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Old 03-28-2008, 01:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Currently we have a Honda Accord. We have one kid aged 7, the other 3, they will be 4 and almost 8 when the baby comes. The older one is in a booster, the younger in a big ole Britax. There's not any space right now for another car seat, but I wondered about reconfiguring things somehow.

Is it safe for the oldest to sit in between 2 car seats? Are there any car seats you know of that are smaller in frame?

Or, what kind of car would work other than a minivan? I just don't like the 2 captain chairs and then having the oldest way in the back where I can't reach him, plus he gets sick in the way back.

Anyone have experience/advice/an opinion?

Thanks!
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Old 03-28-2008, 10:11 AM
 
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That's a tough one. I'd check out the Radian, which is very narrow. I know that you can fit 3 across in a Honda Civic even. Depending on the height of your 7 year old, would you consider harnessing him again? A harness that buckles in the front is going to be a lot easier to do than to get to a buckle for a booster (think scrapping knuckles here).

The safest place is in the middle and that's where your oldest should be, if he's in a booster especially. Boosters are less safe than a harness, so you offset that by putting the boostered-child in the safer place in the car.

I have a Malibu now and will have a 2 and 4 year old when #3 comes. It's been too cold to get out there and work too much, but I am thinking I can squeeze 2 Radians and the infant seat in without a problem.
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Old 03-28-2008, 10:57 AM
 
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We have a Ford Focus and have managed to fit three carseats in the back seat. It's a tight fit. You could probably fit all your kids in, too. You might have to replace the Britax though, I think those tend to be pretty wide. Our carseats are all cheaper models that are not quite so big...

Measure the width of your back seat and look at carseats online - they will usually tell you the width. If you have at least 4.5 feet you can probably do it.
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:12 AM
 
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I could have written this post almost exactly, except mine will be 8 and 3.5 when the baby comes!

We are *hoping* we can put an infant seat on the side - dd already floats between the middle and the side, so I know her seat fits in the middle next to ds's big ol' Boulevard. We have a Saturn L200 (I think that's right...) so the backseat is fairly wide... if we got a much wider/bigger sedan, we'd end up having the same gas mileage, just about, as a minivan. Ugh.

Personally, I am hoping that they introduce a hybrid minivan stat.

Kash, homeschooling mommy to Gillian (8/5/00) and Jacob (3/23/05)
and Brigid Eleanor (11/20/08)
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:19 AM
 
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I know you said you really didn't want a minivan but I absolutely love mine. Mine has two bench seats and I've even seen some that have the three person bench in the middle row and the two person bench in the back.

Our oldest will be 3 1/2 when the baby comes and I plan on making the back seat her "special place." A basket of books all for her, a toy or two, a nice pink fuzzy blanket that is all hers.

But as far as cars go, my husband has a Taurus and the back seat is huge. We can get three car seats back there no problem.

When I was looking for my van I took all the car seats to a dealership with me and spent the whole day hooking them in different models of cars, vans, suvs, everything. The sales guy was able to give his little speech on each vehicle while I did it. It was really nice. GL on your adventure

In love with the Hubs (6-03) & : Kookie Pookie Girl (c/s 5-05) & Bouncy Big Boy (vbac 2-07) & : Miss Cheeky Cheeks (hbac 11-08) 100*90* 100lbs = Las Vegas : Almost there!
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:31 AM
 
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I am not sure 3 car seats in the back seat is safe even if you could fit them, and older child between two car seats without one of his own is a big no no!
If you were hit on the side the car seats would not give and would crush the child between them. With 3 car seats it would be a matter of which was strongest...it would crush the weaker ones depending on how hard you were hit.

I am in the same boat except mine are gonna be almost five and almost 2 and I am sad to say I have not found any alternative to a minivan except an SUV but most with enough seats I would need other job to afford gas in.
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:40 AM
 
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I find it much cheaper to invest in car seats that fit rather than buying a new bigger vehicle.

Has anyone mentioned the Sunshine Radian yet? http://www.amazon.com/Sunshine-Kids-.../dp/B000EE5I86

I LOVE driving a little car as opposed to a big ole minivan or SUV! I happily had three across the back of our compact Mazda Protoge when need be. I didn't even have the skinny Sunshine Radians. I put the babe in the middle & the two older ones on the outside. My kids were 4, 2, & baby at that time... all in car seats.

