How to Install a Child Safety Seat That Won’t Budge

Written by dad - 5 Comments

Over the years, I’ve had a lot of experience putting child safety seats of one kind or another into our cars. Remember, if you can move the seat more than an inch side to side or toward the front of the car, it’s not tight enough. After struggling to get our seats secured countless times, I stumbled onto a simple trick that lets you get your car seat buckled in tight. Every time. And with minimal effort. Here’s how you do it…

Before we get started, I should say that we always secure our seats with the seat belt, not the LATCH system. I’m not saying that you should necessarily do it this way, just sharing how we do it.

Step 1: Place the child safety seat in the car and feed the seat belt through it.

Step 2: Attach the metal locking clip (below) that came with the safety seat to the car’s seat belt just a bit short of where you think it needs to go in order to succefully buckle the seat belt.

Step 3: Recline the seat (the car seat, not the child safety seat).

Step 4: Tilt the child safety seat back and apply a bit of pressure to it while you buckle the seat belt.

Step 5: Bring the car seat back upright. If you guesstimated properly in Step 2, your child safety seat will now be rock solid. If not, then go back to Step 2 and repeat. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to install your seat in a flash.

Note that the usual approach of sitting or kneeling in/on the safety seat while trying to simultaneously buckle the seat belt can work. However, it’s a pain in the butt, and I’ve never been able to get the seat as tight as I can doing as outlined above.

Don’t believe me? Just try it. It’s works like a charm.

Published on January 15th, 2007 - 5 Comments
Filed under: Child Safety
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Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. I use both the belt and the latch system.

    Comment by The Former Blogger Formerly Known as Josh Cohen — Jan 26th 2007 @ 12:12 pm
  2. My method is to take it to the highway patrol and have them do it and don’t ever take it out unless I absolutely have to. 😉

    Comment by Angela — May 1st 2007 @ 12:59 pm
  3. That works, too. Of course, you’ll have to leave your kids at home when you go… 😉

    Comment by dad — May 1st 2007 @ 1:27 pm
  4. Josh– it’s not safe to use both LATCH and the seatbelt, according to carseat technicians. Pick one and stick with it.
    That sounds like a nice way to do it, unfortunately my back seat doesn’t recline. People with automatically locking belts don’t know how good they’ve got it.

    Comment by Mandy — May 2nd 2007 @ 9:14 am
  5. This might work for those who are using multi-row vans, but it won’t work in my truck, or in a regular car. Those back seats just do not recline now, do they?

    Comment by ATXDad — May 15th 2008 @ 12:03 pm

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