I know that there are a lot of threads asking for advice on getting three car seats in the back seat, but I don't have the energy to search them. Please bear with me.
We have two kids and one on the way. Our girls are 4.5 and 2. We'd like to avoid having a van if possible, but it may be inevitable that one of us gets a van. I'd still like to have three car seats in both of our cars, however. During the last few weeks, we've had terrible car luck (an accident and a theft) and in the process, car seats have been moved around or have not been in one or the other car for a day or so. Add to the car trouble sick girls who needed to be taken out of daycare and taken to Grandma's, and not having both sets of car seats in both cars really made it difficult. I don't want to have to have two vans in order to retain the same transport flexibility we have now.
HOWEVER, my husband doesn't believe that three across is safe. We've done very little research, me more than him, but he's highly skeptical. He wonders if it's safe for the car sets to touch. How close to the doors is safe? What about the fact that the back seat is contoured, rather than flat? Our better car is a '96 Subaru Legacy - no latch system.
No matter what happens, we may need a few new seats. Two or three of them are approaching 5 years old (isn't that the expiration date?).
What can you tell me about the safety of three across? Can you point me to resources on this? Can you recommend brands of car seat that might fit?