Car Seat Rules in the U.S.

We’re heading to Montana via Seattle, Washington in two weeks and I just found out we’re in the market for a car seat. Washington’s car seat rules changed over a month ago and my son doesn’t meet the new criteria for not needing either a car seat of some sort.

A child needs to be 8 years-old or be 4 feet 9 inches tall to only need a seat belt. My son doesn’t make it on either account. Since there’s no way he’s going to agree to going back in the car seat he’s used since he was younger than two, I think we’ll get him a booster seat. I’ve been thinking about getting him one of these anyway. He’s safer if he’s buckled in at a better height. These two booster seats are the ones I’m thinking about. In case you need to know some car seat/booster seat rules for other states, here is the list of the ones that also require seats for the not a baby, but not big enough yet crowd. Montana is also one of them.

Now we will have one more piece of luggage to take that I wasn’t counting on. If we check the booster seat, it’ll cost us $5 on Skybus. Of course, we could carry it on the plane and let him sit on it. Does that count as a carry-on? According to the Website, a stroller can be carried to the gate and Skybus folks will check it then at no extra charge. I’m assuming this means the booster seat counts as well. There is no one to call to ask. I’m still waiting on a response to the email I sent Skybus two months ago asking a security question about the safety of ordering tickets on-line. I did order the tickets anyway.