40 Pounds is Still Little

Over a year ago my son Cameron grew out of his 5-point harness car seat that was rated up to 40 pounds.  Friends and family were putting their 40-pound children in booster seats that use a lap and shoulder belt.  We bought one for Cameron.  He was pretty excited.  It had all the makings of a milestone, but deep down I never felt entirely comfortable with it.  About a month after he was using his booster I watched this video:

My stomach turned when I saw this and after talking to my husband we decided to seek out other options.  Lucky for us, my husband is a firefighter and a good friend of his is certified to inspect car seat installation.  His son was using a 5-point harness car seat that was rated up to 65 pounds.  We bought one that day and I feel so much more comfortable when Cameron is riding in the car.  Honestly, I thought that a booster seat was the only option after 40 pounds.  Shame on me for not doing my due diligence as a parent.  If you have a toddler outgrowing his or her car seat, please consider upgrading to a high-weight 5-point harness system before going to a booster seat!

If you don't believe me, please check out the Kyle David Miller Foundation website.  His family learned the hard way.

Olivia grew out of her car seat today and we bought her a new 5-point harness seat.  It is the same as Cameron's, only it's pink!  She is thrilled!  Now they both can buckle and unbuckle themselves and I feel comfortable knowing they are protected if we ever get in a crash.  
We use the Graco Nautilus, but there are a lot of other options out there.  You can see a list here.  Please, whatever car seat you choose, read the manual for proper installation, use and weight guidelines.  Take your car and car seat to your local fire department and ask them to do a safety check.  They will install it for you and show you how to do it yourself!  Keep your kids safe and in a 5-point harness until they are 65 pounds.  For more car seat safety guidelines you can visit SeatCheck.org.  The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends keeping infants rear facing as long as possible and as long as your rear-facing car seat allows.  The minimum to turn your child forward-facing is 1 year and 20 pounds, but a lot of children can stay rear facing for up to two years or more.  If I had it to do over again I would have started with the Graco Nautilus as it goes from rear-facing, to forward-facing to a booster seat.  Live and learn, I guess.


  1. We bought Rowan a Britax car seat when she was 1.. its rated up to 80 lbs! It was 300 dollars but considering it replaces a regular car seat and a booster together the cost was worth it.. Plus I know she is safe..

    I have friends that have their kids in regular boosters now... and it just doesn't seem right.. I'm glad Rowan will be in her britax for a very long time :)

  2. Ah, yes Ann, you invested wisely. I do not feel too badly about our car seat investments. Their original 5-point harnesses rated 2nd to the Britax by consumer reports were only $49 each. The booster we used for short time was only $30. The new 65 lb 5-point/100 pound booster is only $138, so overall, I think we still spent less than $300 per kid. The important thing, though, is that we are using the right seat now! :)


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