High Backed Booster or Five Point Harness for 5 year old - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 19 Old 05-24-2010, 06:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
Terabith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 1,303
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We need to buy a new seat for my five year old. She's outgrowing it by height and it is expiring. She weighs 35 pounds. I really would like a seat that she can buckle and unbuckle herself because she has a lot of anxiety about getting stuck/ trapped/ forgotten. (She's just an anxious kid.) For cost reasons, and the independence factor, I'd prefer a booster, but her weight makes me nervous and think a five point harness would be better. She does have a HBB that she uses as a supplemental seat for school field trips and visits with Grandma.

What should I do? I tried her in a Nautilus, but she can't unbuckle it. I've been looking for a Frontier 85 to try out, but I can't find any locally.
Terabith is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 19 Old 05-24-2010, 06:40 AM
 
Adventuredad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 290
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Not sure where you live so might first want to check if law permit using a booster at 35 lbs. Contrary to popular opinion harnessed seats don't offer any safety advantage over hbb for older kids (4+).

Weight is in reality of little importance, it's weight which is crucial. Children's skeleton mature with age and not size. Belt fit is important in a booster, if your daughter is very short it might be difficult to get a good belt fit.

Getting children involved in buckling/unbuckling is a good idea IMHO. Just make sure she never unbuckle while car is in motion or receiving permission from you

CarSeat.se - Rear Facing Car Seats ⢠55 lbs Rear Facing Car Seats
Annika: 3.5 years RF Britax Hi-Way ⢠Daniel: 6 years FF Britax Adventure
Adventuredad is offline  
#3 of 19 Old 05-24-2010, 08:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
Terabith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 1,303
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Oh, she is very very conscientious and would NEVER consider unbuckling while the seat is in motion. We have a high backed booster that she uses as a supplementary seat with Grandma, and she fits and rides very appropriately. She's not particularly short, just light. I've been operating on the principle that we need to buy a five point harness seat, and had narrowed it down to the Nautilus or the Frontier 85, but we tried a Nautilus and she cannot do the buckles independently. Still looking for a Frontier we could try (as opposed to ordering one) and see how the buckles work. But if safety is not a huge issue (with the skeleton maturation and all), a high backed booster would be cheaper and far more independent for her.
Terabith is offline  
#4 of 19 Old 05-24-2010, 09:16 PM
 
jillmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: TX
Posts: 3,221
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My DS started riding in a HBB full time at 5.5. I would be fine with it at that age as long as she has a good fit and can stay seated properly at all times (no leaning over, etc.). My DD has not yet ridden in a booster at all because it is only very recently (like last month or so after a growth spurt) that she even met the minimum weight and height for one (plus she still has tons of room in her 5 point harness seat, so no need). She is 4.75 and like 38 or 39" and maybe 30-31 lb. DS was riding in his booster in DH's car sometimes at 4.5, but he was bigger.

Jill stillheart.gif Chris (7/96), mommy to 3 sweet redheads: jumpers.gif Matthew autismribbon.gif (12/02), Michelle (8/05) and Marissa (1/10). Nursing since 2002.
jillmamma is offline  
#5 of 19 Old 05-24-2010, 09:58 PM
 
chickabiddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,435
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adventuredad View Post
Not sure where you live so might first want to check if law permit using a booster at 35 lbs. Contrary to popular opinion harnessed seats don't offer any safety advantage over hbb for older kids (4+).
Virginia has a proper use clause, so most highbacked boosters (one exception is the Britax ParkwaySG) would be legal for a 35# 5yo.

Many 5yos can use boosters safely, but especially for a very small child, proper fit is essential. The shoulderbelt must cross between the neck and the arm, and the lapbelt must lie low on the hips and thighs. The Graco Turbobooster usually fits little ones nicely.

Carseat-checking (CPST) and WAH mama to a twelve-year-old girl.
chickabiddy is offline  
#6 of 19 Old 05-25-2010, 01:12 AM
 
CrazyCatLady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 4,556
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for posting this question! I also have an almost six year old, who weighs 35 pounds, is still in a five point seat, but it's about to expire. I also need an easy open because she has very weak hands and can't unbuckle herself.

Also been wondering if I should buy another seat, or just get a booster?

