Please help me figure out what to do... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 10-30-2009, 10:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I really don't know what the right choice is, so I would really appreciate input and opinions.

I have a '03 Ford Windstar and 5 children. Current arrangement is:

middle row: new baby in GracoPedic Snugride - 6yo DS in a Graco Low Back booster.

back row: 8 yo DS - 4yo DD in a Cosco 5pt Harness HBB - 9yo DD.

4 yo DD is the issue here. She was in an Evenflo Triumph, but outgrew the height. My nephew outgrew his Cosco HBB and passed it to us until I could figure out what we were doing next. DD just had a huge growth spurt and has outgrown the harness in height. I hate the seat anyway and don't feel comfortable using it as a BPB.

The middle seat in the back only has a lap belt and no head rest. My plan was to keep her harnessed in the middle so that the 3 bigger kids could all have lap/shoulder belts.

We went and she sat in seats today and I'm very discouraged. She is 42 inches tall. Sitting, her torso is 15 inches. Last time I weighed her she was 38 pounds. I don't know what she is at the moment, but no more than 40 pounds. She was very close to the top slot in the Radian 80 and had a little bit of room to grow in the Frontier and the Nautilus.

The sales man said that there was no point in spending the money to put her in a harness for a few more inches. That I should just get a good booster.

I was planning on getting the Radian since it is so narrow. I figured it would be more comfortable for the 3 in the back seat. However, I really don't see the point in spending over $200 when she is so close to the top slot and you can't use it as a BPB.

Since the Nautilus is rated so highly here, I would prefer to get that over the Frontier to save money. However, the Nautilus is pretty wide, I don't know if the big kids will be able to fit comfortably on either side of it.

I could put the baby in the middle of the back seat (pain in the butt!) and then the size of the seat for DD won't matter as much or I could get her a HBB.

So, all this long rambling post to say:

Do I put her in a Nautilus in the middle seat of the back row and squish the big kids?

Do I put the baby in the middle of the back row and put DD in the Nautilus in the middle row?

Do I put the baby in the middle of the back row and put DD in HBB in the middle row?

Is it worth $150 get the Nautilus for a few more inches of harness?

Should I just spend $100 and get the Recaro Vivo or something like that?


Thanks in advance!

ETA: to make things more complicated: the baby's snugride only goes to 20 pounds. She will probably outgrow it by 8 months at the very latest. (the other kids have been 18-20 pounds at 6 months old.) Then I have to figure out what to put her in and where to put her. Ack! I need a bigger car...
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#2 of 6 Old 10-30-2009, 10:20 PM
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How much time do you spend with all 5 in the van?

I wouldn't want to squish the older kids.

Will whatever you get for your dd be used for your baby in a couple of years?
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#3 of 6 Old 10-30-2009, 10:56 PM
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First, how tall are your 8 and 9 year old? It's very, very unusual that an 8 year old can sit safely without a booster.

The six year old really still needs to be in a high back booster. Do you have the screws in the armrests of the Turbobooster?

Based on your 4 year old's overall height and torso height, my guess is she has another two years in the Radian.

Was the Snugride originally your six year old's? IF it is, it's expired, and needs to be replaced ASAP.

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#4 of 6 Old 10-31-2009, 07:45 AM
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A few inches in the nautilus can equal up to 3 years of harnessed time. Definitely worth your money. And you can hand it down or turn it into a bpb.
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#5 of 6 Old 11-01-2009, 05:13 AM
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Are you sure her torso height is 15"? The top slot of the Radian is 17.5", so you should have plenty of room.

Also, a 20 lb Snugride is probably expired

Can you try out a Nautilus at BRU to see if it would fit between the older 2?

Is your 8yo in a LBB?

CPST & mom

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#6 of 6 Old 11-02-2009, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
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The snugride was manufactured 12/04 so it should still be fine, right? I bought it in '05 for DD2.

Why does 6 yo DS need to be in a HBB? I thought the lowback was fine. I thought I read in another thread here that it was the same safety wise.... As far as the screws go... um we bought it as a LBB - I don't know anything about armrest screws. Are they to connect a back on?

I don't exactly how tall 8yo DS is, but he's tall for his age. The shoulder height of the seatbelt in our van is adjustable. As long as it is on the lowest setting, he fits correctly. I would prefer to still have him in a booster, however, our state law is 6 and 60 lbs to get out of a booster. I can't convince dh and ds that he needs to go back in a booster since it isn't required by law and he is tall enough to sit properly. Quite frankly, there isn't room in the van either. The backseat is SO narrow. 3 adults couldn't sit back there - no way!

Don't be too hard on me, please! I'm just now really learning more about the science behind carseats. I used to just follow the law and that was it. I thought I was doing everything to keep them safe. I had no idea there was so much more to properly restraining kids. We've always been good about having them in carseats/boosters according to the law. It's hard for dh to wrap his head around this new info. He thinks I'm going way overboard. Of course, his mom used to nurse and drive......

Anyway, my SIL has the Radian installed in her car. I'll have DD2 sit in it one more time to double check the shoulder height. In order for her shoulders to be below the harness slots, she would only have 2 inches left according to y'all. It just seems to make more sense to buy the Nautilus. Unless I put her in the Radian until she outgrows it and then put the baby in it.... Sigh! Why is this so complicated!

The closest BRU is 2 hrs from me. The local store that sells the Radians doesn't carry the Nautilus so I can't try it in the car. (Their prices are at least $50 more than I can get seats online for too...)

Thanks for taking the time to help me out...
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