Switching from Car Seat to Booster Seat

Updated on September 14, 2009
T.L. asks from Arnold, MO
14 answers

I am wondering when do you switch from a car seat to a booster seat? Our car seats say 40 pounds and I know our daughter is really close to 40 pounds...She is 2 1/2 years old too. Anyone also like one over the other? I am thinking on switching this weekend. *** I think I called it the wrong thing...the seat I am talking about is a car seat that sits bigger children, doesn't have the cross bar in front, just the 5 point buckle system and has a high back on it...I guess that is still considered a car seat. Booster is just like the type of seat you would get in the restaurant...just a seat and add a seat belt

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C.A.

answers from Wichita on

My son is 2 and we have the graco nautalis(spelling) I LOVE IT. The seat goes up to 100 lbs so it'll last a while. It's the 5pt and then goes to the high back booster then just the booster. He seems to have plenty of room and he seems to like it too. Good luck

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S.H.

answers from St. Louis on

I'm pretty sure the child safety law requires a full-restraint carseat until age 4 and 40 lbs. Not just 40lbs!

1 mom found this helpful
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L.S.

answers from St. Louis on

Is the carseat one that looks like a mini bucket seat with a 5 point harness and clippy things along the sides farther?(convertable carseat/booster) The convertible high back boosters like that are great if a little bulky, but you can leave her in the 5 point belts longer. A regular shoulder belt only booster isn't safe until 4 years old, then she'll stay in it until she is either 4'11'' or 8 which ever happens first. Keep her restrained with a 5 point as long as possible....Good luck!

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K.J.

answers from Kansas City on

KS law is 4 years as well before they can be in a booster.

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C.S.

answers from St. Louis on

I wouldn't put a child that young in a booster seat. I assume you are referring to a high back booster as a regular booster would not be age appropriate. The law is actually kind of vague; while for 4 and up it states booster seat, which makes sense, since most children that age are too big for a regular car seat, but for children under 4, it says "an appropriate child safety seat" on the page you are directed to on another post, but when you click at the bottom of that page where it takes you to the actual bill, it states " child passanger restraint system"; which would imply that you are folling the manufacturer's guidelines regarding age, weight and height. A high back booster as well as booster seats, are considered child safety seats. Don't get caught up in the symantics of it all. My oldest is almost 4 and I am considering moving him to a high back booster soon and moving his brother to his seat as I hate the one I have for him. What I have for my oldest is a Graco Nautilus (sp?) I got it when he was your daughter's age and it is GREAT!! It is a seat that has the 5 point restraint, which eventaully come out making the seat a high back booster and later turns into a booster. In the stores it is about 180. I saw it one walmart.com for 144.44 with site to store shipping. I know it's pricy,but it's 3 seats in one and worth it for the safety of the 5 point restraint for now. I just don't think she is old enough to handle the freedom of a high back booster yet. Good luck with whatever you decide. If you do the booster, let me know how it works out!

A.S.

answers from Kansas City on

The law in MO is your child has to be at least 4 years old to be in a booster. So, I would just look into getting a car seat with a higher weight limit.

http://www.modot.mo.gov/Safety/newlaws.htm

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C.V.

answers from Kansas City on

Most car seats go to 40 lbs.Switching a child is different for each child because it depends on weight and height.Your daughter prob needs to be out of a convertable car seat by weight but is too young to sit still in just a booster seat and may not be the right height.If I understood you right you are getting a high back booster with the 5-point harness,that is what your daughter needs to be in.If you have any more questions about car seats please e-mail me my Husband is a car seat tech and I will find out for you if I don't know!

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N.O.

answers from Kansas City on

I think you have to wait till they are 40 lbs and 4 years old but i could be wrong i would check it out before you switch.

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L.S.

answers from Wichita on

Hi T.,

I noticed you live in Missouri, but here in KS I believe the weight limit is 40 lbs. and the age limit is 4. Just depends on your state law. I'd google it and make for sure.

Yeah, you're right. The "booster seat" you described does sound like an other type of car seat. If it works for you and your little one, I'd stick with that until she is 4.

Sounds to me like you've got it under control. Have a great day! ls

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B.S.

answers from Kansas City on

YEs, it's 4 years AND 40 lbs for just a booster. I think you are talking about a convertible car seat. We still have my 4 yo in a 5 point harness, and will for as long as possible. FYI, Babies R Us is having a 20% off trade in sale on car seats, high chairs, etc. They have a good selection, and you might be able to get a really nice one for less $. We really like Britax car seat because the straps don't twist up, and they have a very high weight limit compared to Graco. Good Luck!

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K.C.

answers from Wichita on

My youngest had a similar problem, except he was too tall for his car seat when he was 2 1/2 y/o. So we bought the Graco Nautilus 3 in 1 car seat. My 8 year old can even fit in the Nautilus's 5 point harness & he is over 4 ft. tall!!!

***Please look into the Graco Nautilus 3 in 1 car seat.*** You can find them at Wal-mart & Target. They are about $150, (but that is worth the safety of your child). They have a 5 point harness that holds a child up to 65 lbs., then they turn into a booster seat & go up to 100 lbs.! I think they are the most awesome seats! Easy to use & much less expensive than the other seats that fit larger children.

God bless!

P.S.
It is not safe to move a 2 1/2 y/o into a booster seat, even if the child does weight 40 lb. Boosters are made for larger children (5+ y/o). I have seen 1 too many videos about children who are 3 y/o, put into a booster seat & killed in a car wreck b/c the booster seat with was not made for smaller children.

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A.P.

answers from Kansas City on

I believe it is 4 years old and 40 pounds!

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J.B.

answers from St. Louis on

my 3 1/2 year old is a in a booster with the back that can be eventually removed when shes big enough. I prefer Graco, they seemed to be for padded than the other brands.

S.B.

answers from Topeka on

Ever since my son was big enough to be out of an infant carrier, we had a car seat with a 5 point harness. He has done just fine. He is now 3 and sometimes sits in a booster.

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