Infant twins & a toddler - what vehicle, what car seat configuration? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 05-10-2008, 11:55 PM - Thread Starter
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My DH and I went looking for a new car today. We test drove the GMC Acadia and I realized if we put two Snugrides in the captain's chairs, then it's almost impossible to fit around the Snugride bases to get to the back row to buckle my DD in her Britax Marathon. The other option would be to put two kids in the very back and one in one of the captain's chairs, but I hate having two of them so far away from me if it's not necessary. Or I could put my DD and one of the twins in the captain's chairs and I think I could squeeze in around my DD's carseat easier. But that leaves one baby in the very back all alone! Am I overthinking this?! We are going to look at the Honda Odyssey next time we're out. Do you think there is more room in there than an Acadia? I've honestly never thought about having to put 3 carseats in a car until now, so figuring out the best way to do it is confusing me! All I know is they're not going to fit in my '97 Honda Accord!

What vehicle do you drive and how would (or do) you arrange the carseats if you have two bucket seats and a toddler seat?

Kim, mom to : Katie (2/06), : Tommy & Amelia (10/08)
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#2 of 14 Old 05-11-2008, 12:04 AM
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We have a Pontiac Montana minivan. We have 2 captain chairs but we took one out to make loading easier. My 5 year old is in the back bench in his giant Regent carseat. One 2 year old is next to him an Evenflo Triumph and the other 2 year old is in the captain chair. This works really well for us.

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#3 of 14 Old 05-11-2008, 03:06 AM
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My configuration makes me really sad but it works well for us. We started out with a dodge caravan. The middle seat was a bench and we put the twins there. Then we put DD (18 mos at the time) in the far back and could reach her very well from the opening left from the bench. DS also sat back there but he was old enough that he buckled himself... once the twins got old enough that we wanted to be out on the move, I found that the caravan had NO storage at all. We live far away from shopping and could hardly fit a medium sized costco trip in the car with us once you take into account all of the diapers, extra clothes, and double stroller. By the time they were 1, we had sold the caravan and bought an old Suburban. BTW, I never in a million years thought I would ever own one but I tell ya, we defiantly fill it!

Now in the suburban, it has a 70/30ish split in the middle row so I leave the 30 down most of the time and we use the same configuration as the minivan. There is plenty of room for big britax carseats, a double stroller, and a decent trip (camping/shopping). It is harder to get DD in the back but still very reasonable. And before I knew it, she is almost ready to be buckling herself in...

DS 7, DD 3, twin DDs 19 mos

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#4 of 14 Old 05-11-2008, 03:23 AM
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We are going through the SAME dilema. DD is 20 months and we are expecting twins 12/6. We JUST bought a car three weeks ago: a Subaru stationwagon...and will now have to sell it (we weren't planning on twins!). We are looking into a Honda Odyssey- even though I don't want a minivan, I have a feeling I will surrender.
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#5 of 14 Old 05-11-2008, 11:03 AM
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I haven't personally tried them, but I hear that the Radian carseats can fit 3 across in a car.

Blessed mama of four
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#6 of 14 Old 05-11-2008, 06:50 PM
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I have a 97 pathfinder and I have my three all in a row across the one back seat. DD1 was in a roundabout and the twins in two snugrides, until DD outgrew the roundabout. Now she's in a booster. We had DD1 in the middle, and the twins rear-facing on each side since DD can climb in on her own. We still do, actually, although the twins are in rear-facing convertibles now. I have to twist DD's booster a bit sideways to buckle her in, and then readjust it. When she was in the roundabout I had to sit on the center console to buckle her in. It's a major serious hassle, but I have no choice because I cannot afford a car. The car I had was given to me by my in-laws.

There is a site that'll give you the actual width of different seats, so you can measure and see how different brands fill fit three across. I can't remember where it was, but maybe somebody on the family safety forum will know. Have you posted there?

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#7 of 14 Old 05-11-2008, 07:09 PM
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When the twins were first born I drove a volvo station wagon with 3 seats across. DD behind me in an Alpha omega, and 2 snugrides side by side. I had them professionally installed because I couldn't get them all in myself. Then we bought a dodge caravan a year ago. The boys were still rear facing in their snugrides in the middle bench seat. My D was in the rear seat passenger side so I could help her in and out more easily. Now i have extra seats n the van for when I babysit. At the moment I have the Alpha Omega in the rear passenger seat, a costco Scenera next to that, and DD in a Turbo booster in the rear driver seat. On the middle bench seat I alternate between an evenflo booster and a britax marathon next to an evenflo triumph. I also sometimes have a booster in the front passenger seat, depending on the carpool situation. I can get everyone in and buckled, and i use under the seat space to store extra clothes, blankets, sand toys, life jackets, and kayack paddles. My double stroller (MacClaren twin techno) fits in the way back and I can put 6 grocery bags on top of it. I also stash up to 8 grocery bags next to the door and in back of the fronts seats. I keep my diaper bag there too, or up front on the floor with me. The only things I cannot get into this van that I would like to, are a wagon or jogging stroller for the beach or park. They are all too wide for the caravan. I just stick with my baby carriers instead. I keep at least 3 in the car at all times. At the moment they are under the middle seat with the rain boots and extra shoes.

