Best car seat arrangement for 3 young kids?
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Thread: Best car seat arrangement for 3 young kids?

  1. #1
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    Post Best car seat arrangement for 3 young kids?

    I have a 3-year-old, an 18-month-old, and #3 due in 3 weeks (all girls - I plan on being well-loved). My wife and I are trying to figure out what the best seat arrangement is once the baby comes. We're thinking of trying the 2 older kids in the back, and the baby in one of the middle row seats; we would then take the other seat out for more room.

    How have other people arranged 3 car seats? What works, doesn't work?

    I hate to say it, but one of the GM vans that let you put 3 across the middle would probably work the best... oh well.

    Scott

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  3. #2
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    This is a toughie. I work with a woman who's in the same boat. She drives a Chrysler, looked at Honda, but her timing was bad--the Chrysler lease was up and she needed something, so she ended up with another Chrysler.

    But one alternative she looked at was in fact the big GM beasts--Tahoe, Suburban--because she could put them all in the middle seat.

    I mentioned that she should look into an airport shuttle. I was only half-kidding. Maybe for the sake of safety a full-size fan is what's required.

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    Scott,

    I am in your same boat, except I have 2 girls and a boy due in 7 weeks. I too was wondering how to arrange the seats and was thinking of arranging them the exact same way. This would not be an issue with my current beast (Ford Aerostar), which has a seat large enough to accommodate all 3 car seats. Fortunately, I will be trading it in. A small price to pay to move up in the world. I too would appreciate anybody's ideas on this.

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    Talking

    I have a set of twin girls and a 2 1/2 year old boy. My son sits in the third row seat and the girls in the middle row seats with the middle row seats being split. My son loves being in the back. It is like his private area and the girls do not mind being closer to mom & dad.

  6. #5
    Registered User CPSDarren's Avatar
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    Some minivans like Toyota Sienna have split rear seats that can be removed separately, making them a bit more friendly for 3-kid families. Odyssey's cousin, the Acura MDX has a split folding rear seat; a feature that would be great in the Odyssey.
    Carseat Questions? - www.Car-Seat.Org
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    Lightbulb

    Here's a situation that hits close to home. We have 2 year old twins (boy/girl) and a 5 year old girl. I'll preface by mentioning that personalities ultimately decide who sits where (theirs, not ours). For us, we sit the twins in the third row on the ends leaving the middle open for toys, jackets, small children and brave Aunts. The 5 year old sits in the middle row behind the driver so the front seat passenger can pass french fries and drinks back without bothering the driver. The second seat is positioned in the middle with the back folded down to give access to the two kid seats in the back while providing a convenient a place to sit when buckling the five point belts. So far this has worked out very well especially with the LATCH conversion for the middle seat. Good luck, nothing like a Saturday afternoon spent swapping car seat in and out of a hot van.
    2001 TW LX

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    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">The 5 year old sits in the middle row behind the driver so the front seat passenger can pass french fries and drinks back without bothering the driver.</font>
    GAAAAAH!

    Sorry. I had a sudden reaction to the thought of people eating in my car.

  9. #8
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    Thanks for the input, everyone. We had planned on taking the extra middle row seat out for the space, but I think I like Ryan's idea of leaving it in folded for a place to sit.

    My wife had false labor for 3 hours last night, so I think maybe I'll go out and do some seat rearranging today.

    Scott

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    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by adam1991:
    GAAAAAH!

    Sorry. I had a sudden reaction to the thought of people eating in my car.
    </font>
    Adam,

    If that's you're reaction to french fries, what happened to you when you saw the llamas?
    But really, kids are kids and to expect then to think of the van as anything more than "mommy's car" is setting yourself up for a real disappointment. Now, if anybody can tell me how to get those darn footprints off the backs of the seats........
    2001 TW LX

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    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">If that's you're reaction to french fries, what happened to you when you saw the llamas?</font>
    I'd rather see llamas in a liner than kids eating french fries.

    I have a 3 year old. He doesn't eat in the car. 'Nuff said.

    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">But really, kids are kids and to expect then to think of the van as anything more than "mommy's car" is setting yourself up for a real disappointment.</font>
    Trust me it's mommy's car. Things will get dirty, things will undoubtedly break. But there's no reason for kids--or anyone, really--to eat in a car.

    And it's not about cleanliness. It's more about sanitation and the lack of a need to eat in the car.

    Recently we opened a new hocky arena here in town. The newspaper quoted people as they commented on the high prices of food and drink. A couple days later someone wrote into the paper: "What's the matter with people? Why in the world would they complain about food prices at a venue like that? Can't they go 3 or 4 hours without grazing?"

    I agree. Can't we go in the car for 20 minutes (or even 2 hours) without eating??

    I have the dirtiest grab-handle you can imagine on the back of my month old passenger seat. Goes with the territory of having a long-legged toddler in a car seat. But there's simply no need to eat in the car, is there? Ever?

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    We approach eating in the car from another direction. Our kids tend to eat on a pretty consistent schedule. While we don't have meals in the van, we certainly are out-and-about during snack time fairly frequently; it's no biggie to fire up the Shop-Vac once a week to get the cracker crumbs out.

    That said, Adam, I completely understand your opinion. That's about exactly how we feel about a TV/VCR in the van.

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    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">it's no biggie to fire up the Shop-Vac once a week to get the cracker crumbs out.</font>
    I'm not saying we don't have Goldfish or Cheerios back there now and again; we do. Snacks are snacks. But juice? Nope. In fact, juice is barely on the radar screen. Water and milk are the tops, and berry juice comes next in the line of favorites. And it's a long fall from milk down to berry juice.

    Water is best; my little guy takes water everywhere. There's never been any need to take milk or juice or anything else in the van, even on long trips. (I won't go into what I think when I see 2 year olds drinking their own Coke--or anyone else's Coke--at fast food joints.)

    But to make decisions based on needing to reach back and feed greasy fast food meals to a toddler? Sorry, I don't buy that one at all.

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    on busy weekend days running around with the kids, we sometimes feed them in the van. short of stopping somewhere, or going home to eat, both of which use up valuable time, i do not see a way around it with my family. furthermore, i am installing a theater system for our many weekend trips to our recreation property.


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    Question

    OK - back on topic(!). I am in the same boat - currently have two youngsters, with one due next May. My question is this - how easy is it to fit three carseats in the rear (3rd) row of the Ody? Can anybody measure the hiproom of the 3rd row seat for me? I'd be interested to know whether the width is greater or smaller than the hiproom of the rear seat in my Ford Taurus station wagon, in which I can fairly comfortably fit three carseats. I wouldn't expect to do this all the time, only when I have additional adult passengers (such as my in-laws) who would probably rather sit in the 2nd row bucket seats...

    Thanks,

    Richard
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    Red face

    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by pearsonrj:
    ...only when I have additional adult passengers (such as my in-laws) who would probably rather sit in the 2nd row bucket seats...</font>
    I figure that the 2nd row is the safest place to be in a minivan.

    So in our van, kids will go in the 2nd row ALWAYS as the first choice over the 3rd row.

    I don't care what my in-laws or any other adults might think, say, or feel about it, the safety of kids comes first in any vehicle I drive, and I make that clear to adult passengers.

    The chances of a serious accident are extremely slim, but if one does occur, I would never forgive myself for having sacrificed a child for the temporary comfort of an adult.

    Looking at Honda's diagrams of safety features, the rear crush zone comes very close to the back of the 3rd row.

    When I take three kids I put only one in the 3rd row, knowing I'm doing my best given the circumstances.

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