Anyone have a 5-pt harness seat for big kids with no LATCH system? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 05-04-2010, 10:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We have a ten-year old car, a Ford Escort station wagon. It does not have the LATCH system, and currently I have my four-year old in a Britax Marathon in the middle of the backseat. I use the middle seat belt to strap the carseat in and then attach the tether to a metal loop that's in the back of the wagon.

We're expecting another baby in November, and I'm trying to figure out what seat to get for my DS. The Marathon we're using is expired (we got it from a friend after DS grew out of his Roundabout) and I'd like to move him up into a carseat that he can be in until he's eight (the law where I live). I like that the Frontier is good for nine years, because that means I could potentially use it for the new baby all the way through.

Oh, and we'll be using DS's Roundabout for the new baby -- it still has a year or so left on it. So we'll have the Roundabout in the small back seat, next to whatever larger carseat we'll be buying for our older son.

One more thing -- my DS is very big for his age. He's probably about 43 pounds and maybe 44 inches tall.

So...any recommendations?

Formerly New Mama to Henry, born August 2005 and Silas, born November 2010.
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#2 of 25 Old 05-04-2010, 10:34 PM
 
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You cannot use LATCH in most cars for most bigger children (I cannot remember the usual cutoff) so any seat for an older child will not use LATCH.

My daughter is in a Frontier and we love it.

Single mom to E (2004) and D (2010)
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#3 of 25 Old 05-04-2010, 10:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by soso-lynn View Post
You cannot use LATCH in most cars for most bigger children (I cannot remember the usual cutoff) so any seat for an older child will not use LATCH.

My daughter is in a Frontier and we love it.
I think the LATCH limit is 40 lbs on most cars. The Frontier is a good choice, another option that might work is the Graco Nautilus.
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#4 of 25 Old 05-04-2010, 10:57 PM
 
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Ford Escort wagons do not have tether anchors, so please do not tether your seat until you have a safe anchor installed (which will be in the ceiling, not the cargo area).

Britax convertibles almost never fit newborns safely: baby's shoulders must be at or above the bottom strap slots.

It looks like you will probably need to buy two new seats -- one to replace the expired Marathon and one for the new baby. Where are your son's shoulders in relation to the top straps on the Marathon?

Carseat-checking (CPST) and WAH mama to a twelve-year-old girl.
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#5 of 25 Old 05-04-2010, 11:08 PM
 
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We love our frontier. Here are the safety specs on it: http://www.britaxusa.com/car-seats/frontier

It will definitely last you for a while!

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#6 of 25 Old 05-04-2010, 11:23 PM
 
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I don't know how your son would fit in a Radian, but we bought ours BECAUSE we have a '99 with no LATCH, and retrofitted tethers in only two places. (And we can't put the bigger kids in either of those places.) They attach under the seats; we can't install them in the ceiling.

Supposedly (and I hope to not hear I'm wrong...), the Radians do very, very well without a tether. My dd is 45" and 46lbs at 5, and still fits hers.

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#7 of 25 Old 05-04-2010, 11:35 PM
 
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Radians do test well without tethers. So do Graco Nautiluses. (This should not be interpreted as other seats test poorly. I'm tired and the only two that come to mind now are the Radian and the Nautilus, so failure to discuss other seats is a failure on my part, not the seats'.)

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#8 of 25 Old 05-04-2010, 11:38 PM
 
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I think the LATCH limit is 40 lbs on most cars. The Frontier is a good choice, another option that might work is the Graco Nautilus.
We have the Nautilus and love it.
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#9 of 25 Old 05-04-2010, 11:44 PM
 
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We have a Nautilus and can get a good fit without LATCH.
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#10 of 25 Old 05-05-2010, 01:12 AM
 
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Just seconding that the roundabout will not fit your newborn so you do need to get another new seat (if you want a convertible for a newborn, look at the radian with infant insert, true fit, or myride).

The frontier or nautilus would both be good choices for your 4yo. And definitely get a tether anchor installed.

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#11 of 25 Old 05-05-2010, 03:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by DahliaRW View Post
Just seconding that the roundabout will not fit your newborn so you do need to get another new seat (if you want a convertible for a newborn, look at the radian with infant insert, true fit, or myride).

The frontier or nautilus would both be good choices for your 4yo. And definitely get a tether anchor installed.
We used the Roundabout for my son from the beginning and it fit him fine. He was 8 pounds, 6 ounces at birth.

