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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, my daughter is not quite six yet, but she will be in July. We have a Britax Marathon car seat. Her shoulders are about one inch below the highest harness slot. Her measurement while seated to her shoulders is 15 inches, and the limit for the seat is 16 inches. So we have some time left, but I am not sure how much. 3 months, six months? I suppose it all depends on those ever-unexpected growth spurts.

I estimate that when my daughter grows out of this for good she will be 6 years old, about 48 inches tall (16 inch measurement from seat to shoulders) , and probably about 48 lbs.

I didn't expect to outgrow this seat so fast! I thought we'd be good to age 7 or so, but apparently not. So now I would really love some advice if anyone would be willing to chat a bit.

Should I go with a higher height-rated 5 pt harness or should we move in to a booster seat at this point? I'm not willing to shell out hundreds of dollars for a 5 pt harness that she will grow out of in less than a year. But if there is a higher five pt harness that converts to a high-backed booster...

Or is she ready to go right into a booster at this point? If so, what are the seats that are recommended these days? Should I look into something with side-impact protection? I assume a high backed booster is best. Am I right in that assumption?

We have good booster seat laws in my state: till 8 years old or 4 ft 9 inches. I'd like to eventually wind up with a booster that will last her that long.

Any advice you could offer would be great!
 

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I didn't know that seat had a limit of 16"! I need to measure tomorrow. My DS is almost 6 too and I am thinking he needs a new seat. I thought he was too big when the tops of his ears went over the top of the seat (which they don't).

I'll be intersted to see what people advise you to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
On the Britax site it says that he seat is outgrown if:
1. The child is 65 lbs (not the case with us)
2. The child is 49 inches or less (my daughter is 46 inches)
3. A seated shoulder height of 16 inches (we're at 15 inches...almost there!)
They don't mention the ears and the top of the seat, though.
http://www.britaxusa.com/car-seats/marathon/

So even though my daughter isn't anywhere near 65 lbs and is 3 inches away from the overall height limit, she is only one inch away from outgrowing the seat (when her shoulders reach strap height).
 

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It's not so much how tall she measures, but whether her shoulders are above the slot. If they are, she has ALREADY outgrown the seat and needs a new one. Look at the manual (if you can't find yours, it's available as a PDF on britaxusa.com) for an excellent illustration showing what they mean by "above".

The Graco Nautilus and the Britax Frontier are both great combination (front-facing harness converts to high-backed booster) seats. The Nautilus also converts to a low-backed booster, but the Frontier accommodates taller children in high-backed booster mode. There's lots of discussions comparing the two.

At almost six, many kids are mature enough to ride properly in a booster, but it's all about whether she can always use the belt properly (sitting correctly in the seat, facing forward, not leaning over or putting her legs under her etc.).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ironica View Post
It's not so much how tall she measures, but whether her shoulders are above the slot. If they are, she has ALREADY outgrown the seat and needs a new one. Look at the manual (if you can't find yours, it's available as a PDF on britaxusa.com) for an excellent illustration showing what they mean by "above".
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Her shoulders are one inch below the slot. She has a little time left for the seat, and I am just planning ahead.

Thanks for the recommendations! I'll check them out.
 

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I think she will probably make it close to another year in that seat if she has an inch of seated height to gain. At her age most of her growth is going to be in her legs.

I just got a new safeguard for my almost 6yo so I could hand his BV down to his sister and it will last him a while, he has several inches to gain. That said, if I didn't have other kids to hand the safeguard down to I would probably have gone with a frontier.
 

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As a general rule a FFing seat is outgrown when:
the child is over the weight limit OR
the child's shoulders are above the top slots OR
the tips of the child's ears are even with the top of the shell

I think you may have a while before the seat is outgrown - even with a growth spurt, she will be growing all over her whole body, not just her torso. You have probably another 6 months at least. I would say getting to age 5 or 6 in a marathon is pretty good. The seat expires after 6 years anyway, how long have you had it?
I would be fine putting my DD in a high back booster at that point. Other higher weight harness seats you might want to look at are the nautilus, the frontier or the regent.
 

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My 6 1/2 year old is in a Britax Regent. He has PLENTY of room left in that. Our kids will be in 5 pt. harnesses as long as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by snoopy5386 View Post

I think you may have a while before the seat is outgrown - even with a growth spurt, she will be growing all over her whole body, not just her torso. You have probably another 6 months at least. I would say getting to age 5 or 6 in a marathon is pretty good. The seat expires after 6 years anyway, how long have you had it?
That is good to know that it will probably last a good bit longer.
We have not had the Marathon a whole long time. Maybe 3 years, so it has plenty of "life" left.
 

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I think it depends on her maturity and how you feel about it. My DS was almost 6 when he outgrew his Marathon, and I felt okay about him going straight to a booster. He sits pretty well in it, and it fits him well. We got the Graco Turbobooster (high-backed), and so far it has worked well. So, if your DD can sit well in it and stay seated properly, I think she would be equally safe in a booster or a higher weight 5 point harness. If you worry she would not sit properly, I would go with something like a Nautilus or Frontier that could convert to a booster later when she is older. Good luck!
 

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My 6yo is about to outgrow his radian and we don't have room in the car for the regent or whatever giant britax is next up the line. I guess he will go into a booster, finally. Not sure yet which one is best. I've just begun paying attention and keep hearing about the graco. It does feel weird to be going to a booster, but I figure, well, he is six and quite big and tall actually. So maybe he finally IS ready.
 

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I agree that an full inch is probably 6-12 months of growth, possibly more, but you can pretty much guarantee another 6+months...so.....your child will be over 6 years old.
It is a perfectly appropriate choice to choose a HBbooster seat for a 6 year old of that height and weight - who is mature enough to understand the importance of staying seated with the seat belt in position, and not be jumping around all over the place,etc.
I fully expect my 6 yo to be in a booster, since she will be outgroewing her nauti by then.
We actually do not have any PROOF that staying harnessed at that age and size is safer. We think it might be? but we don't know. And some people think it is actually less safe....

If you believe she can properly use a booster, I'd probably get a good one..lots of people are likeing the Monterey these days, for one.....if you do not, the Frontier would keep her harnessed and then turn into a booster...so would the nautilus, but the belt fit as a booster is not good on some kids. The regent is available, but if she is 6 and still has an inch left in a marathon...probably WAY overkill, unless you believe her maturity is such that she will need a harness until age 10ish???
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by bobandjess99 View Post
We actually do not have any PROOF that staying harnessed at that age and size is safer. We think it might be? but we don't know. And some people think it is actually less safe....

OT: I've never heard this before...I always thought 5 pt harness was always safer...hmmm...I wish there were tests showing which was safer at 5 yrs and older??? Racecar drivers use 5 pt harness but they are going at a much higher speed...
 
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