Thanks for all the responses. Very helpful.

Melaya (29) - Mom to Z (9) and soon to be I (due Nov 2013) stork-boy.gif

Birth mom to M (7), O (5), & C (2). winner.jpgnovaxnoIRC.giftriadadopt.jpg

CrazyCatLady is offline  
#7 of 19 Old 05-25-2010, 01:36 AM
 
Sharlla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Springfield Mo
Posts: 11,638
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
seth will be 5 next month. he is 35 lbs and rf in a complete air in my car and in his fathers ff in a nautilus. he cant unbuckle h.mself but i dont think its a big deal for me to do it
Posted via Mobile Device

Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012)  Married to awesome SAH DH.

Sharlla is offline  
#8 of 19 Old 05-26-2010, 06:33 AM
 
Adventuredad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 290
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post
Virginia has a proper use clause, so most highbacked boosters (one exception is the Britax ParkwaySG) would be legal for a 35# 5yo.

Many 5yos can use boosters safely, but especially for a very small child, proper fit is essential. The shoulderbelt must cross between the neck and the arm, and the lapbelt must lie low on the hips and thighs. The Graco Turbobooster usually fits little ones nicely.
Thanks v much for the information regarding the legal aspects!

CarSeat.se - Rear Facing Car Seats ⢠55 lbs Rear Facing Car Seats
Annika: 3.5 years RF Britax Hi-Way ⢠Daniel: 6 years FF Britax Adventure
Adventuredad is offline  
#9 of 19 Old 05-26-2010, 11:43 AM
MJB
 
MJB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 1,563
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I bet with a little practice the 5 yr. olds in question could unbuckle the Nautilus. My sons were both able to unbuckle and buckle their carseats around 3, even my little one who is in a Radian (which I think is one of the harder seats to unbuckle). We just had to work on it for a little while. I wouldn't let that be a deciding factor.
MJB is offline  
#10 of 19 Old 05-26-2010, 12:34 PM
 
floiejo2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: In the land of make believe
Posts: 323
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I agree with the pp about your 5 yr old most likely being able to unbuckle the Nautilus with a little practice. That's what we have for our 5.75 yr old and it only took her a week or so to be able to unbuckle the harness. We also use it as a high back booster for short trips around our small town. But make her use the harness if traveling to the closest city (90 miles away).

Mama to three wonderful girls, H (9-2-04), A (8-23-07), and Q(4-24-11, our Easter baby). Married to D since (6-3-00).

floiejo2 is offline  
#11 of 19 Old 05-26-2010, 02:12 PM
 
lachingona1's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: NW
Posts: 681
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Both my girls have been in the Nautilus for over a year now. My 5.5 yo learned right away how to unbuckle it. I tried to switch her to a HBB several months ago and she kept leaning over, so I switched her back to harness. We talked over and over about the proper way to sit in a HBB and that she had to be mature enough to sit like that, so we just recently put her back in the HBB and she sits perfect in it. She is 5.5 and 48 lbs.

Happily married and unschooling 5 kiddos. Oct. 2004, July, 2007, July, 2009, Oct. 2010, Nov. 2012 
lachingona1 is offline  
#12 of 19 Old 05-27-2010, 12:02 AM
 
an_aurora's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Palmer, AK
Posts: 6,401
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Both my 3 and 4 year olds can buckle their Britax seats (Marathon and Regent). I'd think the Frontier would be similarly easy to buckle.

CPST & mom

an_aurora is offline  
#13 of 19 Old 05-27-2010, 12:18 AM
 
~cassie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: louisiana
Posts: 323
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We just switched my 5 yr old to a HBB, didn't make it easier to buckle though as he can't get that buckled in either since there is a carseat preventing him from getting to it, lol.

Cassie, mom to Alex(4/7/05), Aidan(7/12/07), and Andrew(8/18/08)

~cassie is offline  
#14 of 19 Old 05-28-2010, 03:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
Terabith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 1,303
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Buckling the seat isn't really a big deal for her. Unbuckling, however, seems to be both more difficult, and more traumatic.

