Carseat Question, not a debate

[deleted account] ( 39 moms have responded )

Ok, so Jacob is 3 and he's definitely outgrown his carseat. The top of his head is higher than the back of the seat. He's 35 pounds and almost 40 inches tall, so he's definitely big enough by most "safety standards" to go up a step to a booster. We shopped around and found one at Target that my husband convinced me to buy, against my better judgement. It's got a back on it now, but in the future it can convert to a backless, just the bottom part. The only thing holding him into the seat is the seat belt. I don't like it and I'm taking it back. I never should have bought it in the first place. I saw one at Wal Mart (can't remember the brand) a few weeks ago that has a 5 point harness in it, and the seat belt is used to secure the seat to the car. The thing is, I know by the standards, he's big enough and old enough. So part of me is wondering if maybe it's just ME that's not ready for him to be in such a big boy seat. Or is it ok for me to still want him to be unable to get in and out of it at will? We took a trip yesterday and I have pictures of him actually leaning forward and sideways, whereas before, he was back to the seat and couldn't move. When did you girls put your kids in booster seats, what brands can you recommend and someone please tell me I'm not just being an overprotective, "won't let her kid grow up" mom lol Thanks :)

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Jodie - posted on 12/30/2010

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dnt take it back,theres a reason why the back comes of,for the seatbelt only,cos wen they get to school age 5 or 6,a child is old enuf to sit in seat that comes of the back,untill they are at a safe age to ride just with the seatbelt,your boy is three and is 35pnds,thats a big boy for three,carseats go on their weight and height,the weight your boy is,hes at the weight to be have a seatbelt around him.infact over in new zealand its legal for our kids to go from newborn to toddler carseat,and once they reach a certain weight and height they must go in a booster seat,untill they are 5,and depending on how much the child weighs,they need to be either in a seat,that you got your boy,that has no back,or stright in to a seatbelt.a child has to be over 30kgs here wen they must go in to booster seat,you will not need to the back of that booster seat untill you feel hes ready to go in it,your boy will be in that booster seat,with the back on it,till at least hes 5 or 6.so dont take it back,you be silly too,just becos the seat comes of doesnt mean,it has to come of why hes three.thats not the case,all that back that means coming of,it gives us parents the option,to keep the back on the booster seat,or take it of.doesnt mean you may use it wens hes 5 or 6. i think csrseat companys these days try to make seats 2 n 1,cos there are alot of kids,wen they reach 5 or 6,they are not at the right weight,to be put stright in to seatbelt,so this way having a booster seat that the back comes of.allows parents to keep their child safe in a backless booster seat,cos they havnt reach the recomanded height to be placed in a seatbelt alone,and with ya boy being 35pounds,you could find yourself not needing the backless seat when hes 5 or 6.what happens like carseats,as you have discovered,hes to tall for his carseat,so you have had to upgrade to booster,so then,when his head reaches the top of the booster seat,that his head actually bascially over the top of the booster,thats wen you need to change them into the backless seat.cos legally a child can not be in seat,wen their head connects with the backseat,and not head level,with the booster,thats wen it can become dangerous for them.thats why,if a child is not heavier enuf to be just in seatbelt,that wen the backless seat,comes into it.normally once a child reaches 65kgs and over,legally they are allowed to be in a just a seatbelt,like i said it goes on height and weight,some kids at 5 or 6,havent reach the legal weight,to be put into a seatbelt,thats why the backless seat was invented,although their height has gone over the booster seat,doesnt mean their weight is ready to be put in a stright seatbelt,with the backless seat,it gives the kids,more stablity, from going side to side,cos their weight isnt heavier enuf to hold them properly in a seatbealt,with the backless seat,its sturdy,it has sides to stop from topping over,all cos if they weigh under 65kg,and they are put stright into a seatbelt,their light weight,cant hold their body weight from stopping them from topping to side,and thats the reason why they make backless seats.so dont sweat