FAQ: What if my child figures out how to open the chest clip on their car seat?

chestclip2We’ve received a few questions recently from parents who tell us that their child has figured out how to open the chest clip on their car seat harness. We wanted to share some information that we hope can help in this situation.

Should my child be able to open the chest clip?

The chest clip (harness tie) needs to be both easy for a caregiver to open quickly in an emergency and complex enough for a child to not easily open it. For instance, Graco’s chest clips have 2 buttons which take both knowledge and dexterity to be opened – and while the vast majority of children cannot open the chest clip, there are some children who figure it out. There are also some adults who find it hard to open. We’ve tried to design our harness tie to fall somewhere in the middle of these competing objectives.


My child has figured it out – how do I get him to stop!?

The best way to discourage your child from opening their chest clip is refusing to drive anywhere without them properly strapped in. It takes consistency and some discipline to help them understand that the chest clip needs to stay closed.

Here are some additional tips:

- Has your child been in the car too long? Allow for frequent stops and make sure they have had plenty of exercise before a long trip.

- Set a good example by always buckling yourself in when you get in the car.

- Keep soft toys and cloth books in the car – nothing heavy or with sharp edges that could injure someone in a crash – that can keep a child busy.

- Sing songs together or play music your child enjoys.

- Let your child buckle in a baby doll in a toy car seat (available in the doll section of big toy stores) to help get them involved.

- Finally, do NOT adapt or modify the chest clip in anyway to make it more difficult for the child to open, as the chest clip does need to be easy enough to quickly open in case of an emergency.

If you notice that your child has opened their chest clip while driving, we recommend that you calmly pull over as soon as possible to a safe location, close the chest clip and emphasize to your child the importance of keeping the chest clip closed. While an opened chest clip is important to close as soon as possible, it is perhaps even more critical that the harness straps are in the proper slots and snugly adjusted around your child.

Why kids need to remain strapped in at all times:

First and foremost, it’s extremely important that your child be snugly strapped into their harness at all times. A snug but comfortable harness is important for good protection in case of a crash. If there is a lot of slack in the harness at the time of a crash, the child first moves forward unrestrained but is then abruptly stopped by the loose straps. This can cause greater injury than if the straps were already snugly against the child’s body.

However, the harness should not be too tight either – it shouldn’t press on the child’s flesh or push the child’s body into an unnatural position. A common way to check that the harness is snug enough is the pinch test. After adjusting the harness so it is snug but comfortable, try to pinch the harness webbing along its length (not its width). If you can grab some of the webbing, it is too loose.


Need more information?

Carseat.org offers these and other helpful tips for parents.  You are also welcome to get in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter, here on the blog and by e-mail if you have additional questions or concerns about your chest clip. If you have any concern that the clip might be too tight or too loose, always get in touch with Graco to check.

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77 Responses to “FAQ: What if my child figures out how to open the chest clip on their car seat?”

  1. Deb - Mom of 3 Girls November 12, 2009 at 2:51 pm #

    We’ve run into this with my 3-year-old in her Nautilus seat. Our rule is just that the car doesn’t move unless she’s fully buckled – so far that seems to be working. She gets really confused when I stop the van and we’re suddenly not going anywhere, lol. Hopefully that lasts! :)

  2. Kim @ What's That Smell? November 12, 2009 at 8:59 pm #

    Thanks for the great tips! My daughter isn’t even 2 yet and she figured out how to unclip the buckle almost a month ago and I was at a loss for what to do. Her age has made it someone challenging to explain to her why we stopped the car and why she needs to keep the buckle on, but we’re being persistent and she seems to be catching on.

  3. Lindsay Lebresco November 13, 2009 at 10:11 am #

    A snug harness is much more difficult to open than a loose one. Keep them nice and snug and that should help! This happened one time to me and I made such a big deal of it, (pulled over abruptly in a safe area and then walked around the car, opened the side door and snapped him back in all while giving him that mean mommy look I do so well) I think I scared him straight :)

  4. Andrea Schubert December 20, 2009 at 2:47 pm #

    I am so grateful for the variety of styles, colors and options that have become available, even in the plus size area; and yes plus size is sexy too, in case you were wondering.

