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  1. #1
    Car-Seat.org Ambassador Nedra's Avatar
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    Are there any seats that are easy for a child to tighten themselves?

    I think the title says it all. Are there any harnessed seats that a child can tighten for themselves? Is it possible to teach a child how to perform the pinch test on themselves and have them be in charge of tightening? At what age?


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    Mama to G. (born March of 2013, riding FF in a Chicco MyFit, an IMMI Go, and a Britax Marathon)... and L. (born June of 2015, riding RF in a Graco Milestone, a Graco Extend-2-Fit 3-in-1 and a Graco SlimFit)

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  3. #2
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Are there any seats that are easy for a child to tighten themselves?

    For my kids in MIL's car we just don't loosen the harnesses when they get out. I help buckle them in a few times a week and make sure it's still tight enough. MIL now knows if the harness doesn't fit she needs to take off the kids' hoodies.

    DS is 3yrs 9mo and he can buckle himself when he's willing. 75% of the time he refuses or claims "it's too hard!!" even though he easily does it the other 25% of the time. So far, I've seen him do it in the Maestro, Nautilus and MySize.
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  4. #3
    Carseat Crazy
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    I wonder if teaching them to use a foot to help push the adjuster strap down. Grab it with hand, place foot on strap, push down with foot, since most need a downward motion to tighten.

    As for age, my oldest was 5 before he would even try to buckle a harness and he had been buckling a booster for a couple months. He still, at 6, can't unbuckle a harness, for himself (not that he is in one anymore) or his younger brother. But his younger brother, at 3, is trying to buckle himself, just lacks the coordination and strength right now.

    Quinn (Sept '09) Riding in an Amp and Harmony Big Boost
    Sean (Aug '12) FFing in 2 RXT's

  5. #4
    Moderator - CPS Technician
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    Re: Are there any seats that are easy for a child to tighten themselves?

    I rarely loosen/tighten the harness, so once a kid can buckle themselves then they are pretty independent.
    Cutie #1 (13 years) 5-stepping
    Cutie #2 (10 years) riding in a Safety 1st Incognito

    Cutie #3 (7 years) riding in a Chicco KidFit
    Cutie #4 (6 years) riding in a Frontier
    Cutie #5 (3 years) riding in a Nuna Rava

  6. #5
    Car-Seat.org Ambassador Nedra's Avatar
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    Re: Are there any seats that are easy for a child to tighten themselves?

    Quote Originally Posted by jjordan View Post
    I rarely loosen/tighten the harness, so once a kid can buckle themselves then they are pretty independent.
    In this case, I am thinking of a situation where the seat wouldn't always be used for the same child.
    Mama to G. (born March of 2013, riding FF in a Chicco MyFit, an IMMI Go, and a Britax Marathon)... and L. (born June of 2015, riding RF in a Graco Milestone, a Graco Extend-2-Fit 3-in-1 and a Graco SlimFit)

  7. #6
    Senior Community Member Dillipop's Avatar
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    Re: Are there any seats that are easy for a child to tighten themselves?

    My niece is 5.5 and can harness herself and tighten the graco nautilus. She can harness herself and semi-tighten the britax frontier but I need to finish it.

    My almost 5 year old can harness herself in the frontier, truefit, and foonf but is unable to tighten herself in any of them.

    I would say that the foonf would be super easy for a kid to tighten themselves. That adjuster is smooth.


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  8. #7
    CPST Instructor Carrie_R's Avatar
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    My nanny kids seem to be able to do this reliably in my ProSport. They usually move to it when they go FF, so shortly after their 4th birthdays, and I teach them how to loosen/tighten/buckle/unbuckle. Current NK just sometimes has trouble if the straps twist when he puts his arms in.

    I don't have them pinch test themselves - I usually check - but as long as they tug the adjuster until it stops moving they're usually fine or very close to fine.
    Down to just a spare Radian, folded in the hall closet for my Godbaby.

    Check out this thread for a Pilot overview!

  9. #8
    CPS Fanatic Keeanh's Avatar
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    Re: Are there any seats that are easy for a child to tighten themselves?

    Nautilus is super easy to adjust. That might be your best bet. If it's the same kid using it, though, just leave the harness between uses.
    17yrs, 15yrs, 13yrs, 11yrs , 9yrs (58", 75lbs, Incognito), 7yrs (46", 50lbs, Dreamtime), 5yrs (41", 35lbs, RN), 3yrs (30lbs, RF Marathon), NB (Peg 4-35)
    '14 Mazda5, '06 Chevy Express, '08 Toyota Tundra

  10. #9
    CPS Fanatic
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    My cousin (he's 6 or 7 and super tiny) tightened the nautilus on himself so fast that I didn't even have a chance to try. It was probably tighter than I would have made it.

  11. #10
    Carseat Crazy seb3244's Avatar
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    My average sized 3 yr 3 month old can tighten harness and tighten herself in her clek fllo. It is awesome. Although I still check it every time of course. If the straps get all twisty she will ask for help.
    Tightening it is super easy. I think I could put my finger in the loop and tighten it with my pinky.
    Blessed Mama to
    DD1 T 29 months RF - Britax Advocate
    DD2 J 6 months RF - Britax B Safe

  12. #11
    Car-Seat.org Ambassador Nedra's Avatar
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    Ok, good to know about the Foonf/Fllo and Nautilus. I'm wondering if the Go Hybrid would be good for this too -- because the hip straps pull up instead of down?
    Mama to G. (born March of 2013, riding FF in a Chicco MyFit, an IMMI Go, and a Britax Marathon)... and L. (born June of 2015, riding RF in a Graco Milestone, a Graco Extend-2-Fit 3-in-1 and a Graco SlimFit)

  13. #12
    Senior Community Member Baylor's Avatar
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    Re: Are there any seats that are easy for a child to tighten themselves?

    I never really played with the harness except when they had on more clothing or less. They knew how it was supposed to feel and would tell me if it was too loose.

    Loved the Nautilus. They are great for almost all kids.
    A five stepper and a booster rider

  14. #13
    Senior Community Member aeormsby's Avatar
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    I'm not sure the go would be easy for kids. Possibly, but there are two and it's important to pull the slack down from the chest area first.

    My DD used to get her old MA tight using her foot like the PP described. IME this is something that completely depends on the kid's motivation though, DS was never interested in even attempting to tighten his seat.
    Ann

    DD - 1/06 - 5-stepping
    DS - 12/07 - Incognito, Recaro Performance Booster & Harmony Literiders
    And a Bubble Bum for backup/travel

  15. #14
    Car-Seat.org Ambassador Nedra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aeormsby View Post
    I'm not sure the go would be easy for kids. Possibly, but there are two and it's important to pull the slack down from the chest area first.
    Yeah, this was something I thought about too (the question of "would it be easier to pull the slack up to the shoulders, or down to the hips?")
    Mama to G. (born March of 2013, riding FF in a Chicco MyFit, an IMMI Go, and a Britax Marathon)... and L. (born June of 2015, riding RF in a Graco Milestone, a Graco Extend-2-Fit 3-in-1 and a Graco SlimFit)

  16. #15
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Are there any seats that are easy for a child to tighten themselves?

    Both my 5 and 4 year olds can tighten and loosen the straps on our Recaro Performance Sports and our Nautilus. I didn't show them. They figured it out themselves.


    Mama to 4 little stair steps
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