12 answers

Safest Seating Arrangement??

I am coming to ask if anyone knows where the safest places in the back seat is for different car seats. I know that the safest for an infant rear facing is in the middle, but i have also heard that that is the safest place for a forward facing under the age of 2.

I currently have my 7.5 year old DD in a backless booster. My 23lb 32.5" DD in a forward facing convertible seat. And my 4.5month old 16lb 11oz 25" In an infant carrier. We have the infant carrier behind the driver seat, the convertible car seat in the middle seat, and the booster behind the passenger.
We changed to this seating arrangement 2 days ago, because our little chunker was too heavy to fling across the back seat to put in the middle. But i would rather fling him, then for him to not be safe.

I hope someone can give advice, it would be greatly appreciated!!

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Well the middle of the car is the safest place for a car seat. I have my boosters/forward facing seats on the ends and my baby carrier in the middle.

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I agreee with the other posts that your little one should be in the middle, farthest away from any impact point. On that note, the next youngest should be behing the driver's seat as the driver tends to have more accident avoidance on that side of the vehicle. Hope that helps.

1 mom found this helpful

Well the middle of the car is the safest place for a car seat. I have my boosters/forward facing seats on the ends and my baby carrier in the middle.

I have taken many child car seat safety classes and I was told by a car seat installer that the safest place for a car seat is where you can install it the safest and correctly. I have been told by police officers that the seat behind the driver is the best because most accidents are fender benders and you don't have as much glass hitting the child, but I have also heard from pd and fd that the middle is the safest. I would take your carseats to a carseat inspection site and have them give you information and stuff as to why. The website is www.seatcheck.org

I think that sounds like a safe way to be seated. We have 5 kids all in carseats/boosters. You always need to be sure the child in the booster has a shoulder belt over her.

The only reason it is safer is because it is further away from any potential impact if in an accident. Since you can only put one child in the middle, then it should be the one who it is easiest to get into it.

Your littlest one should be in the middle. Not only is it the safest (the other two seats should have the shoulder strap available to them) but your littlest will be happiest in the middle being able to see both siblings smiling at him and hopefully not screaming and distrcting your driving. You could always think about switching to a minivan, it is easier to climb into those and fasten a chunker into the car seat : ).

I have a 2 bench seat truck, 4 kids, 2 adults and this is what the car seat safety check guys advised me. No matter what it's best to have a child at the point of most restraint, so if you have all 3 shoulder belts in the back it really doesn't matter which order they are in since all 3 belts are being used. In my truck it did matter and we had one of our kids in a car seat in the middle front bench and one car seat in the middle back because we only have shoulder belts on the sides and the 2 bigger kids needed shoulder belts whereas the car seats could be secured with lap only belts because of the additional 5 point system. Hope that helps with your decision. You can always find your local car seat check by calling the fire department or hospital. They will check to be sure the car seat is secured correctly and that it is the right seat for your child.

Your youngest should definitely be in the middle. I understand how hard it can be to lug him in to the middle. What I do to make it easier is keep the car seat in the base at all times and just move the baby in and out. It is much easier to lift him in to the car seat in the middle and buckle him in every time than it is to lift the whole car seat in and out with him in it. Not only does the seat add weight, it makes it awkward. I'm extremely tired right now so I hope what I'm saying makes sense. :-)

It sounds like your kiddos are in the right seats. Kids can forward face once they are 1 year and 20 lbs. Its the only time that a child has to meet weight and height requirements. When switching to a booster, they only have to meet one or the other.

The middle seat is the safest, however not everyone can sit there. In a side impact it is more likely to be hit on the driver side than the passenger side. I, too, put my infant behind my seat, b/c they are the most resilent and I feel they are the safest in their seats to withold an impact.

Of course you can always talk to the fire dept. just give them a call and they will be able to tell you when to come by to get a carseat safety check.


I am a certified child safety seat installation technician. Most of the advise you received is correct:
Middle position, receives the least impact in an collision. Also, just as advised, install the seat where it fits the best in your vehicle.
Your child only has to be rear facing until 1yr and 20 lbs.

Here's some websites to check out with verified info:


Happy holidays & God bless,
L. Amason

You should call the fire department and have you car seats inspected, and their locations in the car. I was told that children should not be in forward facing seats until they are 2 1/2 years old or their weight is what your seat manufacturer specifies. I think your 18 mnth old still has to be in rear fac ing. You can also call swedish hospital and they can direct you to where you can get your seats checked.

Hi K.-
I was told by the fire dept. that the youngest should be in the middle in case there is an accident. In most cases, you would be hit on the side and since a baby doesn't have enough neck support, they should be in the middle where the impact would not be as great. It is hard putting them there, but definately the safest.

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