Preschooler buckling themselves


Active member
I am curious, how old were your preschoolers when they started being able to buckle their harness by themselves?

My 3.5 year old is in an Argos and a Nautilus currently and he is able to do his chest clip and line up the buckle clips, but he doesn't have the strength to push them in yet. With the baby, especially one he outgrows his Keyfit, it would be really nice if my oldest could buckle everything and I would just have to check and tighten.
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Active member
Levi never figured it out, I still need to buckle his booster for him and he's almost 7, he can unbuckle it though. Hunter was 4.5, he can unbuckle himself too. I keep the harness tightened and the straps on the Frontier don't twist easily so it's very easy for him. Ella is 4.5 and can do it but she lacks the strength to to push the tongs into the buckle completely so I have to help her do that.

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My older two kids do not have the best motor skills and were definitely older than #3. She has been able to buckle and unbuckle since shortly after her 3rd birthday, but she's always been the type to want to do things for herself! I give rides to two other preschoolers (one who is a month shy of 4 and one who is nearly 5) and neither of them can consistently buckle/unbuckle.


New member
My ds3 could do the old push-down Nautilus buckle easily from age 3. DD is 5 and can't buckle or unbuckle her Frontier.


Well-known member
My niece could buckle and mostly unbuckle (depended on the day) around 4.5/5. My daughter was right around 5 when she could buckle and can now unbuckle if he has our old USB adapter for leverage.

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New member
My newly turned 4yo can do the chest clip but not the crotch buckle. He's great about making sure the straps aren't twisted too, but the crotch buckle is a no-go on any of our seats (SureRide, Maestro, Frontier, Nautilus).


Take the car seat in the house, loosen the straps, and let him sit in it while he watches a movie. I guarantee he'll try to buckle and will probably figure it out by the end of the movie. (Be available for unbuckling, though.)


New member
DS just turned 4 and has been able to buckle himself in his Radian for a couple months. I still generally do it for him though. He has been able to unbuckle himself since around his 4th birthday.


New member
Ds1 just figured out buckling and unbuckling in the past two months. He is 5. I also never tried teaching him or he might have done it sooner.
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New member
Both of my kids could buckle and unbuckle the frontier at 4.5. They both insisted on doing the chest clips (without help, which was painful and took forever) from 2.5.

They both booster trained at 4 and could safely buckle and unbuckle themselves at that age :)


Active member
Quinn was around 5.5 and figured out how to buckle a booster before figuring out a harness. He was never able to unbuckle while in the seat. Sean is 3.5 now and tries, but lacks the strength from the angle he is trying it at. Quinn can unbuckle Sean, if Sean lets him.


Active member
My son was around 4.5 when he could mostly do it, I'd just have to reach back and get a clip every now and then. By 5 he could do it by himself all the time

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