Parenting after 35

Booster Seats

DD is almost 2 1/2 and I think she meets the state laws for a booster seat in the car, height, weight, etc. But I still think the full back car seats are safer.  What age did you put your LO in a backless booster seat (in the back of course)?  Do you think they're as comfy for them?

Re: Booster Seats

  • My nephew is 8 and neice is 5 and they are still in the full back boster seats.  They just seem safer. 
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  • jlw2505jlw2505 member
    Sorry but a 2 1/2 year old is not ready for a booster seat.  Most stats laws say a child needs to be a in a 5 point harness seat until a min of age 4.  They also put height and weight requirements on it.  I don't go by the height as much as some kids are tall in the legs and with a booster seat, you need to make the shoulder strap sits correctly and that the wasit belt fits correctly.  I would use a high back booster once you switch to a booster for as long as possible as it makes sure the seat belt is laying correctly.  Again, 4 in the min age but you need to know your child and make sure that they are mature enough to stay seating correctly in the seat.  I know many 5 and 6 year olds that can't do this and are still in 5 point seats.  I know they recently changed the laws/recommendations on all seats and I would not rush to move to a booster seat - I know they are a lot easy to deal with and move from car to car but safety comes first.  Check your state laws.
    Jenni Mom to DD#1 - 6-16-06 DD#2 - 3-13-08 
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  • Ditto Em.. I think you need to re-read those requirements.  Everyone I know with 4 and 5 year olds still have them in the full seats. 

    Are you still in an "infant" carrier?  Now THAT is probably rated to 30 lbs or so... and yeah, you might be out of that.  We got a big Britax Marathon when he was about 1 1/2 and plan to use it for several more years.   He sits more vertical that the infant convertable thingy.


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  • I have no plans on moving her to a booster at this age, ( I don't think my post said that I was going to), I was just gathering information because I hadn't even thought about booster seat ages.  I like her full back car seat.  It's better for her to sleep in because it has the nice head rest, and I think it's safer than just having her sitting on top of a seat and buckled in.  I have no issues with her current car seat.  I did read our state law before I posted this and according to code 321.446, it states: "A child age 1 up to 6 years old must be secured in a child restraint system (a safety seat or booster seat - - NOT a seat belt). A "child restraint system" is a specially designed seating system, including a belt positioning seat or a booster seat that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards".   

    So, I'm pretty sure you can use them at age 2 if you choose to.

  • I guess I was confused by your question since it seemed like you were thinking of moving your child (who's the same age as mine) to a booster. Which, in my mind is used for much older children... like 5 and 6 and 7 year olds.

    I suppose it's up to the parents' preference, but I wouldn't move to a booster until my kid outgrows his current carseat which is rate for 50 or 60 pounds.  Given his current skinny butt, that'll be when he's a teenager.

    And in my state, it's now UNDER 8 that have to be restrained.  Which is odd to go off of an age rather than height/weight.  I've seen some really really big 7 1/2 year olds.

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  • I think technically based on height and weight alone many young toddlers may meet the criteria for booster seats but I will keep DD in her Marathon as long as I can - so much safer than the booster seats.  Plus, I thought the backless were for much older, larger kiddos. 
  • I'm glad to see that you have no plans to move your LO in to a booster seat. Most belt positioning booster seats have an age and weight restriction in their manuals. In the US many seem to be 4 and 40 for a backless booster and some are 30 pounds for a high back booster. The suggest time to switch to a booster seat is when your child is at least 4 and 40 pounds, hopefully older and has the ability to sit correctly in a booster seat at all times. And before that point, it is safest to keep your LO Rearfacing until they have reached the limits of their seat. Usually 1 inch of shell above their heads and when the reach the Rearfacing weigh limit. Hope this helps.  No matter your state laws, it's up to you to find the safest way to transport your child.

  • steverstever member

    I would keep DS in his convertable seat until he grew out of it but, with New Baby coming, I will move DS1 to a booster when DS2 outrows the infant seat and needs the convertable. If DS2 grows like his brother then that should be around March or April - when DS1 will be 3.5.

    eta: and they'll both be full back boosters until they outgrow them.

  • steverstever member
    Aaaannd now I'm all paranoid thinking we should get another convertable seat.
  • I would for sure get a combination seat, one that goes harness to booster. A convertible woud be a bit of a waste, since you wouldn't be using it Rearfacing :)
  • imagecareynj:
    I would for sure get a combination seat, one that goes harness to booster. A convertible woud be a bit of a waste, since you wouldn't be using it Rearfacing :)

    I agree!  This is why we got a Britax Frontier 85 for DS in DH's car when the older Marathon (passed along from my nephew) "expired" last Fall. It should, conceivably, last until he is past the booster seat.  We still have a Marathon CS (discontinued model but still OK to use) in my car and he fits comfortably at 37 inches and 36 lb.


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  • Stupid Bump went offline before I could reply last night!! Okay, Em&Bee, which kind of booster are you meaning, harnessed booster, high back booster, or low back booster?  I have the link to your state regulations and although it doesn't outright say a two year old can't be in a booster, you can receive a ticket for various misuse and it says: The child restraint system must be used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

    So, taking the stats of manufacture age and weight ratings, it varies for harnessed boosters, but most are minimum age 2 and 22 lbs. High back boosters they have to be three and (not or) 30 lbs. Low back boosters they have to be four and (not or) 40lbs. They also have to be the minimum height for the seatbelt to fit correctly. Canada all boosters (not harnessed) are 4 and 40. These are just the minimums.

    What do I do, or have I done? None of my kids, not even L, was out of a harness before their 5th birthday. That was a challenge, because up unitl the last 5 years or so, the options were limited. T was in a harness until 5, and she outgrew the harness (this was before we had anything like the Frontier or Nautilus). E and K are both still in their Frontiers, harnessed - if anyone remembers my stories about how precocious she is, you can understand I'm waiting until the last possible moment to take her out of the harness. E is on the last slot, with barely an inch to go, K has two slots left. S is still rf in her Radian.

    ETA: No, actually, the seats they have now are comfier (T tested out the Frontier in full booster mode, she liked it much better than her Graco Turbobooster (low back)). She said she got numb bum, and she had nothing to lean on, so she slouched in her seat all the time, and I was constantly telling her to sit up. Oh, and linky for your state regs.

  • My oldest was 3.5 but I wish I had waited, nothing ever happened but I spend so much time making sure he sits correctly in the booster with the back it almost distracts me. For us it is more a matter of maturity than fitting the size age restrictions. I think it will be a long time before we go backless. Good luck with the decision.
  • Thanks for all of the input and help.  Again, I have no plans to move DD out of her current car seat.  I just got to wondering about boosters and it sparked my curiousity about ages and when to move them.  I don't plan on buying something until she outgrows her current seat which will be quite awhile. 
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