When do you transition to booster? U.S. mom's

For U.S. based moms when did you transfer your child from a carseat to a booster? Was it based on height/weight/age/maturity or all the above?
And what kind of booster would you recommend?

If you’re a UK or other nationality Id love to hear your opinions as well, I just know safety & car seat laws vary from country to country.

We’re hopefully planning for #3 but our current carseat configuration wont fit 3 across, so we’ll either have to buy all new carseats or a new car. But if we do buy new carseats, my oldest is almost 5 so I dont want to purchase a carseat and then have to immediately replace it with a booster. So just trying to plan ahead and get some insight from mama’s who’ve been through it before.

I’m in the New England part of the US.

My oldest is going to be 8 at the end of August. He switched to a 5 point harness after his 4th birthday. My requirements were watching the height and weight.

He has been in a 5 point harness ever since. I have a Graco slim fit which has a booster option. I was going to ask him pediatrician about his thoughts on when to switch him to a booster. I kept him rear facing as long as possible (based on the car seat specifications) solely out of safety- the longer they can RF the better. Ideally I want the same for being in a 5 point harness but the weight maximum is 100lbs and that is something I was when I learned to drive. I’m thinking I’ll get him into the booster by the time he turns 10 if the pediatrician doesn’t have good reason to recommend earlier.

We have the graco slimfit too. We are keeping our youngest rear facing until 4, our oldest we turned at 3 because she developed extreme nausea (we couldnt even drive down the block without her throwing up)

We have no one near by who has kids the same age and I just realized when we were doing preschool no one else still had their 4/5 yr olds in the 5 point harness. And I was wondering if we were behind or being overly cautious, because my instinct is to keep them in the 5 point for as long as possible. And if we do have to buy new carseats to fit 3, I just want to make sure Im getting the most appropriate, safest as well as practical.

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In Australia, we go by height or age. Carseats have markers on them that show when a child is large enough for the seat to extended or turned forward facing. The general consensus is that a child should rear face until 4 years old; however, obviously some kiddos are bigger and may reach that height marker before then (which is also acceptable). From 4-7, children should use a forward facing booster seat.

A child cannot sit in the front seat until they are 7 or the rear seats are all occupied with younger, more vulnerable children. If a child under 7 needs to use the front seat, they must still have a carseat suitable for their age fitted.

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[name_m]Just[/name_m] out of curiosity when in the forward facing booster, are they required to use the 5 point harness or the seat belt?

I’ve noticed I think most turn their kids around and put them into boosters and out of boosters earlier then I’d be comfortable with as well. I think for most that’s because they maybe don’t see how something like RF at 4 could be comfortable. However, Infind more often then not that’s not really a founded fear as kids just adapt in car seats. Also I don’t think the latest knowledge about car seat safety is all that widespread. I don’t think it’s being overly cautious to maximize use of each position. Especially where safety is concerned. I currently have 4 in car seats. Two of them are rear facing (altho my now 4yo may be turned in the next couple weeks once I make sure he’s maxed out the RF specifics). If it helps it’s a Toyota [name_f]Sienna[/name_f] that enables us to accommodate each kid as needed.


They can use a normal seatbelt where the car seats have a lap-and-sash type seatbelt. For seats that only have a lap belt (usually the middle seat) a safety harness must be installed.

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[name_f]My[/name_f] 6-year-old is in a booster with a lap and sash seatbelt, and we just transitioned the 4-year-old to the same. We made sure they met either the age or weight requirement in our state, and after that it was based on safety/maturity/convenience. They both had carseats that transitioned to boosters, so they have backs, headrests and armrests.
The older is able to buckle and unbuckle himself, and the younger can unbuckle, which saves some time loading and unloading the car.
They’re Safety 1st seats, one [name_f]Alpha[/name_f] [name_m]Omega[/name_m] Elite convertible seat and the other what I think is the Grow n Go.
[name_f]My[/name_f] 3-year-old and infant both have Graco seats.
We’d be able to fit 3 across in our car (Chevy Suburban) but buckling a booster gets very tricky because of the seats being side by side. We have two kids in the back and two in the middle, currently.

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This is actually true with my two in 5 point harness FF. And with my RF 4yo we tell him to get into his seat and get the straps ready to buckle and tighten. And with my oldest when we park the car he’s so fast at getting unbuckled that we’ll put him in charge of unbuckling the 4yo so I’m just left grabbing the baby most days. Loading and unloading does becomes so much more easy when they become able to do the varying things themselves!


Ok thought I should update incase it’s helpful. But my child turned 4 over a week ago and instantly started begging to be FF. (Have a feeling his older siblings had something to do with that). So last weekend we weighed him and measured him ourselves (pediatrician checkup isn’t until this week) and discovered he was at the height and weight max. So to his extreme excitement we turned his seat around. A week later the kid is still beaming. So since we were already in the process I looked more closely into the FF and booster specifics for the slim fit. And also weighed and measured my oldest. Weight wise I don’t see an issue occurring. But height wise he’s only a couple inches until he reaches the FF max (49”)so I’m leaving him for now but he’ll likely be in the booster mode before he turns 9. I’ll be checking him every couple months now…. This now has me waiting for some growth spurt to occur out of nowhere. But so the update 3 in FF ages 4,6 and almost 8 and one RF at 1.

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