What age for a booster seat? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 28 Old 07-31-2008, 04:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just curious as to when you should switch to a booster car seat. My almost 21 month old is really big and tall and has outgrown her Convertible car seat. I bought her a booster seat last night but it says ages 3-10. She meets height and weight limits though.

Mommy to Layla 11/06, Eliza 5/08 and baby girl at the end of February....
 
 
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#2 of 28 Old 07-31-2008, 04:17 PM
 
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I don't know what the laws are, but my 4.5 year is still harnessed.

You can buy higher weight and height limit seats. There is no way I would put my 2 year old in a booster.

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#3 of 28 Old 07-31-2008, 04:25 PM
 
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My 22 month old still rides rear-facing...

What seat did your DD outgrow? What were the limits on it? A lot of harnessed seats have really LOW top harness slots (like the Graco Comfortsport and any 3-in-1 seats) and are outgrown pretty quickly by height.

I personally don't think most 4-5-6 year olds are ready for boosters, let alone 2-3 year olds. A really good seat that would be the last seat you'd never need is the Graco Nautilus--it harnesses to 65lbs and has tall harness slots, and then turns into a high back booster, and then a backless booster. If you want to spend a little more, the Britax Frontier is another great option

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#4 of 28 Old 07-31-2008, 04:36 PM
 
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21mths is way too young for a booster. I'd check out the family safety forum here and ask what seat your toddler can still be harnessed in.

My 21mth old is still rear facing too.

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#5 of 28 Old 07-31-2008, 05:34 PM
 
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If you are looking for a forward facing seat, I'd recommend the Nautilus. My preschooler loves his. He'll be harnessed for quite a lot longer but it will convert to a high back booster and then a backless.
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#6 of 28 Old 07-31-2008, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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If my daughter was still rear facing her knees would be around her ears, lol.

Mommy to Layla 11/06, Eliza 5/08 and baby girl at the end of February....
 
 
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#7 of 28 Old 07-31-2008, 05:59 PM
 
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I'd skip the booster for now. 2 is so young. Maybe try a Britax Regent.

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#8 of 28 Old 07-31-2008, 06:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Just curious as to when you should switch to a booster car seat.
I don't think there is ever an age when you *should* put your child in a booster seat. A 5 point harness is almost always safer (I wish they'd make them for adults). Your state laws may have a minimum age, but your child isn't even the minimum age according to the booster seat you want to use. It's not just about weight--it's about core trunk and neck strenght... No way do I think a 1 1/2 year old is at all big enough for a booster seat...

~Brandon Michael (11/23/03), Jocelyn Lily Nữ (2/4/07, adopted 5/28/07 from Vietnam), Amelia Rylie (1/14/09), & Ryland Josef William (9/7/05-9/7/05 @ 41 wks). 
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#9 of 28 Old 07-31-2008, 06:10 PM
 
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no way, that is NOT safe.

you need to get a higher weight/height limit seat. try the nautilus.

and my 26 month old is still rear facing. its okay, if there legs are bent, its still much safer than a broken neck.

DS 5-11-06
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#10 of 28 Old 07-31-2008, 06:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by baggybears View Post
If my daughter was still rear facing her knees would be around her ears, lol.

It's okay for their legs to be crossed and it's much safer to keep them rear facing as long as possible.

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#11 of 28 Old 07-31-2008, 06:49 PM
 
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My ds3 will be 5 in November about 45 in tall and still is in a 5 pt harness. He rides in a Sunshine Radian ( 65lb 49in) A belt positioner is NOT safe for kids under 4 and personally I wont allow Nathan to have one till he is more like 51/2

there are lots of seat with taller 5pt harnesses. Radian, marathon, Nautilus are a few.

Jeana Christian momma to 4 sons Logan 18, Connor 15, Nathan 6, and bonus baby Jack 1
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#12 of 28 Old 07-31-2008, 06:57 PM
 
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how often to you see your lo playing with his/her legs sticking straight out? They almost always have their legs folded or twisted in some crazy way...its cozy rear-facing and much much safer. No snapped necks for my kiddos!
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#13 of 28 Old 07-31-2008, 07:02 PM
 
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Moving this to Family Safety

I have retired from administration work, so if you have a question about anything MDC-related, please contact Cynthia Mosher. Thanks!
 
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#14 of 28 Old 07-31-2008, 07:06 PM
 
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my 31 month old is still RF'ing. he's very tall and still fits RF'ing. Even if you dont RF, i would harness as long as possible.
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#15 of 28 Old 07-31-2008, 07:26 PM
 
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The reason there are age requirements with booster seats is that the child has to be mature enough to stay sitting straight up under the seatbelt. My 5 year old is in a booster and I've regretted the decision because he sometimes leans way over to one side (just for fun or to reach for something) -- at that second, he's not protected at all. Sometimes he just sits forward in his seat, kind of leaning forward against the seatbelt a little, just cause he's engaged and looking around. But in order to be safe and protected the seatbelt has to be positioned correctly and he has to be sitting straight up and leaning back for that to be true. My 7 year old can sit in a booster because he sits straight up and keeps his back pressed against the back and his head in between the wings. My 5 year old does not. I'm trying to find a way to afford a harness seat again for him (which is tricky for us do to his size and our finances) because while he certainly meets weight, height, and age requirements for a booster, he is just not sitting still enough consistently to ensure his safety.
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#16 of 28 Old 07-31-2008, 08:15 PM
 
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No way should a not-yet-two-year-old be riding in a booster.

What convertible seat has she outgrown? Did she outgrow it by height or weight or both?

Carseat-checking (CPST) and WAH mama to a twelve-year-old girl.
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#17 of 28 Old 07-31-2008, 08:21 PM
 
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Is it legal for a 21-month-old to be in a booster? I thought the law was like 3 years or something. Though I'll admit to not being up on the laws.

