TFT: Movin’ on up…. Booster Seats

The past few weeks I’ve been noticing so many kids Porter’s age moving on up to belt buckling carseats/booster seats.  And in the past few weeks I’ve also witnessed multiple kids under the age of, oh, 6 maybe, riding in the front seat of a vehicle in their booster seats.  Today as I was walking into pick Porter up the thought crossed my mind that many of his friends are moving up to boosters and I had not for one second considered making the change.  In fact, I was just recently researching for another carseat for Porter to have as a spare for our babysitter(s) (this is plural b/c thus far this year we’ve had about 82 babysitters) to take him to preschool.  

Okay, I have said it a bazillion times before but I’m so overly anal about carseats with my kids that its not funny.  99% of the time I make sure I’m the one installing my kids’ carseats in whatever vehicle they might be riding in.  And I usually give the person driving them around a little rundown on “chest clip must go level with armpit….. needs to be tight enough to slip just 2 fingers beneath it….).  Porter is 37lbs.  He’s not quiiiite at the 40lb mark that is the bare minimum recommendation for moving up to a booster seat but I have to be honest…. I can not imagine!  Like, my stomach is in knots thinking about putting a booster seat in my car for him and not having him in a 5-point harness.


I can’t get over the fact that he’s growing up.  That one of these days (ok, really, it doesn’t HAVE to be until he’s 65lbs because our rockin’ carseats harness up to 65lbs.  What’s that… 3rd grade or something?? HAHAHAA!) I’ll have to let go of control… let go of the fear of his upper body being pummeled forward toward the front seat and head whiplashed around and internal organs squashed by the seatbelt should we be in an accident.  I know, I know… drama queen.  But he’s my baaaaby!

I was just curious as to how many readers had swapped their kids over to boosters as soon as they were 40lbs ish…. (or maybe it was sooner?  I’ve known in the past many people putting their kids in boosters as early as 2.5ish.  GAHHHHH!).  How many readers have older kids still in a 5point harness?  Am I the only super anal person around this joint?

  1. I totally get ya! Im very happy we bought the Nautilus for Lukas. But the same idea, Am I REALLY going to harness him up to 65 lbs? Maybe, maybe not. I have also convinced myself to think that the belt buckling booster is a whole lot safer than just a regular booster seat.So we at least have that going for us. And you know we have the belt positioning booster in my car for Lukas, mainly because I didnt want to trust the 5 point straps with him at/over the weight limit. Im not sure how precise those need to be, weight-wise. Its hard to think the boys are moving up into the next step of carseats. Hard to think that Luke is turning 5 this month too.

  2. Ayla has started asking about booster seats lately. She thinks when she's “five” she can get one. I've tried explaining to her that it's not about her age, it's about her weight/height and that she needs to eat more vegetables so she can grow! 🙂 She's only about 34lbs and I'm perfectly happy keeping her in a 5pt harness as long as she fits in it. Currently both my kids are in the exact same carseat, with the same setup, so they can switch back and forth, which is awfully convenient. It would not surprise me if Paxton reached 40lbs before Ayla ever does!

  3. My five-next-month-year-old is still harnessed. We actually still use the harness with Savannah (7 1/2) for road trips (lengthy time on freeways). Our rule is when you're six you can wear the seatbelt. But we, like you, have the Nautilus and I feel like even without the harness it's more protection -and definitely more weight in the seatbelt- than just a seat booster.We do have a small booster that we use in the second car for Savannah, but that's rare use just around close to home, or if she's quick jumping in the car with a friend (also close around home) or something where we don't want to drag over the big seat. I too have seen multiple kids lately that I can't believe are in just seatbelts with the small little seat booster. I'm not half as anal as you -haha- when it comes to carseats, and I know it's 100 times more likely they'll be in a traumatic car accident when they're 17 and not in a carseat, but I cannot fathom a three year old in a small booster. Heck, my seven year old can't even stay put in her own space without leaning over and bugging her brother or being halfway turned around or just slouching all cock-eyed in hers. That's half the reason we use the big one! Keeps 'em in the safer space!We just saw a girl -could not have been much older than Sawyer- in a front seat of a minivan. I doubt with a booster. I was amazed.I was just complaining about the weight and age limits these days and how it's ridiculous that a family with more than two kids can't have a regular old car just because they have to have three carseats for years… (you have to be in a booster til 9 yrs or 49″ tall here– that's up to my chin!) and how we were fine when we were kids, blah, blah, blah…. but then I see things like that little girl and I'm all let's at least use COMMON SENSE PEOPLE!!

