View Full Version : 3 3/4 year old - next seat

11-07-2003, 01:07 PM
Our 3 3/4 year old DS is outgrowing his Century car seat in DH's car. Also, we had a very minor side impact [front seat] crash in that car a couple of weeks ago, and we think we should throw the seat away since they recommend you do that even with a very minor crash.

In my car, we have a Britax Roundabout and he's not outgrowing it yet. He's about 33 pounds, about 38" (I'm going to measure and weigh him again tonight, since we're going car seat shopping tomorrow). In general, on the tallish and slim side. In my mom's car, he rides in the same model Century that DH has, and he is getting too tall for it but it will probably be OK for a little while longer. She has him in the outboard position in her Honda Accord; we have him in the center position in both of our cars.

Meanwhile, I'm torn between 3 Britaxes as to what to get for DH's car. A store near us has Starrisers left, and that might be best for DH's car (a Prius) because he has to take the seat out frequently. The Starriser apparently folds up easily and is very portable. Since the Starriser starts at 30 lbs., DS could go into it now. But I'm not sure because of what I've been reading about kids being safer in the harness. And how do you know if your child is mature enough to sit in a booster? He never sits still at home (he's always bouncing, wiggling, etc.) but he sits well in his car seat.

On the other hand, getting a Wizard for DH's car would be a lot heavier and presumably harder for him to move in and out and stow easily, a lot more expensive (since it's a from-birth seat), and possibly not usable as long because it doesn't look like a "big-kid" seat. But the Wizard would let DS be harnessed longer, and have extra side-impact protection. Since DH's car has side-curtain airbags, and we're putting the seat in the center, I'm not sure how necessary the extra protection is. But if it's a wonderful new advance, I don't like the idea of not using it.

The third choice is we could get a Bodyguard (assuming DS likes it - we'll try it out tomorrow). DH isn't quite as happy about the Bodyguard as a Starriser because it doesn't look like it folds up and stores as easily. If we do that, we'd have to get another harness seat to last him until he reaches 40 pounds. I don't know what to get for a stopgap harness seat if we do that. It might make the most sense, though, if the Bodyguard is much more protective than the Starriser. But again, DH's car has side curtain airbags, so maybe it isn't essential.

And when we eventually replace the RA in my car, I thought we'd get a Bodyguard, but if DS has been using a Starriser in DH's car he may find the Bodyguard too confining?

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks! Sorry this is so long.

11-07-2003, 03:27 PM
Just curious, what year is your prius? mine's a 2003 and it doesn't have side curtain airbags (side bags in the front seats, but nothing for the head in the back)...and only has a 3 star side impact rating :(
Julie CPS Tech and mom to 2 in seats

11-07-2003, 03:37 PM
It's the new 2004 Prius (just got it this week), and it has the side curtain airbags. Don't know the side impact rating, though - where do I find that?

11-07-2003, 03:46 PM
But Julie, do you have any ideas on the car seat choice? I'd appreciate your help so much - thanks!

11-07-2003, 04:13 PM
Oh, how envious am *I*!!!! I like my 2003...but oh, for a 2004! Sweeeeet...
Ok, enough raving....

Just how long are the trips that your DH takes your DS on? I know even my active squirmy 4 yo is able to sit still for a 20 minute trip with dad, so maybe yours is, too?

If you think he can handle it, I'd recommend the Starriser Comfy. If you had a 2003, I'd say bodyguard, but those side airbags look so phenomenally protective in the crash tests (the 2004 testing isn't done yet...I think I last looked at www.crashtest.com for info), esp with your DS in the middle seat, that it's going to be your smallest, lightest choice. The bodyguard is a bear...it takes up most of my trunk, and takes more fiddling to use and to route the belt through...(we're used to the arm lockoffs and the shoulderbelt guide, and don't mind it much because of the added safety, but if I didn't HAVE to mess with it for short trips, I wouldn't want to...)

If you really think he can't handle the freedom of a booster yet, or if you try it out and he *proves* he can't (most kids can understand by this age that sitting properly is important, they just take some reminding), then I'd look at a combo seat, like the Ultra or Platinum Cargo or the Chase. Those are both nice seats, easy to use, light enough to pop in the trunk, and can be harnessed to 40 pounds...which can sometimes take a while...my ds is 6 and has been 38-40 pounds for about a year now...he's skinny, but it proves my point they slow down their weight gain :)

Hope that helps :)

Julie CPS Tech and mom to 2 in seats

11-07-2003, 05:12 PM
Thanks very much, Julie, that's very helpful!

11-10-2003, 12:49 PM
Thanks again so much for your help, Julie! We ended up with a Graco TurboBooster, because the Starriser wasn't a good fit for my son - he could bend the back of it forward very easily, and a couple other fit things were off. the TurboBooster fit him well, and he understood what we told him about booster safety and has ridden very well in it for some medium-length trips this weekend. The Bodyguard did seem too restrictive for him on the head - I'm hoping that they remodel the head a bit before we need a booster in my car (my Roundabout will last him quite a while yet).

The installer at Great Beginnings was a CPS tech, and thinks he knows you, Julie. He was complimentary of the info parents are getting from CPS techs like you on the web. I was very pleased to have a good CPS tech there helping us analyze the fit of different seats on my son, and to have come in with enough info that I felt like we knew what we were doing!

11-10-2003, 03:41 PM
Oh good, I'm glad you found something that works for you!

LOL, he might know me if he comes online much (I have over 2500 posts on the parentsplace/ivillage carseat board!)

Anyway, it's nice to help people who are doing their homework online, compared to cautiously trying to offer advice to people standing confused in the carseat aisle who only want a seat that matches their car! ;)

Isn't the Prius so FUN?!?!? I don't even mind getting caught in traffic, since it just goes OFF and everything is so still and quiet.... we put mucho miles on it, though, since gas is so pricey (while the minivan with DVD player sits in the driveway...very ironic....lol)

Julie CPS Tech and mom to 2 in seats