the small stuff,keep the booster seat, you wont know till hes at least 5 or 6,weather he needs the backless seat to sit in. you should never over analze a situation,till find out the real facts behinde a booster seat,like i said it comes down to their height and weight at the time,when you may need to take the back of.your boy at the of 5 or 6 may of hit the 65kg and over mark,if that happens,then you wont need to put him in the backless seat,he mite be at the right weight,to go stright in to a seatbelt,you mention you dont like the fact you wont a seatbelt holding him in.honestly at the end of the day,you will have no choice but to have him in a seatbelt without a booster seat,cos they do get older and bigger,you cant keep them in booster seat for ever.as a parent i understand your saftey concerns,but from wat im reading,you are not happy strapping him in to a seatbelt at all,reality is,all kids need to be strapped by themselves in a seatbelt,so backless seat and a seatbelt holding him in,eventually,it will be just a seatbelt holding him in anyhow. so really at the end of the day,weather you like it or not,if hes in backless seat,with just the seatbelt holding him in,or just him being in seatbelt,without the backless seat,he will need to be strapped into a seatbelt.with nothing to keep him stable.but right now,he needs to be in a booster seat cos of his age and weight.that all that matters now.wen its time for him to get belted in with a seatbelt,thats wen you decide wats best for your boys saftey,being in a backless seat,with just the seatbelt,or no seat and just a seatbelt.but thats not an issue right now.depending on his weight n height at the age of 5 or 6,that wen u can make the choice,what wold be more safer for him.reality he wont be in a booster seat 4ever,unfortually after they outgrow the booster,your next option is,either a seatbelt without stablity,or a backless seat,with stablity,with only a seatbelt holding them in.so yes there is no point taking it back,cos regardless every child does outgrow their booster seat,the backless seat,is xtra saftey,stablity for them,till they are ready to ride with just the seatbelt. your choices are very rare,you may not have a choice to place ya boy eventually in the backless seat,with just a seatbelt holding him in.i get you wont to protect him,but you need to remember hes 3,and growing up, and yes you need to accept that hes a toddler,not a baby,and that he needs to be in big boy seat,as his mum,you need to teach him and make him to understand that moving around side to side,is dangerous,that he must keep still,they do understand and get it,if you are consistant with it,he will learn,give him something to keep him busy,why driving,diverting their attention does work,its all how you tackle it.all toddlers get restless in a car,is what they do course they have a short attention span,so they get bored.just try to keep him occuiped.i have a 2yr old that has in the past got her arms out of her straps in her carseat,but she knows she has to be still,that she cant do that,and the best thing for her knowing she must not take her arms out of her carseat straps,it will make life easy for me to make the transation from carseat to booster easy as she knows that she can not take her arms out of her carseat,so she will then know that she has to stay sit queitly and stll,course its already been installed in to her,that she knows,she has to be still,when she is ready to go into a booster,kids are on to it,than we give them credit for,all it is,is just constancy ,trust me it pays of.i do get your point, your concerns with the seatbelt,just teach him,that he must be still in his booster seat.you need to tell yourself,thats it ok for him to be strapped in by a seatbelt.if carseats and booster seats werent saftey fit,do you think they would sell them,and put kids in danger,no they wouldnt.so just say ok these backless seats are safe for them to sit in,with just a seatbelt,trust me if the backless seats were dangerous,do you think they would make them to come of,for them to become backless seats,i dont think so,and every mum would maybe agree. dont be too hard on yourself,you are just being a good mum.but its ok,a kid will only try and get in out of a booster,if they are allowed,to do watever in their booster,like gettin in and out of,you can put a stop to that by teaching him,that its not ok for him to get in and out,so there are ways to keep your kid safe,in a booster seat.sorry its long,but thats how i see the situation,im just letting you know,its ok and safe for a kid to be strapped in by a seatbelt only.as parents we need to teach them,right from wrong,it will algood ok.

