Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mama talk...How long to keep your toddler strapped in?

This is Mama Talk:
I want to feature issues that are pertinent to our roles as mommies. So whenever there is a big piece of info in the news, or an issue I am debating over, I will post it for all of you to know about, or chime in and comment on. See... most of my friends know that I am pretty "up and up" on all most current "kid news". BPA in bottles, delayed vaccinations, new studies on such and such. This is something I find essential as a mom...you've got to know what is going on out there and how to care for our children.
But sometimes knowledge can be your worst enemy.

When all the studies and recalls about lead in kids toys came out I read, I looked...and honestly I wanted to ignore. I really didn't want to dig through every drawer and basket and compare my Playskool toys with the ones online. I admit, I played the role of "ignorant mom" on that one. Please don't report me... and please still come over to play. I'll keep the basket of lead tainted toys away from your kids.
Now when my crib was recalled this summer, I gladly disassembled it, mailed in the hardware and used the $275 voucher they mailed me to purchase Helen a brand spanking new crib! (yes, 3rd babies can get new things too...even if it is because of recall)

Enter my current dilemma... This recent piece of mommy information has got me all in a conundrum. It is about carseats.
Those necessary, lifesaving, EXPENSIVE, pieces of baby equipment.

(note..this pic was from almost a year ago...but isn't is SO darn cute?)
We have:
- the infant seat (which I still need to go wash the cover and get it ready for our Littlest Llama)
- the convertible carseat (can face rear or forward) -- Carson is currently in this now
- the toddler seat with buckle that can turn into a high back booster. -- Charlotte's throne
One would think that would "get 'er done" But no....One would be WRONG!

You see... our current toddler carseat only holds children in the buckles up to 40 lbs. After 40lbs you are supposed to begin using the seat as a booster with belt positioner. And guess how much my healthy little 3 year old.... yep, you guessed it... 40lbs!

(thought you needed another cute, year old picture)

I know that the user manual gives me adequate permission to put her in the seatbelt as a booster. But my mommy instinct says "no way am I doing that" She is just 3. Not to mention that SO many studies are recommending you have a chidlren in a 5pt harness as LONG as possible. Well in order to do that, you have to have a seat that enables them to be in a 5pt harness past 40lbs. When you are buying a toddler seat for your 20month old (because you have a baby who needs the convertible) you just don't really think how quickly they will become 40lbs. I know...not all of you have beastly (I mean Healthy) children like I do.

Thankfully many carseat companies are falling in line and stretching their weight capacities to 50lbs.

So... after battling in my mommy heart. Knowing I needed to buy her a new seat. Then justifying it by saying.... but she is tall and 40lbs.... and "so and so" put's their 3 year old in a seat belt. I have decided that I just can't do it. I just can't.
**note---if you are one of the "so and so's" who puts their 3 year old in a seatbelt, no judgment here. Well, maybe a tad of judgment (just being honest). But for me, and my 3 year old...I just can't do it. **
This video sealed the deal for me... a very sad story of Kyle David Miller.

So we are buying a Graco Nautilus.

This baby can hold my BIG babies up to 65lbs in the buckles. Then act as a high back booster, then act as a low booster. It is a great seat. A little on the larger side, but we've got a van with lots-o-room ... so I think we're set.

A few other options I looked into were:
-The Safeguard Go Booster - But it only went up to 60lbs and didn't look like it would work well with an under 2 year old.
-The First Years True Fit Convertible - Probably what we will get if/when we need to replace our current convertible seat (which I WILL find an excuse to replace it eventually...see my Spit on this post) But this is a great option for you mamas looking to get your babies a convertible... get one they can last in!

Of course there are the trusted Britax seats.... but the Roundabout only goes to 40lbs. The Marathon does go to 65lbs. But I just don't want another convertible. I want a toddler seat that converts to a booster eventually.

So there you have it... part Public Service Announcement, part "what would you do?". The PSA part is for all you mamas about to go buy another carseat... to take a look at the weight limits and don't buy something that limits the buckles to 40lbs.
UPDATE-- We found a STEAL on a Apex 65 that will harness to 65lbs. bought it and love it!


  1. i have had the same thoughts about this though karis hasn't hit 40 lbs yet, but like you, i have a 2 year old at the top of her growth charts and she will probably hit 40 lbs close to 3 years like charlotte. i saw a news special on this covering a family whose 3 year old was in a booster & seat belt, had a wreck in their van, and the child slipped out through the bottom of the seat belt during the wreck and was killed. they recommend the sunshine seat & a britax model that both go up to 80 lbs with the 5 point harness. i'm with you. i will have to be purchasing another b/c i didn't consider all this when we got our convertible seats. when looking at those 2 models, i like the sunshine version b/c it has a very slim back which allows for multiple highback seats beside each other in the back seat.

  2. You'll love the new seat! We do!! Thank you for the recommendation!!!

  3. I completely understand! Our kids were in 5 pt harness seats until they were 4, backed seats until they were 6, and now that my oldest 2 are over 8 they can officially go booster-less, except that I'm one of those mean moms who has decided that they'd probably be safer in a booster until age 10. Yep, we're still a 4 carseat family. :)

  4. We just bought 2 of the Nautilus's for my almost 3 and 4 yr olds. They weigh about 35 lbs. I was the same way even with my almost 4 yr old. No way did I feel she was ready for a seatbelt with a booster! I am so glad we did! I wish they made 5 point harness seatbelts for adults :)


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