Graco Nautilus, 4 y/o, and pedi recommentation — The Bump
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Graco Nautilus, 4 y/o, and pedi recommentation

DD just turned 4 and is still in 5pt harness in the Nautilus, but is complaining that the anchor buckle is too tight between her legs. (Anyone else have that problem?) She's 38 lbs and 42", so she's tall enough for the booster/seatbelt combo but I don't know. . . she still seems so young for that. Our pedi today said we could move her to a booster seat at this point though, that the height more than the weight is the most important issue. Thoughts?
Mrs. 5/03*DD 2/07*DS1 5/09*DS2 7/12
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Re: Graco Nautilus, 4 y/o, and pedi recommentation

  • We just moved DS this weekend from the 5-point to the booster in his Nautilus. He is 4.5 and about 42 inches as well, and the straps were no longer starting above his shoulders -- that is the important part, to my understanding.

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  • That's actually my big beef with the Graco -- the anchor buckle is SO close that there is a not a lot of crotch room. Watching my DD struggle with it has totally nixed it for me for my son and I'm glad I only have one of those.  I don't know about switching -- DD is tall too.  But I'm also not in love with the seat for the same reason.


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    DD -- 5YO
    DS -- 3YO

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  • The most important issue when it comes to moving to booster mode is the child's maturity. Do you believe she is mature enough to sit properly positioned within the seat the entire time, every ride in the car? Many kids are not ready to move from the harness at 4 years of age because they are not able to sit perfectly positioned the entire ride, and if she's not properly positioned the whole ride, the seat belt will most likely not properly restrain her in an accident.

    If the crotch buckle truly is a problem, I'd look into maybe getting a different seat before moving a newly minted four year old into a belt positioning booster. Her complaint with the Nauti is not an uncommon one. I've yet to hear the same complaint about the Britax Frontier 85. 

    P - 9/2008
    A - 8/2010
    L - 1/2013
    S - 3/2015
  • Even with a high backed booster? I'm confused by what you're saying with sitting "perfectly positioned".
  • Hmmm I haven't heard that before philswife. I'll look into the frontier.
    Mrs. 5/03*DD 2/07*DS1 5/09*DS2 7/12
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  • imageizzybella:
    Even with a high backed booster? I'm confused by what you're saying with sitting "perfectly positioned".

    From cpssafety.com:

    Many booster seats have a minimum weight of 30-33 lbs. However, a booster seat should not be the next purchase when the child outgrows a convertible seat. A child is safest if they remain in a harnessed seat until they reach at least 40 lbs. A combination seat should be used after the child has grown too tall for a forward-facing convertible, but is not yet heavy enough (40 lbs) to move into a booster.

    It is also important to take the temperament and maturity level of your child into consideration.  To sit in a booster seat, the child must be capable of sitting up without slouching or leaning over, keeping the belts in place, and staying buckled.  If your child is unable to do so (whether because of age, maturity or personality), a higher weight restraint should be considered as the next step. 

    A high back booster simply positions the seat belt in the right place over the child. It doesn't form to a child's body and stay in place regardless of the child's movement the way a 5-point harness does. 

     

    P - 9/2008
    A - 8/2010
    L - 1/2013
    S - 3/2015
  • I moved my DD to a booster at 4.5.  She was 40 inches and 40 lbs.   They were required for her daycare van (aftershool program) and DS1 moved to her Marathon.  She had done really well with it.  No issues with maturity!

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  • My older DD will be 5 in June and is currently in a booster seat.  I think its a Graco but honestly, its slipping my mind right now.  She is a bit over 40" and weight wise is tiny, 30 pounds last time we weighed her but its been a few months and she has had a huge growth spurt.  Height is more important when it comes to the booster seats than weight, you need to make sure the shoulder strap fits correctly and the lap part sits where it should.    She does great in the booster.  If you are concerned your child is not mature enough to stay put, than I would not move them but I knew my DD could handle it and we also told her that if she didn't follow the rules, we had no issue returning it and getting a bigger 5 point harness seat for her.  Needless to say - the threat alone has done wonders.  She loves feeling like a big girl like her cousins and really does great.
    Jenni Mom to DD#1 - 6-16-06 DD#2 - 3-13-08 
  • In our province, the law is that they have to be 40lbs before moving to any sort of seatbelt.    What are the laws in your area?
  • The nautilus has two notches for the anchor buckle so you can move it further forward. I assume you've already done so but....just in case.
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