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When to switch car seats for older kids

At my son’s last checkup, he finally hit the 40+ pound mark! He tends to be slender and lightweight, so this was a big deal for him!

My first thought was, “Better check the car seat!”

Since he’s five, it had been quite a while since I’d had to switch car seats or car seat positioning – the last time was when to go from rear facing to forward facing a couple years ago (there’s a range of opinions and laws on that topic!). But now my son is at that age where the choices are between 5-point harness, booster with back, and booster without back.

switch car seats for older kids

Three factors indicate when to switch car seats for older kids (or any child):

After a little research, it’s pretty easy to figure out three factors that affect when to switch car seats for kids:

Height – Weight – State

  1. Before you go car seat shopping, or installing, be sure to get an accurate measure of your child’s height and weight.
  2. Then, visit your state’s DMV or state safety website to find out the exact laws for each state.
  3. Cross reference your child’s measurements with what type of seat and position required by your state… and now you’re ready to go shopping!

switch car seats for older kidsswitch car seats for older kids

When I received the Evenflo ADVANCED Transitions 3-in-1 Combination Seat to trial it was perfect timing for our family. It’s a seat that gives parents the ability to switch from all three versions of car seat an older child would need:

5 Point Harness – 22-65 lb, 28-50 inches

Booster with Backrest – 44-57 lb, 44-57 inches

Booster without Backrest – 40-120 lb, 44-57 inches

My son is currently 41 pounds, so by weight he can use any of the settings. However, he is only 43 inches, so by height, he can only be in a 5 Point Harness. But when he grows one more inch, he’ll fit the two booster options.

BUT: those are only taking into account the height and weight requirements of the car seat manufacturer. You still need to verify state by state to see what your laws are.

When I add in Connecticut State Law for car seats, and the picture changes dramatically:

Car Seat

Children ages 1 to 6 who weigh less than 60 pounds must be in proper safety seat.

Booster Seat

Children under age 6 who weigh less than 60 pounds must be in a proper safety seat (booster seats can only be used in a seating position where there is a lap and shoulder belt available).

So you see, in my state, my son will be in the 5 point harness for at least another ten months, regardless of how much he grows. Fortunately, the Evenflo Advanced Transitions at the 5 Point Harness setting covers a great range for height and weight, so that should not be a problem! (NOTE: laws very state by state, and can change year to year!).

switch car seats for older kids

switch car seats for older kidsswitch car seats for older kidsswitch car seats for older kids

More features of the Evenflo Advanced Transitions Car Seat

I read that this car seat has Comfort Tech, which is three layers of cushioning for your child. I didn’t, you know, cut it open to find out, but from feeling it, I have to say this is the “cushiest” car seat my children have ever ridden in, so they must be comfortable. Even the straps have a soft, flexible pad that doesn’t seem like it would be annoying  up by their chin and shoulders. All these fabric parts are removable for machine washing as well – which is of course, awesome if you let your children eat in the car (do I even know anybody who doesn’t!?).

Their Sure Safe Installation – my husband did the install with the LATCH system and he informed me that the clips for this car seat has been by far the fastest and easiest of any car seat installation he’s done (and that’s a lot, by the way!). This is a relief to me, because I am always afraid to get the installation wrong, so I always have him do it!

One feature I’ve just been thrilled with are the buckle pockets. You know how your kids get in the seat and they sit on the straps, and are completely oblivious to you trying to dig out the strap and buckled from under them? Well, no more! Stick the buckle into the little slot or pocket on each side, and they’ll remain out of your child’s way while he gets in, and easily accessed by you (or them) for buckling up!

Using the Evenflo Advanced Transitions car seat was such a simple change for us as parents, and my oldest son loves it!! He’s especially excited about having 2 cup holders. They are seat-integrated, which I like because they aren’t constantly falling off or being taken off by the kids (although I do wish they were a bigger circumference b/c they don’t let the stainless steel straw cups we use in our house fit all the way down).

I think it’s a perfect car seat to get once your child is out of the baby carrier, because it’s really the last car seat you’ll ever need! Because it has an 8-year life span (many car seats are only 5 or 6), and fits children from 22-110 pounds, you’ll get extended usage out of this seat – probably all the way till your child no longer needs a car seat!

So… just to recap when to switch car seats for older kids

–>>Measure your child’s height and weight.

–>>Check your state for specific laws on age / height / weight.

–>>Buy a car seat that fits all three requirements (weight, height, state!) and transitions through your child’s growth spurts!

Right now, the Evenflo Advanced Transitions is available at Walmart in the Mercury (black / red) and Maleah (black / pink) colors, for just $149.88! That’s a great price for a car seat with such longevity!

For proper installation, be sure to check out the Evenflo Installation video!

switch car seats for older kids

Evenflo® is taking extended use and comfort to the next level with the introduction of the Advanced Transitions 3-in-1 car seat. Visit for more information.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Evenflo®. The opinions and text are all mine.