Booster seats — The Bump
Pre-School

Booster seats

I was a frequent poster a while back, but haven't been on in a few years, but I need some car seat guidance, and have always relied on this site for that :)

My DS just turned 5. He's still in a Britax Boulevard, but is ready for a booster. I'm not sure what to choose.  

Thanks in advance! 
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Re: Booster seats

  • Are you talking about a harnessed high back?  He's not old enough yet for a true high back booster without the straps.  How much does he weigh and what's his seated shoulder height (bum to shoulder)?
    Formerly known as elmoali :)

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  • Six is my absolute oldest for a booster.  My DD2 will be seven on the 22nd and has just moved into a booster seat, most of the time, but she is pretty tiny.  She is barely 40 pounds.
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  • Thanks. He's 46 pounds and 16" seated height to shoulder.
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  • Alrighty so let's start with this - has he outgrown the Boulevard? By seated shoulder height and weight he'd still fit.  If the harness still comes from above his shoulders, I'd suggest leaving him in that for the time being.  You only have about a year (maaaaybe less if he's very mature) before you can booster train him which means you could purchase a true booster at that point.  

    If he's outgrown the Boulevard or you just really want to get him a new seat, you'll need a combination seat - harnessed/high back/no back booster.   This is a great list of recommended combination seats, including details on max weight and max harness height. 

    Formerly known as elmoali :)

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  • He hasn't outgrown the height, but his ears are above the top of the seat. Plus as he's gotten bigger, he's not as comfortable in it. 

    Thank you so much for offering these resources all!
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  • What happened to 4 yrs old & 40 lbs as the minimum for boosters? I still have my kids in harnessed seats in our cars and will til they're too big for them but have a trip coming up with a 15 min cab ride from airport to hotel & was going to just get some of the small boosters for that purpose or for carpooling, etc in the future. Since when do you have to be 6 to be in a booster?

    OP check out the frontier, pioneer & pinnacle if you like Britax. They're the harness to booster style- you use the harness until too big and then can use the seatbelt. Cupholder too ;)
  • groovygrlgroovygrl member
    edited September 2014
    I get the ideal vs the recommendation-pp's were presenting it as if it were never ok for a kid under 6 to be in a booster, not to mention she is going from a convertible car seat for a 5 yr old, so there are a lot of options in between a complete backless booster & a convertible car seat. I would call the britax seats I recommended 'boosters' and they have harnesses & backs and the option of using a seatbelt.
  • Those are called combination seats. Boosters are strictly belt positioning either high or no back.
    Formerly known as elmoali :)

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  • groovygrlgroovygrl member
    edited September 2014
    No it is called a harness to booster and is a booster when used as with the seat belt. Op just needed to know the various options, lots of ppl use the word booster for whatever comes next after those seats and it just means to boost them up to wear a seat belt.
  • I'm not trying to argue but they are technically called combination seats and function as harnessed highbacks and then no backs.  I asked her what she was looking for, specifically, in my first post.  I did that because a child in a forward facing convertible seat is already in a harnessed, forward facing seat.  So unless that child had outgrown that seat, the question of "what booster should I choose" strongly implies they're looking for something different from what they have, i.e. a true booster, for which a 5 year old is not likely ready.
    Formerly known as elmoali :)

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    [Deleted User]nofrogs
  • Here are the definitions and functionality of the various seating types.


    Formerly known as elmoali :)

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    gimmietimmies
  • I would argue that many 5 year olds are mature enough to sit in a HBB. My oldest went into one at 5 years (44 lbs, 46") and was completely fine. My dd2 will likely move into a HBB at least part time when she turns 5, unless for some reason she doesn't seem mature enough at that point. She's a rule follower and gets upset if I open my car door before I buckle her in, so I assume she'll be fine. Only you know if your child is mature enough for a regular HBB. If you don't think he is, then there are many great options for combination seats.
    Annalise Marie 05.29.06
    Charlotte Ella 07.16.10
    Emmeline Grace 03.27.13
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  • ASmallWonderASmallWonder member
    edited September 2014
    @Angela814 there are some who are ready, sure.  And it's not about rule following and misbehaving so much as impulse control.  It's not meant to make it seem like the child isn't a good listener.  A booster rider can never fall asleep and fall out of perfect posture and alignment. They can't ever bend down impulsively when their sippy or snack falls.  They can't turn to figure out where a noise came from.  None of those things are misbehaving - they're things a lot of 5 year old can't comprehend would put them in danger.
    Formerly known as elmoali :)

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  • By "rule follower" I meant my dd wouldn't reach down to get a snack because I would have told her that she's not allowed to do that if she wants to ride in a booster. It's about impulse control, but it's also about following the rules required to be in a booster. Considering the data shows no difference in safety between a booster and harness once a child turns 5, I'd say that means most 5 year olds can sit properly whereas most 4 year olds cannot.

    My oldest could sleep more comfortably in her HBB at 5 years than she ever did in her harnessed booster at 4.
    Annalise Marie 05.29.06
    Charlotte Ella 07.16.10
    Emmeline Grace 03.27.13
    [Deleted User][Deleted User][Deleted User]
  • @Angela814 there are some who are ready, sure.  And it's not about rule following and misbehaving so much as impulse control.  It's not meant to make it seem like the child isn't a good listener.  A booster rider can never fall asleep and fall out of perfect posture and alignment. They can't ever bend down impulsively when their sippy or snack falls.  They can't turn to figure out where a noise came from.  None of those things are misbehaving - they're things a lot of 5 year old can't comprehend would put them in danger.
    On CSFTL, all the regular techs are perfectly okay with booster training a 5-6 year old. They've never said 6 is the bare minimum, they say 5 is the minimum. I absolutely agree with waiting until the child is ready and mature enough, but a lot of 5 year olds are ready.
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