View Full Version : Need to choose a carseat for a 5 yr old girl, 33 1/2 pds, 43 in tall and small framed

03-14-2006, 11:20 PM
Need to choose a carseat for a 5 yr old girl, 33 1/2 pds, 43 in tall and small framed

Hi! Our daughter is in need of a new carseat. She is currently in a denim, non-latch Roundabout which says it only goes to 40" Tall and 40pds. We just realized she is 43" (grew several inches almost overnight it seems), but still about a 1/4-1/2 inch under the top slat (she's all leg)...one reason we didn't realize she is technically over the height now. First, is she okay in the seat technically till we buy another in the next week or so, or do I need to borrow a Turbobooster from a friend in the meantime?

At first we were looking at the Graco Turbobooster "Flower Power" or the Britax Parkway. However, I am leaning toward another 5pt harness as she can do it herself (does it better than some other adults I've noticed as I've trained her well) and it just seems safer (especially since she is so petite). I've noticed that she has difficulty strapping in with my friend's Graco Turbobooster, she can't do it herself at all. When asked if she wanted a booster like the turbo, or one like the Roundabout so she could do it herself, she said the harness like the Roundabout (doesn't need it to be a "booster" per se).

So, I'd prefer a 5pt harness, LATCH (definitely latch as long as we can, which should be a while since she is so light), dh wants a small foot print for possible 3 across situation. Also would love something comfy of course and eps foam if possible. Of course, in the Roundabout she is used to looking out the window, so am a bit concerened about wings that are too obtrusive (we are moving across country the week after Easter and will be in the car 5 days…she’ll probably want to look outside and not straight ahead the whole time, lol). DH also would only like to get one now (I suggested the Turbobooster or Parkway for times we need 3 across now and another 5pt with bigger foot print for the majority of times we aren't hauling friends). I like the Regent, but it is huge! I'm also considering a Marathon, Decatholon, or Boulevard, but it doesn't appear they give much more height...though perhaps I'm wrong. Figure those might give her a little more time till she is able to do the booster strap on her own and then use it for my son when he gets too big for the Roundabout. She loves the girlie prints on those, I love that I could later get a denim or boy cover for my son later.

My 2 1/2 yr old son is 27 pds, around 35" tall and slightly bigger build than his sister, but still skinny. He is in our other denim Roundabout (newer latch one) which we will keep.

We also might be trying for a third later this year. If we get pregnant, that'd mean another baby in the mix summer/fall 2007. We currently have a 2005 Acura MDX and I'd want to try to do 3 across as it is safer than the 3rd row back seat. Our infant seat is a 2003 Peg Perego, but I might upgrade that as it didn't have the capability to be used without the base back then (can just see dh rolling his eyes now, lol).

DH is seriously considering the 2007/2008 Suburban if we have another kid, in which case 3 across would be much easier (or one in the very back wouldn't be as bad since there is more of a buffer between the 3rd row and back in that vehicle). In the meantime though, 3 across in the MDX would come in handy for my 7 yr old niece who is also in a booster or dd's friends. Oh, currently both Roundabouts are on the outboard sides in the MDX and there appears to be a solid 14" between the two "wings" that jut out at the front bottom...more space between the two bases in the bottom back of the seat. We will be selling or giving away the older Roundabout, but I am just using both as a spacial guide.

Thanks for any input or ideas!

03-15-2006, 09:31 AM
I'm not a tech by a any means but I have done a lot of research so I'll try to help as much as I can!

I think your dd is fine in her current seat for another week or so until you get her a new seat. Weight limits are set in stone but height limits have a little wiggle room due to children growing differently. The important thing is whether or not her shoulders are under the top slots still and of course where her ears & head fall at the top of the seat. I don't have a RA so check your owners manual to see what it says about that. Some seats are outgrown when the top of the ears reach the top of the shell and the shoulders are above the top slots...

5-pt is definitely safer than a BPB - you're right about that, especially with petite kids. The MA/BV's will give you about another 2" of growing room on the harness (my ds is in a Blvd currently and it's a very nice seat). The top slots on the MA/DC/BV's are 17.5-18" & the Regent are 19", for comparison. Also, I have read that with the Regent, according to Britax, the shoulders can go past the top slots. That seat is outgrown when the top of the ears reach the top of the seat shell. Not sure why it's different than other seats though...

This site gives the measurements (inside & out) of many car seats, which might help you:

This site has recommended car seats:
I would go with a combo that harnesses to 40lbs. You might not want to use it as a booster after 40lbs though depending on what you get but some of them make great harnessed seats. The reason I say this is because some of them have closed belt loops that don't work well with some vehicle seat belts. The Graco CarGo one is pretty narrow (look at the measurement guide above for reference.) I just bought my ds an Evenflo Bolero (aka Generations) because those do make good bpb's since they have open belt loops at the shoulders. The problem with that seat is it's pretty wide so it might not work well for you in a 3-across scenerio.

Check your expiry date on your older RA. You might just need to dispose of it if it's 5-6 yrs old. They really shouldn't be used beyond that because plastic gets brittle with age and won't stand up under the pressure if in an accident. If you do pass it on to someone make sure they're aware of when it expires so they'll know when they need to get a new seat.

You might want to x-post over on the baby bargains car seat board as well. It's a bit more active than this one for some reason.