  5. Kristina - Morgan's Moma March 4, 2010 at 4:00 pm #

    I have an almost 22 month old daughter named Morgan who is extended rear facing as long as possible. We purchased the MyRide65 in August 2009 because our car was hit by a drunk driver and we had to replace our excisting seat. I did a lot of research and decided to go with the MyRide65 because of the higher weight limits for rear facing, which is very important to me. The seat was/is properly installed RF’ing on the passenger side. The seat has worked out great until mid December and she started to get out of her seat. We have been pulling over everytime, we are very stern with her about it, she has plenty of little toy and stuff to entertain her, she can see out the windows, we always have some kind of kids cd going and we all sing along with it, and she is fitted very snug into her seat. Yet none of this has helped. We do not take extremly long car rides, most trips are 5-10 min’s in the car if that. So I am at a loss, I have no idea what to do. I surely do not feel that I should have to pay to get yet another carseat, but I do not feel that my child is safe in the MyRide65 anymore. I could be more dissapointed in Graco becuase they do not seem to have any care over this problem and I know I am not the only one. I feel the least they could do is send me a replacement chest clip.

  6. Heather-mom of 3 boys May 5, 2010 at 9:03 pm #

    I love this carseat but since the day I brought it home my 2 year old son figured out how to undo the chest clip. I realize they want to make it easier for us but I don’t want it so easy that he can do it too. I am sorry but the advice they have given parents is not enough. I honestly don’t think they have children themselves. Out of all my boys my 2 year old is very defiant and even after I have tried all those things as soon as I start driving again he will do it again. Trying to get a 2 year old to understand is not that easy. I have asked Graco for a different style clip and I hope they will agree to it. I honestly think they should consider it a recall because somebody’s child is going to get hurt or worse because they can undo the clip. As parents we all know that you can’t take your eyes off the road all the time to make sure your child is still buckled in. If you can I would like to know how. Thank you!

  7. Leanne June 25, 2010 at 5:56 pm #

    My grandson is only 21 months old and has figured out how to undo the clip. He is not old enough to understand when you try to tell him that the car is not going to move until he stays buckled. I also agree that there should be a recall on this because the way it leaves him strapped in would be dangerous if not fatal in a wreck. I love Grace products and wouldn’t consider buying any other brand but, I am very concerned about this situation.

  8. Sharon July 13, 2010 at 6:07 am #

    My son figured out how to open the chest clip when he was only 14 months old. There is no way to explain to him why he needs to keep it closed. He actually enjoys clipping and unclipping it. I tried giving him another toy with a buckle while we drive, but he would rather play with the carseat. Whenever we can, I ride in the back with him. But if I am by myself, I cannot do that. I cannot even see if he is buckled or unbuckled since he is still rear facing and there is no where to attach a mirror in my car. I thought it was a faulty buckle, but we have a second Graco carseat in my husband’s car and he does the same thing there. If my son can figure it out at 14 months, there have to be many, many older kids who can open it as well. I think Graco needs to re-think this buckle, or provide a more complicated one for kids who figure this one out!

  9. Crystal July 16, 2010 at 9:30 pm #

    Graco I hope you monitor your comments. I was going to purchase one of your car seats this evening, however, after reading some of the reviews on here I am thinking twice about it. There seems to be quite a few kids who can unbuckle their car seat. Very dangerous. I’ll have to continue looking for a new car seat for my 18 month old.

  10. Amy July 18, 2010 at 10:51 am #

    My 15 month old has figured out the chest clip on the My Ride 65. I am very disappointed that Graco has not updated the chest clip. Even the grocery stores have updated their lap belts so that you need to push a button while pinching the prongs on the clips. Still simple for adult use, but effective for solving the problem.

