Booster Seat? — The Bump
Pre-School

Booster Seat?

DD1 is maybe 32lbs, and will be 4 in march.  DH suggested getting her a booster when DD2 is out of her infant carrier.  I threw a fit saying it wasn't safe, but really I have no clue. what are the height/weight/age requirements for a booster seat?  I just don't want DD1's safety to be negatively impacted in any way - and I'd rather by another car seat just to be on the safe side. 
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Re: Booster Seat?

  • Minimum requirements for a booster are 4yrs old and 40lbs. However, not all kids are mature enough to use a booster properly at 4yrs. We have DD1 in a combination harness to booster seat - the Graco Nautilus. It will keep her harnessed up to 65lbs, then can convert to a high back or backless booster.
    Mama to two sweet girls
    DD1 Feb 2010
    DD2 Sept 2011


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  • You might want to think about a seat that will convert to a booster when she's bigger, but can keep her in the 5 pt harness now.  We put DD in a booster when she was 4, and just met the weight requirement.  In retrospect, I feel she was too small.

    Fast forward to child #2.  DS has two car seats (one for each car) - a Graco Nautilus and an Evenflo Maestro.  Both will keep him in a 5 pt. harness well past the 40 lbs of DD's seats (65lbs for the Graco, 50lbs for the Maestro), then they both convert to regular booster seats when we're ready.  The Graco, I believe, can be backless at some point but I'm pretty sure the Evenflo remains a high back booster.  

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  • imagememali26:
    Minimum requirements for a booster are 4yrs old and 40lbs. However, not all kids are mature enough to use a booster properly at 4yrs. We have DD1 in a combination harness to booster seat - the Graco Nautilus. It will keep her harnessed up to 65lbs, then can convert to a high back or backless booster.

     

    this. We also use the Graco Nautilus. Using the 5 point harness system is much safer and can reduce injury in event of an accident.

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  • The laws vary by state (here in MO I believe the law is 2 years).  We put DS1 in a booster at 3 years, he's always been big for his age and was excellent at following directions.

    Our twins just turned 3 and we won't switch them until they're at least 4, they're small (at their last well visit J was 26% and W was 11%) and don't follow directions as well.  Even if they were bigger I don't feel they'd be ready for a booster. 


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  • I wouldn't put an under 40 lbs just turned 4 year old in a booster as their main seat. I would get a harnessed booster (also called a combination seat) that keeps them in a 5 point harness until they're at least 5. After age 5 there is no documented safety difference between a booster and a 5 point harness, so I would be comfortable switching them then.

    I would look into the following seats for your 4 y/o and pass their convertible down to  the baby:

    Graco Nautilus

    Evenflo securekids 300/400

    Recaro ProSport

    Britax Frontier

    Harmony Defender

    All have decent height top harness slots and become well fitting boosters when the child is ready. Avoid the cosco harnessed booster.

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  • We converted our DD to a booster last year.  She was 4 and at the 40 lb mark, which is where her car seat is maxed out at.  Now, the car seat we have for her is the Evenflo Symphony 3-in-1, so it's a forward-facing car seat that converts to the booster.  Per the user manual the car seat is good for a child up to 40 lbs, so we were comfortable converting her over.  She's also tall, so she was also started to max out with the height.  The only difference between the "car seat" and the "booster" is that instead of the 5-point harness she uses the actual car seat belt.  The seat itself, with all the protection, doesn't change.  She "mentally" was ready, and her size wasn't an issue.

    Bottom line, I'd check with the user manual of the seat you have to see where the max height/age/weight requirements are.  If she still fits, keep her there - the longer they're in a 5-point harness "car seat" the better, IMO.  If your seat converts to a booster, see the recommendations and go with your instincts (ours actually can be a booster at 30 lbs).  If you need a purchase a booster, I'd say wait until DD1 absolutely needs one, and then shop around for one you feel most comfortable with and will last the longest.

    HTH and GL! :)

    ~ Christina ~ Mom to Zenedra (4) and Baby Girl #2 (coming this May!) ~ Wife to Michael (9/6/03) ~ Working momma, loving momma, blessed momma! :)
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  • As usual I agree with Penguingrll. I would never consider putting a 3 yo in a booster, and I wouldn't use one as a primary seat for a 4 yo. The 30 lb rating on some of the high back boosters is meant for a 30 lb 6 yo, not a 30 lb 3 yo. My top two picks for a harnessed combo seat are the Recaro ProSport and Britax Frontier. Both are known to give a good seatbelt fit in booster mode.
    Annalise Marie 05.29.06
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