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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy
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    booster questions

    My daughter is 4.5. 45# and 3'6" or so. We're flying in May and am trying to decide what to take for a carseat. At home, in our main vehicle she (for now) has a Chicco Nextfit, so that's out. In my hubby's truck she has an Evenflo SecureKid harnessed booster (the one that clicks and pushes in for install). We will be riding in a friend's car when we arrive at our destination. Would it be ok to get some sort of backless booster since we won't be in the car much and she'll be sitting between both of us parents??? What about mifold?

    Trying to find the easiest and most streamlined. We aren't planning the trip, so I won't know exactly how much we'll be driven around by our friend vs other modes of transportation, so I'm also looking at the mifold for it's compactness.

    Or a bubblebum?

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  3. #2
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: booster questions

    It really depends.

    Most 4.5 year olds aren't ready even to try a booster, but sitting next to a parent for a short ride may be a special situation. If you have a very well-behaved child who won't try to unbuckle on plane or car and are right there, as long as you're getting a good fit when you try it at home I'd be ok with it.

    I absolutely wouldn't use a Mifold. It frequently causes unsafe belt fit and the fit varies so much from car to car that without checking beforehand there's no way to know it will be safe (and good odds it won't.)

    The Bubblebum is a reasonable choice though many children have more difficulty balancing on it than a traditional hard booster- booster riding takes practice, and it's not the easiest one to start with.

    The Harmony Youth Booster is a small lightweight option that might be easy to carry. You could also have it shipped ahead to your friend if they'll b meeting you.

    Other things to consider: will she be in the car when she might be very tired? If so it may be difficult to keep her upright when she falls asleep. Will the car have a lap-shoulder belt and a headrest center (or tall enough back for her plus booster?) Does the vehicle they have provide safe belt geometry for a booster rider (a few don't.) Will she fit the plane belt (depends what airline likely- she would certainly fit an Alaska belt but may not on some of Delta and American's planes where the belts simply don't tighten as much.)

    If you decide a booster isn't a good choice, though they are more expensive you could look at a Ride Safer Travel Vest.

    Of course, the SecureKid is a great option for travel. Lightweight, fairly narrow. You could get a cart to lug it on or use a Traveling Toddler strap; that eliminates all worry about appropriate belt fit etc. (Just make sure she isn't over 50 lbs at the time if you want to use lower anchors- if she is, or you're installing in a spot without them, you'll need to use seatbelt and top tether instead.)
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 14, Bridget, 12, Maggie, 10, Katie Sue, 5
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

  4. #3
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    136

    Re: booster questions

    Quote Originally Posted by ketchupqueen View Post
    It really depends.

    Most 4.5 year olds aren't ready even to try a booster, but sitting next to a parent for a short ride may be a special situation. If you have a very well-behaved child who won't try to unbuckle on plane or car and are right there, as long as you're getting a good fit when you try it at home I'd be ok with it.

    I absolutely wouldn't use a Mifold. It frequently causes unsafe belt fit and the fit varies so much from car to car that without checking beforehand there's no way to know it will be safe (and good odds it won't.)

    The Bubblebum is a reasonable choice though many children have more difficulty balancing on it than a traditional hard booster- booster riding takes practice, and it's not the easiest one to start with.

    The Harmony Youth Booster is a small lightweight option that might be easy to carry. You could also have it shipped ahead to your friend if they'll b meeting you.

    Other things to consider: will she be in the car when she might be very tired? If so it may be difficult to keep her upright when she falls asleep. Will the car have a lap-shoulder belt and a headrest center (or tall enough back for her plus booster?) Does the vehicle they have provide safe belt geometry for a booster rider (a few don't.) Will she fit the plane belt (depends what airline likely- she would certainly fit an Alaska belt but may not on some of Delta and American's planes where the belts simply don't tighten as much.)

    If you decide a booster isn't a good choice, though they are more expensive you could look at a Ride Safer Travel Vest.

