M.A. asks from Lehi, UT on June 24, 2008
Car Seat Question - Lehi, UT
My husband and I have 2002 Dodge minivan. Our son will turn 3 next month. There seem no space between the driver seat and our son carseat. He does not know how to climb up to the seat nor he has space to do so. He is getting heavy for me to lift him up to his car seat. Should I use the booster seat without the back? Should I move the toddler car seat to back row (last row) in the van? How to teach a toddler to climb on the car seat? I thank you in advice for taking the time to read and share your thought.
1 mom found this helpful
T.S. answers from Salt Lake City on June 25, 2008
I have moved all my kids to the backless booster seats by the time they were three. It is much easier for them to get into and they feel "big" since they can use the regular seat belt.
A.P. answers from Omaha on June 25, 2008
can you move your seats back or over? I'm not familiar with that van as far as whatit looks like inside. I think he's old enough to put in a booster but I would keep him in the other seat until he out grows it because I would think they are safer!
V.B. answers from Denver on June 25, 2008
There is no way a 3 year old is ready for a backless booster. Go to Car-Seat.Org and have the wonderful car seat techs help you with your problem. They are awesome at figuring the best and safest solution for any problem I've ever had.
S.L. answers from Salt Lake City on June 26, 2008
I also have a dodge Caravan. The only problem with the child moving to the back is you have to lean over the seat to buckle them. My daughter just turned three and is in the back. She actually can buckle all the buckles herself, which we are all grateful for. Every once in a while the clothes she is wearing makes it difficult for her to buckle the bottom, so I will help her. My other kids however didn't buckle themselves this young, so each to their own. Maybe move the front seat forward and then he could climb in, if you want to keep him in the middle.
D.T. answers from Denver on June 25, 2008
Well Althea gave you the straight scoop on the law. Do some shopping, he doesn't have to be in a newborn/infant seat and is too small for a backless booster, there are some great car seats for toddlers. My kids were on the small side and were in car seats until they were 5 because they didn't meet the weight requirement (now I'm dealing a daughter who is under the safe height and weight limits for driving a car with airbags - car seats are just the beginning) They reached a point that the infants seats weren't comfortable or really safe, their heads were above the seat back. We bought seats the looked somewhat like a small bucket car seat. The kids could see out the window, the seats were easy to get in and out of and they were much more comfortable. Consummer Reports has had info on this in the past, you could check their recommendations. Some cars require an adapter to properly install a child seat. As your child gets older you want to foster their development of competence and self care by having age and size appropriate equipment. So them with when you look for a "big kid" seat. ToysRUs used to have a good selection.
K.D. answers from Denver on June 24, 2008
I'm not familiar with the Dodge. Our van has lots of room. My only thought, other than he may not be ready for a booster, is that in most minivans, the gas tank sits right under the back row, so if you were ever rear ended, your son would be at much greater risk in the back seat than in the middle seat. Our son is small, but was able to go into the Graco booster with removable back at around age 3. He was tall enough to fit well. The headrest adjusts for as the child gets taller, and the seat itself takes up very little room. A big plus for us was that the seat reclines for long trips. GL!
D.K. answers from Denver on June 24, 2008
He is not ready for a booster unless he is over 40lbs and if he fits in his carseat fine, then the five point harness and him being in that is the safest place for him to be!
I am not sure how there is no room? I have a van and have a almost seven year old and there is room.
Maybe change sides if you don't have to have your seat that far back? Both of my kids can climb up in their carseats, have your son practice climbing up there.
If is that tight then he is safer in the back then in a booster, unless he is really tall and weighs over 40lbs.
My daughter is just now ready for a booster and she is almost 7, she is 46 inches tall and weighs 42 lbs. I waited until the was no more room on the straps for her. Talk to your Pediatrician.
A.W. answers from Provo on June 25, 2008
Check the weight limits on every car seat before you put your child in it. At 3 I doubt he is the weight necessary for just a booster - but check. The law in Utah just changed and kids have to be in at least a booster until they are 8 years old --- yes, 8! If you have questions the people at Babies R Us are a great resource and very helpful with carseat info, install and anything else you need. They periodically have carseat checks that make sure your kids are safe and buckled correctly. Good luck.
S.L. answers from Boise on June 26, 2008
My son buckled himself in at that age. He had a high-backed booster seat with an internal harness, so he did the 5-point harness by himself. It was a sad day when he got too tall for the harness and had to switch to using the shoulder belt with the booster, because suddenly I had to buckle him in for the first time in a year and a half! He was almost 4 when he changed to the seatbelt only. So I bet you could teach him to do that and move him into the back.
My 2 year old climbs into his car seat by himself, too. Well, sometimes. I have to be right there to help him stay focused, or he'll climb over the console into the front seat to play with all the buttons. I bet you could make it a game for your son. Say, "Do you think you can climb like a monkey into your seat?" and then praise him as he tries.