Booster Question / 4yo



My dd is 4.5 yrs old and weighs about 38-40 lbs (depending on where she's weighed). I have a Marathon for the main car seat in my van. My parents would like to occasionally be able to take her for ice cream, etc. and I'd like to be able to get them something to keep in their car. Is a high back booster a safe option at this point? I really don't want to go out and spend another $200 on a seat that's going to be used maybe once a month. Plus, we live in a town where the highest speed limit is 25mph and it's about 6 blocks to the ice cream place (or store, wherever). Right now, I just ask them to take my van if they want to take her somewhere, since it's kind of a pain to switch cars.

Given her weight (and she's about 42"), would she be safe in a booster? She's a very mature 4yo and I have no doubt she'd sit there properly.



New member
If you seriously think she can sit properly, I think it would be fine. Others will probably disagree. Why don't you do a test run? Take her somewhere in the booster with someone sitting in the back to keep an eye on things. If you have to remind her several times to sit properly, she probably isn't ready.

Is there any chance your parents might consider a nice walk to the ice cream place? That is something they might all enjoy.


New member
I fully agree with Melissa. She is at the minimum that I feel it's okay to begin booster-training. I don't like the idea of just thrusting a child into a booster full-time without any prior trial runs; that's a lot of responsibility for a little kid. ;) I started letting my dd use a booster for short distances right after 40 pounds and right around 4, but she didn't start using a booster more often until first grade, and 55+ pounds. Even now I keep her in a harness, at 7 and 95th percentile for height (so the Regent is the only seat she has any growing room in), most of the time, but she uses a booster beautifully, since she's had time to adjust to the freedom it allows, and gain some impulse control.

If she ends up not sitting well, a good option would be the Graco Nautilus ($130-$160). It harnesses to 65 pounds, has taller top slots than the Marathon, sits lower on the vehicle seat (it's designed more like a booster), is really easy to use properly, and converts to a pretty good highback and backless booster (and it can even be LATCHed in booster mode). My favorite dedicated belt positioning boosters are $90-$200, so $130-$160 for the Nautilus, a seat that will harness longer than the Marathon, and convert to a booster, seems like a pretty darn good deal. :p

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