How To Keep Toddler From Unbuckling Car Seat | Must Read

(Last Updated On: February 13, 2023)

Toddlers always feel irritation with seat belts and always try to unbuckle them. This unsafe behavior of your toddler might put him in danger.

Parents are always worried about how to keep toddler from unbuckling car seat.

You can keep your toddler from unbuckling the car seat by highlighting the safety purpose of the car seat. Some children listen to their parents carefully, while others ignore the conversation and keep doing what they want.

For such toddlers, you can buy a locking clip that will keep your toddler from unbuckling.

It is attention paying task to drive alone with your toddler, especially when he is growing and knows how to unbuckle a car seat. Unbuckling your child draws your attention and puts both of you in a critical situation.

This must-read article discusses how to keep a toddler from unbuckling car seat.

How to keep my overly-smart child from leaving the car seat? Possible dangers, Safety measures, The best seat clips to keep my toddler in a car seat., and some DIY hacks. 

How To Keep Toddler From Unbuckling Car Seat? | 5 easy steps

How To Keep Toddler From Unbuckling Car Seat

The major concern of parents driving with their overly-active child is how to keep toddler from unbuckling car seat.

You can apply these easy steps to keep your child in the car seat.

You cannot ignore safety precautions in any situation. Make your child realize how important it is to stay in a car seat. Teach them also what the circumstances would be for not staying in a car seat.

Wordy Approach

Have a detailed conversation with your child, in which you will tell him the importance of his life for you and end the conversation with how important it is to stay in a car seat.

I am a safety advisor and always start my safety talks with workers,

  • how important are they for their family
  • What is their value for the Company
  • How to be an expert in your skill while following the safety measures

This conversation has a positive vibe. Moreover, I tell all the workers that they can ask me anytime how they can perform their tasks safely.

This conversation creates a great link between my workers and me. You can have such a conversation with your toddlers, also.

In this wordy approach with your toddler, you can politely talk to them. Do not scold your child; this can negatively impact them, and they might get aggressive.

Children are quick learners; they learn what they see. Always fasten your seat belt while driving. Follow the safety rules do they can.

Keep calm

The very step of teaching something is to stay calm. If you have a brief conversation with your growing child, but if it doesn’t seem to work.

Never lose your temper with your child. Sometimes they want to get new experiences and learn whether these are good or bad.

This activity might be hazardous for your child, but I advise you to be calm with your child.

Be playful with your child. You can make learning a fun activity. Always use low tones and funny voices to teach them.

Stop Driving

This is the 100% working technique, and every parent should use this trick to teach him that unbuckling is not safe.

Let me give you a brief description of this technique. Pull over your car each time your toddler unbuckles his car seat.

Pulling over will tell him that he has done something wrong, and that’s why the car is pulled over. Tell him what is wrong, and do not start your engine until he follows your instructions.

Keep Them Distracted

Keep your child distracted to overwhelm the habit of unbuckling the car seat. You can draw their attention with their favorite toy, food, or whatever they like.

As long as their traveling time is fun, you would not worry about how to keep toddler from unbuckling car seat.

Get a Clip

Suppose all the above tricks are failed to keep your child from unbuckling the car seat.

The only way left is to get a seat belt clip. Sometimes, your child is uncomfortable with car seats and might have motion sickness or other issues.

Observe your child’s behavior and find a solution accordingly.

Read More: 4 Car Seat Stages and Ages | When to Use

How To Keep My Overly-Smart Child From Leaving The Car Seat?

How To Keep Toddler From Unbuckling Car Seat

The unbuckling car seat could be dangerous in the event of an accident and can cause serious injury.

If you are failed to keep your toddler from unbuckling a car seat, you can use child-proof products.

I will not suggest you use these products because, in the case of an accident, rescue teams might not know how to open these products.

But I am sharing a trick here. Using this trick, you do not need to worry about keeping the toddler from unbuckling the car seat.

This trick could be the ultimate solution and only use if you cannot keep your child from unbuckling the car seat from the abovementioned tricks.

