Becoming a mom is terrifying for most if not all women, but for me it was even more terrifying. I had extra fears and apprehensions about becoming a mom. I knew from the get go that it was going to be a daunting task, but the day when reality set in was the hardest. That was the day that I realized I physically would not be able to unbuckle the car seat straps without help!
I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was about 6 months pregnant and we had decided it was time to look into what car seats we wanted to get for our son. We had done tons of research, but ultimately we knew that it had to be a car seat that I was able to use. We walked into Babies R Us and walked straight over to their display of car seats. This where things went wrong.
I walked up and down the aisles trying to push the harness release buttons. There wasn’t a single one in the store that I could remotely push. At this point I didn’t know about the regulations stating how much psi was required for these buttons. If I had known I never would have tried because I have never had that much strength in my hands.
That day I walked out of the store feeling defeated. I was a mess of tears convinced I’d never be able to go anywhere alone with my son because I couldn’t get him out of his car seat. I felt like a failure as a mom and for a moment I had given up.
I thought I would never be able to go anywhere with my son alone. At least not until he was out of car seats. This was devastating news to me.
Then I found the solution I was searching for!
It was just a normal day when I came across the Bucklebopper of Amazon. I started to do research and found that many other devices were starting to pop up in the market for moms and grandparents who needed assistance to press the release buttons on car seats and other Baby related items.
The Bucklebopper was the first device that I tried using with my son. This device fits into the palm of your hand. You place one hand behind the buckle on the car seat and with your other hand you press the post that’s on the Bucklebopper into the button to allow it to release.
For me there was a learning curve with this device because my hands are pretty awkward to hold things and it took me awhile to find the way that felt the most comfortable and actually got the buckle to release. Thankfully it worked well for me for a year before the rubber was worn away and it was no longer working well for me.
I was finding that traveling with the Bucklebee was becoming problematic because I liked leaving it in my car, but still needed a way to get my son in and out of his car seat when I wasn’t using my personal car. It was then that I began looking online again and found the Bucklebee.
The Bucklebee is different from the Bucklebopper because this one stays attached to the car seat. The bottom of the device clips around the tongue of the car seat buckle and will hang loosely from the tongue at all times. Again with this device you place one hand behind the car seat buckle and with the other hand you press the device/lever into the button to get it to release.
This one worked very well when my son was in his infant car seat. We didn’t feel comfortable putting it on his convertible car seat, however, due to the fact that he had begun getting curious and we didn’t want him attempting to unbuckle himself while driving. I will also admit that we did also have issues with it coming off of the buckle tongue which was an issue for me because my hands are not strong enough to get the device in place.
This particular device is something that we are interested in reintroducing when our son is old enough to understand that he needs to be buckled in safely into his car seat. I know as he gets older he will want to be more independent and this device would help him to unbuckle himself when we get to our destinations. I will admit that it might not work with all car seats due to the padding on some of the buckles. It will be a trial and error test with some buckles to see if it can reach to unbuckle the straps or not.
This device I watched a million videos about for almost a year before I finally took the plunge and tried it. Watching the videos I was really unsure that my hands would grip this device well and thought it would not be something that would work well for me.
I was wrong! The UnbuckleMe is my current favorite car seat assistive device. I have found that it is easy to slide the back piece behind my son’s buckle and then press down with the palm of my hand while I pull the buckles free at the same time with my other hand. I feel like this device takes less time and is more comfortable for me to use in my hands.
I also like that I can put the device onto a key chain so that it is easier to find and grab from my bag when I need it.
The Car Seat Key
The Car Seat Key is designed similarly to the UnbuckleMe, however, this device is much smaller and is made from a much firmer plastic. This device is perfect to keep on a key chain with your keys all the time because it is so small.
I personally do not recommend this device to other people with muscle wasting in their hands because the plastic is so hard that it actually hurts to press it into the car seat release. I wince every time I try to use The Car Seat Key because of this. I do not really have any meat to my hands so the device is pressing into fleshy tissue and bones. There is nothing to pad my hand from it.
I do however feel like it works really well for many people and would be a great option for women who get their nails done. When you have long nails it’s nearly impossible to press buttons without breaking them so if you have a device like this you can use your palm instead of your fingertips to press the release button.
If you are looking for something small and don’t have hand strength issues this would work for you. I have seen it work great for women with long nails who struggle to press the button without breaking their nails.
There are finally options to help unbuckle car seat straps!
As you can see there is quite the variety of options for people with weak hands to help them unbuckle car seats. We no longer have to rely on others to help get our children out of their car seats! These devices give us independence that we aren’t ready to lose.