    We invested in this carseat to keep my son rear-facing for as long as possible, but the extra safety features on this seat are meaningless when the basics don’t work. The advice on this page is not very helpful and leads me to believe that Graco is not taking this issue seriously.

  11. Kelly Voelker July 19, 2010 at 7:45 am #

    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for your comments – we do monitor them and take your feedback very seriously. The tips above are directly from carseat.org with input from our team. If you think your clip is too loose, we are more than happy to replace it. If you have other questions, someone on our team is happy to talk through this more with you to see if we can provide help beyond what is in this post. We have passed your feedback on to our engineers as well. Thanks for getting in touch with us.

  12. Rocksye July 20, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

    I love Graco products & have been a long time user. I have always thought of your company as being a little ahead of the times. But now I am beginning to wonder. When you developed the Nautilus, I thought you were a godsend. It came out right before my daughter met the requirements so I was thrilled & purchased it as soon as it was right for her. After I bought it, I remembered thinking the belt clip & chest clips were nice & NOT simple. For a while the belt clip was actually difficult, then I realized you had to apply pressure from a certain angle, great childproofing. But when my daughter was turning 2 she figured out how to open the chest clip. We had returned home & she had been playing nicely & I looked back & saw her clip was open, my jaw hit the floor. In the last year it has happened over & over no matter how long I sit on the side of the road waiting for her to get the point. I also think the additional tips above are ridiculous, I actually think they are insulting. What parent doesn’t already take those steps to make sure their child has a happy ride. I need results. My daughter only does undoes her chest clip now when she wants to throw a fit & not go where we are going, further creating a problem. I really thought there would be an alternative clip I could buy on this website. I am stunned there is no help. I can’t call & you walk me through a result for this, I need an alternate clip. Do you realize that when the child does this it leaves the belts in the same position as outlawed booster seats, those old belt only seats. If I were to slam on my breaks to avoid a wreck it would throw my daughter forward applying pressure to her abdomen ONLY! THIS IS A SAFETY ISSUE!! It is scary for any parent with a forward or rear-facing seat. As a parent, you take all the steps possible to guard your most precious cargo and your child, doing what comes natural to them–exploring & learning, make all your efforts & money pointless. I don’t care if you all issue a recall or not, just make a chest clip (that is cheap for us to replace the old one with) that is like the ones at the grocery stores, like the other mother said. If Wal-Mart can keep my child in a grocery cart then I should be able to keep my child in a car seat that cost me almost $200. Please help us create a pleasant driving environment & keep our children safe!! I love our Nautilus except for this issue!!!

  13. Roy L. August 8, 2010 at 5:26 pm #

    My 18 month old granddaughter has also figured out how to open the chest clip
    on her ComfortSport.She opens it with such ease it scares me what might happen if it goes on notice.I thought for sure I would come to this site and find a recall or our clip was defective.I can’t believe how many comments there are on this and Graco states it was designed that way.When my kids had car seats don’t remember the brand but there was never an issue with the chest clip.

  14. Mandi August 10, 2010 at 2:01 pm #

    My daughter is 17 months old and figured the clip out a few months ago. Shortly after we bought the seat. I bought the seat to keep her rear facing longer, I was hoping until she was 3. But she can undo the clip! I had to get our extra car seat from my parents car. An Evenflo Triumph Advance. She can’t undo the clips on the Evenflo brand seats. Then my parents didn’t have a seat so I bought a Cosco Scenera and they are now rear facing up to 40 pounds as well. And the clips on the Cosco are nearly the same as the ones on the Evenflo. What am I supposed to do with this Graco seat that I paid so much money for?