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[deleted account]

I think I got the one you are talking about from Wal-Mart. It has a removeable back that has a 5 point harness and when my daughter is old enough we can take that part off and it's a regular booster - is that the one you're talking about? If it is, we LOVE it. My daughter is 3 as well (turned 3 in October) and she likes her "big girl seat" because it makes her feel like a big girl, but I like it because she's still strapped in and looks safe.

I think it's all about what makes you comfortable as a mom. :)

Jodie - posted on 12/30/2010

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i absoutly understand now where you are coming from.im so sorry,and now ive read your post,i agree with you fully,id be the same to,i guess some rules are different. now im with you,you are being a very cautious,and now i understand that,id be exactly the same.good on you.have a great new yrs.

[deleted account]

Jodie, I'm taking it back for another model not only for my own peace of mind but because it's ILLEGAL for him to be in one here in the state of NY. A child in NY has to be 4 years old and 40 pounds in order to just be in a booster seat and restrained by a seat belt only. Up until that point, his seat has to be attached to the back seat via seat belt, and he has to be attached to the seat (booster or car seat) by a harness.

Edited to add: The model we're exchanging it for will also be backless eventually, when he is older. But until then, he'll be securely attached to the convertible car seat as per law and as per me following my instincts. If I had thought to look up the laws of this state earlier (we haven't lived here long), I never would have purchased the seat belt only one. Also, I wasn't listening to my gut when I purchased it. I was sorta pressured into it by my husband, who was going ONLY on what the manufacturer recommends. According to the manufacturer? Yeah, he's big enough height wise and weight wise, but it's a hefty ticket for not complying with the law, not to mention the safety issue. IMO, my son is NOT old enough to understand that he has to stay in his seat in the car. First chance he would have figured out he could get out and he would have been getting out constantly and I would have been pulling off the road constantly to buckle him back in. Nope. He's going back into a 5 point harness.

[deleted account]

P.S. I feel like an idiot though. It never dawned on me (ginormous blonde moment) to check the law for the state of NY. I know the law for Florida and just never thought to look at NY until last night (thanks Dana). Come to find out, he's not old enough for just a seat belt booster anyhow. 4 is the minum age here. I'm glad I looked because it just made it easier to get Steve to resign himself to having to get the one I wanted to begin with lol I'm also waiting for a call from the fire chief here in town. I'm gonna see if they offer a child seat safety course like the one I took in Florida. That way, it'll be a good refresher for me in the new area.

[deleted account]

He's been in a 2 in 1 convertible. It started out rear facing and then when he was....I wanna say about 14 or 15 months old we turned him forward facing. He still fits the weight requirements for the seat but his head is about half an inch over the top of the back of the seat so it's time for a new one. He's 35 pounds and 39.5 inches tall as of a month ago when I last measured him. We found the one we want to get him. It's gonna be a pain in the rear to get though because our money is pretty tied up right now with post Christmas bill catch-up. We have to take the new one back to Target and have them credit our debit card. That money will take 2 days to show back in our account. Then we have to go to Wal Mart once that money hits our bank and get the other one, plus shell out another $100 because the other one is $150 instead of $59. Either way, it's getting done this weekend, since Steve's got another 4 day holiday.



Thanks for the suggestions girls!

[deleted account]

I've only seen a few 3 in 1 convertible seats most are 2in 1.

My oldest girl was unbuckling her harness shortly after she turned 2 and my oldest son figured it out before he turned 3.

Amie - posted on 12/28/2010

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Sherri, Ya she's been doing it for a couple months now. Lots of stops on long roads trips. =/ She just hates her harness. If it wasn't law, I'd probably just leave the seat belt because she sits so well with just her seat belt on.

Some car seats are different 2 in 1, baby (rear facing) to toddler car seat or toddler car seat to booster seat. Our youngest has a 3 in 1, from baby to toddler to booster.

