32 answers

Which Side to Put the Second Car Seat?

I have a two year old now in a forward facing seat in the middle. Next year, we will have baby #2 and the infant seat will have to go in the middle (the only way I can fit a rear facing seat in my Jetta), so I can't decide which side is best to put the toddler seat. Do any of you have any definite preferences (and maybe reasons why) to choose one side over the other?

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I chose to put the infant in the middle and the older one behind the passanger seat. That way if the older one needed anything, I could still reach her...and see her better.

I personally would put it on the side opposite of where the gas tank is in case there is an accident involving that side where the possibility of a fire is more likely.

Like other posts, I have also read that children are safer behind the driver because the driver will instinctivly swerve to protect her side of the car if about to be involved in a wreck.
I do not think that it is a good idea to put the child behind the passenger seat for ease of passing things back and forth to the child. Drivers need to focus on driving and train children to not distract the driver by asking for things to be passed back and forth.

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I put it on the passenger side of the backseat. It was easier to check on him or hand him something. It was nice having him next to the baby to give him back a pacifier or something. Something I'd wished I'd had when he was a baby!

1 mom found this helpful

Ok, if I have this right, a jetta is kind of small, so I'd put the baby in the center and the toddler on the passenger side. Here's why. You can get the infant seat in and out from your side of the car. Load the baby into the stroller, etc. if you need to without getting toddler out and without walking around the car (you won't be able to get infant out of the car from the side your toddler is on weather or not he's in the car or not.) Then, once you've got the baby loaded, you get the toddler out and you can hold his hand from the beginning. If you get the toddler out first, you'll be asking him to stand next to you while you get the baby out and hope that he doesn't wonder for the few seconds it takes you to get the baby out (it takes both hands). It's a safety thing. When you get the infant out first, you can set the infant seat on the ground right by your feet so nothing happens to him and get the toddler out without worrying that the baby will run away!

Next reason is so when you are out with just the infant, it's easier to do everything from 1 side of the car.

Last reason for this set up would be that you can hand the toddler things from the front seat easier than if he's behind you. For instance, you have his sippy cup, you stop at McDonald's and want to hand him a fry...you can just reach back and he can grab it. You can have extra pacifiers for the baby that you can hand to the toddler and he can then put in the baby's mouth while you are driving if you need him to.

1 mom found this helpful

Like other posts, I have also read that children are safer behind the driver because the driver will instinctivly swerve to protect her side of the car if about to be involved in a wreck.
I do not think that it is a good idea to put the child behind the passenger seat for ease of passing things back and forth to the child. Drivers need to focus on driving and train children to not distract the driver by asking for things to be passed back and forth.

When I had 2 around that age, I put my oldest behind the passenger seat, so he wouldn't kick the back of my seat. I could move the passenger seat forward enough, so he couldn't reach it. I didn't want him to damage the back of the seat with his shoes.

Hello S.,

Lots of great responses. I just want to add that whichever side you choose, change your son to that side a few weeks before the baby is born so he doesn't feel like he lost his spot. Good luck and congrats! ~C.~

Hi S. - have you thought about a bigger car? The Jetta is a great little car but things are going to get really cramped in that back seat fast if the baby goes in the middle and the toddler to the side!

my older is higher maintenance than my younger; believe it or not. my infnnt was a sleeper in the car; so i put my toddler in a position that i communicate with her while driving (passenger side). i guess it depends on the kids and who is more high maintenance! good luck!

I like the passenger seat...it made it easier to hand things over to her and to turn to see her. I couldn't see either of them in my rear view mirror so I liked being able to turn my head and see both of them!

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