  15. MichiganMom September 23, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

    My daughter is 14 months old and has also learned how to get the chest clip open. I think it is a ridiculous suggestion to pull over and explain to a barely one year old that we cannot continue until the buckle is closed. I am dissapointed that this is their response to the situation. I think that the clip needs to be made so children can’t open it. As for parents, if they can’t open it and don’t like it then they can shop elsewhere. As for emergencies….well I certainly hope that whoever responds to my auto accident, certainly comes equipped to cut a seatbelt if they’re not able to get the person out.
    Considering returning it……MichiganMom

  16. Jessica Sarlin September 28, 2010 at 11:36 am #

    MOMMYS PLEASE report these incidents to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) at http://www.nhtsa.gov. When I told Graco that my 17 month old twins could open these chest clips at will, they gave me the same shrugging response to what I believe is a SERIOUS DESIGN FLAW. Graco will not do anything about this serious safety issue until compelled by a higher authority, apparently. This is not just about good customer service. This is about the safety of all children and Graco’s RESPONSIBILITY to take these concerns seriously. Please hold them accountable. Thank you.

  17. Zach Ankrom October 1, 2010 at 12:59 pm #

    I have a Comfort Sport which my daughter at 13 months was able to open the tie harness, and now at 14 months I caught her getting the shoulder straps under her arms. This a major design flaw and you shouldn’t have to explain to your infant that they are responsible for keeping themselves tied down. I can not recommend this product to anyone who has to travel with their child alone.

  18. Richard White October 4, 2010 at 4:54 pm #

    We have 18 month old twin granddaughters. We have 2 Graco Comfort Sport mod# 1762268 for them to use in our van. They both can unbuckle the chest clip. When I wrote to Graco they were very fast to respond and did send me 2 new clips. After putting them on we were not out of the driveway before one of our 18 month old twins had the clip undone. We drove straight to Babies-R-Us and bought 2 evenflo 2-piece chest clips and the girls can not get them open. I believe something is wrong with the clips. I believe that is $12 well spent.

  19. Melissa Myers October 23, 2010 at 3:42 pm #

    I have a son that is almost 2 yrs old and he has figured out within this past week how to undo the chest buckle we have the myride 65. I wrote the graco website and they sent me an email back with a link to this page. I find that was not the right answer. The company bascially telling me that I need to pull the car over. Honey, I live in MD I am a military wife. And we travel all over the U.S. and I can’t always pull over safely on I495 with 6 lanes of bumper to bumper traffic. My son also was a premie and he doesn’t communicate through speach at this time we sign with him. SO Given his age and lang. issues and not understanding that if I pull the car over we will sit their on the side of the road till he stops unbuckling the buckle this issue with the buckle needs to be fixed.I would much rather take 2 extra mins. to buckle a harder buckle for the parent than for my child to be put a risk of death in his car seat if I am trying to pull over on the side of the interstate to rebuckle the chest buckle every 5 mins. Graco you need to redesign the buckle and maybe you can use my child to see if it works or not. Sincerly, MiMi from Fort Meade, MD

  20. Keith Toppins August 1, 2011 at 1:31 am #

    My 13 month old son unbuckles his chest clip immediately after being put in his My Ride 65. It is impossible to go anywhere. He actually started to unbuckle when he was 10 months old. My wife contacted Graco and they sent us the advice from this website along with a replacement buckle. I installed the replacement buckle and my 13 month old immediately unbuckled. As other comments have stated, I can’t pull over or explain to a 13 month old why we can’t drive until he buckles. My wife sent another email to Graco tonight looking for a solution. I would rather the buckle be more difficult than have him unbuckling hiimself at this age. I have looked at several other brands of car seats and none of them have this same issue. In fact, my wife’s parents have 2 car seats (neither are Graco) and the buckles are too difficult for a child, but I still find them simple for an adult.

    I am hopeful that Graco will do the right thing and provide my wife and I will a solution to keep our son safe. If not, I am going to take a video of him unbuckling himself and post it on Youtube for the world to see the product they are selling. I will be sure to get some safety reviews from a 13 month old unbuckling. I figure this is the least I can do to ensure other parents researching Graco products are aware of the safety issues we are having on a product we spent a good amount of money to keep our baby safe.

  21. Stephanie August 11, 2011 at 1:28 pm #

    My 19 month old son can unbuckle his chest clip on the My Ride 65 as well! After calling and writing Graco on this issue, here I am…looking to buy another car seat from a different brand that will protect my son and resolve this issue. Such a shame Graco.

