If you’ve ever had a car seat in your car (hello, everyone reading this), then you’re already familiar with the frustration of a twisted car seat strap. You’ve cursed over one, you’ve battled one, and you’ve ultimately lost said battle and spent endless minutes trying to force the twist to right itself. Right?
Well, battle no more. Because even us veteran car seat moms (I’ve had them in my own car since 2015, thank you very much) can still learn a thing or two about them.
How to fix a twisted car seat strap
One mom shared an easy way to fix the twisted straps in a TikTok video that quickly went viral last year. And while it is a super easy fix (no cursing necessary), it does involve a little bit of that high school geometry you never thought you’d need again: a right-angle triangle.
“How many of you has this happened to before?” the video begins, with TikTok user @mrsroberts118. She knows you the struggle of the twist: you either battle it endlessly and be even later than you already were to wherever you’re headed, or you risk the integrity of the car seat straps and just buckle them as-is. Since we never want to do the latter if we can help it, she’s here to coach us through the former.
We love a good car seat hack, don’t we? YES WE DO.
Last year, another hack focused on how to install a car seat went viral thanks to a certified car seat safety expert sharing their wisdom with the rest of us.
Joni, a mom and nationally-certified Child Passenger Safety Technician, installed a rear-facing convertible car seat that attaches to the car seat with lower anchors (the latch system). In the video, she 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.
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.
Basically, any effective and safe car seat hacks we can learn visually from one of our favorite apps is A-OK with us!
A version of this story was originally published on Jan. 4, 2022. It has been updated.