View Full Version : vy small 3.5 yr old, but Marathon just doesn't seem right anymore?

02-23-2006, 07:30 PM
Hi --

My DD is 3 3/4. She's 37", but only 28 lbs. I've loved the Marathon, but there are two issues. One is that we're doing a lot more of riding in other cars, going home from school with a playmate, etc. The marathon is just too huge, heavy, and difficult to install. (even with LATCH, I don't think it's easy) The second is that she just looks uncomfortable in it. She's tilted at an awkward angle (too far reclined), her knees come to a strange place and angle, and it just looks like it's not nice for her. I'd like to get her something else that is safe but more comfortable and less of a "baby seat". (Oh yeah, she also gets teased about that by all of her friends, every single one of whom is in a booster.)

What can/should I get her when she hits 30 lbs that will be safe and easy? She's pretty mature, and I don't worry about her ability to sit properly and stay still much.

I just won't be able to wait until she's 40 lbs, as that probably won't happen until she's 6 or older. So please advise as to what I can do near term. Thanks!

02-24-2006, 12:48 AM
This is hard for me to answer, because in all honesty I think the Marathon is a good seat for your daughter. Are you sure you have it in upright mode? Also, it is often easier to install the Marathon with a seat belt than with LATCh, IMO. You should still use the top tether if one's available.

Would a seat that has a harness but is not up on a big base be a decent compromise? If so, since your daughter is so tiny, I would suggest a Graco Cherished/Ultra/Platinum CarGo to be used in harnessed mode. She would sit more upright in it, but lower down, and it has cupholders which seems to be cool in the preschool world. It is very light and easy to move, but I don't think it is as easy to install as a Marathon. It does not make that great a booster, so you would be buying it to use for a couple of years until she is 6 or so. (While it can be an OK belt positioning booster for older kids, it will not work at all for your daughter at this size. My daughter is 40 inches and 34 pounds and the seat holds the shoulder belt away from her body--definite no no. Don't buy this seat now unless you intend to use the 5-point harness.)

Personally, I wouldn't put this small a child in a booster full time. However, if you decide to get a booster as a carpool seat once she reaches 30 pounds, please make sure and try her out in the seat first. I know the Graco TurboBooster fits my daughter well, I believe the Britax Parkway would also and it is easier to buckle since there are no armrests.

Since I am small myself I feel bad that your daughter is having a hard time with her friends. Maybe illustrate with clothes. I'm guessing she's just starting to wear size 4, but a lot of her friends probably wear size 5. Wouldn't she look silly wearing their size 5 clothes? The shirts would be huge, and the pants would fall off. (I suppose the 4's probably do to, but that's another story...)So instead of looking big, she'd look even smaller. That's how it is with seat belts and car seats, too. She won't look bigger in a booster seat, she'd look smaller and it wouldn't fit her well so she could fall out of it. Try to teach her to deal with the teasing as it will happen for a long time to come in many other ways. (I personally feel not being able to ride the big rides at the amusement park was much more difficult.) Practice using calm words like "This is just the right size for me" and avoiding words like "I'm not a baby!" which seems to make the teasing worse.

I hope it goes well and that you and your daughter both find something you're happy with.

02-24-2006, 04:38 PM
Another option may be the Evenflo Bolero/Generations. (Bolero is at Kmart, cheaper and more basic. Generations is at Target, has extra something. Pillows I think?) Its harnessed until 40 and then a decent booster. I'm considering the Bolero as a secondary seat. Your DD is so light, that you will get a lot of use out of the harness of either the Graco or the Evenflo. But, like PP said the Graco isn't a great booster.

I'm very serious about keeping my DD harnessed for a long time to come. I just am far more comfortable with that. Even if she can sit properly, what about sleeping comfort, or if I have a rollover? I live in snow and ice country and rollovers just aren't uncommon here. I can easily imagine how much safer she is harnessed in a rollover situation.

I love PP's suggestion about the teasing! Its a nice reply that I'm going to keep in mind. I'm sad that she gets teased, though. We'll surely be facing that too. She's already noticed that her older cousins have "car seats with one click" pointing to her hip for the click. Sigh.

02-24-2006, 07:22 PM
All of my 4.5yo dd's peers (and lots of their younger siblings!) use belt positioning boosters. She's the only one her age still using a harness. Somehow she's very self-assured about it and just tells them when they question it that a harness is safer. :o) I've taught her well!

She does use a booster when she rides with her friends though, and has for about a year (she reached 40 pounds at 3.5 and is 46 pounds now), but she is still nowhere near mature enough to use one properly for long trips. That, coupled with the fact that harnessing is just plain safer, even for children who can ride in a booster safely, is the reason she will stay harnessed in the main vehicle for some time to come.

If you want to replace the primary seat, look at the Recaro Young Sport and Evenflo Bolero or Evenflo Generations. These seats have TALL top slots (comparable to the Marathon) but 40 pound harnessed weight limits (your dd is so light that the 40 pound weight limit will really be fine), and they convert to belt positioning boosters--GOOD belt positioning boosters that adjust tall enough to be the last booster your child will need, right up to 4 feet 9 inches tall.

Differences are price ($250 for the Young Sport, $100ish for the Evenflo), the YS has EPS foam, deeper side wings, more cushy--think Britax-quality--the Evenflo is more of a basic seat, but still very nice. The Bolero does not have a recline bar, the Generations does.

You could go with a YS for the main vehicle and a Bolero/Generations as a secondary seat, or just go with one of those two for the main vehicle and switch it back and forth until she's 30 pounds and go with a Turbo or Parkway for a spare at that point. Both of those fit smaller kids well and also adjust tall enough to fit kids to at least 4 feet 9 inches tall.

02-24-2006, 09:15 PM
Just wanted to note that I recommended the CarGo because it is the smaller and lighter than the Evenflo Generations and the Recaro Young Sport, and you weren't finding the Marathon easy to move around. However, it is true that they both make better boosters than the CarGo.