  22. Kelly Voelker August 11, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    Hi Stephanie – Thanks for letting us know. One note for everyone who has commented here is to double check to make sure the harness straps are tightened nice and snug, using the “pinch test” we mention above. If that still doesn’t help, please feel free to call us at 800-345-4109 and we will do whatever we can to help. Thanks again for your comments.

  23. Stephanie August 12, 2011 at 5:41 pm #

    Hi Kelly,

    I’ve done everything I can do to ensure my son doesn’t unbuckle the chest strap, I’ve used all of your suggestions and more. We called that number last week and you actually didn’t help us. Plus, I sent Graco an email and the response I received was a link to this page. Still think you can help?

  24. Kelly Voelker August 12, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

    Stephanie – Could you please e-mail me directly at blog@gracobaby.com? I will do my best to help you from there. Thanks!

  25. Stephanie August 16, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    I emailed you on Aug 13th, hope to hear back from you soon.

  26. Heath August 17, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

    I agree also. my son undoes the chest to easily. I believe that it is sad the Wal-mart or even resturants have a better way of buckling a child in that they provide for free. If your going to go out and spend money on a car seat, it better be safe for the child. That includes the child being unable to unbuckle themselves. This is a safety hazard. I will not be recommending this to anyone or buying one untill the chest clip gets recalled and updated.

  27. Krista August 19, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    My son can also open the clip. Graco—you Must redesign the clip and offer free replacements. I will never buy a Graco product again.

  28. Kristie November 6, 2011 at 7:05 pm #

    My daughter figured out the chest clip before she turned 10 months. She is now 15 months and still unclips it. She does so with great ease. I am hoping the replacement clip they are sending will be of a different style. I am afraid that if it’s the same style she will still be able to unclip it. This product needs to be recalled and replaced with a different style!

  29. Kelly Voelker November 7, 2011 at 10:31 pm #

    Hi Kristie and everyone else who has commented here – we’ll reach out to you by email to get more information from you. If you don’t hear from someone within 72 hours, please let us know! Thanks for your feedback.

  30. Kristie November 20, 2011 at 12:47 am #

    I appreciate that you emailed me after I commented. But once I recieved the replacement clip I found that it is the same exact clip and my daughter was able to unclip it right away. I then sent you an email to explain this and that the new clip hasn’t changed anything. I have not heard anything in over a week.
    I am very disappointed with Graco. My boyfreind has a different brand of carseat for my daughter in his truck and I am thinking that I will have to contact them and try to get a clip that my daughter isn’t able to unclip.
    Now I have a $135 carseat that can’t be used. Really Nice Graco!!

  31. Bether November 29, 2011 at 1:47 am #

    I’m really, really glad I didn’t buy the two of these I was going to at Target today. My husband suggested that I read some reviews before we dropped the cash and after reading this, I am not buying them for sure. My son is pretty clever and dexterous and I don’t want to take any chances. I think I’ll get some Britaxes. And from the dates on these complaints it’s pretty clear that Graco isn’t planning on changing this any time soon. I wonder how many other people are former customers because of issues like this.

  32. Kelly Voelker November 29, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

    Hi Bether, We take these comments seriously and have been working with people individually to try to fix the problem. Please e-mail me at blog@gracobaby.com if you have additional questions and thanks for your comment.

  33. Heath December 13, 2011 at 12:02 am #

    Never heard from anyone. My son still unclips his chest buckle. See if you have come up with any new design yet.

  34. Joey March 26, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    So you want me to explain to my 18 month old not to unbuckle, that is your solution?! I’ve been doing that and everything else already! Since you continue to stand by an obviously faulty clip I guess I’ll have to pray that no child who uses this seat gets seriously injured by your companies blatant disregard. I’ll be forwarding my complaints to the NHSC and CPSC.

