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39 pound 6 year old and carseat safety

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I'm going to be exposing my ignorance, now. Please excuse me.


My six year old is 39 pounds (yeah, tiny). I need to measure her height, but her height is closer to normal than her weight is.


She uses a Britax car seat but I've forgotten whether it's the Boulevard or what. I don't think it says the model on the seat, just the brand.


The top of her head is higher than the back of the seat. That's a Big Problem, right? I will look to see if I can raise it any higher but I think the last time I adjusted it, I made it go as high as it could.


I've vaguely heard the 4-years  40-pounds rule for a booster. So if your child is 39 pounds but too tall for her carseat what do you do?


And if the recommendation is to move her to a booster, what do I look for? I think it's got to have a back. Anything else?

post #2 of 12
Thread Starter 

I just measured... 44.5 inches.

post #3 of 12

my 5yo is about 44 inches and is in a graco nautilas. the 5pt. limit is 52 inches and then it can be used as a high back booster up to 57 inches.


post #4 of 12

For a seat to be outgrown forward facing, the tops of the shoulders must be over the top most harness position or the tops of the ears must be over the top of the shell.   



If you have the harness adjusted above her shoulders and her ears are still contained within the shell, she still fits in the seat (presuming this is not the 40 lb Roundabout. 


As long as you are not in Canada, it is perfectly fine and safe for a 39 lb six year old to go into a belt positioning booster provided the minimum weight limit is below 40 lbs.   Boosters that fit smaller booster riders well include the Graco Turbobooster and the Recaro Vivo.  Also, the new Diono Monterey and the Recaro Probooster are contenders. 

post #5 of 12

It's very possible that she has outgrown the Boulevard.  A forward-facing seat is outgrown when the shoulders are above the top strap settings OR the ears are above the top of the shell OR the weight limit is reached.  99% of Britaxes are outgrown by the first measure, so that's what I'd check first.


Most highback boosters have a 30# minimum, and most typically developing 6yos can use boosters safely, so that would be a fine choice if you do need a new seat.  I'd look at the Graco Turbobooster (the newest model with improved headwings if you can find it) -- or the Recaro Vivo at her size.

post #6 of 12

Ha, we cross-posted.  I guess that's good that we agree!

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thank you! The Internet is just great, isn't it?


I just ordered a Recaro Vivo based on the recommendation. Got a great deal, too (25% off on Barnes & Noble).

post #8 of 12

Sounds good! It's a nice seat and it fits kids so very well.  

post #9 of 12

Janelle was a similar size, she was 37lbs and 47" when she turned 7, though since all her height is in her legs, not her torso, she was ok in a boulevard till at least that age, she is still harnessed in a nautilus now at 42lbs and 51", I do feel comfortable now to put her in a booster though, and she does ride in one in my parents car and when she goes on girl scout trips and such, and she did ride in one to carpool home from school when she was 7 and not yet 40lbs, I just don't see a reason to bother with it when she still fits now. 

post #10 of 12
I think you'll be happy with the Vivo! We have one and it's one of our favorite boosters. Maturity is a much bigger issue than weight when it comes to booster readiness. A 43lb 3 year old is not going to be ready for a booster, where a 39lb 6 year old, who is neuro-typical, should be able to sit still just fine in a booster. I would have no reservations boostering a 6 year old at 39lbs. Best wishes!
post #11 of 12
FWIW, I'm looking at combination seats now, with a 40-41 lb, 44.5" tall, 6 year old. These are the kind that go from harness to high back booster. I already have the Frontier 85 (5-point-harnessed to 85 lbs!), and I love it in my car, but it doesn't fit the other car we need one in. Still looking for another good combination seat for that car. Just wanted to mention that a combination seat is another option to just going directly for a belt-positioning booster right at 40 pounds.
post #12 of 12

A combination seat is certainly an option if the parent prefers that the child remain harnessed, but a booster is a safe and appropriate choice for a typically developing 6yo.

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