HELP! my 3 year old won't stay in his car seat!!

Lindee - posted on 11/10/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )

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Hi! I am a mother of a 3 year old and a 6 month old.
Everytime we get in the car to go anywhere my son jumps in his seat and buckles up, I love it because I don't have to buckle 2 kids up. But my issue is whenever I stop the car to do ANYTHING he unbuckles!!
Like for example I had to pull over the car the other day to write a phone number down and the second the car stopped he unbluckled. Luckily I've taught him not to it at stoplights but no matter what I say or do he unbuckles whether he's getting out of the car or not!

Please help, any suggestions besides duct tape or combination locks!!
I heard of a company that makes a locking device that goes over the buckle but I can't seem to find it anywhere!!!

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Hi Lindee,
I'm just curious about what kind of carseat you have because I also have a 3 year old and his carseat is a 5 point harness and there are times even I have a hard time getting him out of it. There's no way he would be strong enough to unbuckle the chest piece or the crotch piece. Do you already have him in a booster? I could see that, with just the seatbelt for him to unbuckle. I'm just trying to get an idea of what you're talking about because my son's head is about half an inch from the top of his carseat and we've been looking for boosters. A friend of mine has a 4 year old girl who has a booster that just uses the seat belt to buckle her in (accross her shoulder). But I'm looking at a booster that goes up to 80 pounds (I think) and has a 5 point harness (for when they're still small like my son) and then when they're older can be used with just the seat belt. Can you link me your carseat (or booster)? Thanks :)

Lindee - posted on 11/11/2010

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thank you all for the advice. I guess I'll have to come up with a reward system of some kind but I hate giving candy or ice cream as a reward, he is already really active. my mom suggested doing a quarter in a cup in the car. Everytime he stays buckled or waits for me to say ok unbuckle we put a quarter in a cup in the cupholder and when there are 5 coins in the cup then take him to All-a-dollar and buy him a reward with the money in the cup!
He went will Daddy for the weekend so first thing monday morning we will try it! thanks again everyone!

Renae - posted on 11/10/2010

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I have seen a few types of child-safe locks that go over the buckle, most recently I saw them at toys-r-us in the safety gates section. I have also seen them at Baby on a Budget and Baby Expo - but this will only help if you are in Australia! They def make them, have you tried googling it to buy them online?

Judi - posted on 11/10/2010

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A reward system for not unbuckling and ignoring for unbuckling - no I don't mean driving off with him unbuckled I mean making him wait in the car for 3 minutes (equalling a lifetime in 3yr old terms) with NO attention on him then letting him out.

Candi - posted on 11/10/2010

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I had to teach my kids early not to unbuckle unless I turn the car off. If you have a DVD player in your car, that may keep his mind off of unbuckling. He also may be doing it to get your attention. Kids love attention; even if its negative attention. Try to reward him. Tell him if he stays buckled for the whole car ride, he will get a super sticker or a piece of yummy candy or ice cream. SOmething that little kids love. Good Luck

Ricky - posted on 11/10/2010

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If you taught him not to do it at lights maybe its possible to teach him to wait until you say its ok to unbuckle. You just need to be firm (until/if you find that lock you were talking about)
If you can figure out a reward system for him that may help. Kids no matter how old love rewards.

Psychotoons - posted on 11/10/2010

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If you can teach him to not unbuckle at the light then he can learn anytime. What is the reward to stay buckled? Like the rest of us he may need a reason that he will respond to, a reward of some sort, even if it is a special toy he gets to play with ONLY for sitting still when the car stops. He sounds very bright and may get bored sitting there.

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