  35. Jessica March 26, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    I wish I had read these reviews earlier. I read reviews elsewhere, but never saw these! I have 16 month old twins and two Graco MyRide 65s. My son is able to open the chest clip on both MyRide 65 seats, and on his previous Graco SnugRide 35. Due to the size of the seats no one is able to ride in the back with them to redo his clip every time. We also live in a big city where we’re frequently on the interstate (short trips, though) where it’s not practical (or safe) to pull over and latch the harness (which he immediately undoes again). His understanding of safety and no at this age is limited so lecturing him would not do any good. We’ve also tried toys, singing songs, everything. Nothing works and I drive to the babysitter’s, the store, wherever, everyday in fear that something will happen after he’s unlatched himself. I will call Graco, but I’m not sure I will appreciate being told that I need to handle the situation differently by lecturing my child or by pulling over every time. He should not be able to do it!

  36. Lisa April 5, 2012 at 1:44 am #

    my 23 mos old can open and close the straps on the Graco Nautilis , it is not safe and should be recalled. She cant open the straps on her Britax seat. Am very disappointed in your “solution” of pulling over and not going anywhere until the child is strapped. As a full time working mom of 2 children with very limited time to spare that is not a reasonable solution to solve this problem. Please look into fixing it with replacing the clips.

  37. Sandi Blackburn April 8, 2012 at 9:48 am #

    I agree with last comment, this needs a recall. I know how to buckle my child, yet he had easily unbuckled the chest clip on his brand new Nautilus EVERY time we have taken him out in my husbands car (3-5x since purchased). He rides in a Britax 97% of the time and NEVER has undone his chest clip. He doesn’t even undo it after being in the Graco and then riding in his Britax. He is 2.5 so he can be spoken to, but a stern scolding isn’t going to save his life. I will contact the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) at http://www.nhtsa.gov as linked above. It also isn’t safe for me to keep turning around to be sure he is buckled.

  38. Laura Minster April 25, 2012 at 4:21 am #

    My daughter is 20 months old and has been unbuckling the chest clip since we switched her to it just after turning a year old.

    I am incredibly disappointed by the “advice” given by the company on this page. Really?!? You honestly think that a parent isn’t going to check EVERYTHING, including the tightness of the harness, in order to keep their child safe? Come on. Soapy water.

    Every. Single. Time. that we are in the car, she plays with her chest clip, constantly unbuckling it, only to giggle and buckle it again when I see that it’s unbuckled in the mirror and chastise her for it. She’s too young to be able to reason. She doesn’t understand, despite my repeated warnings, that it is dangerous. Today, while traveling at 70mph down the highway, she not only unbuckled the chest clip, but leaned over and started trying to wiggle her way out of the chair.

    It’s not safe for her, and it’s not safe for me to keep turning around to try to get her to leave her buckle alone, especially as I also have my 4-month-old son in the car with me.

    Why on EARTH, after all this time, and after all these complaints, has this company done NOTHING?!? Clearly, this is a design flaw and needs to be fixed. I will not be purchasing any more Graco products, and I will be spreading the word that these seats are unsafe to help prevent other mothers from purchasing these. And I’m a mother who frequents several large online communities. Heard of Babycenter? Yeah. Be prepared for a boycott until and unless Graco actually does something about this safety hazard.

  39. Molly May 23, 2012 at 6:42 am #

    Wow! Am I ever disappointed I bought this Graco 3 in 1 car seat…esp. after reading so many comments that reflect my own situation with the chest clip. At 21 mo. our son began clipping/unclipping the chest clip. Today he unclipped and took his arms out of the straps. Fortunately I was only driving about a mile down the road. In order to decrease the chance of him unclipping it, I tightened the belt. The tension would need to be too uncomfortably tight to discourage his unclipping the chest clip. I was hoping Graco would design a new chest clip. ‘Can’t believe these comments have been coming in for two years and still no action. This is too dangerous a situation to not purchase a new car seat and I guarantee it won’t be a Graco. I feel sorry for the PR person here…still towing the company’s line while having to listen to all these valid concerns. Pathetic recommendations, by the way, for overcoming the problem. We live in So Cal. It would imperil the lives of many if I had to pull off the freeway everytime our child unbuckled the chest clip. It’s already dangerous enough to monitor him constantly. Give me a break.