We put a cotton button-up shirt over the top of their clothes before putting a child in the car seat. I am telling you this trick because this doesn’t affect the safety of car seat straps.

Because car seat straps don’t clip over the top of the extra layer of clothing, they clip underneath it.

So, we set the child in the car seat once she has a button-up shirt. Then we pull her car seat straps over the top of the button-up shirt and buckle them like normal.

The only spot on the button-up shirt where the car seat straps should cross over is the shoulders where the collar is.

Once we had that over her shoulders, she buckled in the right place on the top and the bottom and tightened it to secure the car straps.

Now start working on buttons. Skip the collar button because your child can feel suffocated, which could be irritating.

Start with the second button, button the 2nd button, then the 3rd, 4th, and 5th. With this simple trick, you can trick your actively-over child.

Related: Safest Spot for Car Seat | A Complete Guide for Parents

Here I am sharing some tips you can use them also,

  • Turn the buckle around your child while strapping your toddler
  • Pilling over whenever your toddler unbuckles the car seat. Be strict but in a polite tone.
  • Cancel your trip immediately when you notice the unbuckling car seat. Going back home will teach them how important it is to put on a harness.
  • Innovatively tell them the importance of safety harnesses. Prepare yourself to answer their questions because they will ask you many questions at this stage of life.
  • Observe his attitude and behavior and whether your toddler is paying attention to you. If he is not, you need to do some creativity so he can pay attention. You can show him some online videos or animated clips in which children wear safety harnesses.
  • Cheer up your child when you notice he is following all the instructions and not unbuckling the car seat.

Can Unbuckling Cause My Toddler Harm? | Possible Dangers

Car seats are built to protect your child in case of an accident. These car seats hold your child firmly and keep them in their place.

If your child is unbuckled, in case of an accident, your child might get a serious injury. Here I am sharing a pair of accident reports for your information.

CASE # 01

A mother with two children was involved in a car accident in 2017 that killed her vehicle. The car seats survived the collision unharmed, although her car was destroyed.

The mother says that she stopped to get milk for her younger child after picking up her eldest child. A car hit them while they were halted, but happily, they were unharmed and could escape.

A paramedic who came to the site immediately after the collision claimed that the outcome of the accident would have been considerably different if the boys had not been properly secured in their car seats.

To persuade parents not to rush the buckling process, the mother shares her experience with Today. She says, “I hope people will see my story and realize that car safety is not something to take lightly.”

Children may object to being strapped in tightly, and some are cunning escape artists. When her oldest asked to sit in the forward-facing posture like his schoolmates, this mother of two even had second thoughts about how to belt her kids.

However, you never know what can happen. I’m sure this mother is very happy that she trusted her gut and kept checking to ensure her kids were riding in the car safely.

CASE # 02

In 2016, a 6-year-old girl traveled with her father in the automobile without a booster seat. She was sitting in the back seat with the shoulder strap; her father failed to put the car seat in.

The lap section of the 6-year-seat old’s belt dug into his abdomen while they were traveling when their automobile swerved off the road and struck a tree.

Sadly, the force of the collision caused the seat belt to shred the fat and muscle below what at first seemed to be severe bruises on the little child.

The power of the collision was so great that it tore straight through the little girl’s left side of her body, causing inches of her intestines to protrude.

In an interview with Today, the girl’s mother urged parents to check that their children are properly belted in and in the right car seat to raise awareness of what happened to her daughter.

A young girl missed the entire first-grade year because of a task that could take two seconds to complete.

To ensure that your youngster is properly belted in, pause the next time you’re in a hurry or on your way somewhere.

Read More: Can You Feed A Baby In A Car Seat? Best & Safe Practice

What If You Get in a Crash and Your Child is Not Restrained?

The CDC stated that nearly 116,000 children were wounded, and 675 toddlers, 12 years old or younger, lost their lives in car crashes in 2017.

The CDC reveals the percentages of kids who didn’t buck up and whose child safety seats weren’t utilized. These are what they are:

  • 49% of youngsters aged 8 to 12, 36% of children aged 4 to 7, and 22% of infants and toddlers were not strapped.
  • Misused child restraints: Of the 675 fatalities, 46% involved child restraints that were used improperly and could have compromised the effectiveness of their car seats.

