Question About 4 Year Old Car Seat and Stroller.

Updated on February 13, 2010
N.R. asks from Saint Clair Shores, MI
12 answers

Hello I have a question about car seats and would like everyones advice and or opinions :) My daughter Makenzie is 4 years old and I think its time to put her in a high back booster. She is 43 inches tall (tall for her age) and would like to know what high back boosters you guys recommend. I know it kinda of sounds silly but I don't know if I want her in a booster but there are no 5 point harness seats that will fit her anymore, which is it just me not wanting her to grow up? Am I the only one who feels like this lol. She has a long torso and long legs. But I guess to me the boosters just don't seem as safe as the 5 point harness seats. Second question...I also have a 9 month old daughter Kaelyn, I am considering buying the sit and stand stroller for both my girls since now when we go places Makenzie wants to go in the stroller too. Does anyone have one of these stollers and if so what are you opinions on them? Like I said my 4 year old is a little over 3 and a half feet tall and would she fit ok in the sit and stand? Thank you for reading this!!

**My daughter does walk mostly when we go any where but I would like to be able to use a stroller when we do go places that require alot of walking.

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So What Happened?

Thank you everyone for your advice! I'm going to keep reading up on reviews for the high back boosters, I have looked at a couple suggested and went and looked at some in the store and I just can't justify spending $150+ right now. I am currently not working and my husband is barely working right now. I know there is no price for safety but we just can't do that right now. As far as the stroller goes I don't know if it would be more of a hassle then help! Thanks again everybody!!!

***I actually bought her a Graco high back booster. I went to the highway safety patrol website and compared which car seats had the best safety rating. Its nice to know that just because some car seats are high in price doesn't mean they are better when it comes to safety. I would recommend that site to anyone who is looking for a carseat or booster

More Answers



answers from Detroit on

I don't know about the carseat question, but am going to buy a sit 'n stand stroller for my daughter who is having her second soon, so have been watching for advice on them. Most people seem to advise the Baby Trend Sit 'n Stand stroller....there's a model that there are 2 seats, and the 1 in the back can be used like a regular seat or come off so that there's the platform to stand on. It runs about $170. Most people have said to make sure you get that one because it's the better one.
hope that helps!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

At 43" tall, there are at least 5 seats I can think of she would easily fit into. My 4.5yr old is 43" tall and can easily fit into many seats.

Graco Nautilus ($150) will harness to 65lbs, has a 17" top harness slot, and fits most kids to age 7 in the harness. It then becomes a good booster to 100lbs. This is a great seat, and it comes in PINK! :)

Britax Frontier ($280) will harness to 80lbs, becomes a good booster, has a 16.5" top harness slot, and fits most kids to age 6 in the harness. Also comes in pink. Can be difficult to install and its large.

Evenflo Generations 65 ($99 at Babies R Us), will harness to 65lbs, has a top harness slot of 17", and fits most kids in teh harness to age 6/7, then becomes a booster seat. This is a great seat for the money, I really like it. My friend just purchased two of them for her 4yr old and 2yr old.

A child shoudl remain in a 5pt harness until they are at least 4yrs and 40lbs. These are BARE MINIMUMS. A child must be able to sit properly in the seat belt, upright, not leaning or sleeping, leave he belt alone, at ALL TIMES. Sometimes that maturity is too much unti la child is 5-7yrs old. she is for sure safer in a harness, and the ones I listed above would work beautifully for her for at least 2 more years in the harness. My 4.5yr old is 43" tall and 40lbs, and fits in all the seats above with tons of room to grow. he too is still in a 5pt harness and will be for at least 2 more years.

A car seat is outgrown forward facing when one of three things happens, the child hits the forward facing weight limits, the ears become level with the seat back, or the shoulders go over the top harness slot. A child should remain in a 5pt harness as long as possible, in a higher harness weight car seat.

She is safer in the harness mama, for what you would spend for a good booster right now, spend a few extra dollars and get her a harness car seat to keep her safer for a few more years ,and then move to a booster seat.

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answers from Detroit on

If your daughter can't fit into a five point harness anymore, it isn't going to keep her safe; if G-d forbid you are in an accident, if the harness is too tight, it could crack her ribs. This is the one that I bought for my son (turned four in Nov)

My daughter will be 3 in April and she hardly fits in the car seat anymore and she's only about eight pounds lighter than my four year old so I'll be buying her a booster too. You could call your doctor for more information on if you should move her to a booster. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

While a 5-point harness is said to be safest, you need to make sure that she still fits within the seat's size limitations - if she's too big for the particular seat, it's actually more dangerous. But I believe there ARE still 5-point harnesses out there for bigger kids too. Don't feel bad about not wanting to move her out of it yet - I think we get so used to having them all strapped in that the thought of a simple seatbelt with a booster feels like an unsafe change :) But as long as you follow regulations, you should be fine :)

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answers from Denver on

Yes a 5 point harness is the safest but a good high back booster that has correct seat belt positioning is VERY safe as well. As long as your daugher meets the requirements. I have 2 sunshine kids monterey boosters and they have very good side protection and the belt positioning is perfect! My son loves his and I plan on getting it for my daughter when she is old enough. Also it is important for them to understand not to mess with the belt and to sit properly. If your daughter can follow those guidelines then a highback is not an issue. As far as the stroller goes i wouldnt really expect your daughter to use it a whole lot seeing as she is 4, they are a tad hard to steer in crowded areas but it has awesome storage capacity if your 4 year old isn't in it.

