Those with 1 kid, going to #2, or BTDT, carseat Q

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sometimes's picture
Joined: 07/08/08
Posts: 900
Those with 1 kid, going to #2, or BTDT, carseat Q

Right now we have DD in the middle backseat.. she's forward facing. When the baby comes we're going to move her carseat but I'm not sure where to place them. I know I've read that the safest place besides the middle is behind the passenger seat... BUT that means the baby would be behind the driver's seat. I don't want them right next to each other because I can just imagine DD poking at her baby brother trying to get him to play. What are you going to do or what have you already done? Maybe I will try sticking them next to each other and see how it works though it will be somewhat of a pain even maneuvering the infant seat in.

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

I'm wondering about this too. I do kind of want to put DD on the side, and the new baby in the middle... but like you, I worry about how close they will be... actually, in our car, there probably won't even be space, so they will have to be one on each side. But, I thought the back seat behind the driver's seat was safer... hmmm.....

dsbwn3's picture
Joined: 09/29/11
Posts: 196

Glad you started this post I was thinking the same! I think I'm going to put baby in the middle and my son behind the passenger seat.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

Jason will go in the middle since I can turn and buckle him in st that position and the baby will go behind the driver since I'll need to do more to get him in.

RebeccaA'07's picture
Joined: 11/19/07
Posts: 1628

I have DD behind the passenger seat now, she's always been in the middle so I wanted to get her used to being on the side. And honestly, her car seat is so big/tall that it's easier to get her in/out on the side than middle. The new baby will go behind the driver seat as DH has to push his seat back and the infant seat or RF seat will not fit behind him.

newmommie25's picture
Joined: 09/20/07
Posts: 123

The safest spot is supposedly behind the drivers seat. The best thing to do to decide with two which is going to go on what side is to try the baby seat and the toddle one behind the driver. My husband is taller than me and the baby seat wouldnt fit behind the driver when he drove so baby seat ends up on passenger in the jeep. I have a mini van and the baby will be on the passanger so I can see and reach the baby easier if need be.

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

I know I shouldn't be basing anything on this... but does anyone remember the episode of The Office (American version) when Dwight and Jim had to drive somewhere together (a sales call, I think), and Jim was going to drive, and Dwight insisted on sitting in the back seat behind him, because "it was the safest place in the car, after the driver's seat"? Man, I love The Office. Smile

RebeccaA'07's picture
Joined: 11/19/07
Posts: 1628

I've always heard as well that behind the drivers seat is the safest; in a crash, you are more likely to protect the drivers side...at least that's what my BIL who works at the fire department has said!

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

"RebeccaA'07" wrote:

I've always heard as well that behind the drivers seat is the safest; in a crash, you are more likely to protect the drivers side...at least that's what my BIL who works at the fire department has said!

I think it's totally natural survival instinct! Makes sense!

Kayla1981's picture
Joined: 01/04/07
Posts: 1529

That is interesting because I was told the safest besides the middle is behind the passenger seat. We were told this by a state trooper who was also a trained car seat inspector. Jordan has always been behind the passenger seat bc our middle seat was not an option due to space issues for the front seats. He said this is because side impact usually happens when someone runs a light or stop sign and you have less reaction time for cars coming from your left (driver's side). You may have instinct to protect yourself but that would have to mean that you were anticipating a crash in time for that to happen.

We will be getting a new vehicle so I'm not sure how we will arrange them yet.

sometimes's picture
Joined: 07/08/08
Posts: 900

So weird! I did a quick google search and this popped up on the DMV website. Where is the best location for the child safety seat?
The center of the back seat is the safest place for a car seat. If the car seat does not fit in the center-rear, then the passenger-rear seat is acceptable as the next best choice. So I don't know. DH is tall and his seat has to be all the way back so maybe I will try DD behind him since her seat is forward facing and then put Lucas behind passenger seat. If I get a chance before hand I will ask a certified car seat person, too, or if any of you get a chance, be sure to update.

ETA from child carseat safety FAQ website: Q40: What is the safest position for my carseat? The center of the rear seat is usually safest since it is farthest from a possible side impact, but only if your carseat fits well in that position. Any position in the rear seat is acceptable unless prohibited by the vehicle or child seat owner's manual. The seat behind the passenger may be slightly safer than the seat behind the driver, since it allows you to unload the child on the curb side, allows you to see your child more easily from the driver's seat and is very slightly less likely to be hit on that side in a side impact. There is also a small risk that a front seat-back could collapse in a severe rear-end crash, and the passenger seat is less likely to be occupied by a heavy adult who could crush a carseat in this situation. The front seat is generally not advised for children 12 and under, especially if an active airbag is present.
If you have more than one child, the safest arrangement may not be obvious. Usually, it is preferable to put the child with the most protection in the outboard location; rear-facing seats offer the most protection from side impacts.