  4. I am totally with you on this. Norah is 6 and still not 40 pounds. Plus, she seems to have fine bones and is very short for her age. (Seriously, she may be in 6th grade before she is 65 pounds. Ha). Our problem is that ALL of Norah's friends are in the boosters with seatbelts and she knows it. We have talked to her about safety and just because her friends are doing it, doesn't make it the safest choice. I just had a conversation with some friends this week about this. They were all shocked when I said Norah still uses the harness buckle. These are the same friends who have their 25 pound 3 year old in a booster with the seatbelt. I just explained that I don't mess around when it comes to car seats. We may switch Norah once she hits the 40 lb mark – I don't know. As long as she doesn't complain about it, though, we will leave her in the harness. Daphne is 21 months and still backwards – which most of our friends think we are crazy! She likes it, though, because she can see Norah and Lucy!! Much more fun that just looking at me!!

  5. My son is 42 pounds and turned 4 in August. He's still in the harness (we have the Nautilus too) but the harness straps don't fit tight enough if he has a winter coat on. I'm hesitant to switch him to a booster for the winter months but, a properly fitting booster is better than a non-proper fitting 5 pt harness. I don't like the idea of moving him up, though.

  6. Since Gav isn't old enough/big enough to be in a booster yet, it's not an issue for us yet. But I'll just say this…my brother is a Paramedic and because of his stories I will be keeping my kids in a 5 point harness as long as possible. There are way too many horrible, horrible accidents that could be prevented if parents kept their kids in 5 points just a little bit longer. Just my 2 cents.

  7. You are NOT the only one that thinks of this stuff! I don't know what I'm going to do when the day comes that we have to switch Maya-I'm going to cry when she hits 35lbs and we have to front face her! I just know that this exact post of what you said is going to come out of my mouth someday (sooner than I hope I'm sure) and I don't know what I'll do!

  8. My daughter (who is now 6.5) moved into a booster seat at about 4.5. Our ped said they needed to be 4 and 40 lbs before moving to the booster, even though I think the boosters all just say 40 lbs. I felt the same way at first, but eventually I got used to the idea. Now I don't know when I'll ever feel ready to let go of the booster, but I'm sure I'll get there one day. Thankfully I shouldn't have to worry about that for a while. (Although I have friends that don't put their kids in them now – and let them ride in the front seat. Yikes!)

  9. R&R are in the same seat type of seat and they will remain using these until they are 5 or 6. Reyna will not be reaching 40 pounds anytime soon. She is barely 27. We won't think about boosters until then.

  10. My daughter is 37-pounds and 3-and-a-half years old and I will probably keep her in a five-point harness until she is well over 40 pounds. Our car seat, the Eddie Bauer 3-in-1, says up to 50 pounds with five-point harness. Unless she's really uncomfortable, like not fitting. And then it switches to a booster until 80 pounds.The law in Ontario says a booster seat until 8-years-old, or 80-pounds and no riding in the front seat (because of the air bags) until 11 years old. In Scandinavian countries, such as Sweden, children stay rear facing until about age 5 and 55 pounds. My friend just bought a Next Generation Britax car seat for her four-year-old. It does rear-facing up to 40-pounds and forward facing with a five point harness up to 70 pounds.I really see it as a growing trend, keeping kids rear-facing longer.I don't think you are being over protective. I don't think kids really complain about car seats until they hit grade school and peer pressure.

  11. Alyssa (7.5) is still in a 5 point harness. She fits perfectly because she's a tiny little thing…she's barely over 40lbs. and a little on the short side for her age. She'll be in a 5 point harness until she outgrows it. With her being so small, I get antsy just thinking about her not having that added protection of her seat. Not to mention that she loves being in her seat, she finds it much more comfy than the rare (local only) car-ride when she's in a booster. She is the oldest of all of my friends' kids (they are all between 4-6), yet she is the only one in a five point harness. Makes me nuts.As soon as Hailey outgrows her current seat, we'll get another Nautilus for her and she'll be in that as long as possible just like her sister…although I have a feeling she'll outgrow hers much more quickly, which is going to make me SUPER crazy!!!

  12. Well, my newly 5 year old 50 lb, 47+ inch big boy is still harnessed. He's never asked for a booster and I've never offered it up – they will both be harnessed as long as possible.He's by far the biggest kid out of his friends (height and weight) and the only one to be harnessed still. I think it helps that the chunky monkey herself (at 2.5 and 37 lbs) is still harnessed, they don't know any different.

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