Car Seat Question - Elko, MN

Updated on September 11, 2006
A.K. asks from Minneapolis, MN
24 answers

I just went and got my carseat put in by a policewoman, she put it in the middle of the back seat and told me it should go there because of safety issues in case of a side impact collision. i've never heard that, and now my big dog won't be able to fit in beside it. So my question is, how common is that? is your carseat in the middle? or on the passenger side? thanks!

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H.

answers from Minneapolis on

Ditto. The middle is the safest place. Now, that I have 2 kids, however, they are each on one side.

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M.

answers from Minneapolis on

That is very true! If you only have one child that is the safest place for them! I have my daughter in the middle for that same reason.
Shelly

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J.R.

answers from Minneapolis on

When I only had one child I put the seat in the back on the passenger side because then I could see and reach her easier. The middle is the best place but you have to do what works for you.
J.

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J.F.

answers from Rochester on

The officer is right. Stick with the center seat as long as possible. If you have more than one child, SOMEONE is going to have to sit on the outer side, but if there's only one child, the middle is the safest place to be. The likelihood of an accident is rare, but don't take that chance. Never EVER put baby up front. I just asked my pediatrician at what age my son could ride up front, and she said it's not safe till age 12 (due to height/weight and the position of the seat belt).

If the dog won't fit, leave him home. It sounds cruel, but kids are more important than pets. If it's a vet visit, maybe he could sit up front or lay on the floor in back? It all depends on the size/hyperness of your dog and car size, though. :/ Our golden retriever LOVES the car but refuses to sit still, so he has no choice but to be in back. In times like that, we leave the kids with a babysitter. It's always better to err on the side of caution.

1 mom found this helpful
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D.A.

answers from Minneapolis on

You most definitely want the carseat in the middle of the seat. That is the safest place if you were in an accident. Of course you always think "it won't happen to me" (an accident, that is) but just in case, it is much better to be safe than sorry. Your baby's safety needs to be put before anything else in your life from now on. That may mean things have to change (the dog moves where he usually sits), but your baby HAS to be #1.

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S.D.

answers from Minneapolis on

That is great that you had it professionally installed. Remember to do that again any time you get a new vehicle or new car seat. Yes, the middle of the back seat is the safest spot. The 2 sides protect the middle and there is less chance for injury. Having the baby in the middle - the safest seat - is more important to me than being able to reach to give him/her a toy or snack (which isn't the safest idea in the car). If you have another child, chances are you will have them on the 2 outside seats. I have 2 kids in Britax seats and they don't fit next to each other, so they are both on the outside seats. You may want to rethink traveling with a large dog in the seat with your baby. Pets can act unexpectedly and it might be risky having the dog in the back with the baby. Plus if there was an accident, you wouldn't want the dog to land on or step on the baby. Best of luck.
S.

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D.G.

answers from Minneapolis on

I have to agree with the other Moms. The middle of the back seat is ALWAYS the best place for your children and if you have an older son/daughter I would put them next to the door first before you put your baby there. Sorry about the dog, but as a parent your children ALWAYS come before pets. Good Luck.

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J.

answers from Milwaukee on

The middle is the safest place for baby by far, that being said I also understand about having a dog because ours goes every where with us. If you're using a carrier for when babe is an infant I would definately put it in the middle but you also do have the option of using a convertable carseat that has a great rating for side impact protection and putting that on one side of the seat. That's what we chose to do, I don't like infant carriers, I'd much rather use a safer car seat and carry babe in a sling when we'd go places.

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R.C.

answers from Minneapolis on

For sure the middle- no question. Congratulations and good luck!

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B.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

I try and put my daughter in the middle it is the safest BUT... if you have more than one child or you don't want to break your back putting a heavier baby in the middle alot of people chose to move the carseat to one of the sides. My daughter is on the passenger side back seat so I can look at her and help her if needed with whatever. The middle is safer but doesn't always accomodate everyone's needs. The sides aren't dangerous they're just not as safe. The worst place to sit in a car is the passenger seat up front for anyone. That's the seat with the highest percentage of injuries and death. Just make sure the seat is properly installed and nice and tight adn you will be fine.

Just another small piece of advise I've had several carseats I am very very picky and after all I've tried when it comes to the next seat after a infant carrier I highly recommend a Britax Carseat they are spendy but TOTALLY worth it and my daughter is the happiest in this seat not to mention it's super easy to install and has the best fit in my car and the tightest fit out of every other seat I've tried.