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Old 03-28-2008, 11:44 AM
 
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[QUOTE=SDorsey86;10872126]I older child between two car seats without one of his own is a big no no!
If you were hit on the side the car seats would not give and would crush the child between them. With 3 car seats it would be a matter of which was strongest...it would crush the weaker ones depending on how hard you were hit.
[\QUOTE]

Um, do you have any proof of this happening? Any reports or tests? If not I would not go around telling things that may or may not happen.
Whitney
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Old 03-28-2008, 05:15 PM
 
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i have not seen any tests or reports saying three carseats across is unsafe.

i'm wondering, though, if your car has three tethers? since most rear-facing carseats don't tether, it won't matter while the baby is rear-facing, but once the baby is forward facing, you'll need to have a tether for each seat. i've heard you can get them installed, though, at most dealerships if your car isn't equipped with them.

i agree that the safest position for the child in the booster is the middle, as long as you've got a shoulder harness in that position, though as someone else mentioned, there might be some knuckle scraping strapping him in each time.

you very well may have to get rid of the Britax, though, it's so wide. the Radian is definitely the way to go, IMO. they are great carseats as far as safety ratings and such, and are the narrowest ones of that caliber around. More people seem to be able to fit three of those across than any other kind. I just got one for my almost 5 yo. She will need to be in the middle position in our car (a subaru impreza) and we only have a lapbelt there, so i needed her to be in a 5-point harness (wanted her to be anyway), and the Radian is the only one that will fit with an infant seat and another seat. DS is going to be getting a Radian too, we just couldn't buy two at once, and DD's need was more urgent since she was just ounces away from reaching the weight limit on her current seat.

having said all that, we are in the market for a larger car. not because of the carseat issue, but just because we feel we're outgrowing our little subaru. we do a lot of camping, and we want to get another dog (ours was hit by a car a couple months ago), so we feel like we need something that can accommodate all of us, a dog, and all our camping gear - which our subaru just can't. our niece usually stays w/us in the summer for a couple months as well (she'll be 13 this summer) and as it was last year we had to take two cars if we all wanted to go out to dinner or something together, which is just crazy when you live 45 minutes from everything and gas costs so much. so we're looking at a toyota highlander, probably before the end of the year, and keeping the subaru as a backup car.
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Old 03-28-2008, 06:42 PM
 
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Um I have to say that my car has NO tethers, its not new enough to have them, but I also know that when I took in my car to have my seats checked they were are very safely installed. Tethers have not always been there they are a newer thing and not something that HAS to be used.

I hope you can figure out a solution OP, I have a minivan but am dreading having to put one of the kids in the far back. We have actually talked about putting the 2 older kids together in the back and the baby in the middle where I can reach so that the oldest doesn't feel by herself.

Hugs
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Old 03-28-2008, 06:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Patchfire View Post

Personally, I am hoping that they introduce a hybrid minivan stat.
Just a note. I would recommend doing more research on hybrids. In theory they are a GREAT idea, but in practice, they are not as environmentally friendly as you might think. Yes, some get excellent gas mileage, but practice has shown that they have yet to get the stated mileage. Also, as far as environmental impact, some hybrids are even more unfriendly than regular cars. Their batteries are HIGHLY toxic and need to be replaced (at great expense) every 5-6 years I believe. The batteries aren't recyclable either and are very large.

I am not against hybrids, I just know that many people haven't really looked into them that closely. Personally I will be excited when more research is done on clean hydrogen technology, bio-diesel, and electric cars.

I drive a Mercury Mountaineer that is a flex vehicle. It will run on gasoline or E-85 ethanol. We need an SUV for numerous reasons and I am very pleased with this truck. After being hit a few times, my #1 priority was safety. This car has all of the safety features I could ask for.

*SIDE NOTE* if you have side airbags, make sure they aren't full body airbags and are only the curtain airbags. Full side airbags are just as dangerous as putting the baby in the front seat.

As far as getting more space, the Subaru outback and new Saturns have more room.

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Old 03-28-2008, 07:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by New_Natural_Mom View Post
Just a note. I would recommend doing more research on hybrids. In theory they are a GREAT idea, but in practice, they are not as environmentally friendly as you might think. Yes, some get excellent gas mileage, but practice has shown that they have yet to get the stated mileage. Also, as far as environmental impact, some hybrids are even more unfriendly than regular cars. Their batteries are HIGHLY toxic and need to be replaced (at great expense) every 5-6 years I believe. The batteries aren't recyclable either and are very large.
Thanks, but I have done a fair amount of research, and for where we are, and what we have available, and what we're willing to do in terms of modifying after-market, a hybrid is going to be the most environmentally friendly choice *for us* at the present time. Sure, maybe in four years, things'll change, but I have to make decisions based on the present.

Kash, homeschooling mommy to Gillian (8/5/00) and Jacob (3/23/05)
and Brigid Eleanor (11/20/08)
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Old 03-28-2008, 09:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone...

I measured the back and it's only 48 inches across. I don't see how I can fit 3 car seats back there. Any other ideas for a narrow car seat?

Any other ideas for a sedan with a wider, boxier back seat? Maybe then I could fit in 3 car seats.
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Old 03-28-2008, 10:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Patchfire View Post
Thanks, but I have done a fair amount of research, and for where we are, and what we have available, and what we're willing to do in terms of modifying after-market, a hybrid is going to be the most environmentally friendly choice *for us* at the present time. Sure, maybe in four years, things'll change, but I have to make decisions based on the present.
I drive a hybrid (Prius) and I get WAY better mileage than what it is supposed to get. And I live in a mountainous region an do mostly highway driving (which would lower my average). I have averaged as high as 64 MPG. We can't wait for a hybrid van as well.


