M.S. asks from Oakland Gardens, NY on July 12, 2010
How to Position Infant and Convertible Car Seat
I'm currently pregnant with baby #2. I drive a honda crv which is a small suv. My baby is two and a half now. He is in a convertible car seat facing forward in the middle of the back seat. When my second baby arrives, I will need to put and infant seat in there. So my question is: where do i put the two seats? which one do I put in the center? and which one on the side? Many Thanks
N.A. answers from Seattle on July 12, 2010
I used to work for Babies R Us in the baby gear (car seat) department and we had to know all about car seats and safety, and I worked with the local car seat safety group that came to our store and did physical car seat safety checks...so I hope my two cents will help!
After your 2nd is born, put that child in the middle, and put your oldest behind you. I know this will be a little bit of a pain for you when you want to get the new baby in the car by having to go to the other side of the car to put him/her in the base. However, keep this in mind. The first safest spot for a child is in the middle (where your baby will go); the second safest is behind the driver (because if you were to potentially get in an accident, it is human instinct to try to get themselves (in the drivers seat) away from harm, therefore, you'd be opting to get your child sitting behind you out of harms way too); 3rd would be behind the passanger (only other option, right?!).
If you can't fit both carseats side-by-side in your car, then put the baby behind the drivers seat and the oldest behind the passenger.
On a side note - we had a rental car for a few weeks when both of my children were really young and there was not enough room to have them sit side by side. So, my husband, being the smart thinking he is, made the kids' car seats straddle the seats. For instance, my youngest was latched between the seat behind me and the middle, and my oldest was latched to the middle and the passenger seat. Sounds strange, but it most definitely worked for such a small car and kept them both in there tight (like any other latch system) and kept them away from the sides of the car. (Glad it wasn't for too long...but it worked...)
Hope this little bit of info helps! :) Good Luck...and Congrats on the soon-to-be new baby! :)
1 mom found this helpful
J.C. answers from New York on July 13, 2010
Please call your local police department and ask if they have a car seat specialist/inspector. If they don't, they will refer you to another local police department that has one. In NY state, those specialized offices go through a 4 day training and are very up to date on how cars seats will save your child's life. Trust the experts. There is even a website:
put your zip code/state in and it will give you a number to call.
B.W. answers from Minneapolis on July 12, 2010
What Nicole A suggested (what her husband did) by latching both seats to the middle is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS and is NOT allowed! EVER. I just wanted ot make that clear in case anyone else reading this question thinks its a good idea. ITs very dangerous and its not allowed by the car seat or the vehicle manufacturer, NEVER DO IT!
ANYWAY, You want your LEAST protected child in the middle seat, and the least protected child in this situation is your 2yr old. SInce he's forward facing, he will be less protected than your rear facing infant (rear facing is always safer), so you would want him in the middle. If you can't put both seats side by side (one in the middle, one outboard) then put both outboard, but do so safely (not like what was suggested below). If you DO use the center seat with LATCH make sure that LATCH is allowed in that seating position, many vehicles don't allow LATCH to be used in the center position, only seatbelt installation there, read your vehicle manual.
For what its worth, I've taken alot of car seat training, and I always suggest that you find a CPST (Certified passenger safety technician) in your area via www.safekids.org That way you will have someone actually certified (and not just 'maybe knwos about car seats like a store employee or a cop who took a 1hr course) help you install correctly, use the seat correctly, and answer in person an yquestions you may have.
R.O. answers from Harrisburg on July 12, 2010
I live in PA and from what I undersand (here at least) you can put one child on each side of the back seat. If you put one in the middle I would put the youngest child as this is the safest place and the older one will be more resilient in the event of an accident. Good luck!
J.S. answers from Dallas on July 12, 2010
You need to put one on each side. I put my oldest behind me and my baby behind the passenger seat. The key is to not latch the car seats on the same anchor in the car.
C.S. answers from New York on July 12, 2010
I would put one child on each side. Do you really want your toddler that close to your newborn? I would be nervous that the toddler would try and "help" the baby when I wasnt looking.
Sometimes its hard to get a good install if the car seats are touching.
I would try it a few ways, and you can be the judge as to what works the best.
D.W. answers from Indianapolis on July 12, 2010
When we had our second child, I opted to put the baby in the middle as it was easiest for me to get to while driving or stopped to address a need.
I moved our 2 year-old behind me so I could get him out first and then pull the infant seat out over his. We had a Honda Pilot at the time, and a Ford Taurus. It was equally easy in both cars until our daughter got heavier.
Good luck! It's really a matter of personal preference, and it may take a little trial/error until you have a system down pat.