Problem #1 is that a 2-year-old (not even 2 yet!) will be playing with the seatbelt and it isn't that hard to get a regular seatbelt undone. Plus they wiggle so much at that age. And would it even hold them in properly? It sounds impossible to me. I can't imagine how it would work. I had a tall and large daughter but she was in her regular seat much longer than that.
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#18 of 28 Old 07-31-2008, 08:25 PM
 
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Four years and 40 pounds is the minimum recommended for a booster. In no way is a 21 month old safe in a booster, ever. I'd get her a higher-weigh harnessing seat like the Britax Regent or Frontier, or the Graco Nautilus.

CPST & mom

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#19 of 28 Old 07-31-2008, 10:18 PM
 
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Toddlers have absolutely no business riding in boosters

Boosters are for *big* kids over 4 years old who have developed the cognitive abilities to sit still for longer periods of time without wiggling. Short attention spans make correct, safe booster use difficult/impossible.

Furthermore, real crash data shows that kids under 4 submarine out suffering otherwise very easily preventable injuries, such as Seatbelt Syndrome.

Please feel free to visit "Preschool--Preteen" as well for more detailed information

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#20 of 28 Old 08-01-2008, 12:49 AM
 
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In Canada, boosters are not allowed to be used under 40lbs (that's the weight limit on the boosters). Iirc, the law says 4 yrs old and 40lbs (though that part may just be in BC).

If it were me, I'd take the booster back, and exchange it for a booster/harness combo (that is, if you choose not to rearface). There are a few options there: the Apex and Nautilus are among the cheaper high weight combo seats out there. There's also the Frontier, but it's quite a bit more expensive. Once your dd outgrows one of those being harnessed, they convert to a booster seat.

My ds outgrew his Evenflo Triumph at about 2.5yo. It's a bummer that they make car seats that so many kids outgrow when they are MUCH too young to be riding in a booster. The only option after that is to buy a high weight harnessing car seat.

My personal minimum for boosters is probably about 5 years old. That's what I would be comfortable doing.
Imo, one should start using a booster when one of the high weight/high harness slot seats is outgrown (typically, long after 4 years old. My ds will probably 6ish).

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#21 of 28 Old 08-01-2008, 12:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by baggybears View Post
If my daughter was still rear facing her knees would be around her ears, lol.
Not an issue at all. My dd was rf until 3.5yrs.

-Angela
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#22 of 28 Old 08-01-2008, 01:38 AM
 
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If she is under 35 lbs. she should still be rearfacing and if she is over 35 lbs., the Graco Nautilus, the Britax Frontier, or the Britax Regent would be good choices for a new carseat.

Both of my kids are in harnessed seats and my oldest is nearly 50 lbs. and 46". My youngest just turned forward-facing at 2.5 because he got too heavy for rear-facing, but he is not too tall at 37" to rear-face in his convertible (a Sunshine Kids Radian).
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#23 of 28 Old 08-01-2008, 02:20 AM
 
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Please feel free to visit "Preschool--Preteen" as well for more detailed information

(It is my temporary webpage used as a visual aid during workshops with local families)
What a GREAT site! Thank you!!

Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

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#24 of 28 Old 08-01-2008, 09:57 AM
 
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Just to add to the chorus saying that your child is not mature enough for a booster yet, my step-sister did what you are planning to do. My youngest niece moved to a booster around the age of two. She was CONSTANTLY undoing the seatbelt, or otherwise getting out.

One day when she was 2 years and 3 months old she undid her seatbelt and I turned my head to yell to her to get back in. In that second I missed the car in front of me slamming on the brakes. Luckily, my niece did sit back down, and we were going fair slow. (50km or so). I didn't hit the brakes on time, and hit the car in front, totally my parents minivan, causing the airbags to go off, and nearly breaking my best friends nose. We were VERY VERY lucky that no one was badly hurt. It was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life and it could have been prevented entirely by having my niece in an age-appropriate 5 point harness.

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#25 of 28 Old 08-01-2008, 11:54 AM
 
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We need a bit more information, measure your dd sitting up against the wall, measure from the floor to the top of her shoulders. Second how much does she weight?


Like everyone else she isn't even 2 she needs to be in a harness. With the above information we can help you pick the right seat, but a booster isn't it.

Mom to ds 9 dd 7 : and dd 3/08 : if I can I go to
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#26 of 28 Old 08-01-2008, 12:09 PM
 
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The majority of state child restraint laws are not best practice....in most cases don't even meet the minimum requirements for safety. They are enacted by the PTB who don't have a clue.
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#27 of 28 Old 08-01-2008, 10:21 PM
 
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Tiffany gave you some great sites to look at, PLEASE reconsider your choice of seat for your child. My son is 5 and 45# and only rides in a booster if he's going w/ someone else and there's no other option. My 3.5yo and 21mos old are still rfing in their seats.

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#28 of 28 Old 08-01-2008, 10:35 PM
 
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My dd is alive because she was in a 5point harness at 4.5 years old. Believe me, she was in that 5point harness (new seat, obviously) until she really and truly got too tall - beyond 6 years old, but I'm not positive when.

The accident was pretty bad, pretty scary - and she was safely secure within the seat. No injury, even.

My children are not given any choice in the matter. They sit where I tell them to sit, and they know they can't ride in a car without the belt on or in a proper car seat. I see far too many children day-to-day (I work at a children's resale shop), who are 1-not in a car seat, 2-forward facing younger than a year, or 3-allowed to squirm out of the car seat without any repercussions. I want to throttle those parents. I don't care how expensive car seats are!

of course, I'm preaching to the choir, here.
--janis

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