My dd will be turning 5 yrs old next month (43lbs, 43.5"). She is currently in a Graco Nautilus and harnessed in. DH HATES moving the car seats between our vehicles. His vehicle is used very infrequently, maybe once a week tops. We plan on buying another seat for his vehicle. Should we go ahead an buy another Nautilus or should I put her in a booster in his vehicle? I like the price of boosters (looking at the Graco Turbobooster) vs the Nautilus but am not 100% convinced on the safety of it. WWYD?
WWYD? Booster or not?
Do you feel she will be able to sit properly all the time? If not, I'd go ahead and get another harnessed seat. If you do feel she can sit properly (or can be taught easily) then a booster is a safe option as well. The TurboBooster is a great seat for younger booster riders. It generally fits them very well.
A booster is a very safe option for a kid who will sit properly in it 100% of the time (assuming they're also old enough and heavy enough, which your DD is). Some kids are booster ready at 4.5 or 5. Others are not until 6+. Will your daughter have the impulse control to sit up straight, not lean over or to the side to pick up toys/etc., or fall out of position while sleeping? If so, she might be ready for booster training. If not, than your safest option is to continue to harness her.
If you think you'll need to keep harnessing her, one less expensive option for a second car (which is just as safe as the Nautilus) is the Evenflo Maestro. It goes to 50 pounds and the top harness height is comparable to the Nautilus. They are about $80. It also converts to a booster, but it is not an adjustable booster, and it's outgrown around the same time the harness is outgrown by height. You'll need to plan on buying a dedicated booster down the road (like the Turbo), so it will all cost about the same as a Nautilus in the end. However, the upside to a dedicated booster rather than a combination seat booster is that they're often much lighter and easy to transport between cars! We have a Maestro for Grandma's car, and my DS likes it a lot. It's super easy to install, relatively lightweight (so, great for travel!), and narrower than the Nautilus.
Thanks for the input. I think my dd would be fine in a booster. Although she does fall asleep in vehicles on longer trips. I think I will give the booster a shot and see if she can handle it. I just remembered that my sister will be having to pick her up once a week soon and the booster would be a nice option to throw in her car too. We'll give it a shot and see if she is mature enough to sit properly.
In your situation, if you think that DD would sit correctly I'd go for the booster and if the trip is going to be longer *then* switch the carseat out. That way it is more convenient for DH most of the time, and more comfortable for DD if it's ever going to be a longer trip.
Excellent idea! Thank you!