Switching back to hbb


New member
This kid is 7 and has been in a lbb since she was 5 in my car (didn't know better back then). All of her friends are out of boosters and she begs me to not make her ride in one for play dates. Now the problem is is that she is getting too tall and I don't have movable headrests in the backseat. So back into a hbb she goes once I can afford it. She has told me she can't ride in a hbb before and I know she will be upset.

I know it is my car, my rules, but does anyone have anything I can tell her to make her less embarrassed? She is one of the tallest in her class and no one uses boosters. Our law is ages 4 thru 8 and 4'9".

Does this mean that she needs to stay in a booster thru 8 as in until her 9th birthday? This is for her parents info not mine (she will be boostered as long as possible if she gets a hbb).

On the flip side should I just let her ride without a booster if she passes the 5 step test once she turns 8 and just forget about the hbb? She has a smidge left to grow before being too tall for the headrest in my car.

Thanks for the help and Happy New Year!


New member
What state are you in? Without knowing that, it's impossible to guess what your law actually says- if it says "through 8" then yes, that would mean until the the 9th birthday, but if it also says "and 4'9" ", then that would make the birthday irrelevant except for a very tall child. But probably it says "<8 or 4'9" ", and means 8th birthday regardless of height and 4'9" regardless of age, but it could also require that the seatbelt fit correctly even after the 8th birthday.

If she does pass the 5step test, and the tips of her ears are above your seat back with the booster, and she meets your state's legal requirements, then yes, I suppose you could let her ride without a booster; how tall is she?


New member
I'd explain to her why she needs a hbb. Tell her she needs support up to the tips of her ears or else her neck could get very badly hurt/broken in an accident. Let her help pick the cover for her hbb if you're ok with that. Then just be calm and firm and make her ride in the hbb every time. I find that if I put away whatever seat the kid isn't allowed to use that helps so I'd put away the lbb.


Active member
My oldest daughter was 8 and using a seat belt only when I learned about best practices regarding car seats. Until then I was clueless. The day she turned 8 we stopped using a booster. I knew she's be upset about going back into a booster but I knew she needed to in order to be safe. So I explained it to her. I told her WHY she needed to be in a booster seat (she went back into a high back booster due to lack of head rests). We watched crash tests on youtube and talked about what could happen if we were in a wreck and she was not in a booster. After that, she was fine with it. She never complained.


New member
Thanks! I live in TN. So would it be best to get a whole new booster then instead of just finding a back for her current one (it is a Graco)? She is not 4'9" but I am not sure of her height. She is 65lbs and maybe close to 50". If it helps she is an inch above the top slots of her brother's Nautilus.

I really think it would be safer anyway and even when she does 5 step if she still fits in a hbb I will want her there because I have the Nautilus in the middle and her outboard so I like the head protection.

I think maybe I will find a couple I can afford and let her pick out which she likes more! Maybe if she can choose she will use it. She loves her old Harmony (and even asks to use it) but my long buckle stalks made me uncomfortable using it. Any good booster suggestions? Would love it to be cheap, I am in college. The parents might help me out with it but I have 2 godkids and it would be nice to have something for them too when the time comes.

Thank you all for the help! I might just be extra nervous about this transition because her brother just turned 4 and will find out in a couple days that he is still harnessed in my car so I might have 2 disgruntled kids for a while.


New member
Ok sorry for all the questions but which would be best for my situation...
Sunshine Kids Monterey on NoBetterDeal
Parkway SG on sale- wouldn't use SG now but might for her brother
Turbobooster with back- might be able to convince the parents to buy it
Diono Monterey- about $20 more than the Parkway

I would like whatever I get to fit beside the Nautilus but have not found a local place to buy any of these seats except the Turbobooster (which I have the bottom for and it fits but just barely). It will be in a 2006 Nissan Sentra and the outboard Nautilus install is really difficult so it goes in the middle.

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