Should My 5-Year-Old Be in a Car Seat Or Booster?

It is a common question that many parents have, when is the right time to switch my child from a car seat to a booster? The answer unfortunately is not as straightforward as we would like it to be. Every child is different and will develop at different rates, so it really depends on your individual child.

However, there are some general guidelines that can help you make the decision of whether or not your 5-year-old should be in a car seat or booster. The first thing you need to consider is the height and weight of your child. If they are under 4 feet 9 inches tall and weigh less than 40 pounds, then they should still be in a car seat with a harness.

Once they reach these milestones, then you can start considering transitioning them to a booster seat. Even if they meet these criteria though, you also need to take into account their maturity level and ability to sit still for long periods of time. If they are still wiggly and prone to distraction, then it might be best to wait a little longer before making the switch.

Ultimately, the decision of when to transition your child from a car seat to a booster is up to you as the parent. You know your child best and will be able to gauge when they are ready for this next step. Just remember to take all factors into consideration before making any decisions.

As a parent, you want to do everything you can to keep your child safe. When it comes to car safety, there are a lot of decisions to make. One of the biggest questions is whether or not your child should be in a car seat or booster.

There is no one answer that fits all children, as each child is different. The best way to determine what is best for your child is to speak with your pediatrician or another expert. They will be able to give you specific advice based on your child’s age, weight, and height.

In general, most children under the age of 5 should be in a car seat. Once they reach 5 years old, they can start using a booster seat. However, it is important to note that every child is different and you should always consult with an expert before making any decisions about car safety.

Car Seat Safety by Age: Booster Seat Safety from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

What Kind of Car Seat Should a 5 Year Old Be In?

As a child gets older, they need to move up to a bigger car seat. A 5 year old should be in a belt-positioning booster seat. This type of seat helps raise the child so the seatbelt fits properly.

The shoulder strap should go over the shoulder and not the neck, and the lap portion should fit low on the hips and upper thighs. If a child is too small for a booster, they can stay in a harnessed car seat as long as it meets their height and weight requirements.

Should a 5 Year Old Be in a Car Seat Or Booster Seat?

Yes, a 5 year old should be in either a car seat or booster seat. The type of seat will depend on the child’s height and weight. If they are under 4’9″ tall, then they will need to be in a car seat with a harness. If they are over 4’9″ tall, then they can use a booster seat.

Does a 5 Year Old Need a 5-Point Harness?

No, a 5 year old does not need a 5-point harness. A 5-point harness is only necessary for infants and toddlers who are not yet able to sit up on their own. Once a child is old enough to sit up unassisted, they can use a regular seatbelt.

What Age is Appropriate for Booster Car Seat?

Most children transition from a car seat to a booster seat between the ages of 4 and 8. This is because they have outgrown the height and weight limits of their car seat, but are not yet big enough to sit in a regular seat with a lap and shoulder belt. When making the switch from a car seat to a booster, it’s important to make sure that your child is both tall enough and heavy enough to use a booster.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that kids be at least 4 years old AND 40 pounds before moving to a booster. Some states actually have laws requiring kids to be this age or older before they can ride without a car seat. Once your child has moved into a booster, they can stay in that same seat until they reach the maximum weight limit for the particular model you’ve chosen (usually around 100 pounds).

After that, it’s time for them to move into an adult Seat belt that will fit them properly.

Should My 5-Year-Old Be in a Car Seat Or Booster?


Best Booster Seat for 5 Year Old

If you have a 5 year old, chances are you’re in need of a booster seat. But with so many options on the market, it can be hard to know which one is best. We’ve done the research for you and compiled a list of the best booster seats for 5 year olds.

First, we’ll take a look at the Graco Turbo Booster LX Backless Booster Seat. This seat is perfect for kids who are ready to transition out of a traditional car seat but aren’t quite ready for a seatbelt alone. It features an adjustable backrest and headrest to ensure your child is comfortable and also has padded armrests for extra support.

The Graco Turbo Booster LX is easy to install and use, making it a great option for busy families on the go. Next up is the Evenflo Big Kid Sport Highback Booster Seat. This seat is ideal for kids who need a little extra support when riding in the car.

It features high sides that provide protection in case of an accident, as well as energy-absorbing foam padding for added safety. The Evenflo Big Kid Sport also has an easy-to-use harness system that keeps your child secure while riding. Finally, we have the Britax Frontier ClickTight Combination Harness-2-Booster Car Seat.

This seat is perfect for kids who need both a harness and booster in one convenient package. It features Britax’s ClickTight installation system that makes it quick and easy to get your child in and out of the seat. The Britax Frontier also has side impact protection and an energy-absorbing foam liner that provides superior safety in case of an accident.

So there you have it! These are our top three picks for best booster seats for 5 year olds. We hope this list helps you find the perfect seat for your child’s needs!

When Can My Child Stop Using a Booster Seat

As children grow, they gradually move through different types of car seats and restraints. The type of seat your child needs depends on their height, weight, and age. Most children need a booster seat from the time they outgrow their forward-facing car seat until they are big enough to use an adult safety belt.

This is typically when they reach 4 feet 9 inches tall and are between 8 and 12 years old. When using a booster seat, the lap portion of the safety belt should fit snugly across your child’s upper thighs. The shoulder portion of the belt should cross the middle of the chest and rest securely on the shoulder (not the neck).

If you have any questions about whether your child is ready to stop using a booster seat, please consult with your child’s doctor or another expert such as a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician.

Booster Seat Requirements

Most states have adopted booster seat laws for children who have outgrown their car seats but are still too small to use a seat belt alone. Booster seats are usually needed until a child is 4 feet 9 inches tall and between 8 and 12 years old. Laws vary by state, but typically, children must ride in a booster seat until they’re at least 4 years old or 40 pounds.

Some states require kids to stay in boosters until they’re 7 or 8 years old, or until they reach a certain height (usually 4 feet 9 inches). Booster seats help raise your child so the lap and shoulder belts fit properly. The lap belt should lie low across your child’s thighs, not across the stomach.

The shoulder belt should cross the chest and rest snugly on the shoulder—not on the neck or arm. If you’re not sure whether your child needs a booster seat, ask your pediatrician or family doctor. When in doubt, it’s better to be safe than sorry—booster seats can make all the difference in a crash.


Most parents are unsure if their 5-year-old should be in a car seat or booster. The answer is both! Your 5-year-old should be in a car seat with a harness for as long as possible and then transition to a belt-positioning booster when they outgrow their car seat.

This will ensure that they are always properly restrained while riding in the car.

Leave a Comment