Recommend a Booster Seat and Car Seat Question

Updated on May 20, 2009
A.C. asks from Sterling Heights, MI
13 answers

I have two questions...

Has anyone used the Graco Nautilus 3 in 1 car/booster seat? Are there any other 3 in 1 seats (from 5 point to high back to backless booster) someone would recommend? This is for my 3 yr. old.


My son is 14 months (and walking) but only weighs 17 lbs. We want to move him into a convertible car seat and face it forward because the sun keeps bothering him through the back window. All the car seat manufacturers say a child must be 1 yr AND weigh over 20 lbs. before facing forward. Our doctor said the weight doesn't really matter. The only reason not to face a baby forward is due to neck strength. Has anyone else been told the reason for facing rear until 20 lbs.?

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So What Happened?

Wow. Thank you for all of your passionate responses. I'm convinced. I definitely will NOT turn him around until he weighs 20 lbs. At the rate he is going, that will be a LONG time. It will be hard to leave him rear-facing, though, because he is starting to get a little long for his infant seat, and there isn't much room for a convertible to face backward. (It's not safe like that behind the driver seat because it pushes me up to close to the steering wheel, and my husband has chronic back pain, so it makes riding in the car painful for him with it behind the passenger seat. I guess I should have mentioned that, too, in my original request, but I didn't want to go into too much detail.) NONETHELESS - he's facing the rear!

Featured Answers



answers from Grand Rapids on

I use the Graco Nautilus for my almost 2 year old. I love the seat and am so glad I don't have to buy him another car seat.

Yes, that would be the reason because of neck strength. You could get a shade for the back window.

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answers from Detroit on

Weight absolutely DOES matter! Your pediatrician was wrong.

Please do not turn your 14 month old forward facing yet. Rear facing is 5 times safer than forward facing. If the sun is shining in his eyes, maybe think about getting your back windows tinted?

Please check out these links:

If you're still not convinced, read this thread completely:

As for the Graco Nautilus, I don't have experience with that myself but a friend of mine uses it and loves it.



answers from Jackson on

I have 3 children and 2 of the three are Britax and the other is the Graco Nautlis, which I purchased for my 2-year old daughter. I love, love my Britax seats due to the fact that they are so easy to use (in and out and cleaning) but I just couldn't financially do the Britax this time.

At this point in time I haven't had to do a big cleaning job on the Graco but my daughter likes the seat very much and she looks very comfortable in it.

My only complaint so far is of two things...(1) The seat fabric is a soft synthetic fabric and I have found (due to my daughter loves to take off her shoes) that the velcro on the shoes has pulled the fabric so I now keep her shoes off while she's in the seat (2) The buckle part on the seat always gets under her bottom and then it's hard to pull it out.

Overall I'm satisfied with the seat for the price I paid for it. I would recommend it to another person.



answers from Detroit on

Hi A.,

It's the weight requirement that is the real key. I've done a lot of reading on this as my daughter was always on the lighter side. She didn't read 20 lbs until she was OVER a year old. The 20lb requirement is set to ensure that IF they are in a crash that their bodies are strong enough to withstand the impact while front facing.

Don't turn him around yet. There are things you can get to put on the window that will help with the sun. We have this cling on sun shield thing. It's this thin film that you just stick on. I picked it up for like $5 at Meijer. It was the cheapest sun shield they had, and I LOVE it way more then the more expensive one that was given to me as a shower gift.

Rear facing is actually the SAFEST way for kids to travel. I kept my daughter there as long as possible.

As far as car seats... Britax is great. I chose to go with Recaro. They began as a manufacturer of seats in race cars. They know how to keep people safe! I chose the Recaro because it can hold a child up to 70 lbs. I love it. My daughter loves it. I never worry she is not safe in our car. It is big, but so are the Britax seats. And yes, I plan on keeping my daughter in this seat until she outgrows it. I can only control how I drive, I can't control the crazies out there, so I want her as safe as possible.



answers from Detroit on

I called a mfg. of car/booster seats. She said to obey the weight limits as well as the age requirements. My seat says to keep it rear facing until the child is 22lbs. and 1 yo old. It is hard. My niece's feet hit the back of the car's seat. It is a quandry. And you certainly wish to do best for your child. It is not so much the size of the carseat but the in which it is placed. Mini-vans have way more room for the front seat passengers when the car seat is rear facing. Try the middle of the back seat. The car seat mfg. claimed that it the safest position anyways. There are no air bags on the side in the that position.



