Have you ever found yourself riding the struggle bus trying to figure out how to install a car seat? Then you’ve come to the right place. A viral TikTok video that is also going viral among Facebook mom groups demonstrates a simple hack to ensure your child’s car seat is installed as safely as possible.
The video shows Joni, a mom and nationally-certified Child Passenger Safety Technician, installing a rear-facing convertible car seat that attaches to the car seat with lower anchors (the latch system).
This is a super common type of car seat and latch system for most parents, which is probably why this video is getting so much attention.
How to properly install a car seat
In the video, Joni shows us how loose car seats can still be, even if we’ve installed them correctly and pulled all the seatbelt straps as tightly as possible. Raise your hand if you’ve ever been able to wiggle a car seat even after pulling the straps with all your might—I know it’s happened to me, whether I install it or my husband installs it.
Here, she demonstrates how to truly get the car seat to fit as snuggly as possible to the seat it’s attached to.
The tip: using your hip and the hole underneath the armrest cushion allows you to pull the strap even tighter than you would normally, and the force of your hip gets the seat in there super securely. She says to be sure to scoot the front seat all the way forward to allow yourself room to work, and to climb in from the opposite side from where the car seat is.
The hack allows the seat to be firm at the base while staying limber up top. It’s genius!
Thousands of moms have flocked to the comment sections of the videos to thank Joni for her expertise. We can honestly never be too educated when it comes to car seat safety, and it’s so amazing that there are platforms that allow nationally certified safety experts like Joni to share their wisdom so we can all keep our kids as safe as possible.
A version of this story was published July 16, 2021. It has been updated.