3 Car Seats in a Mini-van

Updated on September 08, 2009
B. asks from Lake Orion, MI
8 answers

I have to fit three car seats into my mini-van. Two are toddler convertible car seats, one is an infant seat. My mini-van has two captain chairs in the middle row, and a bench in the back. How should I distribute the car seats to provide the most safety for the children?

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answers from Grand Rapids on

I have a dodge caravan. I have my 2 kids in Graco Booster seats, and my boyfriends 2 year old sons, toddler carseat. I put the 2 booster seats the 3rd row bench seat, since they can climb back there and buckle their seatbelts. And the little guy is seated behind the passenger side seat. Hope that this helps.

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answers from Detroit on

I agree with the other poster!!
I have the 2 younger ones in the captains chairs and the oldes in the back. The oldest is in a high back booster and can buckle herself.
Since you are babysitting I would make sure that your daughters seat is in one of the captains chairs. Then you won't always need to reach to the back when you do not have the other kids!
Blessings, K.



answers from Orlando on

I don't think any configuration would be more or less safe for the children - just make sure that none of the seats wiggle and use latch if your van has it.



answers from Grand Rapids on

Hi B.,
I always put the older ones in back for the reason that they don't need as much help as the younger ones. They can buckle themselves. I say try it out and what ever works best for you do it.



answers from Grand Rapids on

B.; ive seen people take out one of the captains chairs in the middle, and this gave the parent access to the back seat , put one child in the other captains seat and put two older ones in the back, or if you are taking other children with you putyour kids in the back and the others ones car seat up front where you can easily remove it if you have to to give it back tothe parents, either way it does give the kids more room and allows you access tothe back fairly quickly if you need it, just have fun and enjoy life , D. s



answers from Detroit on


We have the 2 convertible car seats in the back row to each side and the infant seat in the side captain's chair. We ended up taking out the empty captain's chair when taking a trip to make room for the dog and we haven't put it back in b/c it made so much more room! I like it this way b/c the older kids can get in the van and into their own seats easily while I'm strapping in the 10 month old.

:O) J.



answers from Lansing on

Hi B.,

I have 5 car seats in my mini van. I have my 3 y/o twins and thier car seats in the back bench seat and then my 2 y/o car seat in the middle along with the baby and a buster seat. I had the baby in the back, but it's hard to get him out back there. As long as the kids can climb in the back it's easier to have them back there and then the baby in the middle. That's whats worked best for us and we have played around with it a lot. Good luck:)



answers from Jackson on

Hi B.!

I'm not sure what type of van you have nor what brand name of car seats you have.

I have the Town & Country with stow-away seats, also with middle row capin chairs and bench in back.

My childrens ages are 4, 2, and 1. My 4 year old sits in the Britax Regent, 2 year old sits in the Graco Nautilus 3-in-1, and the 1 year old is in the Britax Marathon.

What I have done is put the Regent and Graco on the bench seat. The Regent is on the right and Graco on the left.

I used my D-Ring Connector Strap, which is actually from my Britax Marathon seat but you can buy it at $5. This allows me me to be to use the Top Tether Hook strap, it's that long strap that helps to anchor the top of the child seat, on the Graco Nautilus.

What I did was found a metal spot of the bench seat itself that I could loop the D-Ring Connector around and then hook the tether to. I did this because on my bench on the left side it's actually like a small seat and you can fold just that small section down if needed and it doesn't have the actual small metal bar on the back of the bench seat itself for hooking a Top Tether Hook to.

Then I did the stow away on the captain chair directly behind the drivers seat. I then put the Britax Marathon on the other middle row captain chair (behind the passenger seat). There's a bunch of hard plastic on the floor for the stow away seating so what I did was took a bathroom rug, because of it's plushness and rubber backing to keep it in place, and layed it on the floor for my knees and to keep the debris to a minimum.

Sometimes I think that maybe I should seperate the two older ones but really they only get on each others nerves when they are more tired so any way so it's really not that big of a deal.

Hope this helps.