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Babsbabies July 6th, 2013 04:03 AM

Car Seat Arrangement
This is our third baby, and I'm considering how best to arrange our car seats.

If you have multiple kids in carseats, how do you arrange yours? Or are you still debating?
How would you arrange mine, if you were me?

I know I can experiment and change it up if I don't like it, but one of my two sons doesn't handle change well at all (and the other follows his lead) and I'd rather not deal with the tantrums that will follow any sort of change in the setup.

We have:
-8 passenger Sienna (can fit three across in the middle seat)
-3 year old, forward facing in a Radian (can buckle, but not unbuckle)
-4 year old, forward facing in a Radian (can buckle, unbuckle, do brother)
-baby in Grago SnugRide

Other issues:
-boys will go to preschool in the fall where I will drop them off and pick them up in a carpool line, so they will exit the passenger sliding door
-both boys really want to be next to the baby. 4 year old could actually be helpful next to baby, maybe 3 year old too.
-I'm not crazy about trying to get the infant seat in and out over their car seats (my babies are typically very chunky)
-as far as safety, I know the middle seat is the safest and have read to put your most vulnerable forward facing child in that seat (since even if you have a younger child who is rear facing, they are already so much safer since they are not forward facing).
-I could put both bigger boys in the back, but we interact a lot in the car and am not sure I want them that far away

-3 across: baby behind me, 3 year old middle, 4 year old passenger side (safest spot for 3 year old)
-3 across: baby behind me, 4 year old middle, 3 year old passenger side (most helpful spot for 4 year old)
-3 across: baby in middle (easiest access for me to baby, separate brothers, both next to baby)
-big boys in 3rd row, baby in middle
-4 year old in 3rd row, baby and 3 year old in middle

What would you do if you were me?

Casey99 July 6th, 2013 06:22 AM

Re: Car Seat Arrangement
We are in a similar situation. I have a three row Honda Odessye and my DH has a Pilot (3 rows).

What we are going to do with the odessye is our 6 year old and 3 year old in the last row, 6 year old on the passenger side, 3 year old drivers side.

The baby will go in the middle row on the passenger side.

The drivers side middle row seat, we have taken out. So we can let the older kids in from the sliding door on the drivers side, the 6 year old is able to buckle unbuckle himself into his booster seat, the 3 year old needs with buckle unbuckle help so he is reachable from the drivers side sliding door, since he is on the drivers side in the back row.

Then we can put the baby in the middle row passenger side, which is easily accessible from the passenger sliding door.

This (confusing) arrangement means all the kids that need regular assistance are reachable.

Pilot is same but way less comfortable since no seat are removable and there is not as much room over all.

Would you believe it took us a while ot figure out this puzzle! lol

Dandelion July 6th, 2013 07:05 AM

I voted to put one kid in third row seat because that's what we are doing. Our middle row seat will have baby and my 6 year old (who has to get out to go to school in A.M.) and my 4 year old will sit in third row. The older kids will most likely take turns switching positions when not morning time because they both love being in the third row. Lol. I don't want to put all 3 in middle row because it will be sorta cramped. If I put baby in middle of middle row it would be a pain getting carseat in and out. If I put ds and dd beside each other in middle row they will bicker too much lol

We have a Dodge Journey.

Colliekat July 6th, 2013 07:47 AM

Re: Car Seat Arrangement
From the safest point of view I would put the three yr old in the middle position as he is most vulnerable in this scenario and the middle position is safest.

I'd keep them all in the middle row.

JessKeller24 July 6th, 2013 08:26 AM

I have a van and SUV. I will have baby in middle eon side, 5 yr old ff in middle of middle row, and 6 and 7 yr olds bolstered in third row. Baby is behind driver in van but behind passenger in SUV.

Anchored July 6th, 2013 08:34 AM

Tricky situation! We have a mini van and an almost 10 year old in a booster, 8 year old in a booster, 4 year old in a... Hmm I don't even know what it's technically called. The one between a convertible and booster? And then well have baby in the snug ride.

My van has two seats as the middle seat (w space between for passengers to get to the back), then 3 seats in the far back. Right now my 4 year old is in the middle row, seat behind passenger (so I can see him when I'm driving). Baby will be going to that seat and DS will be going to the seat behind driver side. Big kids will be in back. I thought about putting the 4 year old in the middle of the far back but the dilemma is that he's still in a 5 point harness (and will be for awhile still), and he can't buckle or unbuckle it so I'd have issues getting him in and out of the car.

Babsbabies July 6th, 2013 11:37 AM

Re: Car Seat Arrangement

Originally Posted by Colliekat (Post 27500799)
From the safest point of view I would put the three yr old in the middle position as he is most vulnerable in this scenario and the middle position is safest.

I'd keep them all in the middle row.

Shoot - that's what I meant to type above, but switched up the ages. This is how I have it currently set up.

Jenilope July 6th, 2013 12:06 PM

Re: Car Seat Arrangement
When we had our third baby, my first was 3 and my second had just turned 2. Neither the 2 nor the 3 year old could fasten or unfasten their own straps and our 3rd row doesn't have top tether anchors for FF carseats, nor does it have LATCH. Because the seat installation would have been less safe, and because it would have been so much more difficult for me to get to the 3rd row to fasten them in and remove them, we had to keep all 3 in the middle row, and the only way to make that work in our Toyota Highlander was 2 radians FF on the outboard seats and the infant carrier RF in the middle. I would have preferred to have my 2yo in the middle, but couldn't make the arrangement work and get a good snug carseat installation. Both girls did really well sitting by their infant sister. But, when I needed to switch her from an infant carrier to a RF convertible, I couldn't fit the 3 across anymore. Luckily, my oldest was over 4 by that point and also well above the height and weight guidelines for a booster and had learned to fasten her own belt, so I put my 4yo in a booster in the 3rd row and my 3yo and 1yo in the middle (one FF, one RF) but I still couldn't use the middle seat because 1. the RF convertible wouldn't allow me to move the drivers seat back far enough without pushing on the seat and compromising the angle and her safety, and 2. With the RF seat on the far passenger side, I didn't have enough room on the middle seat to get the FF Radian properly installed, so, for about 9 months my 4yo had to just climb over the back of the seats to get to the 3rd row. Now, both of my older daughters are big enough to be in the 3rd row and fasten themselves in, and my 20 month old is RF in the middle row passenger seat. The new baby will go in middle row, too.

84oilymom July 7th, 2013 01:41 AM

Re: Car Seat Arrangement
I have the same car but my boys are 7 in boosters plus I have a 9 and 11 year old in addition to the graco snugride. I placed the carseat behind passenger. It will be a beast to put in and out the middle seat and behind the driver handicaps you in case of emergency.

Babsbabies July 7th, 2013 05:45 AM

Re: Car Seat Arrangement
Loving all the ideas, ladies!

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