Why My Child Went From a Booster Back to a Car Seat


How I parent my firstborn doesn't get any more stereotypical. I've celebrated each birthday and milestone by pushing her right to that next stage, whether it's sleep training, potty training or child-safety seats. Around her fourth birthday, when her long legs started kicking the back of my seat, I realized she was technically old enough to ditch the convertible child-safety seat and move up to a booster. Visions of effortlessly tossing Grandma the booster — instead of breaking a sweat while I uninstalled and reinstalled her convertible every time — filled my mind, and we went out and bought one. Like, that day.

Car Seat Basics Part Three: Beyond the Booster

However, life with a booster wasn't as effortless as I hoped. Not only was my sweet 4-year-old not coordinated enough to buckle up independently, but she couldn't reach the buckle because the booster's wide base covered it. It took some major teamwork to scoot her booster over so I could then buckle her up.


Even more frustrating was that about five minutes into every ride, she'd wiggle out from underneath the seat belt's shoulder strap. While she was technically the right age and weight to move to a booster, she didn't have the needed maturity.

After researching car-seat safety and having all three of my installed car seats checked by a certified child-safety-seat technician, I came to an unpopular — at least to my 4-year-old — conclusion: We needed to go back to a five-point-harness car seat for her.

I found the right solution for us in a car seat that's designed with older children in mind, the Britax Frontier 85. This is a combination car seat that can convert to a booster when my daughter is really ready. With its higher height and weight limits, it could easily carry her into junior high, and I could rest a little bit easier. My daughter can use the five-point harness by herself, and I no longer worry about her wiggling out from the straps while I'm driving.

Moving her back into a combination car seat with a five-point harness from a booster seat didn't make me too popular in the family. However, with two more daughters following right behind her, I'm sure I have a lifetime of unpopular decision-making ahead of me. I might as well get used to it now.

By BreAnn Ahara | February 21, 2014 | Comments (7)



I love that you realized what she needed and though unpopular you did it. My kids are 4 and 21 months I can totally relate!!

BreAnn Ahara

Thanks Naomi!


Naomi: 21 months is not an age. That's 1 year 9 months, so your kid is 1 year old.

Author: If your kid is squirming out from under the shoulder belt and not putting the seat belt on when you use the booster, try this thing we call DISCIPLINE. DISCIPLINE is where you take away access to accessory resources your child wants when they don't follow the rules. I know this is a foreign concept to parents these days, but you can read about it in many books and magazines on parenting.

BreAnn Ahara

Maj- Most kids at the age of four don't have the coordination needed to buckle themselves up with the adult sized seat belt. Also, they a difficult time keeping the belt at the appropriate place throughout the car ride. It's not necessarily a lack of respect for authority, it's a lack of maturity. But thanks for the "tip".
And Naomi, 21 months IS an age.

Once your daughter is ready for booster seat with backless, there is a head support product that may prevent their head to slump to left or right. The product is called Pill-Guard. They just launched it at Kickstarter - the crowd funding site.

Check it out: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/952746349/pillo-guard-a-portable-head-support
Or check out their website: http://www.pilloguard.com/


Hey, I wish my seat had a 5 point harness. My son is 7 and I still keep him in the harness. The only problem is the buckle between the legs is too close to his crotch....

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