Traveling to WDW by van


DIS Veteran
Jun 20, 2000
We are driving this summer to WDW with 4 1/2 yo grand daughter. We will have her set up in the back (with a TV/VCR) and we want to make sure she stays in her seat belt, but I know she will want to lay down. Do any of you know of a device that will keep her seat belted but mobile enough to lay down? She is too big for a car seat now.
We have a child's booster seat for my son, who is a few months shy of his 4th birthday but, who has already outgrown his carseat.

I don't know what the laws are state to state, but, I thought that children under 5 have to be in a car seat/booster seat. I'm not saying this to be snotty or mean, I just don't want to see anything happen to your granddaughter. Also, if for some reason you get pulled over on your long trip down, if the law is different from one state to another you might be involved in a serious situation.

I would get one of the booster seats, they sell them for as low as $30.00-$40.00 at Wal-Mart, K-Mart, etc.. Then I would just get her a neck pillow or bring a pillow from home.

Have a good trip, we're driving from Illinois is 4 days!!!!

Great question, I'm wondering the same thing myself for my two kids - the seatbelts are fine for them - but when they nod off it gets uncomfortable - I wonder if anyone makes a lying down seatbelt?
I'm looking for some type of harness made out of actual seatbelt material that would allow the child to move then lock into place. It just seems like a shame to have a van with 3 people in it and not be able to sit down. By the way LeahA, we do use the booster seat, I'm just looking for a comfortable alternative. I remember when I was a kid, I would lay in the area above the back seat, underneath the back window! Now THAT was dangerous!
There is a harness that allows the person using it to lie down, but it is made for special needs kids (translate: $$$$ expensive$$$$ ). It is dynamically tested according to the web site, but the child needs to be in the position that you will see in this link to the ezonpro website. Also, the pillows they show in the illustration are for comfort and protection in an accident. My DD used the vest part of that restraint system on the school bus when she was too big for a car seat. It was comfortable, but the lying down position doesn't look too comfy to me.
You didn't mention how your TV/VCR is installed, but unless it is firmly attached (not with bungee cords), it would become a projectile in an accident. So, if it's not fastened down or built in, that's something you should do before your trip.
There really aren't any good ways to be fastened in a seat while laying down. I don't think there is anything on the market that's affordable because the logistics just make it too difficult. If you do get in a wreck, the best position to be in is sitting down with your legs uncrossed and arms by your side.

Sleeping in the car isn't exactly comfortable, but it can be done if you get tired enough. I wouldn't worry about it.
With pillows and blankies and the seat reclined slightly, she should be able to rest very comfortably.
I have read of accidents where the person slid under their seat belt in an accident because the seat was reclined, so I would not suggest that. The article I read made the point that the reclined position (even only a little reclined) is only for when the vehicle is not moving. I think if you just have some pillows for her to lean against, she will fall asleep if she is tired.


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