car seat safety

Getting Your Child to Sit in Their Baby Car Seat (and Remain There)

Most kids like to be active, whether they’re a toddler or a baby just kicking, kicking and kicking again. One of the challenges you face as a parent is getting them to stay in those baby car seats when you’re out on a drive. They just won’t have it. Here are some tips to persuade them that baby car seats are a good thing so they’ll want to stay in them.

car seat safety

Let the child prepare for the journey

Tell your child a little before you go that they’ll be getting into the car seat. This allows them to prepare.

Give the child some responsibility

Ask your child if they’d like some help getting into the car seat, or if they can manage by themselves. They’ll feel as if they have more of a say in the matter and resist less.

Make the ride something to look forward to

Give your child some toys that they can only play with in the car. This provides them with a distraction during the journey. It also turns using the car seat into an experience that they may even cherish rather than despise.

Be clear and confident

When explaining to your child that they’ll be sitting in the car seat, be clear and confident. If you waffle, this will unsettle the child, and this can lead to tantrums. The more you waffle, the longer the tantrum may last. Being tentative places the child in a state of limbo, which can also become problematic.

Make sure your child isn’t too hot or too cold

This is important with young children, who have trouble regulating their own body temperature. Even in winter, it’s possible for them to overheat, if they have too many layers of clothing on them… and they can become a little cranky.

Give them some food

If your child is old enough to be trusted with food, it’s okay for them to eat while in the car. Make sure this is something like cereal or a food that they can’t choke on easily.

Don’t sit next to them

You might feel it’s fun to sit in the back with your child, but you don’t want them to get used to this. If you leave them long enough, they’ll entertain themselves in the back of the car. They’ll put up a fight at first, but eventually they’ll get used to the idea.

Explain the importance of the car seat

We place our kids in car seats for the safety of the child, of course — but they don’t know that. Explain to your child that whenever you go out in the car, they have to go in the car seat for their own safety. This will reassure them and may also stop them from protesting.

Play some music in the car

Playing some music in the car will keep the child engaged, especially if it’s something like a soundtrack from a children’s movie. It also provides you with an opportunity to exercise your vocal chords and show your child you’re in fine song!

Make a game out of it

Don’t let the practice of putting your child in the seat seem like a chore to you or the child. You can strap the child in the seat ‘ready for take-off’! A child would rather be an astronaut than an everyday passenger!

Follow these tips and you’ll be able to keep your child in their seat, no hassle. It will be a fun journey for all.

car seat safety

Images by IntelFree Press and Chris and Kris, used under Creative Commons license  

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. That’s really sounds awesome. As a mom i do admit your valuable tips. 🙂 🙂
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