    Of course, the SecureKid is a great option for travel. Lightweight, fairly narrow. You could get a cart to lug it on or use a Traveling Toddler strap; that eliminates all worry about appropriate belt fit etc. (Just make sure she isn't over 50 lbs at the time if you want to use lower anchors- if she is, or you're installing in a spot without them, you'll need to use seatbelt and top tether instead.)
    It's a trip to Disneyland that we aren't planning ourselves. So, we'll fly down, get picked up by the friend and taken to the hotel (Orange County to hotel, not sure how far that is). I don't know what hotel we are staying at, so I don't know what mode of transportation we will have to take to get to the parks. I'm hoping it's walking distance. If it's not, I'm not sure if he will pick us up and drop us off or if we'll take Uber or taxi or some other mode (so that would be the second need for a seat). If we have to do that, I'm looking for something we can use in those situations that we can stuff in a backpack (ideally...which is why the mifold jumped out at me). Then the second day we're down there, we will be transported by the friend to some other activity (I don't know what that is yet). Then a 3rd day we're going to Disney again.

    We always fly Southwest, which is what they booked for us, and last time we flew, the belt fit her just fine. We usually fly with the SecureKid and have a GoGoBabyz cart, so that's not really the problem, I'm just looking to lighten our load and streamline the seat choice.

    I guess the answer is to wait and see what hotel they put is in. The only time it's going to matter is if we have to take an alternate vehicle (like Uber or whatever) to the parks and stash it with us around the parks. If that isn't going to happen, then I guess the worry is all for nothing. Although I also just remembered they have lockers or something, right? So we could put a traditional hard booster in a locker...do those ever become full and unavailable?

    I have plenty of time to think this through.

  5. #4
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: booster questions

    Many hotels in the area are on or near an ART route if it's not walkable. ART one-day and multi-day passes are quite reasonable: http://rideart.org/fares-and-passes
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 14, Bridget, 12, Maggie, 10, Katie Sue, 5
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

  6. #5
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: booster questions

    They have lockers but the biggest ones might not fit a SecureKid and you're unlikely to get a large locker as I've always seen all the large ones gone very quickly. I wouldn't count on it.

    However, a Youth Booster or Bubblebum could be easily carried around in a bag or stroller (stroller rentals are available if you don't plan on bringing one and the strollers would easily fit your child. I would definitely want a stroller for a child that age at Disneyland though- probably not to use all day but for breaks here and there it will keep everyone much happier. I have an AP and regularly see kids as old as 7-8 taking a break in a stroller there. The rentals are huge.)
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 14, Bridget, 12, Maggie, 10, Katie Sue, 5
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

  7. #6
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: booster questions

    I meant the youth booster, that would fit in a regular locker, right?

    Does ART mean no car seat?

    We will definitely have a stroller. Debating bringing mine or renting. Hoping she still fits in my Citi Mini, but she's getting at the point where weight-wise she's about grown out of everything.

  8. #7
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: booster questions

    You'd have to get a medium locker- I THINK it would fit but might not. Availability is pretty limited. Wouldn't fit in the small because of the way they are designed (think large post office box.) Also they are more expensive than 2 adult and 1 child bus pass!

    The City Mini should work fine and it would easily fit in the basket.

    ART being a bus, no child restraints needed (no belts.) We love ART, as the drivers are super friendly and helpful about finding your route etc.

    If I were you, I'd probably bring the SecureKid on the plane and take the bus locally if at all possible- just for peace of mind. I don't know where else you plan to go but most attractions are a fair drive from Disneyland and I wouldn't want to risk falling asleep and out of position etc; besides that, if you have a stroller "walking distance" becomes much larger. MOST area hotels are walkable for adults so if necessary you could push the stroller back. You might talk to your friend about making sure you're near an ART stop though, as it will make everything more convenient (you can even get to a pharmacy and a Target on the ART routes.)
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 14, Bridget, 12, Maggie, 10, Katie Sue, 5
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

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