So torn what should I put Benjamin in this weekend?....

Which would you use?

  • harness

    Votes: 2 25.0%
  • booster

    Votes: 6 75.0%

  • Total voters


New member
We are going away next weekend and Elizabeth and Benjamin are going to stay with my MIL and my parents. Benjamin just turned 5 and is 43 lbs and 43 inches tall. I'm not worried about my mom I think the kids will ride fine with her but I'm not as sure about my MIL.

Last time she had the kids we met halfway to get them. Benjamin had buckled himself in his marathon but my MIL didn't tighten the harness and they were out as far as they go! He rode for 20 min like that! :eek: Benjamin can buckle himself in but to do so he loosens the harness all the way out first. I'm not worried about Elizabeth because her harness will always stay the same.

I was going to put him in a booster in her car for the weekend and he has used the monterey a few times in Brian's car. I haven't kept up with it though because he likes it! ;) So he has been in a booster about 5 times total.

When the straps were all the way out we had traded cars and she was driving my van. Benjamin sits in the very middle, maybe she will remember to tighten his harness when he is in her car and outboard? He can now tighten the harness but he isn't good about remembering to do so on his own.

We will have the older two with us so we can't have them make sure he is okay.

So what would you do? Put him in a harness or booster?


New member
Okay this might sound stupid, but can you tighten his harness to almost where it needs to be, and then draw a line with a permanent marker or a pen or something. Then, teach Ben to look for that line, so he knows he's ready to go. Do you think he could remember something like that? The kids I watched all summer tried this with their new nanny this summer, since she never seemed to remember to do so. It worked really well, the 4 year old would tell the Nanny she couldn't find her pink line, and the nanny would then remember to tighten her harness. Do you think Ben could remember something like that?

ETA: I'm talking about a line on the adjuster strap, lol, in case there's any confusion!


New member
I wouldn't trust MIL after a mistake like that. I'd make sure he could strap himself properly into the Monterey and use that instead.


New member
Had you told MIL anything about him needing help the first time? Maybe she didn't even check and assumed he knew how to do it. If you talked to her about it afterwards, was she receptive or kind of blow it off? Perhaps she just needs specific instructions--just be sure to place the "blame" on Benjamin's inability to remember the steps, not on MIL's incompetence, lol.

Whichever seat you decide to use, I think she'll need some good solid reminders about how the seat is used and what help your son needs.

But I just have to say, I love that you call him Benjamin--my Benjamin is 2 and I always wonder if he'll stay "Benjamin" or become a "Ben" in time. Oh, and his middle name is Jacob, his uncle is Daniel, and his passed-away-aunt was Elizabeth. So yeah, love your names!
i second the question of did you make her aware the first time and how did she handle it. also my daughter is almost 5 and is very vocal about her seat not being tight enough. have you told benjamin why it needs to be tight "so that he doesn't get a bad boo boo" and let him know he needs to remind grandma to tighten it. at 5 he should be able to vocalize what he needs unless he has a learning disability. perhaps you could put a sticker on the harness right near the buckle that says tighten me. or just have her do all the buckles for the weekend so the harness doesn't have to be loosened all the way.
i would try to talk to mil about the harness if she isn't open to it or you don't feel she would tighten it then go with the booster as long as he knows how to have it properly on him. remember though do you need her to lock the seatbelt or anything with him in the booster.
curious does you mother have her own seats...or do her and mil have to share? who will be moving the seat for you? do they know how?


New member
You know I'm not sure if we said anything to her or not. We were both pretty stunned. I know he was buckling himself in at that point and I'm sure you guys are right that she probably thought he could do it all by himself. I'm just shocked that she didn't check to make sure it was done right.

I did try him in the monterey today and purposely put the shoulder belt under both arms to see if he would fix it and he did. I was worried with the lack of practice in a booster that he wouldn't be sure how it worked.

I'm going to work with him this week on him tightening the harness. With him sitting near me I get impatient and do it for him so I moved the seat his marathon is in back. I'm liking the line idea. I might use some tape instead so I don't mess up the strap. He does have some trouble figuring out exactly how tight they need to be so that would help! Thanks for the idea!

My mom has seats she has a comfort sport and a cargo that she has used for Benjamin, Elizabeth, and my two nieces. Elizabeth is now 31 lbs so she would have to use the comfort sport forward facing and would obviously have to use the cargo forward facing as well. I thought about having her use one of them but I don't want have her forward facing and then fight me when I put her back rear-facing in my van. I could use the cargo as a booster for Benjamin but I think I'd rather just install a seat for him to use since I'm not worried about my mom not getting the straps tight.

I have 3 marathons and a radian so I do have enough for a set in each car. My MIL doesn't have any seats and I'm going to install seats in her car. She really doesn't need her own seats because most of the time all the kids stay together so if she has to drive them we trade cars. She has a Camry and can't fit all the kids in it unless she puts Jacob in the front.


Moderator - CPS Technician
Tape won't work because the adjuster strap has to feed back through the adjuster for him to loosen the harness.


New member
Tape won't work because the adjuster strap has to feed back through the adjuster for him to loosen the harness.
Wow, I can't believe I didn't think about that. hum. I'm not too keen on drawing on the adjuster strap but I guess I could on the seat that is expiring in Jan.


New member
Thanks all! We've decided the booster is the way to go. I have tried to get Benjamin to remember to tighten the harness and I keep having to remind him.


New member
Since it's not easy for her to remember and he's old enough and big enough in my mind to use it on a spare seat basis, I think you should just do what's easiest for your MIL and use the booster...

So I agree with your decision.


New member
Sure enough my mom got all annoyed with me. She told my dad that I was putting other seats in the van because hers weren't "good enough." The kids have riden in those seats a number of times! It isn't that they aren't good enough it is that, like I said above, Benjamin is over the weight limit of the cargo and I would have to put Elizabeth forward facing. Elizabeth had been trying to sit in Benjamin's seat more and more I really don't want her forward facing, I don't need her fighting me!

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