baby products. Example – I searched until I found the old Graco Swyngomatic Crank up swing for my grandson, I will not use another baby swing, none can beat it! I absolutely love it! I and my whole family have used a Graco Swyngomatic Swing for all of our babies, are when you find a great product, it stays around. I wish that Graco still made the crank up Swyngomatic, no batteries needed and it will swing a baby, that is otherwise to heavy for all other swings on the market. I just wanted to say that you really had a “HIT” with the Graco Swyngomatic Crank Up, and I thank you for making all of us parents and babies happier because of that wonderful product.

  19. Crystal March 30, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

    Just so that I can make myself a little clearer, I am not placing my child in the carseat now with a heavy jacket. It’s just about Spring here and he’s wearing a hoodie. I tried Kelly’s tips above, and I do get a lot more harness when I adjust the headrest up, which makes it a heck of a lot easier to place/buckle him in, but when I try to adjust the head rest back down I can’t get it to where it needs to go for it to be safe for him.

    I’m beginning to think that maybe this seat is not right for my child. I think it is a great seat with awesome safety features, but it seems that I won’t get past this problem and for now he seems very uncomfortable in it.

  20. Kelly Voelker March 30, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

    Hi Linda – We’ll post follow up questions here on the blog! Thanks for the comment and thanks to everyone who could make it! Best -Kelly

  21. Kelly Voelker March 30, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

    Hi again Crystal! I’m sorry you’re having trouble. I think it might be easier if we tried to talk through by phone instead. I’ll send you an email to try to get a phone number for you. We want to make sure it fits and is comfortable for your little guy. Thanks -Kelly

  22. Russ Dettor April 9, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    Hola! I’ve been following your website for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Porter Texas! Silver Picture Frames. Just wanted to mention keep up the excellent work!

  23. Christian Arpin April 17, 2011 at 11:47 am #

    Awesome! What a great reading. Thank you

  24. Crystal April 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    Thank you GRACO and Kelly for your OUTSTANDING customer service!!! We FINALLY got the seat to work for us and my baby and I love it! I foresee us purchasing more Graco products soley on the experience that we had with this purchase. Thank you thank you! I already have other mama’s trying to steal my carseat :) !

  25. Kelly V. April 25, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

    Hi Crystal – I’m SO glad to hear it! Thanks so much for the comment and please stay in touch :) Talk to you soon!

  26. Chiemsee Hotels July 22, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

    Can I simply say what a reduction to seek out someone who really is aware of what theyre speaking about on the internet. You definitely know the way to carry a difficulty to gentle and make it important. More individuals need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant consider youre not more standard because you positively have the gift. King Regards Thomas

  27. nora December 5, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

    Crystal or Kelly!! Please help me with this carseat by graco… I have the same problem with the straps not being long enough!!!! Thank you!!!

  28. Myra January 8, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

    Crystal or Kelly, I have the EXACT same problem with the straps not being long enough!! Please e-mail me on how I can fix this problem. I love this seat and I really want him to be able to enjoy it., thank you.

  29. Angie July 23, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

    I just bought this carseat for my 8 month old and I absolutely love it and so does she! The only problem I am having is that I feel that I am not putting the harness pads in the correct place. I thought they were supposed to go over her shoulders but when they are in that position, I can’t get the straps to tighten enough because the pads are so thick on the bottom. Could someone please tell me the correct position to put these pads.


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