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When to Move to a Booster Seat?

Just wondering, at what age/ weight generally do you move your child from a car seat to a booster seat? My daughter is constant complaining that her car seat hurts her back, and I do think it is pretty firm- but she's only a little over 2 and a half and she weighs little more than 30 lbs at this point. Do you think we could go ahead and make that move around Christmas? I should note that the booster we are looking at is a highback booster made for 30-100 lbs.

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We measured our daughter's height and she needs another 3 inches before she'd be tall enough for one anyhow. We didn't know the laws on it (just that they have to be in one until they are 8, but not when they started) so now we will wait longer. Can't afford the pricier more comfy carseats now, so she's just going to have to be uncomfortable at this point (sad since we have a 9 hour drive next week, just can't do much about that now). I agree she's too small, I was just hopeful. I hate having her uncomfortable, but she's too precious to risk!

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My daughter has a 5 point restraint car seat for three of her 5 children ages 2-6 years. I believe for her safety, you need a larger, front facing 5-point car seat. A booster is just not safe.

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I'm in the camp that says leave 'em backwards as long as there is a seat to accomodate the weight. I'd tend the fires for that camp every day, infact. :)

Are you thinking a 5 point harness booster or a high back belt positioning booster using the car's seat belt? A five pointer would be perfectly fine. My 35 pound three year old is in a Safeguard Childseat five point seat, forward facing. As long as her height allows, she can stay in it until 65 pounds.

I wouldn't put a three year old in a belt positioning booster, however. At that age, I'd say they're too young for the freedom of movement the car's belt allows.

www.car-seat.org is a wonderful resource for this type of stuff. Check out the forums. Watch out for my fellow campers, though; there are lots there. :) They will have some great advice on what to do for a child who is uncomfortable in her current seat.

Good luck! :)

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter has a 5 point restraint car seat for three of her 5 children ages 2-6 years. I believe for her safety, you need a larger, front facing 5-point car seat. A booster is just not safe.

Sorry to post another question, but I noticed in Sherry K's response it sounded like at 40 pounds they were supposed to move to a booster seat? What do you do if you have a 42lb 41" 3 year old? (Yes, he is very big for his age)

My ped said to keep them in a 5 point seat until 40 pounds AND 4 years old. At 2 she would be much safer in a 5 point restraint. Unless you get a booster w/the 5 point, I strongly recommend that you keep her in the covertable until she is 4!

She's too young per Texas laws and she's really too small. We just bought a high back booster for my soon to be 4 year old to get dropped off at preschool by Daddy occasionally and at 39 lbs I'm not crazy about him being in there plus even at 40" he's still somewhat too short. We have to use the belt adapter to make the seat belt sit in the correct position on his shoulder. He still is in his 5 pt harness car seat in the family everyday car.

I second Tina unless you want to find another carseat that maybe is more comfortable with padding etc... have you tried to moved strapes etc?



One poster pointed out that she is too young by Texas law (she is. The law says 4 years old for a booster). My son was a super giant baby and I had to move him to a booster when he was three. Because of my experience with him, I made a different choice in baby carseats for my daughter. With him, they actually did NOT make a 5 point harness seat that was large enough for him (the shoulder straps were all too low). But now, they do make car seats that are larger. I don't remmeber the brand of the one that I bought for my daughter, but it has a lever on it so that the back adjusts up as she grows. It says it will accommodate her up to 100 lbs. Since the 5 point harness is safer, I'm planning on keeping her in it for as long as possible.

Good luck!

there is a camp of believers that would have a child backward facing in a carseat till forever if they had their way. i'm not in that camp. at 30+ lbs, i'd say yes, find a booster seat that has a back with a five point harness. then when she's a bit older, take the back off and just use the bottom. this is what we did for both of my boys with no worries.

I would wait until she is at least 40 lbs for a booster seat unless the booster also has the five point harness. I would not use the regular seat belt with the booster seat until she is at least 4 years older if not older. It is too easy for child to get out of the strap. I think my boys were almost 5 when they came into a booster seat with using the seat belt. The law in TX for riding in a booster is until age 8. The AAP recommendation for riding in a booster is until a child is 4 ft 9 in.

your child is FAR too young for a "booster" as in a belt positioning booster. even the manufacturers say a MINIMUM of 3 years and 30 lbs. both of my boys are still in 5pt harness most of the time and they are almost 4 and almost 7. the almost 7yo has a seat belt booster in my husband's car, but we're not in it very often at all. my boys are in a britax boulevard and a britax regent.

Hi here is the law on saftey seat's : June 2009 changes
Toddlers More than 1 yr more than 20 pounds up to 40 pounds
Convertible/forward facing seat,

more than 40lbs,or age 4years, or 4ft 9in tall

belt positioning booster, high back/no back
back positoning seat are used with lab/shoulder seat belts.
Texas department of public safety website. S king

My daughter is wanting out of her car sesat. She is 4, 42 1/2 inches, but only 31 pounds. When I did some research the safest ones are those with a five point harness. I have read so many articles that I have just been scared to mover her, but when we do I will buy the Britax Frontier. I would probably not put your daughter in one until she is older maybe just buy her a different car seat. I am not sure what brand you have, but both mine have a Britax and have never complained about being unfortable.

Ooh yeah, she's way to young. I know a lot of people who move their kids into booster; however, there just isn't good data on their safety. Better to keep them latched an in 5 pt harness as long as you can. My guy's 5, 50 lbs and he's still in his 5 pt -- it's a Britax and they are way comfy. You might look into buying another car seat like a Britax that will safely hold your child past 30 pounds in a 5 pt harness.

just to clarify what sherry k said. The law has changed this year in texas. you are now required to keep children in a 5 point harness until they are 40 pounds and 4 years old!! 5 point harness meaning the inside straps of a car seat not using only the seat belt in the car. you can get a ticket if she is in a booster seat at her age and weight.

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