It sends shivers down my spine just thinking about it! I tend to think of the worst-case scenario. It means that I prepare for it, and that’s a good thing, right? Imagine your toddler escaping from their car seat, you are distracted by it, your car swerves. Do I need to go on? Do you want to know how to stop your toddler from escaping a car seat? If yes, then read on…
Going on a road trip with a toddler can be fun. But not when there is a risk of them wriggling out of their car seat!
When my son was a toddler, he used to play with the straps on his car seat, and it scared the hell out of me! I knew he wasn’t strong enough to unclip them, but it was still a concern. I pulled over immediately to give him an important life lesson.
It worked, at least for the drive home. But, I needed some answers before the next journey!
Before we go on, take a moment to look at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for up to date information on how you should fit your child correctly with a seat belt. It is extremely important information.
5 Reasons Why Your Toddler Tries To Escape From Their Car Seat
Let’s begin by taking a look at 5 common reasons why your toddler wants to escape from their car seat…
First and foremost, they might just be a little uncomfortable, especially if you are taking your toddler on a long road trip.
Sitting in the same position for hours on end is uncomfortable for the best of us. Add in the patience of a toddler and you have trouble on your hands!
Your toddler doesn’t have much of a choice for where they go. Even if they don’t want to go somewhere, you are going to pick them up and strap them in, right?
Wouldn’t you be frustrated if you were made to go somewhere you didn’t want to go?
Sitting in a car for a long time is very, very boring. This is espicialy true for a toddler!
Toddlers need to be entertained ALL the time. Sitting in a car is no different. That’s why we have to listen to those awful kids’ songs during a car journey!
I wonder what dad and mom will do if I unplugged my seat belt! Let’s find out…
…the thoughts of a toddler!
They do not get the problems they are going to cause. They don’t understand just how DANGEROUS it is to drive without a seat belt!
Your toddler might be escaping their seat belt because they just want to see how you react. It is a fun game for them, and a nightmare for you!
Your toddler has found something interesting… It is the seat belt clip! They will have tremendous fun trying to press that little red button down… I wonder what will happen?
There is another insight into the mind of a toddler! They are intrigued by what will happen when the red button is fully pressed down. Even when they know, they will have fun doing it again, and again.
How To Stop Your Toddler Escaping From Car Seat – 5 Tips
Now that we know the most common reasons, let’s take a look at 5 things you can do to stop your toddler from escaping their car seat!
Talk To Them
The first thing you need to do is talk to them.
What’s the topic of this conversation? How dangerous it is to unbuckle your seat belt, or escape the seat.
Begin by asking why they do it, they might just tell you (good luck with that). Move on to telling them how dangerous it is to sit in a moving car without a seat belt fastened. How dangerous it is to escape the child seat when you are driving. I like to go as far as telling my son what will happen if he is not secure in his seat, and how much it will hurt.
Finish off by getting your toddler to answer the question ‘what do you have to do to stay safe in the car?’ The answer is ‘stay in your car seat and don’t wriggle out of it or unbuckle the clips/belt’.
Tighten The Straps
Ensure that your toddler’s car seat straps are as tight as they should be. If the straps are tight, it should be impossible to wriggle out of them.
Consult the manual for your car seat to understand how to do this.
Car Seat Toys
You should think about adding some car seat toys for your toddler.
Because the devil makes work for idle hands, that’s why!
If your toddler has toys to play with, then they will be less inclined to escape their car seat.
Consider getting a steering wheel toy for your toddler! That way, they can pretend they are helping to drive the car.
Take Regular Breaks
If your toddler is frustrated, bored, or uncomfortable then you should be taking regular breaks.
Scratch that, you should be taking regular breaks period! Not only will it help the journey go better for you, but it will also give your toddler the chance to burn off a little energy for the rest of the journey.
Reward Good Behavior
If you have read more posts on Dad Gold, then you will know that I am big on rewarding for good behavior.
Rewarding good behavior is a vital part of toddler discipline.
After each journey where your toddler doesn’t try to escape their car seat, make a fuss, give them a sticker, do anything positive that shows them how impressed you are with their behavior. It works. Every time. Kids love to be rewarded!
Consider Seat Belt Buckle Covers
If all else fails, then you can buy seat buckle covers to stop your toddler from pressing the dreaded button!
Take a look in your local baby store, or online. Whilst it is not recommended to adjust or change anything regarding your car seat, seat belt, or the buckles, sometimes it is less risky than having no seat belt on at all.
I am not going to recommended buckle covers here due to safety reasons. You should check in with the manufacturer of your car seat for recommendations.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I stop my child wriggling out of car seat?
The best way is to ensure that the straps are secure enough for your toddler to NOT wriggle out of them. If the straps are correctly tightened, then it will be nearly impossible for your toddler to wriggle out.
How do I stop my child from unbuckling their seat belt?
Distraction and rewarding good behavior are excellent ways to stop your toddler from unbuckling their seat belt. You can purchase buckle covers too, so check in with the manufacturer of your car seat.
How do I stop my toddler from unbuckling chest clip?
You should follow the same rules as you would do for kids who unbuckle their seat belt: Distraction and rewarding good behavior are excellent ways to stop your toddler from unbuckling their chest clip. You can purchase buckle covers too, so check in with the manufacturer of your car seat.
If you want to know how to stop your toddler escaping from their car seat, then the 5 tips on this page will point you in the right direction!
Ultimately, as the driver, you are responsible for the safety of your child. So you don’t want anything bad to happen.
Unfortunately, you are dealing with a toddler and rarely does common sense play a part in their decision making. It is your job to keep them on the straight and narrow.