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DH drives a Honda Pilot and I drive a Saturn Outlook. Let me tell you... No matter what, backseats are a tight squeeze for our two or three car seats side-by-side.
In the Pilot, I put the rear-facing Britax Diplomat in the middle and it is squished right next to the Graco Nautilus. I'm leaving DS in the 3 point harness in this car because the seats are nearly on top of one another. Riding in the backseat with DS will be a really tight fit for me now.
In the Outlook, the rear-facing Britax Diplomat is in the middle and on the left is a Graco Nautilus fitted for my friend's son (who I pick up from day care regularly) and DS's Graco booster seat on the right. DS has a little bit more space but he will have to be careful that he doesn't unbuckle the baby's seat accidentally. The Britax is so close to the Nautilus that our little friend can't use the cupholder which is on the right side of his seat. Luckily he isn't roadtripping with us anytime soon so he won't need it.
I know it's really early to install seats, but in my house I'm the one who maneuvers into the crazy yoga positions required to install these things. Hubs stands by and assists. I took advantage of Monday off, decent weather and 3 feet of shade at my parents' driveway to arrange the 5 seats into the cars. I was so exhausted and overheated when I was done.
Lucky for me, it was DS's idea to put the baby's seat in the middle "right next to" his seat. And guess who has been practicing his baby-buckling skills on Perry the Platypus...
Last night DS told me that he would load the dryer for me and when the baby was here I wouldn't even have to ask him to do it. What a big helper!
We are in the market for a new family car, and all of it is overwhelming to me. Since we plan on having more children, I want to make sure we get a car with room to grow.
We were originally looking at a Ford Explorer, but the new 2014s are equipped with inflatable seat belt that are not recommended with most carseats. So, that went out the window. I liked the Explorer because the second row had captain seating.
So, now we are looking at the Acura MDX, which just doesn't seem as roomy to me. I seriously may bring a carseat to the dealership to play around with and measure.
Good point about being the one to instal the carseat. I'm sure this will be my job, so getting my big old belly in the car and doing so should be interesting in a few months. I also plan on taking the car to the fire station for a carseat safety check, as I want to make sure I install it right. With this being our first, I'm pretty clueless!
We have a Nissan Xterra and when DH traded his truck a couple years ago I pointed out that if another baby was something he would like that we needed a larger SUV instead of another truck. He was so sweet and let me pick out my Durango and he drives the Xterra now. I am thankful we did that because I know I can fit both our boys' boosters and a car seat in the middle row plus I still have the third row seating if needed.
I take my car to our local fire dept and have them install my car seats. It's free and they have certain guys who have been specifically trained in car seat installation. If you don't want to put them in call around to your local police or fire dept to see who does it in your area.
I definitely recommend taking the seats to the fire station. I would suggest doing it at 6 to 8 weeks before the due date "just in case".
We kept the old ones for DS in cool storage up north, so even though they are technically expired by date, they were only used for 2 years in our cars and they were never in an accident (or recalled which is AMAZING considering our crib, pack and play, stroller, amby bed and now 3 boosters have all been recalled).
Just make sure you open the car seat box before you go to the fire house. I learned that lesson on the first car seat when the guy opened the box and the base had a giant crack in it from shipment. He couldn't install the seat because it was compromised. I had to go back to Babies R Us, track down another seat (at a different store) and then schedule another appointment to get it installed. After that, I always open the box in the store.
I never pass up the free car seat checks when we find them around town. It's always nice to get that thumbs up from a fire guy.
I didn't even think about bringing it to one of the stations to get it installed! It wouldn't hurt either if the Fireman doing the install/check was a cutie-pie, eh?
DH is going to be trading in our one car for a truck (for his 40th since it will now be overshadowed by GingerBean's arrival...I gave him permission, lol) and our other car is a Colbalt. We will need to trade it in eventually because we also have a Newfie so it will be a tight squeeze with one child in teh back with him...we will always have a big dog (or two) and are hoping for two children so I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get there!
I like the Pilot and Outlook because there's rear-seat air conditioning and DS just sweats like crazy without that. Both of our cars do have 3rd row seating, but for now I am keeping it disguised as extra trunk space because DS really, REALLY wants to sit in the back. I just worry because he's only 5 and if the car was crunched I couldn't get to him easily or quickly. For now, I prefer to keep the backseat a mysterious random "adventure" than the norm.
Car shopping was such a pain but when you find the one that fits your family it makes roadtrips much more fun.
ugh, our car budget ended up being about half of what we had thought it would be... so we are still on the hunt. I had really hoped we could get a van or SUV with third row, but my DF is a stickler and will not buy any of the vans or SUVs that fall in our price range; no Town & Countries, no Pacificas, no Fords SUVs, no Durangos.
So we are narrowed down to full-size sedans, a Subaru wagon like we had before, or a 4Runner like DF used to have. I am not super stoked about any of these options but I am almost to the point where I will be happy with wheels installed on a cardboard box, because there is no way I'm bringing our baby home on the bus.
Ry, happily engaged to Zach.
Mom to Bodhi and Brigham.
Excited for Elliott Tesla in June 2014!
Can I ask a question as far as seat placement? Im pretty sure we are getting a surburban type vehicle so we will have a third row and a large second row that I am hoping will fit both high back boosters as well as a carseat. (Plus we can fit both dogs and haul with it if we need to) but as far as seat placement would it be smart at all to put one booster on the end, then one in the middle and the carseat on the end? Idk if it would even fit that way and safety comes first so if it wouldnt be safe I wont do it at all. Im trying to figure out a more convenient way to get the kids out of the car lol
With my outlook, I don't have a headrest on the 2nd row middle seat and DS is in a backless booster in my car. While i know he could buckle himself in and out in the middle, there's nothing to protect his neck in an accident and I worry about him unbuckling another car seat no matter where he is seated.
Our little buddy is just turning 2. He is not able to buckle himself yet. I can't reach him and I mostly pick him up from day care before I get DS from school so DS can't help when he isn't in the car. If you can reach the middle or yours can buckle themself, that would probably be fine, especially if you have a high back booster to support the neck.
Keep in mind... to access the 3rd row, I have to move one of the seats forward in the 2nd row. My seats dont move unless i bend them forward andnthat comprises the tightness of the seats. super annoying!
I put the backless booster on the seat that moves because if we really needed a back row I could either put DS or others in the back. His seat is the easiest to scoot around the car. This is one of those times that captains chairs is a benefit for that 3rd row access.
As I say this, I need to check the pilot this weekend. I think I buckled a seat on each side so I think I might need to switch the booster to the other side to make sure we can access the 3rd row.
As long as finances permit we will be getting an SUV before this little man arrives - ideally the Hyundai Santa Fe. It will be DH, me and the baby most of the time in the car, but we do bring our 80lb German Sheperd out with us quite a bit too (normally, daily to the dog park) - so it's like having 4 people in the car...plus all the baby stuff...yeah, I think our Toyota Corolla would be a tight squeeze (but doable if needed).
A good thing is the current travel system we are looking at has additional bases for sale at Babies R Us for $45 dollars - which is quite reasonable, and will allow us to easily take whichever car in the event that we do get a new one.