Car Seat Positions

Updated on June 20, 2010
J.S. asks from Farmington, MI
15 answers

Hey Ladies,

I am due in a few weeks with baby number 2 and starting to get things ready. Right now I have the car seat with my toddler in the middle. Where do I move him and what side should the infant car seat go? Should the toddler or the infant go behind the driver? Thanks.

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answers from Kalamazoo on

I like my infant behind the passenger (If I'm driving). I'd move the toddler behind you, don't give temptation to poke baby in the eye (mine is so bad about this!!!!!).

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answers from Fort Wayne on

We had to put our infant carrier behind the passenger seat. My husband is really tall and the driver's seat wouldn't go back far enough if the infant seat was behind it. We tried to put it in the middle, but it wouldn't fit with my oldest daughters carseat. Her seat was too wide. I think when you have two, you just have to do what works.



answers from Dallas on

I'm assuming that your toddler is facing forward and then the carseat takes up less space so I would put the toddler behind the driver so that you have move availability to move the seat. With our infant seat we had it behind the passenger seat and it took up so much space that we could barely recline our passenger seat and we couldn't move it back very far.


answers from Minneapolis on

You always want the least protected child in the safest spot, so in this case, if your toddler is forward facing, he would be the least protected (rear facing is safest) so he would go in the middle, infant outboard behind driver or passenger.

HOWEVER both seats may not independently install next to each other in a car, so they may have to both go outboard, which is totally fine!

Consider looking into EXTENDED REAR FACING (google that and JOELS JOURNEY for more info) and make sure you get your seats installed by a certified passenger safety technician (CPST) through visit that site and find an event in your area. 3 out of 4 car seats are installed an used improperly.

Case in point, most vehicles do NOT allow the use of LATCH in the middle position, you can only install with the seat belt in the middle seat. READ your vehicle manual. Also you cannot have two car seats installed on the same LATCH bar, they have to be independently installed.

Please visit and find a CPST in your area to help you out to ensure you are using hte seats properly and they are installed properly.


answers from St. Louis on

It's totally up to you - the middle is the safest spot for any child. I had my daughter in the middle, then moved her behind the passenger seat (so I could see her, get to her easier) and put my son in the middle. Now I have him by the window and her back in the middle because she loves to see where we are going, we can talk about the colors of the cars, etc. Plus it frees up a space in my car for someone to sit in the back seat.



answers from Detroit on

infant in middle toddler on passanger side of car so you have a glance eye sight on them



answers from Detroit on

I believe"they" say the safest place for an infant is behind the driver's seat.



answers from Kalamazoo on

We have a minivan and our infant is on the passenger side because in order for the seat to be most effective during a crash it should not touch the seat in front of it. My husband and I both drive the van on occasion (although I am the primary driver) and even though he is only 5'8" he wants the seat back too far. It's no big deal for me to carry the car seat around, because if my toddler were over there I would have to go over there to buckle him in anyway. Also, if we had the option of putting the infant in the middle, I'm not sure I would trust my toddler to not beat up his little brother! He seems to try something every time I turn my back!



answers from Houston on

From a safety standpoint I believe it's a toss up. Middle is safest, but once you have two I don't think it matters which side. From a convenience standpoint I put the baby behind the driver because it's easier for me to place the carrier right there behind my seat so I don't have to reach over the seat or walk around to the other side of the car with the carrier everytime. Our garage is very tight so getting the carrier around to the other side of the car would be impossible in our garage. If the toddler is old enough to climb in and get buckled on their own this is easiest.

The other thought is baby on the passenger side so that if you need to hand them a bottle or pick up and give them a toy it's easier for you while driving. Plus you can glance over your shoulder to look at them if necessary.

Good luck,



answers from Indianapolis on

When we had baby 2, we chose to put the infant seat in the middle (in case I needed to address anything immediately) and put my older child behind me as the driver.

It worked out well for us. I was able to get my 2 year-old out and get the infant carrier over his seat. I was in sales professionally at the time, so I worked out of my car and needed as much space as possible for car seats and work-related items. This seemed to do the trick.

Hope that helps.
There really is no right or wrong answer......just whatever works best for you.



answers from Minneapolis on

We always had infant seat behind the passenger but that was because we needed more room behind the driver seat. In some cars there is enough room to still have the infant seat in the middle and the booster seat on the side.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Infant always goes in the middle. Move toddler to either side that works best for you. I prefer passenger side, then I can see him easier.
Go to and find a FREE inspection site near you. 3 out of 4 car seats/booster seats are incorrectly installed or used incorrectly.



answers from Kansas City on

We have a van and I put the infant behind the drivers seat, and my toddler behind the passenger. I do this because there's really nothing I can do to soothe/help my infant while driving (they can't take toys from you, paci, bottle until they're older). But I can help my toddler, he can take his water cup from me, i can give him things he wants easier if he's across from me. This is just how it's worked out for us. Maybe now that my baby is almost 6 months I may start to think differently, but it's worked out so far.


answers from Philadelphia on

I do not know what type of car you have, but I have a toddler and an infant. I have a Honda/ Odyssea. My infant is behind me, and my toddler is behind the passenger seat. This is the best way I did find suited us the best.



answers from Lansing on

The safest place is the middle posiion so the baby should go there and the older child should be behind the passenger seat. (I took a course throught the state on this...also remember never to leave the handle in the carry position on the baby seat when in the car...horrible things can happen if ever in a car accident!)

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