Toddler Car Seats

Gemma - posted on 05/10/2011 ( 13 moms have responded )

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At what age did you make the change from harness car seat to high back booster? My daughter turned 3 in April. She exceeds both the UK height and weight guidelines for the high back boosters however stores have told me she is too young to change, she should be 4. I have brought a booster however undecided whether to make the change yet or wait until she is 4 even though she fits perfect as per the instructions.

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My son turned 3 at the end of March. He was only 31 pounds at his 3 year check up, so he will still be rearfacing for another 2-3 months or so (his seat's rearfacing limit is 35 pounds).



How big is she? I would keep her in a 5 point harness as long as humanly possible. Your daughter's safety is worth it.

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Jodi - posted on 05/10/2011

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A lot of people are not ALLOWED to make their own judgements because there are laws in place. And I was just saying you are not allowed to by law put your 3 year old in a booster seat.



To the OP, you should check the laws where you live, and if the law says they must remain in a 5 point harness, then there is your answer.

Mel - posted on 05/10/2011

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I was just saying alot of people make thier own judgements. She said her daughter fits perfect, so I was only making a suggestion. I know my girls didnt go 100% by the book of when to do what with car seats - they were too tall

Mel - posted on 05/10/2011

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my daughter is still in a car seat, but has gone in a booster seat from time to time depends whos car shes in. If your having trouble it should be fine to change her. Make your own judgements. My daughter is just turned 3

Jodi - posted on 05/10/2011

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See, I am in Australia, and the law here says until they are 4, but I kept my daughter in a harness until she was 5. I find it hard to believe you can't get a seat with a harness that fits a 3 year old. No 3 year old is that big. My daughter's seat had the harness, but then, once she outgrew the harness, the seat still acts as a booster and she is 6.

Lara - posted on 05/10/2011

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In the US, we have to keep the kids in the harness seats longer. We also have a 5point harness, otherwise my twins would be able to get out of it during the worst times! Sometimes it was a real struggle - like wrestling screaming baby alligators to get them into the seats, but somehow we managed. Now they get in pretty quickly - or I don't let them have their little sacks of rocks and other bits of nature they like to dig around in.

It really is safest keeping them in the harness seats as long as possible. At this age, they are still prone to napping while in the car, and they don't have the maturity to stay put if they get the impulse that running around a moving car would be fun.

Also, in a crash, they'd be safer.

If your child has already outgrown their seat, you might need to invest in a new one, possibly one that will extend a bit as the child grows, and will convert into the booster eventually.

Jenn - posted on 05/10/2011

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My police officer brother in law says the safest is to keep children in a five point harness as long as possible. Boosters seem appealing but little ones pretty bend over in half when they fall asleep in them!

Elisabeth - posted on 05/10/2011

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If she is big enough for the seat, that is the biggest concern. I would say that it is probably safer to switch her than to have her in a seat she doesn't properly fit in.

Karen - posted on 05/10/2011

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some children aren't ready until 5 or even 6 even though they fit properly in the seat. you have to make sure she's able to stay sitting in the proper position without slouching. ie. does she fall asleep in the car seat sometimes? if so, then she needs to stay in the harness because her head falling to the side or forward puts her in the wrong position for a regular seatbelt.
it never hurts to leave them in their seats longer then the legal recommendations as long as they fit the seat guidelines but it can do major damage to change them before they are physically ready (and each child is different)

Katherine - posted on 05/10/2011

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For safety reasons, I kept my daughter in a 5 point until she was 5.

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