Katherine - posted on 12/28/2010

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I still have my 5yo in a 5 point and my 21mo in a rear facing. If you want to take the extra precautions I say go for it!!!! It's not about letting them grow up, it's about safety. I don't know where you live so I don't know the rules there but I am totally with you on this one. Get the convertible car seat. It's much safer and will last longer.

Desiree - posted on 12/28/2010

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Joy I don't see it as being pedantic I see it as being safety aware. Children of 3 are in the habit of investigating everything. So no wanting your child to be properly seated and fastened is a good thing. When he is a little older then think about the other seat.

Sherri - posted on 12/28/2010

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Wow Amie my 4 1/2 yr old still can't undo his buckle by his crotch only the one on his chest.

Amie - posted on 12/27/2010

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I see you have lots of recommendations so I'll just say, Caitlin is still in a harness 2 in 1 car seat.

To get her used to the seat belt we do that up too but her harness still gets done up. Not that it matters, she's figured out the harness and always undoes the buckle by her crotch if we don't keep an eye out. =/

Becky - posted on 12/27/2010

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Here, the age for boosters if 4, and honestly, my kids will not be in them until they are at least 6, if that. Our carseat (Evenflo) goes up to 65 lbs. with the 5 point harness and they will stay in it until the reach the weight limit or get too tall. It's not about not wanting them to grow up, it's about wanting them to live to grow up. They are far, far safer in the 5 point harness. I do the extended rear-facing thing too though.

Shauna - posted on 12/27/2010

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I dont think your being overprotected. My 4-almost 5 yr old still uses the Britax convertible car seat it holds 65 lbs and is the exact same one my 9 mo old is in. I have a long travel to work a long HWY travel and my kids come with me, 7 yrs ago i was in a horrible accident and the thought of my kids being with me during that terrifies me. So i go the safest way. And those babies *carseats* are harnesed in the back with the latch system and double wires my husband rigged up they are not moving!

[deleted account]

I know several moms who have a Graco Nautilus and love it! It also got high reviews and if you order "last year's" model on-line now, you'll easily save $$.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/27/2010

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But....I did feel safe with the booster and the back attached with the seatbelt...much much easier I might add.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/27/2010

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My son was almost 4 when we had to change to a booster seat without a back. He grew out of the one with the back, an once he got a taste of the booster seat with the seatbelt, there was no going back! He is 4 yrs 7 months now, 50 lbs. I feel fine with the booster seat. Keep him in the 5 pt harness as long as you can IMO.

[deleted account]

I'm liking the Graco Nautilus. It's exactly what I want and it's in our budget too. I'm pretty sure it's the one I saw at Wal Mart too. Steve's not getting a say in this one lol

Dana - posted on 12/27/2010

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Men just hate to think they were wrong. Just move along with your plan and don't hold it against him. lol

[deleted account]

Thank you so much for the recommendations and for the encouragement. Steve thinks I'm being a worry wart when I tell him I want to take the one we bought back and he rolls his eyes. I think to myself, "How can you not want our son to be as safe as possible????" It blows my mind that he's ok with Jacob being so loosely tied into the seat. And he's seen him wiggle out of it! Thankfully, the one time he wiggled out of it, the car was in our driveway and not even turned on. But it's only a matter of time, if we keep this seat, until we'll be going 60 miles an hour and he'll either figure out the seat belt button or just squirm his way out of the straps. I'm gonna go research the suggestions you girls gave me. Thanks!

Mrs. - posted on 12/27/2010

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I have same as Sherri, the Britax, because it goes to like 65 pounds. I can even sit in it for kicks it's so comfy.

[deleted account]

My son is 6 years old and I have him in the Graco Nautilus. The 5 point harness goes up to 65 pounds (I forget the inches, but it is over 40 inches tall), and then it switches to a high back booster that goes up to 100 pounds. I love this seat. like you, I just don't trust the backless ones....and my son is 3 years older than yours, so I definitely don't think you are being paranoid :)

[deleted account]

My girls were in boosters at 3. They weren't as big as your son is now.