Mama to 4 darlings. A ('03), O and K ('06), A ('09), and wife to M since 2002.
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#8 of 14 Old 05-12-2008, 10:12 AM
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I'm in need of a new car as well. But in the interim, I fit 3 seats across in my Toyota Camary (FP Safe Seat in the middle w/ 2 Snug Rides on either side). It's not even as tight as I would've thought.

We're debating whether to go minivan (I like the Sienna) or get a Suburu. Gas mileage is the big debate for us.
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#9 of 14 Old 05-12-2008, 07:02 PM
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Honda Odyssey. Initial configuration was infant carriers in bench seat in the back row. Took out one captains chair and installed DD's Britax Marathon (rear facing) in reamining captians chair. Extra floor space was great for diaper changes, nursing, etc.

Now the twins (little over a year) are in captain chairs, older DD is in the middle of the back forward facing.
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#10 of 14 Old 05-12-2008, 08:28 PM
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We had to sell our Toyota Highlander and got a Toyota Sienna. The configuration in the Highlander with two snugrides and one Britax was just too tight to be safe. At first we put the two snugrides in the van's captain's seats and my dd somewhere in the back row, but now that they are all in Britax seats (and older), we have two in the 3rd row and one in a captain's seat and the other captain's seat is taken out, so we have more room to get in/out and haul stuff. If we hadn't had to deal with the infant seats, we would've just gone straight to 3 Sunshine Kids Radians or Recaros across the back of the Highlander. I loved that car! Oh, well--the van is good for us right now.

Cindi, mama to Hannah (7/04) :, Eli & Sam (6/06) :
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#11 of 14 Old 05-13-2008, 01:46 PM
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The first 6 months we had a Ford Crown Vic with 3 across (ds1 in the middle). But ds1 WAY outgrew his 5 pt carseat and he couldn't buckle it with all those seats smashed tight, so we got a mini van (chrysler town and country).

I have tried a few different ways, but until the twins can reach a bit further, they are in the middle and ds1 is in the back. If I just had 1 twin in the back, it would be WW3 !! I would put the twins in the back, but we tend to do LONG road trips, and they just need me to pass too much stuff to them yet.

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#12 of 14 Old 05-13-2008, 04:18 PM
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we have a euro van. I have ds (who is almost two) in a britax marathon in the way back drivers side, one of the twins in a graco snugride in the way back passenger side and the other twin in a graco snugride in the captains chair right behind the drivers seat. i always put the fussier of the twins in the seat closest to me to i can reach him/her. it is quite funny when my toddler falls asleep and i have to attempt to carry him out. it is not the best set up right now, but it is the only thing that works and once the twins are out of rear facing carseats i think it will work better. the thing i like best about the eurovan is that i can almost stand up in it and i am is very roomy...

good luck
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#13 of 14 Old 05-13-2008, 06:24 PM
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Our first mini was a Ford Windstar, and we only had the twins, so they were in the second row.

Then we had an Odyssey (oh, how I loved that van) and we took out one of the captain's chairs and had dd in a snugride in the second row, and the boys in the third row in their carseats.

THEN I got informed about carseat safety (thank you threebeans!) and learned that the 05 Odyssey only have one tether in the third row, which does NOT work for us! (Only the 05 model. The 04 and 06-curr either have more than one tether, or you can have them retro-fitted.) I also learned about Britax

Now we have four kids (and my twins can buckle/unbuckle themselves) so they're in the third row, and my girls are in the second row.

Anywho... I'd consider maybe switching your oldest to a radian? or something narrower than a Britax?

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#14 of 14 Old 05-14-2008, 05:17 PM
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We have an Odyssey. I have a 5 and 3yr old plus the twins (almost a year now). We have the babies in Marathons (rearfacing) in the middle seats and the two olders one in a booster and one in his Marathon in the third row. I seem to have no problem getting back to the olders for buckling.
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