She's an anxious kid. She is terrified of being forgotten. When we get somewhere, she gets a note of frantic-ness in her voice and repeatedly says, "Don't forget to unbuckle me!" She is afraid of being trapped in or out of things, and she has a difficult time with her frustration tolerance and continuing to try when things are difficult. When she is in the booster, she can do it herself, and so her anxiety is a lot less.

However, while she is very conscientious, I'm not 100% convinced that she will sit properly 100% of the time. (In all honesty, while I definitely try, there are times when I lean over or do something like that.) My preference is for a five point harness, but the Nautilus she could not unbuckle herself in. Probably if she worked hard at it, she might be able to, but maybe not, and getting her to work hard at it is its own problem.....
Terabith is offline  
#15 of 19 Old 06-01-2010, 02:28 PM
 
LandonsMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vermont
Posts: 79
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adventuredad View Post
Contrary to popular opinion harnessed seats don't offer any safety advantage over hbb for older kids (4+).
Can you direct me to studies/research supporting this comment? I'm looking for a new seat for my 50 lbs 5 year old and was hoping to find something with a 5-point harness. After seeing the the following video I find it hard to believe that a booster could protect better than a 5-point... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2kO8...eature=related
LandonsMama is offline  
#16 of 19 Old 06-01-2010, 03:11 PM
 
alegna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 42,826
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My understanding is that there is evidence on both sides, neither is strong enough to say one is safer than the other. One of the bigger arguments for booster vs harnessing (once old enough and mature enough and if they fit properly) is that the MORE movement allowed in a booster actually protects the neck better because the whole body moves instead of the body being held still while the head moves. It allows more ride-down time.

I have not found information on either side to sway me- I suspect that each has their advantage depending on the type of crash. FWIW my 40lb 5.5yr old is still always harnessed, but part of that is that she is light and tends to act crazy when she's in the car with her brother (which she nearly always is) I would also be comfortable with her in a booster for short trips at this point if she fit well.

-Angela
alegna is offline  
#17 of 19 Old 06-01-2010, 04:16 PM
 
LandonsMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vermont
Posts: 79
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for the reply Angela. We have a HBB as a back up seat in DH's car, but we rarely use it. My DS just does not sit properly in it- he slouches down, slides his butt down so he can put his feet up on the seat in front of him, puts the shoulder belt under his arm, you name it. The seat belt would never hold him if we were in an accident.
LandonsMama is offline  
#18 of 19 Old 06-01-2010, 05:35 PM
 
mnnice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 2,172
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terabith View Post
Buckling the seat isn't really a big deal for her. Unbuckling, however, seems to be both more difficult, and more traumatic.

She's an anxious kid. She is terrified of being forgotten. When we get somewhere, she gets a note of frantic-ness in her voice and repeatedly says, "Don't forget to unbuckle me!" She is afraid of being trapped in or out of things, and she has a difficult time with her frustration tolerance and continuing to try when things are difficult. When she is in the booster, she can do it herself, and so her anxiety is a lot less.

However, while she is very conscientious, I'm not 100% convinced that she will sit properly 100% of the time. (In all honesty, while I definitely try, there are times when I lean over or do something like that.) My preference is for a five point harness, but the Nautilus she could not unbuckle herself in. Probably if she worked hard at it, she might be able to, but maybe not, and getting her to work hard at it is its own problem.....
My five year old has ridden in a Nautilus for about a year and a half and he can't unhook it either. He has small not especially strong hands (I know my older child could unhook himself from similar seats at that age). I guess since he's not anxious about it I've not viewed it as a liability. I think my five year old would be fine in a HBB for brief trips, but since so much of our car riding is on longer trips and he ends up sleeping I think a harnessed seat works better for him.
mnnice is offline  
#19 of 19 Old 06-01-2010, 08:11 PM
 
alegna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 42,826
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by LandonsMama View Post
Thanks for the reply Angela. We have a HBB as a back up seat in DH's car, but we rarely use it. My DS just does not sit properly in it- he slouches down, slides his butt down so he can put his feet up on the seat in front of him, puts the shoulder belt under his arm, you name it. The seat belt would never hold him if we were in an accident.
Then, given the fact he would not sit correctly, a 5pt harness is the only safe option

I'd look at the nautilus and the frontier.

-Angela
alegna is offline  
Reply

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off