As a little extra praise on the sunshine kids is that when my son does fall asleep he doesn't slump like he did in my husbands 3-1 some kind. Just because its a 3 in one doesnt mean that it makes an excellent booster. They did a study in the belt positioning in a lot of the 3-1 and the booster part failed in a lot of the seats. If you know your daughter is tired after a long day say at the zoo and you know she will zonk out on the way home lock the seat belt that will help her from doubling over. I really cannot praise the sunshine kids enough and it does come in different colors.

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answers from Detroit on

I have a sit and stand stroller for my 17 month old and 3 1/2 year old. It is nice for when my 3 year old gets tired or we are in a hurry. However, when he is on (sitting or standing) it is really difficult to maneuver. If I'm shopping, it's almost impossible to steer through the racks of clothes with both kids on. Also, the storage basket underneath is really a pain to get things in and out of. You can't do it if the big kid is sitting down. It's come to the point that I only use it sparingly if I know that I'm going somewhere that he'll get tired or that I want to hurry. Otherwise, I'll just use the umbrella stroller for my little one and let my older son walk. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I have a sit and stand for my 3 year old and my 5 month old. I haven't even used it once. My son is really good at walking and staying next to me when we go places like the store and the mall. I would only use it if we went to an amusement park or the zoo. When my son wants to go in the stroller, I tell him that he is too big to go in the baby stroller, that only babies go in the stroller because they can't walk. As for the booster seat, my son is too big for the 5 point harness system also. We use the regular lap belt. It fits him perfectly across the shoulders, and we are able to lock the seatbelt in place so he can't move it. Check your car manual to see if you can "lock" your seatbelt too. We lock ours by putting the seatbelt on normally, then pulling the shoulder part all the way out and gradually moving the belt in and out a little at a time until it is tight against our son, but comfortable enough not to choke him. If that makes any sense to you. Hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

I have a 4 yr old Makenzie who is very tall also!! She outgrew her 5point harness last summer. We had one that converted to a high back booster, a graco I think. It works good. She does slump over when she falls asleep, but we are going to get her a neck pillow soon to see if that helps. We also have a graco booster without a back and only use it in our extra car. If she falls asleep in that one she is completely doubled over.

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answers from Tampa on

My son uses the evenflo high back booster it wasnt the loose fitting back but looks more like the graco brand for like $50. We bought the graco Nautilus for $150 and my son was too tall for the 5 point harness at only 3yrs old. he is already 44inchs. He will be 4 in aug. Talk with your doctor and see which model they recommend. There is nothing wrong with a booster seat as long as you'r child meets the requirements.

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answers from Victoria on

I just recently changed my two ages 3 & 4 into the graco three in one seat. It is at walmart for $155. It has 5 point & goes to 49" then you can go to high back booster, then later to just booster bottm all with same seat. So far so good. They outgrew their britax boulevards and everytime I buckled my daughter in she would tell me it hurt & was too tight on her shoulders, so I would go based on how it feels for her since all bodies are shaped different. I bought cheaper evenflo boosters from walmart $40 for granny's car she rarely drives over 30, so I'm hoping for the best there, but they do have a bit too much freedom for my liking and I can't understand why they don't at least have some type of strap to strap the seat in then use the belt for the kid. The seat just seems so flimsy being that it can move all around. Hope this helps you. Also walmart has the demos out so you can put her in it before you buy them.

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answers from Dallas on

i would NOT put a 4 year old in a high back booster that only used the vehicle's seat belt... that is TERRIBLY dangerous, specifically in a rollover collision. there are MANY car seats that still use a 5 pt harness that will fit a child your daughter's size. my son just made the switch a few months ago, and he's 7 years old, tall, and in first grade. i would recommend the britax regent for your daughter.

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answers from Detroit on

Hello N. ~ I just switched my daughter from the britax marathon to the britax parkway booster & my 5 yr old loves it.... one of the things that I really loved about the britax is the secure guard it looks like a belt in the middle between the legs that works w/the seatbelt (works with the vehicle safety belt to prevent the child from sliding under the lap-belt portion of the safety belt (submarining) during impact, thus minimizing the risk of abdominal )injury. I purchased the booster from w/a coupon it came to 95.99 free s/h no tax.

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