Where would one get a tether anchor installed? And wouldn't the metal loop in the back of the car work, since it's obviously pretty well anchored to the car and part of the original construction of the car?

Formerly New Mama to Henry, born August 2005 and Silas, born November 2010.
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#12 of 25 Old 05-05-2010, 03:31 PM
 
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Roundabouts don't fit all but the hugest, most long-torsoed babies, since the bottom slot is 10" and the straps must be even with or below the shoulder to use the seat rear-facing. Most babies don't fit into the Roundabout/Marathon until 3+ months. My son is long torsoed and at 6 weeks (10 pounds) he was still miles from fitting.

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#13 of 25 Old 05-05-2010, 03:43 PM
 
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We use a Apex in one vehicle w/o LATCH or a tether. It doesn't seem as secure to me as it is in DH's newer vehicle, but I feel it is safe.

Also agreeing the roundabout won't work for a newborn. Even my 8+ lber didn't fit in it correctly until he was 3-4 mos. The strap needs to sit under the shoulder, and a newborn would need a out of ordinary long torso to be safe in it.

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#14 of 25 Old 05-05-2010, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by an_aurora View Post
Roundabouts don't fit all but the hugest, most long-torsoed babies, since the bottom slot is 10" and the straps must be even with or below the shoulder to use the seat rear-facing. Most babies don't fit into the Roundabout/Marathon until 3+ months. My son is long torsoed and at 6 weeks (10 pounds) he was still miles from fitting.
Well, my son has always had a very long torso -- I couldn't ever put him in overalls because if they fit his torso the legs would be way too long. I'm pretty sure I read the manual well and made sure he was actually fitting.

ETA: I will keep this in mind, though. I just hate to spend the money for an infant carseat if this baby will be as big as my first.

Formerly New Mama to Henry, born August 2005 and Silas, born November 2010.
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#15 of 25 Old 05-06-2010, 11:29 AM
 
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Where would one get a tether anchor installed? And wouldn't the metal loop in the back of the car work, since it's obviously pretty well anchored to the car and part of the original construction of the car?
The dealership would have to install it. And I suppose it depends on what you mean by a metal loop... I have metal loops in the back of my car, which are intended to hold a cargo net. I'd never expect them to hold my child's weight, especially in a crash situation. Yes, they're part of the original construction of the car, that doesn't mean that they're intended to hold a hundred pounds of force.

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ETA: I will keep this in mind, though. I just hate to spend the money for an infant carseat if this baby will be as big as my first.
Well, the problem with that is that you won't know until he/she arrives, which is a little late to be buying the car seat.

I'll go with Dahlia and say to check out the True Fit, which is a convertible, not an infant seat. That's what we went with, and it fit my 8 pounder from the very beginning. He's now 7 mos and just over 20 pounds, so we're going to have to put the headrest on soon (22 pounds), but once I took the infant insert out, we're still on the first strap slots (and he's really tall and skinny).

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#16 of 25 Old 05-06-2010, 06:57 PM
 
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I was thinking you might see if you have a friend who is expecting a little after you and might have a bucket seat you could use for just that first month or two until baby is big enough (or until you realize you have to bite the bullet and buy another seat)? That way you would have something available for immediate use, but not have to invest in something you might not really need.

Just a thought. My child anchors, FWIW, are in the cargo area. They are labeled as child anchors. The cover has a child seat picture on it, with the anchor strap and an arrow pointing to it. I had an older station wagon (99) and it also had the anchors in the cargo area. I looked in the manual and they were labeled "cargo/car seat anchor, for securing loads up to 200 lbs.". I know the cargo area angle is not the preferred place for anchors, but that is the way both cars were manufactured so seemed fine to me. (And we can't really afford to go have things added we don't need.) Maybe see if what you've been using is listed in the manuel and what they think it is for.

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#17 of 25 Old 05-06-2010, 08:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was thinking you might see if you have a friend who is expecting a little after you and might have a bucket seat you could use for just that first month or two until baby is big enough (or until you realize you have to bite the bullet and buy another seat)? That way you would have something available for immediate use, but not have to invest in something you might not really need.