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A.

answers from Madison on

Hi A.-
I did extensive research before my son was born and although there is nothing unsafe about putting your child on the side (picture two kids), putting the seat in the middle is the safest spot. If it cramps your dogs style, and I understand, we have 3 big dogs, put the seat on the side. Eventually, your dog and baby will entertain each other in the back seat!
Good Luck.
PS Have you thought about getting a wagon? We use ours to bring baby, dogs, stroller, etc. on family outings.

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J.Y.

answers from Milwaukee on

I agree. I've had my daughter's car seat in the middle always and she's 4. If you get hit on either side of your car there's a good chance she won't get hurt by being right in the middle. I'd keep it there.

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J.R.

answers from Sheboygan on

i love to put my son either in the middle or passenger.. i also have a big dog and its tight if you put your in the middle... i just bought a bigger truck and that way my dog can lay in the back and my son can go in the middle... good luck with your decison... safty is a hard thing to choose.... put your child in the middle if the dog dont ride with... if your making a short trip and feel safe put your child on the pass side so that way you can see the child... good luck

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M.K.

answers from Duluth on

If you have a choice, it IS the best spot for your baby in the event you are hit from the side. There's less chance that the baby would be crushed. I'd put the dog in the front, squeeze in the side, or leave him home. I've put all my infants in the middle when they were infants until the next kid came along. Best of luck in deciding and also in having the baby come soon. The last month is torture!

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A.V.

answers from Minneapolis on

I run a small daycare and have 2 kids of my own the middle is really the best and safest for the littlest ones if you have side impact cars. I took a car seat class and they showed a video of a baby (fake) in the middle and one the side with even a low impact collision and the baby on the side would not have survived the air bag filled up in the car seat and cruched the baby down and the deflated and just sat on top of the baby and the baby would have sufocated from the air bag it was really hard to watch so now i always put the littlest ones in the middle untill about 2 years old then you can move them if you have to. I hope this helps with your decision the dog could always sit up front in the passenger seat they make harnesses to put on the dog and strap them in they work great we have one for our brittney.

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A.J.

answers from Minneapolis on

We have the car seat in both the car and truck in the middle, to keep our little boy safe incase of a side inpact. I know what you mean on the big dog thing. We have a big dog and she cannot go with me unless the baby is not with me, as we have the travel system to where the car seat can come out and be used as a carrier..

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A.

answers from Milwaukee on

Hi A.,

As a car seat technician and law enforcement officer myself, yes the middle is the safest spot, it acts as a buffer on both sides, but think of it this way - what happens when you have 2 children? They can't both fit in the middle. As a mom of 4 kids, I have always had the baby behind the drivers seat. It just makes getting them in and out a lot easier. Plese feel free to contact me directly with any questions.

A.

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D.W.

answers from Madison on

My husband and I went to a infant and child cpr class before our son was born and they also told us to put the carseat in the middle. The teacher said if the front seats are pushed back in an actident they won't be pushed into the carseat, also safer for side impacted actidents.

D.

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K.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

I think everyone answered on the position of the car seat Another thing you may want to consider is that it is also not safe to have a dog 'loose' or untethered in a car. In the case of an accident the dog is a projectile and is likely to get hurt and cause injury to other. For that reason we have a station wagon with the bars (not just a net) barrier to that our 2 dogs can't get thrown thru the cabin of the car. And as I have 3 kids the babe is in the middle and the Britax booster with the side-impact proction are on the sides.

A friend of mine was in an accident and her dog got thrown thru the windscreen and needed to be put to sleep. The police told her if someone had been in her passenger seat they would likely have had severe injuries from the dog's 'flight path'.

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M.C.

answers from Minneapolis on

I've heard that middle is the best and mine is in the middle. I think you'll be okay if you have it on the side. You could always keep it in the middle and move it if you have to have the dog ride with you or have the dog ride in the front seat with you. It all depends on how often you travel with your dog or passenger.

J.O.

answers from Minneapolis on

A.-
I had my daughter in the middle until she went from an infant seat to a booster seat. Then I had her either behind the driver's seat or behind the passenger seat. As they get older it is easier to hand them snacks and such if they are in those places. The other thing too is when my step-son came to visit and we had two booster seats. One thing was nice is they got to pick which side they wanted to sit on! My daughter was in her infant seat a little longer than most babies simply because she is little. I'm thinking she will be in a booster seat until age 13! :) The middle is the best, but you also have to do with what works for your family. Good luck and enjoy your new baby :)

J.

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S.J.

answers from St. Cloud on

This is very normal and it is the safest position. Many experts agree.

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A.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

We put our infant car seat in the middle too-It was a little awkward getting in and out but definitely safer for our child-I'd keep it there!

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D.W.

answers from Janesville-Beloit on

Yes, you should always if possible keep an infant careseat in the middle of the backseat. That is the saffest place for them to be.

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