To the OP: an accord should be OK, I have fit 3 in my prius, and we also have a accord coupe (trying to sell it though) and a 4 door camry (giving away to my bro in june/july) and they fit in there good too (the camry is the best). We want a van though but have tested a new 2008 Scion xb and it is very roomy with 3 seats in the back. They re-did them for 2008 and now they have the same engine as a Camry and they don't look like boxes anymore.

A Matrix is good too.

Mom of 3 sons and one daughter
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Old 03-28-2008, 10:10 PM
 
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Any other ideas for a sedan with a wider, boxier back seat? Maybe then I could fit in 3 car seats.
Hmmmm...I have a Toyota Camry that is pretty roomy in the back. I just measured the back seat and it's 53" long although I'd say 50" can actually be used for seating. Just to give you an idea of another vehicle size. I'm wondering about a Cadillac?

Tina - mama to DD1 10.75yrs, DD2 6yrs, DD3 2.5 yrs & baby due in June 2015 and wifey to DH.
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Old 03-29-2008, 01:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Patchfire View Post
Thanks, but I have done a fair amount of research, and for where we are, and what we have available, and what we're willing to do in terms of modifying after-market, a hybrid is going to be the most environmentally friendly choice *for us* at the present time. Sure, maybe in four years, things'll change, but I have to make decisions based on the present.
No worries - I just run into a lot of people who don't know the whole picture. I am not anti-hybrid, I just get frustrated when people claim they are the best thing since sliced bread. *Not saying you said that!* I guess I am saying we have a ways to go - but it's a start.

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Old 03-29-2008, 01:57 AM
 
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i have not seen any tests or reports saying three carseats across is unsafe.

i'm wondering, though, if your car has three tethers?
Our 2002 Accord Sedan does. OP didn't mention the year or body-type of her Accord, but it probably does.

Quote:
Originally Posted by organicmommy View Post
Um I have to say that my car has NO tethers, its not new enough to have them, but I also know that when I took in my car to have my seats checked they were are very safely installed. Tethers have not always been there they are a newer thing and not something that HAS to be used.
While they are not legally required yet in the United States, most carseats will only meet the tougher Federal safety standards with the tether properly used. More info: http://www.car-safety.org/latch.html

For the OP... if you decide to get a bigger vehicle, you might want to check out the Mazda 5. Yes, you'll lose gas mileage most likely :-/ but it's within six inches of the Accord sedan in all dimensions, and has three rows of seats! Now, if only Honda would come out with something similar...
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Old 03-29-2008, 10:36 AM
 
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You can usually get tether anchors installed at the dealership. We are getting them out in our 1999 Prizm LOL Its okay, leagal and allowed by the car manufactur.
Make sure you read your manual as well, there are 2 tethers in my Maxima I didnt even know about!!
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Old 03-30-2008, 01:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Our car doesn't have tethers- its a '97.

And after doing some quick calculations, it looks unlikely that we'll get a new car, so I simply must find a way to fit them in safely.

But, I LOVE the Mazda 5! I especially like the sporty feel of it, not "minivan mom" at all.

I'm going to look at the radian again, maybe go to a store and measure it, try it in the car myself. Even if I have to get 3 of them, it's cheaper than a new car by far. And, I'll remeasure the back seat once I scoop out everything from back there. Seriously, where does it all come from?

Thanks, mamas!
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Old 03-30-2008, 04:18 PM
 
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My car is a 1997 too, the anchors are actually taped under the rear windshild, in the trunk. You take it to the deal, and they pop them up and thru the back and install the anchors.
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Old 03-30-2008, 04:23 PM
 
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There are minivans that will allow three kids across in the second row. If you get a minivan, you will almost certainly like it better than you can imagine now, especially if you get one with running boards and dual automatic sliding doors.

When we bought our Toyota Sienna, they had a seat arrangement that allowed the middle seat of the second row to be moved closer to the driver's seat so that the driver and front passenger could reach that seat more easily. Minivans are just designed for families with children, so they make life easier than cars designed for adults.
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Old 04-01-2008, 06:20 PM
 
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My husband's Toyota Camry is a little wider than my Honda Accord...For sedans I would guess the American cars are probably wider than Japanese, except the Toyota Avalon or maybe some Lexus. European may be wider too. Maybe it's time to trade your Accord for Grandma's Buick?? Just kidding on that one...but I do remember my old Buick being very wide!

My DH and I are planning to replace his Camry before baby arrives b/c it's got 200K+ miles on it. We checked out cars for the first time this weekend. I was thinking Subaru Outback but it seemed too small/narrow (I have long legs). We found the new Forrester seemed a lot roomier. We're also thinking of the good old Volvo wagon, V70 or XC70 pre-owned. Man, that's a comfortable car! I was hoping they still made the Volvo wagons with a front-facing 3rd row seat, but they don't--the 3rd seat is just a little jumpseat that's only good for an older kid on a short trip.
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