Just a thought. My child anchors, FWIW, are in the cargo area. They are labeled as child anchors. The cover has a child seat picture on it, with the anchor strap and an arrow pointing to it. I had an older station wagon (99) and it also had the anchors in the cargo area. I looked in the manual and they were labeled "cargo/car seat anchor, for securing loads up to 200 lbs.". I know the cargo area angle is not the preferred place for anchors, but that is the way both cars were manufactured so seemed fine to me. (And we can't really afford to go have things added we don't need.) Maybe see if what you've been using is listed in the manuel and what they think it is for.
Thank you for both ideas. I'll see if any of my friends has a bucket seat they could lend me! And I'll check the manual on my car. I just *assumed* my car was too old to have anything like that.

Formerly New Mama to Henry, born August 2005 and Silas, born November 2010.
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#18 of 25 Old 05-06-2010, 08:16 PM
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My 42"/42 lb. 4 yr. old is in a Radian that uses the seatbelt and top tether. My oldest son was in a Britax Husky with the seatbelt and top tether until we switched to a booster at 6.5.
I drive a '93 volvo wagon and was able to get tether hooks from the Volvo dealership.
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#19 of 25 Old 05-06-2010, 08:59 PM
 
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Repeating:

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Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post
Ford Escort wagons do not have tether anchors, so please do not tether your seat until you have a safe anchor installed (which will be in the ceiling, not the cargo area).

Carseat-checking (CPST) and WAH mama to a twelve-year-old girl.
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#20 of 25 Old 05-06-2010, 09:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post
Ford Escort wagons do not have tether anchors, so please do not tether your seat until you have a safe anchor installed (which will be in the ceiling, not the cargo area).
I have a 15 year old Ford Escort wagon. Your local Ford dealer can retrofit a tether anchor free of charge. Give them a call; they'll need a few days to get the part, then they can install it in about 20 minutes.

DD is in a Graco Nautilus behind the driver. It goes in easily with a seat belt. It fits well and and the install is very quick.

Mom to DD 7 and DS 5.
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#21 of 25 Old 05-07-2010, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry, chickabiddy, I forget that you said this already.

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Originally Posted by onemomentatatime View Post
I have a 15 year old Ford Escort wagon. Your local Ford dealer can retrofit a tether anchor free of charge. Give them a call; they'll need a few days to get the part, then they can install it in about 20 minutes.
Thank you -- I'll call them.

I'd need two, then, right? One for each carseat? Also, where should the anchors be? I know you said in the ceiling, but what about when I turn the carseat around, like for my older son?

Formerly New Mama to Henry, born August 2005 and Silas, born November 2010.
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#22 of 25 Old 05-07-2010, 10:48 AM
 
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For a Ford Escort wagon, 1991-1999, the approved tether anchor points are in the ceiling. There are predrilled holes (three -- center and both outboard positions) and anchors will be installed in those holes.

A RFing carseat (Britax or Sunshine Kids only) should be tethered using the D-ring and the instructions in the manual. A FFing carseat should be tethered to the approved tether anchor.

Carseat-checking (CPST) and WAH mama to a twelve-year-old girl.
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#23 of 25 Old 05-07-2010, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post
For a Ford Escort wagon, 1991-1999, the approved tether anchor points are in the ceiling. There are predrilled holes (three -- center and both outboard positions) and anchors will be installed in those holes.

A RFing carseat (Britax or Sunshine Kids only) should be tethered using the D-ring and the instructions in the manual. A FFing carseat should be tethered to the approved tether anchor.
Oh, I forgot about the D-ring. I did follow those instructions when DS was rear-facing. Thank you so much for all the information!

Formerly New Mama to Henry, born August 2005 and Silas, born November 2010.
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#24 of 25 Old 05-08-2010, 12:03 AM
 
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Originally Posted by soso-lynn View Post
You cannot use LATCH in most cars for most bigger children (I cannot remember the usual cutoff) so any seat for an older child will not use LATCH.

My daughter is in a Frontier and we love it.
Yea, I think the latch cutoff for our van (honda oddysey) is 40lbs, it could be 45lbs, I moved both big kids to a seat belt install instead of latch at around 37lbs.

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#25 of 25 Old 05-09-2010, 11:32 PM
 
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Yea, I think the latch cutoff for our van (honda oddysey) is 40lbs, it could be 45lbs, I moved both big kids to a seat belt install instead of latch at around 37lbs.
Honda LATCH limit is 40lbs (child's weight).

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