But.... my 2 year 9 month 30 pound son is still rear facing when he's in my van. ;)

I think you are right to want to keep him in a 5 point harness. W/ as many people that die in car accidents every year.... I don't think keeping your kid as safe as possible counts as overprotective. ;)

Sorry I can't reccomend any seat though. Hope you find a great one!!

[deleted account]

Stick to your guns about keeping him in a 5 point harness for as long as possible! I held out until Matthew was 5 1/2 this past summer and he is so tall for his age. He was in a Safety 1st Apex 65 and he use the 5 point harness w/Latch system, and on ocassion the seat belt. http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp...

Then we gradually transitioned to regular full-back booster seats, but we also have our spare booster which is backless. There was no way in hell I was going to let him out of a 5 point harness any time before age 5. Fortunately, hubby was on the same page and we both agreed when it was time to get rid of the Apex 65 seats.

Sherri - posted on 12/27/2010

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NO I would never let my 3 yr old be in a booster. We got the Britax car seat for my 45lb, 44" 4 1/2 yr old. The straps will adjust until he is 65lbs. I have every intention of keeping him in a 5pt harness until he outgrows the seat and I am forced to put him in a booster.

I was in a terrible car accident last Feb. I had 5 children in the car. 2 in boosters and 3 in 5pt harnesses. The only children injured severely were the 2 in boosters and myself in a seat belt. The booster seats were used correctly but the two kids still came forward. One with severe facial injuries and the second with neck and back sprains. Boosters in my honest opinion are virtually useless.

Jodi - posted on 12/27/2010

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Yeah, men will argue for anything that makes it easier for them ;P Lazy bastards,!!!

Jocelyn - posted on 12/27/2010

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Conner is 4 years, and 39 lbs, and I still don't want to put him in a booster. Jordan keeps bugging me to switch him too lol.

[deleted account]

It's 4 years and 40 pounds for a backless booster, it's 3 years and 30 pounds for a booster with a back.

Jenn - posted on 12/27/2010

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I disagree to do what you're comfortable with. It isn't about your comfort - it's about the child's safety and the law. What is the law where you are? Here it's 4 and 40lbs before they can go in a booster. My son didn't go in one until he met both of those requirements which was after he turned 4.

[deleted account]

For all my kids it has been different. My son was 4 and just over 30 pounds, my step daughter was 4 and almost 40 pounds, my oldest was 3 and 40 pounds. Do what your comfortable with, I don't think 3 is too old for a 5 point harness.

[deleted account]

i would keep him in a 5 point harness for as long as possible. The regulations for car seats are changing after this year and all car seats will be mandatory to have a 5 point harness and rear facing. Until they are ready for a booster seat around 4. The one you purchased will be obsolete next year. Well...if your in canada, or maybe its just nova scotia..I dont know for sure.

Jodi - posted on 12/27/2010

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Joy, I don't blame you for wanting to stick with a 5 point harness. Despite regular criticism about our Australian laws with rear-facing, our kids must stay in a 5 point harness until age 4. I actually kept Taylah in one until she was 5, because she is super small and she still fit in it comfortably, but most kids change to a booster and seatbelt at 4 here. The seat I had could convert to a booster by simply removing the harness when she outgrew it. They are definitely not as safe in a seatbelt. I would keep him in a 5 point for as long as there is a seat available for him that has one to fit him :)

Rosie - posted on 12/27/2010

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oh joy!!! do what you are comfortable with, if you aren't comfy then don't do it. my boys never reached 30 lbs until they were 4 almost 5 ish, so age has never been a problem for us.
get the 5 point one and save yourself worry! it can still be used as a booster without the harness right? so you won't be wasting money!

[deleted account]

I wanted to add that the one I saw at Wal Mart with the 5 point harness is a booster seat and can eventually be used backless, with just the seat belt, when he is much older.

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