  40. Kelly June 7, 2012 at 12:28 am #

    I am so disappointed not only in Graco, but also in myself for not following my gut. I really wanted to get a Britax instead of a Graco for my toddler, but got this one because of the decent price and good reviews. My son has been opening the chest buckle since a week after we got the carseat. He is only 21 months. Now he pulls his arms through and leans forward and tries to open the car door. Thank goodness for child safety locks on my door.
    I want to know what Graco is doing about this and if any one has any real suggestions. It has gotten so bad that he leans forward and can loosen the belt with the “hidden” little lever. If we can’t get this resolved, I’m selling this one and getting one that actually works. So frustrated!!
    And no, I can’t pull over on the interstate or a busy street and get out and rebuckle him! Seriously!!

  41. Katie June 29, 2012 at 3:29 am #

    $300 for a car seat that is completely ineffective. What a waste. I agree with other post made above. There needs to be a recall on all car seats with this buckle, especially any car seat that is designed to be rear facing. While I understand the advice not to modify the clip to be more difficult I wonder what good that will do if my child pulled out of the arm straps before a wreck. Statistically the chances of internal decapitation are disgustingly high.

  42. Dolores July 10, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    I am relieved that I am not the only one having this problem. My 2yr old had figured out how to unbuckle the chest plate, which really isn’t that difficult to begin with. We have tried everything, distracting him, pulling over and re-buckling it (which lasts until the car starts moving again) and even yelling at him. Graco’s advice on just pull over every time and re-buckle the carseat is nonsense. This is not realistic if you are on a busy road. I am now in the process of trying to find a safe and effective device to cover up the chest plate to keep him buckled in. I really do hope that Graco takes this seriously and considered a more realistic option!

  43. Karla M July 28, 2012 at 3:04 am #

    I sure wish I had seen this site before I wasted 150 bucks on the MyRide. My granddaughter is now 19 months old and has been unbuckling htis chest clip since she was a year old. I have pulled the straps tight..doesn’t matter..she still unbuckles it. It used to be once in a while, now she is pretty much unbuckled soon as I pull out of the driveway. I am shocked to see that people have been complaining about this for two years now! I cannot afford to buy a new car seat and i am almost ready to buy a used car seat off of Craig’s list to replace the MyRide. Why is there not another harness clip for this? I told the pediatrican about it and she said for me to put a bungee cord on it! I am very leery of putting anything on this car seat. What happens if there is an accident and I am alone with the baby and can’t get to the back seat to get her out in time with this bungee cord? Telling her to stop means nothing and I cannot pull over every five minutes to clip her back when she will be unclipped soon as I get back in the car. Graco what is there to do about this? Is there another harness clip from another brand I can use that the baby cannot unclip? To me this is a huge safety hazzard. Not only does she unclip the harness but she manages to get one or both arms ouf of the straps..and they are pulled tight as we can comfortably get them..she is a baby houdini!

  44. Kmp August 14, 2012 at 2:54 am #

    I’m sorry to hear all of you are having issues. I have 2 nautilus car seats. My son figured out how to open his chest clip at 16 m. – but he only did it once after i pulled the car over and told him he had to have it buckled in a stern voice. I even put the seat belt on him to reinforce the message. He’s never done it again. Here’s two other ideas for you; 1) next time your child unbuckles their clip, pull back into the driveway and go inside for a time out. Then explain why they have to be safe in the car. 2) Let them play with the clip in the house, they’ll get bored with it and it will loose it’s “I can get mommy’s attention” appeal. And for those of you still unsatisfied with the mechanics of the clip – they sell generic replacements for cheap at baby stores that may work better for your child – Graco’s advice worked immediately for me. I for one am perfectly happy with my car seats – and can I just say that the cup holder is a god-send? Best design feature I’ve seen and it’s the reason I bought the nautilus, plus the fact it turns into a booster so it will last until he’s not required to be in a booster anymore. If I ever have another child I would buy the same seat in a heartbeat. Has a great safety rating and not nearly as outrageously expensive as the Britax or some of the others without half the design features. Highly recommended!

