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My daughter is heavy enough for a booster

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
but I don't want to put her in one.

She still fits quite comfortably in her 5pt harness forward facing car seat. I feel it's safer.

Is it required that we not start using a booster? Is it actually safter because she is now suddenly 40lbs to be in a booster. Is it illegal to keep using the carseat?

Or is there a carseat that's good to use that is reasonably priced that will give us another few years of 5pt safety?

Or should I just put her in a booster? Everybody I know says "just go ahead, it's ok" but I don't want ok..I want the safest option that is legal.

Thanks!
post #2 of 41
It is NOT illegal to keep using a 5 point harnessed seat. What seat is she is now? How old is she? VERY often a seat with a 40 pound weight limit is outgrown by height BEFORE weight, so she may very well have outgrown her current seat before she even reached 40 pounds. Regardless, it is not safe for her to be using her current seat in harnessed mode.

You've got a few choices if you want something that harness longer:
  • Evenflo Triumph Advance - convertible seat - harnesses to 50 pounds
  • The First Years True Fit - convertible seat - harnesses to 65 pounds
  • Sunshine Kids Radian - convertible seat - harnesses to 65 pounds
  • Britax Marathon - convertible seat - harnesses to 65 pounds
  • Britax Boulevard - convertible seat - harnesses to 65 pounds
  • Safety 1st Apex - combination seat (converts to booster) - harnesses to 65 pounds (I think?) - MUST have headrests in your vehicle to use this seat
  • Britax Frontier - combination seat (converts to booster) - harnesses to 65 pounds
With any of these seats, I would likely do a seat belt install rather than using the UAS (LATCH) anchors. At 40 pounds, your DD is likely either at or close to the weight limit of the anchors in your vehicle (some vehicles are 40 pounds, some 48, etc.). Continue to use the top tether on any harnessed seat, as it is the law here (and the manual will also tell you to do so).

There might be something I've missed, and I am sure someone else will chime in if I have missed something (or if I have any errors!).

One of the combination seats listed will be more cost effective for you at this point. BUT, if you're planning on more kids, one of the convertibles could be used for now, then passed down to the baby, and at that point you could get a new seat for the older one. The Graco Nautilus is supposedly supposed to be here in December and it is also a combo seat that harnesses to 65 and can then be used as a booster. But, if your child has outgrown the current seat, you CANNOT wait for this one.
post #3 of 41
You can keep her in a 5-pt harness.

My son is 50lbs and is in a Britax Regent. It goes up to 80 lbs, but due to his super long torso, he'll outgrow it probably in another year.

If your particular carseat changes to a booster and says that you must use it as a booster at 40lbs, then I'd buy another 5-pt harness. Some of the seats with the lower limits aren't tall enough to allow for the 5-pt harness. Check to make sure that the seat belts in the harness are at or above her shoulders. (There's another requirement having to do with the head but my son outgrew the harness height one early so that's the one I remember).

*I'd skip the Britax Marathon at this point. It's technically up to 65lbs but the top harness height wasn't very high compared to the Regent. My son outgrew the marathon due to torso before he turned 3, at only 40lbs. But he would have outgrown a traditional up to 40lb booster before 18 months due to torso, so it is better than the regular convertibles. But since she's already ff, the Regent will last far longer than the marathon.
post #4 of 41
As long as she is not too tall (check height limit which should be on seat but at least in instructions) then she can be in her carseat until she reaches weight and/or height limit. My DD was in a carseat until she was 5!
post #5 of 41
What kind of harnessed seat do you have? If your child is 40 pounds and your seat has a 40-pound harness limit, you need to stop using that seat immediately. You can purchase either a higher-weight harnessed seat like a Graco Nautilus, or a good high-backed booster like the Sunshine Kids Monterey.
post #6 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by kohlby View Post
My son is 50lbs and is in a Britax Regent. It goes up to 80 lbs, but due to his super long torso, he'll outgrow it probably in another year.
Just in case the OP is intrigued by the sound of the Regent, it isn't available here.
post #7 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post
What kind of harnessed seat do you have? If your child is 40 pounds and your seat has a 40-pound harness limit, you need to stop using that seat immediately. You can purchase either a higher-weight harnessed seat like a Graco Nautilus, or a good high-backed booster like the Sunshine Kids Monterey.
Neither of which are available in Canada yet. The Monterey *should* be available here within the next week though. Although, until we know her DD's age, a high back may not be a good choice. My post listed the possible harnessed seats available to the OP.
post #8 of 41
Thread Starter 
My dd is 5.

She just hit 40lbs exactly. She's short. She is the teeniest thing. The straps in the carseat are still above her shoulders.

She doesn't even look 40lbs. The seat is the Eddie Bauer 3 in 1.
post #9 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by allgirls View Post
My dd is 5.

She just hit 40lbs exactly. She's short. She is the teeniest thing. The straps in the carseat are still above her shoulders.

