Switching From a Car Seat to a Booster Seat
Three Year Olds? NO!
Despite the 3 year age minimum listed on some booster seats, there is NOT a 3-year-old on
the planet who is ready for the responsibility of sitting properly. Let their harnessed car seat do the work of keeping them in place.
Four Year Olds? ALSO NO!
Because this message is so important, we’ll say it again!
The right time to switch to a booster seat is different for every child. However, we draw a hard line on the youngest children riding in booster seats before they’ve outgrown their harnessed car seats.
In our experience, the average child gains the maturity to sit properly in a booster seat somewhere between 5 and 7 years old. And even with that minimum age, we’ve met a lot of 8-year-olds who still need reminders to sit properly, too.
What about Height and Weight?
We advocate for waiting as long as possible to move a child to the next step in any child restraints. In this case, that means waiting until the child has outgrown their harnessed car seat before transitioning to a booster seat.
The great news is that for most kids, there is no rush whatsoever to move into a booster seat. Not too long ago there was very few 5 point harnessed seats that could hold a child who weighs over 40 pounds.
Today, there is a vast array of seats to choose from that can harness the average 5-6 year old – some of those options cost as little as $79.
Five Step Test
Generally, kids will need a booster until they are 4’9″ tall, which tends to happen somewhere around age 11. To ride without a booster, a child needs to be able to pass the 5 Step Test:
- Sits all the way back against the vehicle seat.
- Knees bent at the edge of the vehicle seat and feet on the floor.
- Shoulder belt fits evenly across the collarbone and sits flush with the torso.
- The lap belt is low on the hips, touching the tops of the thighs.
- Can stay comfortably seated this way the entire ride.
The Bottom Line
Before moving to a booster seat, your child should be:
- At least 5 years old.
- Meet the weight and height minimums for the booster seat you’re considering.
- Responsible enough to sit properly 100% of the time, even while asleep.
- Finally, they need to have a safe belt fit.
My car seat recommendation would be for you to try The Britax Frontier Clicktight Convertible Harness-2-Booster Car seat ! To read more about it click the link below !