answers from Detroit on

I bought the graco nautilus for my second child and loved it so much, my 1st son did too, I went out and bought another one. So both of my boys have them. It is easy to install, The straps are easy to adjust. The cup holder stays on the car seat. It has more padding than most car seats plus it is a 3 in 1. If you have babies r us coupons you can get it for a great deal. I got mine for $100.00. I hope this helps. We love them.




answers from Detroit on

A. - There are so many very good reasons to keep your younger child rear facing beyond 20 lbs. I would suggest buying a car seat with a higher rear facing limit (like 30 or 35 lbs) and a higher front facing limit (most only go to 40 lbs). That way, your younger child will be as safe as possible while riding in your car.

Good luck with your decision!!!



answers from Detroit on


My daughter was the same weight at the same age. Don't turn your child to the front facing seat...yet. The age/weight is there to make sure your child is big and strong enough to handle the force that could be placed on their little necks in a crash. I know it's alot of trouble to keep them happy rear facing but it's for the best. Try putting a sunscreen in the back to keep your little guy happy until he's able to make the switch.

I'm not familiar with the Graco Nautilus seat. But, that said, I have to say any of the Britax carseats are the best on the market. The last ones we had were the Wizard, now called Boulevard. They can be used rear facing (5-?lbs) and forward facing up to 65lbs. They are expensive but you can find some at mom2mom sales. My daughter is now 7 1/2 years old. We didn't take her out of this seat until she was 6 1/2 years old because she was still too small. Currently she's 41lbs and sits in a Graco booster seat with the back still in place. We felt it was better to keep her in a more protected seat than to have an accident and regret not making that choice.

I hope this helps give you a little insight to how we handled things. It's hard to keep a kid in a five point restraint as they get older but sometimes it's what we have to do. :) Good luck and hang in there.


Just in case you're interested I do have a Britax Wizard seat that I'm planning to sell on Craigs List.



answers from Detroit on

I just came to respond but see from your response that you already received what I would have told you. I'm so glad you have decided to keep him rear facing! We just turned my daughter around at 27 months and about 26'ish lbs.



answers from Detroit on

In Michigan the car seat law is 1 year AND 20lbs. For all the reasons people already said and for the fact that it is the law, I would not turn him around. I doubt they will check his weight if you are pulled over but the requirements are there for a reason.

My daughter is 25lbs and 16 months and just went forward facing this last week. I wanted to go longer but we got a new car and things just just not work out right.



answers from Saginaw on

Hi i am using the Graco Nautilus 3 in 1 car/booster seat. My son turned 3 this past feb, we purchased this when it first came out. My reasoning for this car seat is 1)the capability of going from carseat to backed booster to backless booster,(even though i plan on using the back booster as i feel it's safter then using without the back), as of right now we are still using it as a regular car seat. and 2) it had from what i found the longest use of the 5pt harness it goes to 65lbs to keep them safer longer. Good job picking out a good car seat.

As far as your little one they are safest rear facing as long as you can keep them that way. My child is normal weight now but he hit the weight way before his age. He was also really tall for his age and very uncomfortable in the back as his legs were bunched up. We ended up switching him around just shy of him turning a year old. Some people were saying the car seats that go to 65lbs but your better off once the younger one turns old enough to go foward facing to try and get another nautilus because they go to the 100lbs. Since they have recently made the age and height more strict for how long they have to stay in the car seat/booster. I'm assuming my child will hit the height requirement before the age of 8 but if you get one that is only good to 65lbs you dont want to take the chance of having to go on to buy another one later. Good luck



answers from Detroit on

My peidatrician wasn't as concerned about hitting the weight exactly either. It's more abbout general size/lnegth and looking like they are out growing it. The neck strenght sounds like a valid point, and I assume your son has it or you wouldn't ask. If you do move him just make sure you can adjust the straps properly on the new seat to hold him securely. That is usually the hardest thing to get right.



answers from Detroit on

Hey A.,

We use the Graco Nautilus for our almost-3-year-old and LOVE it! It is comfortable for him, and he loves that it has a cupholder. The seat is also easy to install, is lightweight, and I appreciate the fact that it will turn into a booster when he hits the right weight.

Check out, sometimes they advertise deals for this seat. also has some good deals at times too.

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