She doesn't even look 40lbs. The seat is the Eddie Bauer 3 in 1.
Now, I have read that the 3-in-1's top slot can ONLY be used for booster mode. I can't recall *which* 3-in-1's this referred to though. Is she on the top slot? If so, can you please check your manual and ensure you can be using it in harnessed mode? Now, that being said, she is 40 pounds, the seat only goes up to 40 pounds, you need to get her a new seat ASAP. In the meantime, you will need to switch it to booster mode. With clothing or a full tummy, she could easily be over 40 pounds, so it is no longer safe for her to use the harness in that seat. I have also read that the 3-in-1's do NOT make good booster. Check out http://www.car-seat.org and you can find more info there on the 3-in-1's in booster mode.

At 5 she *might* be okay in booster. I didn't feel comfortable with my older DD in a booster until she was about 6.
post #10 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TechnoGranola View Post
Now, I have read that the 3-in-1's top slot can ONLY be used for booster mode.
So you use the strap slots for the booster? Why? I thought the seatbelt secured the booster?

Maybe I am misunderstanding the question.

I'm not driving anywhere this week so I'm good for a week. When my dh comes home we are going to look into whether we get a seat or go to booster for her.

She's 39.5 lbs today. My scale sucks.: but I still need to figure this out now.

Thanks btw. It's very helpful!
post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by TechnoGranola View Post
I can't recall *which* 3-in-1's this referred to though.
It's all the Dorel 3-in-1 seats. That includes Alpha Omega, Alpha Omega Elite, Safety 1st 3-in-1, etc.
post #12 of 41
Evenflo also makes a few combination seats that harness to 48lbs and have taller shoulder straps than any of the 3 in 1's.

When the Monterey comes to Canada where will it be available?
post #13 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by allgirls View Post
So you use the strap slots for the booster? Why? I thought the seatbelt secured the booster?

Maybe I am misunderstanding the question.

I'm not driving anywhere this week so I'm good for a week. When my dh comes home we are going to look into whether we get a seat or go to booster for her.

She's 39.5 lbs today. My scale sucks.: but I still need to figure this out now.

Thanks btw. It's very helpful!
It means that the top headrest adjustment is for booster mode only, which is very confusing. Pull the car seat out of the car and turn it over to see which strap slots you are using. It will be stamped in the plastic "FOR BOOSTER MODE ONLY" but it's hard to see.

At 39.5 pounds, you really need to pull those harness straps out and use it in booster mode until you get a new seat.
post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by an_aurora View Post
It means that the top headrest adjustment is for booster mode only, which is very confusing. Pull the car seat out of the car and turn it over to see which strap slots you are using. It will be stamped in the plastic "FOR BOOSTER MODE ONLY" but it's hard to see.
Thanks soooo much for clarifying! I just knew what I read about them, but not ever having played with one in real, I really couldn't explain it well.
post #15 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by TechnoGranola View Post
Neither of which are available in Canada yet. The Monterey *should* be available here within the next week though. Although, until we know her DD's age, a high back may not be a good choice. My post listed the possible harnessed seats available to the OP.
I didn't realize she was in Canada (my fault, it's clearly listed but I didn't look).

In general, though, w.r.t. boosters -- I agree that if a child still fits in a harnessed seat that is the best choice. But if the child no longer fits in the seat and meets the minimums for a booster, a properly used booster is a *better* (though not best) choice than a harnessed seat used past the limit.
post #16 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by lesliesara63 View Post
When the Monterey comes to Canada where will it be available?
I would think any of the places that currently carry the Radian would carry the Monterey. TJ's is the distributor in Canada, so they would likely be able to tell you. For online stores, I'd check out http://www.tummiestotots.com/ and http://www.dearbornbaby.com/home.php
post #17 of 41
Thread Starter 
I just pulled it out. The straps are in the highest slot but not the one marked for booster only..so the highest appropriate slot. I understand what you mean now.

I'm looking for a measuring tape to see how tall she is as well because she fits quite well in there, looks smaller than her weight indicates kwim.

Does the height even matter? If she hits 40lbs she should be in a booster regardless of height or is it a heigh/weight thing?

I'll do the booster if it's safer for sure.
post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post
In general, though, w.r.t. boosters -- I agree that if a child still fits in a harnessed seat that is the best choice. But if the child no longer fits in the seat and meets the minimums for a booster, a properly used booster is a *better* (though not best) choice than a harnessed seat used past the limit.
Absolutely, and I concur!
post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by allgirls View Post
Does the height even matter? If she hits 40lbs she should be in a booster regardless of height or is it a heigh/weight thing?

I'll do the booster if it's safer for sure.
It's whatever way she outgrows it first. So, if she outgrows it in height first, she needs to use it as a booster or get a new harnessed seat. If she outgrows it in weight first, she needs to use it as a booster or get a new harnessed seat.

In your DD's case, she IS outgrown it by weight. Add some food or heavier clothing, and that 39.5 pounds will be easily over 40 pounds. So, in her CURRENT seat, booster mode is safer. Overall, a 5 point harnessed seat is safer for her. Personally, I would switch it to booster mode and get a new harnessed seat ASAP.
post #20 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TechnoGranola View Post
Personally, I would switch it to booster mode and get a new harnessed seat ASAP.

Yes. I have a booster(that is not the seat). In fact I have two.

Of course now that that's settled in my mind. Here are my next questions.

Is a booster with a back better than the backless ones? I have both to use interim.

Which carseat will give us a few more lbs at the best price?(in Canada)

Thanks!
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