  45. Jaime October 7, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

    Why should I have to discipline my child to make his car seat effective? This is ridiculous advice and shouldering the responsibility of dealing with your defective product onto parents who already have enough disciplining to do. My son figured it out at 14months and can wiggle out of both straps. Im taking the advice of a commenter above and buying the Evenflo replacement buckle since im stuck with this 175 dollar seat. This blog was written two years ago and they are still selling as is… tells me they don’t care.

  46. Katrina October 17, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    Wow – I see that this is a common complaint! My son, who is probably the stubbornest 2-year-old on the PLANET, constantly unclips the chest clip on his Nautilus seat. I am at wit’s end, having already tried all of the above advice before even finding this blog.

    Graco: 2 YEARS of complaints, and you haven’t issued a recall?

    I am thinking I will need to find a different seat, as this has been an ongoing problem for us with, seemingly, no solution. Consider me a former customer.

  47. TinDC November 12, 2012 at 6:16 am #

    Another FORMER Graco customer here. Two years of complaints and nothing?! I also consider your suggestions in this blog post to be insulting and condescending. Give parents a little credit. This is BS. My 18 mo old son should not be able to undo his chest clip so easily. The fact that parents were complaining about this issue two years before I bought our damned MyRide and nothing was done to address the issue in the meantime makes me livid. Never ever again will I buy a Graco product and believe me, I will be posting negative reviews everywhere and telling everyone. Such a shame because otherwise, we have loved the seat. We’ll be buying another one instead bad never again will we buy a Graco product.

  48. TinDC November 12, 2012 at 6:17 am #

    Buying another brand seat instead, I mean.

  49. Julie Cox November 19, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

    I also purchased the Graco All in One car seat which was a hefty $300 purchase just a couple of months ago. I specifically wanted a seat which would keep my child rear facing for her protection. Unfortunately, she figured out how how to unbuckle the chest strap at only 17 months. She also figured out that she can pull her arms out of the straps and ends up with only the buckle at her waist. And this is AFTER i have cinched the straps down to the point where I fear it is too tight, no hint of loose material. These other suggestions on this web site are simply ridiculous.

    This is such a SAFETY issue, I agree with the others who say this should be recalled. There are other types of chest buckles which toddlers cannot undo, I see no reason that Graco could not fix this issue over the last 3 years! I wish I had seen these reviews earlier and saved my money on this seat. This is a major saftey issue that they continue to blow off.

    I am also complaining on the http://www.nhtsa.gov/Safety/CPS to hopefully warn others.

  50. Bethany Houghton January 10, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

    Just bought the Nautilus 3 in 1 less than a month ago, and my 2 year old son is CONSTANTLY unclipping his chest strap. I live in a remote area and have to drive long distances on a dangerous highway just to get groceries and other essentials. I am furious that this clip is so easy to open, putting my son in danger every time I drive somewhere. Instead of being able to focus on the road, I have to look back in my mirror to make sure my son is strapped in. And if he’s not, I have to risk getting into an accident just to get him buckled back in. I paid $200 for this worthless seat. I told my husband that I’m junking this seat and heading into town to buy a different one that actually does what it is meant to do: KEEP THEM STRAPPED IN! A 3 year old boy just died last night near my home because he got out of his carseat, opened the door of the moving vehicle and got run over by a truck. Reading that terrified and angered me that this issue is still ongoing, even after YEARS of complaints. And the “solutions” offered in this post are insulting and careless. I cannot believe they are actually suggesting I discipline my son to teach him not to open his buckle. If only it were that easy and simple. Thanks for the parenting advice Graco! But it’s not working, time to actually redesign a flawed and dangerous buckle before you have a lawsuit on your hands!