The CDC also discusses the effectiveness of car seats in a collision. Provided that they are used correctly. Car seats can reduce your child’s risk of injury by 71–82% compared to seat belts.

Additionally, kids between the ages of four and eight might have a 45% reduction in injury risk when using booster seats.

Based on the information supplied, it is clear how crucial it is to ensure that your child is safely buckled up in the automobile. Doing this will ensure your toddler is as safe as possible.

Related: How To Remove Graco Baby Seat From Base | 7 Easy Steps

The Best Seat Clips To Keep My Toddler In A Car Seat

How To Keep Toddler From Unbuckling Car Seat

You can get the best car seat clip guard for your growing child from here. These car seat clips are easy to use and prevent your child from unbuckling car seat.

By using this product, your child can not pull his arms out. They are adjustable in length. You can use it for your child and gift it to your friend who has naughty children.

DIY Hacks

  • Make a long, narrow slit under the trash cup.
  • Place the seat belt’s metal clip into the cup’s hole after flipping it over.

Your child won’t be able to unbuckle the safety harness with one hand. You can use a paper cup because your youngster is less likely to get hurt by the cut-out sides.

Additionally, it is simple to withdraw the rescue crew in the event of an accident.

The full straps may need to be cut off, but it would be more challenging. This trick also functions when the safety belt is used to install the child’s car seat.

It helps prevent unintentional removal by passengers. Please be aware that the disposable cup tip should not be used again.

Safety Measures

Keep an eye on your child while driving, and always follow safety measures. These safety measures will reduce your tension on how to keep a toddler from unbuckling car seat.

Checking the safety belt position

Always check the safety belt position. The harness belt must be slightly below or on the shoulder for back-facing seat car seats.

The harness strap must be above or slightly above your child’s shoulder for a forward-facing car seat.

Adjusting safety harness

Adjust your child’s safety harness and make sure it’s firm. Apply the pinch method to check whether it is too tight.

Car seat Child-proof device 

If none of the above methods works, the only way to keep your child from unbuckling is to buy a car seat child-proof device. These child-proof devices effectively prevent your child from unbuckling the car seat.


The question of how to keep toddler from unbuckling car seat is clear. It is compulsory to install a car seat and wear a seat belt.

If your toddler is not cooperative, try to convince him by offering words, distracting him, making driving fun, and pulling over each time your toddler unbuckles his car seat.

Unbuckling can prove dangerous for your child. You can use a shirt to keep your child in a car seat. According to CDC, 116,000 lost their lives in 2017.

The results of unbuckling could be severe. If your child is unbuckling the car seat, again and again, the ultimate way is to buy a clip.

These safety clips prevent your child from unbuckling the car seat. You can use some DIY hacks also to keep your child in a car seat. Always follow safety measures, and never compromise the safety of your child.

Please keep your child distracted by giving him food items or other things. But never let him unbuckle the car seat.

FAQs | How To Keep Toddler From Unbuckling Car Seat

How to keep toddlers from unbuckling car seats?

The unbuckling car seat is a fun activity for toddlers. You can educate them by telling them the consequences of unbuckling the car seat in the case of an accident.

You can also distract them by giving them their favorite toy. The best and most effective method is pulling over a car. Each time your toddler unbuckles himself pull over the car and tell him that he has done something wrong.

Please do not start your engine until he wears the safety harness again.

Is it okay for my child to unbuckle the car seat?

No, always keep your child in a properly installed car seat, and unbuckling the car seat is not a healthy or safe activity. Ask your child to put on a safety harness as it supports your child to maintain his position in the case of an accident.

How can my toddler keep wearing a safety harness?

Your toddler is in a growing stage, and he finds a way to entertain himself or to keep himself busy. So, he starts unbuckling the car seat when he finds nothing to do. Keep chatting with your child during your trip.

You can also draw his attention by giving him some food and toys.