Changing to a Booster Seat? When and Why?

Updated on September 08, 2007
L.K. asks from Minneapolis, MN
4 answers

When can you move a child to a booster seat from a car seat? We need something for our second car and I don't know if I should get another car seat or a booster seat for our 35 lb. 3 year old. I believe our carseat can handle a kid up to 65 lbs, so I might get another of those since it's safer (right?). What are the advantages of a booster seat? Does Minnesota law specify when you can/should make the switch?

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answers from Minneapolis on

My daughter is 6 and in first grade she's in a Britax Regent a 5pt. harness carseat. It goes up to 80lbs.

I tried a booster thinking they're cool and my kid would be a big kid. They just don't work for us. She falls asleep and slumps over and looks ridiculous. I've tried them as a spare seat at 3years,4years,5years, and now 6years old and at 6 she is finally fitting better and looking safe. I still opt for our 5pt. harness though.

I would keep your child in a 5pt. harnessed carseat as long as possible. I'm not trying to sound like a know it all stuck up parent or anything. I just know that car crashes are the #1 reason for death in children.

Becareful when shopping for carseats. Most carseats out there go to 40lbs. But some carseat/booster combo's claim 80 or 100lbs.. But that's not with a harness that's with seatbelt aka booster style. Those seats donot work good for boosters, they work better for the harness part up to 40lbs.

If you must get a booster Graco works the best in my experiance and opinion. Graco Turbo Booster

MN law was 4year or 40lbs. but..,, I believe that is about to change if it hasn't already to 8years/ or 80lbs. As long as your child is in a childseat of some sorts you won't get a ticket but it's not like they have the time to make sure your kid is in the appropriate seat for age or weight.

Generally it goes like this:
Rearface atleast until 1yr.-20lbs. but now they're recommending to extend that til 35lbs.

Typical toddler 5pt.harness carseat til 40lbs.

Some ppl choose to buy carseats that harness til 65 or 80lbs. though

With booster's it's
30lbs and up for highback booster

40lbs and up for the short style boosters
they also have height requirements and I don't know those off the bat.

Check out this website. It made me cry!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I don't think they can use the car seatbelts until they are 45 lbs. We changed when we went to Ireland and needed something that was smaller and lighter to carry around.



answers from Minneapolis on

We just went through this, since my fast-growing infant son has usurped my toddler's old car seats. I got a 5-pt. harness seat by Sunshine Kids (the Radian 80) that is rated up to 80 pounds. It's not as enormous as the Britax Regent -- much slimmer, and it also folds for storage if necessary. I've seen good info about it online and have been very happy with it. (; I bought it at USA Baby in Richfield).

Alas, no cupholder -- so we went to Target and got a $2 cupholder to attach to the window. Hope this helps!



answers from Minneapolis on

I'd stay in a car seat (w/ a 5 point harness) as long as you can. My 4 year old is still in a carseat but we recently brought another 4 year old friend of hers home in our car in his booster seat. His mom helped me set it up and we drove away. I looked back a minute later and he had the seatbelt pulled all the way out. Not mature enough for a booster! My 5 year old niece fell on her head while getting herself seated in the booster seat - it doesn't attach to the car the way carseats do. As she climbed up, the booster slipped and they both fell. They ended up in the ER and overnight at the hospital - so scary but she's okay! :)
I am sure boosters are just fine and are safe for many kids if they are used properly. We have 2 Britax Roundabouts that go up to 40 pounds. I wish we had purchased a Britax Marathon - it is bigger but works from 5-65 pounds.

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