So it seems like from what that answer states is that there is slightly less risk being behind the passenger but not much.

boilermaker's picture
Joined: 08/21/02
Posts: 1984

Eh--the baby will go in the only open seat in our mini-van, the "way" back in the middle. Though we are considering a new(er) larger vehicle purchase this spring.

Our other car is a Tahoe, so I'm not yet sure where we'll put baby. We'll have to play with the carseats, etc. We'll have five kids, three in carseats and two in boosters. Oy! I think I should just buy a bus!

CJNME's picture
Joined: 10/03/05
Posts: 345

****Lurker****
I was always told the middle was the safest so when DS2 was born, it was a pain but he went in the middle with siblings on either side. At the time we had a Ford Expedition and didn't use the 3rd row unless we had too. It was a pain to lift the infant seat in but all 3 seats were installed very securely. I had a Britax Boulevard, Graco Snugride and a Britax Frontier. It stayed this way until we bought a different car, we now have an older GMC Yukon Denali with captains seats. The youngest,DS, is behind the passenger because of space for rear facing, front seat can not go all the way back so wasn't an option to put behind the driver seat. Also those with multiple children in car seats, figure out the safest install for all seats involved.
Also I didn't have a problem with siblings messing with the baby. I had a 4 year old and a 2 year old.

JDBabyHopes's picture
Joined: 02/16/09
Posts: 1149

"sometimes" wrote:

If the car seat does not fit in the center-rear, then the passenger-rear seat is acceptable as the next best choice. So I don't know. DH is tall and his seat has to be all the way back so maybe I will try DD behind him since her seat is forward facing and then put Lucas behind passenger seat. If I get a chance before hand I will ask a certified car seat person, too, or if any of you get a chance, be sure to update.

Since your DD is forward, you'll want her in the second safest position - behind the passenger (I had to look it up, too, I thought second safest was behind the driver). Since the new baby will be in the infant seat (i.e., "safest" seat), then he should be behind the driver, since he's in the seat with more protection.

My DS is still rear-facing at this point. I'd like to keep him that way for as long as I can, so I'm going to have to see the best position for everyone. Since we'll have two rear-facing seats, I don't think it matters who goes where, seeing as they have the same type of impact protection.

sometimes's picture
Joined: 07/08/08
Posts: 900

"JDBabyHopes" wrote:

Since your DD is forward, you'll want her in the second safest position - behind the passenger (I had to look it up, too, I thought second safest was behind the driver). Since the new baby will be in the infant seat (i.e., "safest" seat), then he should be behind the driver, since he's in the seat with more protection.

My DS is still rear-facing at this point. I'd like to keep him that way for as long as I can, so I'm going to have to see the best position for everyone. Since we'll have two rear-facing seats, I don't think it matters who goes where, seeing as they have the same type of impact protection.

That makes sense!

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

t. Oh and make sure that your car allows for center. latch usage for those planning on installing that way. Most cars don't let you "borrow" from the two outboard hooks.

JDBabyHopes's picture
Joined: 02/16/09
Posts: 1149

"wlillie" wrote:

t. Oh and make sure that your car allows for center. latch usage for those planning on installing that way. Most cars don't let you "borrow" from the two outboard hooks.

Super good point!

We have a Honda CRV (2010 model), and the center latch system in our car is built that you use the passenger side latch. It's weird, but the CRV only has 5 latch hooks vs. 6 in the back, so you use one center, and one from the outside. Just wanted to throw that out there! We do have a latch system that uses one of the outside hooks.

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

Our seats will both be rear-facing too, so I guess it doesn't matter that much who goes where. Oh, and, our car is like a '96 I think, and German, so it has no latch. Only seat belts. And let me tell you, that $hit is a PAIN in the A$$ for car seats!!!!

Thanks to everyone for doing all the research!!

Lorah's picture
Joined: 11/06/05
Posts: 201

We have a mini van. My 2 year old will go on the drivers side and the new baby will go on the passenger side. My 6 year old is still in a booster in the way back on the passenger side.