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Booster Seat Facts: When it is Time to Move Up

You have a toddler that is either a) tall or b) inching into being a plain ol’ kid and his car seat is just not cutting the butter anymore. What is your next option?

The good news is that kiddos can go from a forward-facing convertible car seat into a booster seat until they are ready to ditch the car seats forever. Boosters can be found for roughly $40-$150, depending on brand and style, so they’re a great and not-so-expensive option for maintaining fantastic safety standards.  (When Harrison started outgrowing his Britax Marathon, we chose a Graco Nautilus that has a little more wiggle room on height as a convertible car seat, then easily transitions to a booster seat.)

Below are some tips on how to know when your child needs a booster and when they’re ready to graduate car seats all together:


  • Let’s hear it for the ears 1 of 6
    Let's hear it for the ears
    If your child's ears are over the top of the car seat shell, it's time for a booster seat.
    Source: Safekids.org
  • Height, height, baby 2 of 6
    Height, height, baby
    If your child's shoulders are above the highest strap slot in the car seat, it's time for a booster.
    Source: Safekids.org
  • Wear it correctly 3 of 6
    Wear it correctly
    The seat belts trap should NEVER be under the arm or behind the back.
    Source: Safekids.org
  • Set a good example 4 of 6
    Set a good example
    Kids learn from what they see - be sure you are always wearing your seat belt properly!
    Source: Safekids.org
  • Seat belts fit adults 5 of 6
    Seat belts fit adults
    Keep them in a car seat or booster until they are about 4'9' tall and weigh between 80 -100 pounds.
    Source: carsafety.org
  • It’s not a race 6 of 6
    It's not a race
    If your kid isn't mature enough or ready for a booster, give it time. This isn't the type of milestone you want to push for - safety is always more important than completing an entry in a baby book.

Resources: Car-Safety.org, Safekids.org

Extra Resources: GHSA: Child Safety Laws by State, and Toddler Car Seat Safety

photo credit: istock photo

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Beth Anne writes words & takes pictures on The Heir to Blair. You can also find her on theTwitters & Facebook.

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