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How do I keep my 2, almost 3, year old buckled in her car seat?

My daughter has a 5 point harness car seat, but she knows how to unsnap the chest plate. I have tightened it as much as it can possible be tightened, but she can STILL unsnap it. I have an extra rear view mirror so that I can see her at all time because I have to stop & re-buckle her often. I have told her "No", I have explained she can get hurt, I have re-snugged, I have called my local police department to get advice (they said, "keep stopping"), I have contacted the manufacturer of the seat to see if they have some kind of guard to put over it (They don't- stated that if there was an accident, you need to be able to quickly unsnap to get the child out). Nothing is fixing the issue. I have thought about putting her in one of the high back booster type seats, but am seriously afraid that she's too young for them. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! BTW she's 35 &1/2 inches tall & weights 31 pounds.

Answer Question

Asked by eeyoreplus4 at 2:30 PM on May. 17, 2009 in General Parenting

Level 6 (144 Credits)
Answers (17)
  • Stop the car, buckle her back in. This is a big test of your parenting and discipline skills. Everytime she unbuckles, take away the toy that she has. Or just don't take her in the car. There is not a more stubborn creature on the planet than a 3 year old.
    Good luck, be firm, and know that this will pass.

    Answer by rkoloms at 2:35 PM on May. 17, 2009

  • duct tape!! lol

    jk, everytime you stop try really hard to remember that this to shall pass and that you are really helping her learn by being consistant. Plan extra time into every car ride. And get yourself a pillow that you can scream into on the 97th stop in 10 minutes!

    Answer by Marsella at 2:38 PM on May. 17, 2009

  • duct tape... i am serious. I garantee she wont be able to tear her way through a duct taped chest buckle. It will be a pain in the ass to deal with buuuut i will help with your problem.

    Something that always works for me is to tell the truth, it is againt the law to not wear a seat belt and if he/she is caught the police will have to write a ticket........then every once in awhile (make it a sparce tacktic, dont want kids to be afraid of cops) it to tell them you see a polic officer in their car on the road/freeway looking for kids and adults not wearing seat belts. It has worked for me in the past. I also point out cops that are helping they dont think all cops are out to find violaters all the time(lol.)

    Answer by Ihatelaundry at 2:38 PM on May. 17, 2009

  • i have heard if you put the rough end of the velcro on the harness clip they wont like the feel of it and will leave it alone. Ive never tried but ive heard other moms say its worked for them. You are right about the booster, she isnt old enough and if she can get out of 5pt harness she can sure as heck get out of a booster.

    Answer by Chandra034 at 2:49 PM on May. 17, 2009

  • Please, please if you figure out a solution let me know!!!! My son, who is also almost 3 (will be in August) does the samething. Usually you can yell for him to buckle up, and he will. But stopping every other block gets old, espcially when your in a hurry.

    Answer by ShiningStar24 at 2:51 PM on May. 17, 2009

  • I had a four-year-old boy with a super hero complex. He announced that he did not need to be in his car seat any longer due to his super powers, which included the ability to defend himself against a 4000-pound vehicle crashing into us at 50 mph *sigh*. I stopped in at the police station one day while my son was at preschool and asked for a favor. That afternoon, on our way home from preschool, I was "pulled over" by the police. He was very firm and intimidating when he explained that it is the LAW that my son must be properly buckled into his car seat at all times. He explained that if my son did not listen to Mommy and follow the law, that he could write me a ticket that would cost a lot of money and that he could take me to jail! My son never unbuckled again.


    Answer by DeTora_Family at 2:59 PM on May. 17, 2009

  • My son watches cop with my husband so he has a general understanding of what illegal means, and what it means to be arrested... i saw general because he knows its bad. After stopping several times, I finally just told him it was illegal to not wear a seat belt, that I could be arrested and go to jail, and then he would no longer have a mom. (so the last part was a little dramatic, but he got the picture). For a while that helped, but then he started unbuckling again. So I called the police station and asked about having an officer talk to my son about why it was important to wear a seat belt. A very wonderful officer reinforced what i had been telling him, and ever since he hasn't unbuckled.


    Answer by Crystal1124 at 2:59 PM on May. 17, 2009

  • Tie her hands together lol....Seriously, be firm with her and go down to her level and let her know if she keeps unbuckling and there is an accident she can get really bad boo-boos and Mommy will be soooooo sad. Which is the truth! Also she is not to young for a high back booster seat. I had my daughter in one at 2 1/2 and she was fine.

    Answer by JanuaryRayne at 3:46 PM on May. 17, 2009

  • Our autistic daughter, who hated things on her chest, had to have a small washcloth folded behind the chestplate and over the front. We secured it with a little velcro. She couldn't figure out how to get in, it wasn't touching her anymore, and she forgot about it. She was, however, much younger than 3 - at three she was over 40" tall. At six, she uses a high back booster despite being 49". We have to squish it down to get her in, due to her height, but we intend to keep going til 8, unless she gets much taller, lol.

    Answer by rainbowlight at 4:19 PM on May. 17, 2009

  • Do you spank for direct disobedience to a parental command? If you don't, it could help if you would start doing that. Part of the problem may be that she does not understand that she is not the one in charge and that she is to obey her mother, and when she doesn't, there will be swift and stinging consequences. When there is pain connected to disobedience, little children soon decide that it feels better to obey mom and dad.

    Answer by NannyB. at 4:53 PM on May. 17, 2009

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