If you’re reading this blog, then you’re probably wondering what’s the difference between a car seat and a high back booster.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
As a parent myself, I know how important our child’s safety is to us.
So today, I’m going to give you lots of information that will help enlighten you on the difference between a high back booster and a car seat.
Car Seat VS High Back Booster
A car seat is a portable baby seat that is attached to a car’s seat and holds your child for safety purposes.
It is important to know that when your child is in a car seat, they will use the car seat’s five-point harness as their restraints.
Car seats are used to transport a baby in a car. They are usually used by parents to make sure that their babies are safe while they are driving. Parents who use car seats for their babies should know the proper car seat strap placement for their babies’ safety.
Age Limits of Car Seats and How Should You Place Your Baby
I know you’re probably wondering how long a can newborn is in a car seat, that’s why I have added this section to give you more information about your baby’s car seat.
Most parents use car seats when their children are between 3 months to 4 years old. There are times when parents switch from a smaller car seat to a larger one when their children reach 2 years old.
When putting your child in a car seat, make sure that they are in a semi-reclined position. Remember to put them in a comfortable position where their heads are properly placed on the upper portion of the car seat and their chins are off their chest.
Now, the next question most parents wonder is when to forward face a car seat.
It is recommended to place your baby (who’s riding in a car seat) where they are facing the rear of the car. We never know when accidents can happen, and a child is much more likely to be seriously injured or die when facing your car’s front.
This is because car seats are made to cradle a baby’s head, neck, and torso during a crash. Children from 0 to 1 year olds are recommended to be placed with their backs facing their parents.
If your child is more than a year old and is more than 20 pounds, that’s when you can let them face the front of your car.
High Back Booster
A high back booster seat is the replacement of your child’s car seat once they outgrow it. Like a car seat, it provides safety for your children aging 5 and above when they are riding a car.
High back boosters provide extra protection for your children while they are in your car. These seats are made to absorb the shock to protect your child’s head and neck, and in some models your child’s sides as well.
When your child is using a high back booster seat, he or she is using your car’s seat belt as their restraint, just like how adults use it.
When Should You Move Your Child to A Booster Seat?
It’s easy to know when you can move your child to a booster seat from their car seats. All you need to remember and consider are these three elements: your child’s age, weight, and ability to control their bodies.
Let’s tackle these three elements first.
- Age – when your child is 5 years old and above, that’s when you can move them to a booster seat. This is because most car seats can only be used by children ranging from 0 to 4 years old. Car seats are not that big which is why children can easily outgrow them.
- Weight – as we have mentioned a while ago, car seats are meant to be used by infants and toddlers alike. If your child is 40 pounds and above, a car seat wouldn’t be able to take that much weight anymore – which means your car seat can’t support and protect your child that well.
- Control their bodies – another reason why you should wait for your child to be able to control their body when they’re sitting in that a high back booster seat can give them more room to move rather than a car seat. So, when your child is already able to sit without slouching, or leaning over, you can now trust them with a high back booster seat.
Types of Booster Seats
Before you decide to move your child to a booster seat you first need to know that there are three different types of booster seats; the backless booster seats, combination booster seats, and the high back booster car seat.
Let’s get to know more about the differences between these three:
- Backless Booster Seats – a backless booster seat is considered the traditional type of booster seat. As its name suggests, it is backless so it means that it would look just like a cushion on your sofa. The purpose of backless booster seats is to provide extra cushion and raise your child for better seat belt positioning. There are backless booster seats that can be secured with your car’s latch system while other backless booster seats are simply placed on your car’s seat.
- High Back Booster Seats – unlike backless booster seats, a high back booster seat provides a cushion for your child’s bum and their backs. It is considered the safest type of booster seat because it absorbs shock due to its “wings” which protect your child’s head, neck, and in some instances, sides.
- Combination Booster Seats – a combination booster seat is a combination of a high back booster seat and a car seat. The only difference is that a combination booster seat has a five-point harness to provide safety for them just like a car seat.
Final Thoughts – Which is Better High Back Booster or Car Seat?
For me, there is no “best” brand of a car seat or high back booster. As long as they can restrain your child and keep them safe as possible, that’s the only thing that matters most. Another vital thing is the knowledge a parent has about the difference between a car seat and a high back booster. Having enough knowledge about these two can make a huge difference, especially for a child’s safety.
And now that you have finally learned the difference between the car seat and high back booster seats, we hope that you can now choose which seat is the best for your baby. Just remember that the most important thing of all is your child’s comfort and safety.
Steph is a passionate mom who co-founded Wumblers to share her parenting journey with others. She graduated from Concordia University with a masters degree in Education Technology and worked as an advisor for many years. Steph loves being a mom and wants to have more kids.
Learn more about Steph and Wumblers here.