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Confused - 2 year old in stage 2/3 car seat?

16 replies

CastleTower · 22/08/2022 09:32

I'm confused about what car seat my two year old should be in. I was just shopping for a spare for grandparents etc to use when they visit and the sizes have alarmed me.

My two year old is at the top of the growth charts. She's been over 15 kg for some months; she's at least 15.5 kg now. She's also about 103 cm tall (but hard to measure!). She's 3 in a few weeks' time.

Her size implies she should be in a stage 2/3 seat, or almost? But surely if she's two she needs a five-point harness? I can't imagine having my toddler in a high-back booster! All the muli-age seats seem to talk about taking the harness out at 4 years or 15 kilos, but surely she's too young. But I don't want to make her unsafe by having a seat that's incorrect for her size either.

I think her current car seat is up to 18kg or 105cm, which is why I got it in the first place. But if she hits 105cm soon, will that be an issue?

Any advice much appreciated.

OP posts:
FruitToast · 22/08/2022 09:42

There are 25kg harnessed seats and as she's high centile these are going to last the longest until she can safely move to a high back booster. She should ideally be rear facing until at least 4 and then needs to be able to sit sensibly to use the seatbelt. The axkid minikid or move or britax two way elite are popular. If you want to forward face then I think the Joie bold harnesses to 25kg.

Sprogonthetyne · 22/08/2022 09:50

Most 5 point harness go up to 18kg, and you can get them up to 25kg (usually rear facing). Weight wise a 15kg kid could use them, but the need to be sensible enough to keep the seat belt on (think small 4yo not big 2yo). Having said that my eldest got to 18kg at 3 and a half, so we did change his spare seat to HBB then, a little earlier then I would have liked.

BuffaloCauliflower · 22/08/2022 09:53

You need to look at extended rear facing seats that go to 25kg. Rear facing until at least 4-5 is recommended and there are plenty of seats that do this. The Axkid mini kid is a popular choice but there are cheaper ones. If you’re on Facebook join the extended rear facing car seats group for advice

hellosunshineagainx · 22/08/2022 10:00

I have the britax max-way, it's extended rear facing to 25kg. My ds is 99th percentile for height and weight

GoAround · 22/08/2022 10:05

Mine stayed in the harnessed seat until she outgrew it and then went into a high backed booster. She was about 3 and a half.

SmallElephants · 22/08/2022 10:27

It might take longer than you think for her to grow to 105cm. Red book charts might help?

CastleTower · 22/08/2022 10:43

Thank you everyone. Thanks for the Red Book suggestion @SmallElephants - this suggests she'll hit 105cm / 18 kg around 3 and a half, which is still earlier than I'd like.

Harness till 25 kg sounds much better to me, as that should be around age 4 and a half. (She is not always sensible and I wouldn't trust her an inch with a seat belt she could undo!) I will look at the seats you've suggested, certainly for her next main car seat. Not sure I can afford a spare that's also £200-300 but I will make a note to keep an eye on them in the January sales and see what we can find.

OP posts:
CastleTower · 22/08/2022 10:48

@FruitToast Joie Bold looks like a good option for next time we get a seat, thanks so much. We usually get Britax so I will look there too.

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BertieBotts · 23/08/2022 08:42

There are a couple of cheaper 25kg harness seats.

Forward facing these are the options:

Joie Bold
BabyAuto Dupla
Cozy n Safe Excalibur
Cozy n Safe Hudson (I think this is the cheapest)

They all need isofix and top tether. There's one option that fits using only seatbelt, Maxi Cosi Beryl, but it's expensive.

Rear facing you could look at

Britax Two Way Elite (cheapest)
Britax Max Way / Max Way Plus (currently discounted)
Axkid Move (not currently discounted but sometimes goes on offer)

Since you'll need a bigger seat for your car too, it might be worth getting one of the rear facing seats plus a second set of tethers and just moving it across?

The majority of seats just don't cater for kids her size unfortunately.

Clevs · 23/08/2022 08:44

I've got a high centile child as well and we have. Joie Bold which harnesses to 25kg.

BertieBotts · 23/08/2022 08:46

You can continue to use your current seat until she hits one of the limits, so I would wait and see. The height limit might take longer to reach than you think; measure her barefoot. It's also probably less bad to exceed a height limit than a weight limit (they tend to be a bit more conservative, and at various times different manufacturers haves said it's fine/not fine/fine/not fine again 🤷‍♀️) although to be totally safe, don't exceed either. However it's no longer safe if she doesn't physically fit in the harness because her shoulders are too tall, or if her eyes are higher than the shell of the seat. For rear facing the harness is allowed to come from behind the shoulders whereas for forward facing it must be level with her shoulders or slightly higher.

BertieBotts · 23/08/2022 08:49

Worth noting that all of these seats conform to the older standard, which is being phased out next September. It's perfectly safe and legal to keep using them if you buy them before September, but since there are currently no extended harness forward facing seats out to the new standard, keep an eye out as I wonder if some will appear. A lot of companies are busy transitioning their older models to conform to the newer regulation. And you may find as next summer comes along a lot of the shops will be discounting their stock to get them sold before the deadline.

letmesleepzz · 23/08/2022 08:50

You've got some great suggestions here @CastleTower . I'd add that we have always used the car seat jungle website and it's made it less confusing.

BertieBotts · 23/08/2022 09:34

That website looks really good letmesleep!

letmesleepzz · 23/08/2022 11:00

@BertieBotts I love it. It saved us a lot of googling for sure!

CastleTower · 23/08/2022 11:58

"However it's no longer safe if she doesn't physically fit in the harness because her shoulders are too tall, or if her eyes are higher than the shell of the seat."

@BertieBotts This is extremely helpful as a guide, thank you! She has a long body, rather than long legs, so she's a bit "taller" sitting down than her total height suggests too.

And thank you for the info about the new standards too.

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