I'm going to be exposing my ignorance, now. Please excuse me.
My six year old is 39 pounds (yeah, tiny). I need to measure her height, but her height is closer to normal than her weight is.
She uses a Britax car seat but I've forgotten whether it's the Boulevard or what. I don't think it says the model on the seat, just the brand.
The top of her head is higher than the back of the seat. That's a Big Problem, right? I will look to see if I can raise it any higher but I think the last time I adjusted it, I made it go as high as it could.
I've vaguely heard the 4-years 40-pounds rule for a booster. So if your child is 39 pounds but too tall for her carseat what do you do?
And if the recommendation is to move her to a booster, what do I look for? I think it's got to have a back. Anything else?
Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.
For a seat to be outgrown forward facing, the tops of the shoulders must be over the top most harness position or the tops of the ears must be over the top of the shell.
If you have the harness adjusted above her shoulders and her ears are still contained within the shell, she still fits in the seat (presuming this is not the 40 lb Roundabout.
As long as you are not in Canada, it is perfectly fine and safe for a 39 lb six year old to go into a belt positioning booster provided the minimum weight limit is below 40 lbs. Boosters that fit smaller booster riders well include the Graco Turbobooster and the Recaro Vivo. Also, the new Diono Monterey and the Recaro Probooster are contenders.
It's very possible that she has outgrown the Boulevard. A forward-facing seat is outgrown when the shoulders are above the top strap settings OR the ears are above the top of the shell OR the weight limit is reached. 99% of Britaxes are outgrown by the first measure, so that's what I'd check first.
Most highback boosters have a 30# minimum, and most typically developing 6yos can use boosters safely, so that would be a fine choice if you do need a new seat. I'd look at the Graco Turbobooster (the newest model with improved headwings if you can find it) -- or the Recaro Vivo at her size.
Janelle was a similar size, she was 37lbs and 47" when she turned 7, though since all her height is in her legs, not her torso, she was ok in a boulevard till at least that age, she is still harnessed in a nautilus now at 42lbs and 51", I do feel comfortable now to put her in a booster though, and she does ride in one in my parents car and when she goes on girl scout trips and such, and she did ride in one to carpool home from school when she was 7 and not yet 40lbs, I just don't see a reason to bother with it when she still fits now.
C.- WOHM, CPST Instructor, and all around busy Mama to A.- 02/04, I. 01/07,E. 09/10 and
expecting the surprise of our lives Fall 2012!
Kim mama to DS 12/2005, Pepper kitty , and 10/03, 1/05;
A combination seat is certainly an option if the parent prefers that the child remain harnessed, but a booster is a safe and appropriate choice for a typically developing 6yo.