• Car seats are annoying. They are big, bulky, and hard to clean. But of course they also save lives, so we all use them. Something I see all the time are people who take their kids out of booster seats before they are ready. I think it is pretty misunderstood when it is safe to move your child into a regular seat. A lot of us understand when to move from a carrier to a convertible, rear facing to forward facing, and then into the boosters themselves, but what about out of the boosters?

    My daughter is old enough, and big enough to begin using a belt positioning booster

    First and foremost, check your state specific car seat rules. Here in Tennessee a child must remain in a booster until at least age eight, AND 4’9″. That is just the state law, but if you ask our pediatrician, she is even more conservative and wants to keep kids in boosters longer. In fact, talking to her about my six year old, she was happy to hear that her booster still used the five point harness. My daughter is old enough, and big enough to begin using a belt positioning booster. That is one that uses the car’s seat belt only. However, the five point harness on her booster goes up to 65 pounds. She still has over 20 pounds to go. The booster we have also transitions into a regular high back booster using the car’s seat belt and goes up to 100 pounds.

    I understand there comes a point when your child no longer likes the booster, sees older kids not using one, and decides they are old enough to not use one. I have seen it! But these seats are made for a reason, so do your best to keep kids in them as long as possible. Even at the risk of being an uncool parent. For us, I plan to keep my kids in their seats until they grow out of them. They may complain, but at least they’ll be safe!