Graco Nautilus as high back booster - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 05-06-2011, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My five and a half year old has hit the height and weight limit for using the harness, it's time to use the seat as a high back booster.  Am I reading this wrong?  Just put her in it and slip the shoulder/lap belt across?  I know it has to feed through some specific places but after 5.5 years of wrestling with the damn thing to get a tight install...that's it?  Why was it so important to have that rock solid install yesterday but today I'm just putting her in a seat and putting a seat belt on her (essentially).  This is scary stuff!

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#2 of 10 Old 05-06-2011, 07:44 PM
 
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It's not scary if you know how boosters work.  Their job is to position the belt properly on the child (in particular making sure the lap portion is across their hip bones and not up on the soft tissue of the stomach) and to help absorb some of the impact with the plastic around the hips.  That is it.  Just feed through the shoulder belt guide under the armrests as your manual shows and you are good to go.


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#3 of 10 Old 05-06-2011, 07:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I did it, I just don't like it.  I miss that harness.  She HATED it.  I haven't spent a huge amount of time talking to her about car seat safety. Even when she was small and hated the thing, she never fought getting in it. Somewhere along the line, she's figured out that the five point just feels more secure, I guess.  She's not a fan of change in general but this in particular did NOT make her happy. 

 

The only think I'm unsure about - I don't pull the belt out so it locks and the feed it back in, do I?  I don't do that when I buckle up so I'm guessing I don't need to do that with hers.

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#4 of 10 Old 05-07-2011, 09:51 AM
 
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You can if your vehicle does not prohibit it, but it's not required.  You do need to talk to her about sitting properly all the time.  She's not safe if the seatbelt is out of position because she's leaning to the side, etc.  But if she sits fine she is perfectly safe.

 

If she's not mature enough to sit properly, then you might want to look into a frontier 85 or travel vest until she is.


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#5 of 10 Old 05-07-2011, 09:22 PM
 
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That's one big 5.5 year old!!  Most kids make it another 1-3 years longer in the nautilus harness.  

Did she outgrow the weight (65 lbs) or did she outgrow the height (top slot of 18.5 inches)?  Knowing how she outgrew it can help us recommend other options for you :) (also, are you certain she outgrew it?  Sometimes parents don't realize if you move the headrest up, there is a fourth harness slot underneath there :) ) 

The thing about the nautilus is that it does NOT always provide a good lap belt fit.  Depending on your child and the geometry of the seatbelts in your car, it can let the lap belt ride way too high, up into the soft tissues of the stomach, instead of down on the strong hip bones where it belongs.  If that is the case, you really should not use the nautilus as a booster.  

My daughter, who is 6.5, rode in a nautilus since she was 3.5 , and absolutely loved it...but i promised her once she was 6, she could use a booster.  However...the fit of the nautilus in booster mode was NOT at all acceptable to me, so we bought her a Graco Turbobooster instead. 


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#6 of 10 Old 05-08-2011, 05:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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She is right at the weight and we are a freakishly long waisted family - all her height is in her torso (same as me).  She is regularly mistaken for a second grader.

 

I really hate this seat.  I've never been able to get a good install with it as a five point harness.  I could get the Marathon in rock solid with no movement and I just never could with this one.  It always had more movement than I was comfortable with - it would rock side to side and if I grasped the front, I could twist it.  Hated. 

 

I don't recommend this thing to anyone but it's the one I have. 

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#7 of 10 Old 05-09-2011, 10:31 AM
 
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I also do not like the nautilus in booster mode.

 

I don't think it's THAT weird for a 5.5 year old to outgrow it by height. DS outgrew it by height right before he turned 4. At 5, he's 49 inches tall. At 4, he was about 46 inches.

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#8 of 10 Old 05-23-2011, 10:53 AM
 
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I was just coming here to post a similar question. My son will be 6 in July, weighs 40 lbs, and is 43 in tall. We have Nautilus in both my and my husband's cars. My son is begging to switch to a booster. None of his friends are still in 5-points. I have two questions.

 

1) Is there really compelling evidence that, at this age and weight, a 5-point is significantly safer than a booster? I've been told there are European studies that say it is not true that 5-point is safer. I have not seen the info either way.

 

2) It sounds like the Nautilus is not a great booster. Is this true for all kids/in all cars? I hate to buy a new booster when we spent so much on the Nautilus.


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#9 of 10 Old 05-23-2011, 11:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OHmidwife View Post

I was just coming here to post a similar question. My son will be 6 in July, weighs 40 lbs, and is 43 in tall. We have Nautilus in both my and my husband's cars. My son is begging to switch to a booster. None of his friends are still in 5-points. I have two questions.

 

1) Is there really compelling evidence that, at this age and weight, a 5-point is significantly safer than a booster? I've been told there are European studies that say it is not true that 5-point is safer. I have not seen the info either way.

 

2) It sounds like the Nautilus is not a great booster. Is this true for all kids/in all cars? I hate to buy a new booster when we spent so much on the Nautilus.




While I can't answer your first question, I like the Nautilus as a booster for my child.  She's 6.5, 50lbs and I'm not sure on her height (she's tall though) and it works well for her.  She's been in booster mode since she was 5 years and 3 months and it fit well then.  I drive a Honda Odyssey and she sits in the back row.


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#10 of 10 Old 05-23-2011, 08:32 PM
 
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OHMidwife - if your ds can sit properly in a booster all the time, then there is no evidence that harness is safer or that booster is safer.  Up to you.  The Nautilus fits my oldest fine as a booster.  You'll only know if you try it.  You can post pics here or on car-seat.org if you need help figuring out if the belt fit is ok.


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