Do you have a car seat for every kid in both cars? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 08-16-2013, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Most car seat questions seem to go in Family Safety, but this is less a question about car seats specifically and more a question about logistics, so it seems to me to fit better here. 


Do you have one car that can seat all the kids and the other car cannot, or do both cars seat all the kids? (And if you have more than 3, the latter case would mean both have to be vans or SUVs... yikes.) 


Right now we have a car seat in both cars. We have two sedans. We have a two-year-old and #2 on the way. We aren't necessarily planning to be done after 2, and it seems that while this is manageable now, it gets nuttier with more kids, so I'm kind of mulling over the five-year plan, car-wise. 


It seems to me that some families seem to manage having just one car that is used to transport the kids. Particularly when one parent is SAH. But in our family, my husband works days (when he does work outside of the home; he also does some work from home, and in time he may be able to work from home 2 days a week) and though I work 2-4 days a week, as often as not I work swing shift (2-10). There doesn't seem to be a way around having a car seat in both cars under our current arrangement. The sitter comes to our house some days, but when I work late some days LO goes to my mom's and I have to drive her there in early afternoon and my husband picks her up around 5. 


Possible ways around this: get childcare closer to home so that we can walk. Leave LO at my mom's for the whole day so my husband can drop her off first thing and pick her up (sounds like a good idea but isn't really; mom isn't much good with early mornings, and while this might work for LO, it won't work when new sibling is born and is nursing). Convince mom to come to our place (I've tried!) Changing my schedule is only possible if I change jobs, which I'd like to do anyway but is easier said than done. Maybe in a couple of years husband can work from home more days, making transportation easier. Get mom a car seat for her car (but then we still have the same problem of as many car seats as kids in 2 different cars). Drop LO off at my mom's, then drive to my husband's work to switch cars (adds an extra 1/2 hour to my day). 


Are car seats in 2 places pretty much necessary when you sometimes work different shifts? Or am I overthinking this? Or missing something?

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#2 of 9 Old 08-17-2013, 01:23 PM
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We have always had carseats in every car. I seriously don't know how people manage with one car/one seat for two car households. I think they might have a easier schedule then we do where someone is constantly coming and going. 


A couple exceptions for us is that with a new baby, new baby doesn't need two seats until usually over 10 months of age because baby usually sticks with me or if I am gone, I leave my car and take the other one. And we could of gotten by with one car/one seat for longer it was just DD1 because she never off without me until almost DD2 was here. 


School schedules majorly complicates things and sports or activities for older children. It isn't uncommon that DH drops off kids on his way to work and I pick up or I drop off at sports and DH picks up later. Add in siblings and children are just getting traded around all the time! 


We have 4 kids, 10, 6, 4, and 2. The younger two still ride in carseats and the older two in boosters. We have always had cars that fit everyone. I drive the "people hauler" as we call it. When we first had #3, Dh had a sedan that could fit 3 across but it was tight and he was constantly stealing my large SUV to take all the gear up snowboarding with DD1 so I requested a upgrade in his car status. winky.gif For the next few years we drove almost identical massive SUVs which worked very well. Now DH has a truck for work but it is a 6 seater so we just barely can make it work but as soon as he doesn't need it anymore, we need to go back to him having another SUV like mine. Our sitters use our cars to drive kids around because we have so many. We used to have an older Audi wagon that DH would drive on sitter days and then the sitter would take his SUV. We live really close to DH's work so now he rides his bike or takes the trolley on those days. the problem being that we only have one sitter that can manage the truck so otherwise I have to take his car and sitter takes mine. It is just constant shuffling! 

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#3 of 9 Old 08-17-2013, 01:54 PM
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We have a seat in each car for DD1. Purely for financial reasons, we don't yet have a second seat for DD2. She is 9 months old and it is starting to become more inconvenient. We've moved her seat between cars on several occasions but DH wants to be able to take them both out more often and it's a pain swapping the seat from car to car.

We will be getting a second seat as soon as we can afford it.

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#4 of 9 Old 08-24-2013, 02:33 PM
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We only have carseats in my car for the kids, but I am a SAHM.

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#5 of 9 Old 08-27-2013, 10:21 AM
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I wish we had carseats in both cars, but right now the three seats we need won't fit in DH's car. I have a 3.5 DD1 and twins that are 4 months, so right now DD1 is in a FF convertible and the twins are in bucket seats with bases. In my minivan, I can fit all three seats in one row, but my DH's sedan they just won't fit. I think once DD1 is in a booster, we can probably make it all fit in DH's car, but for now we drive my car when we are all going out. DH still has DD1's FF convertible in his car, so he can at least take her and in an emergency, we could maybe fit the seats with DD1's seat in the middle and no bases on the buckets, but that isn't really an everyday thing that you want to deal with.

It is really nice to be able to haul kids around in either car, but it is livable not being able to. And honestly, if you have more than 2-3 kids, especially close in age, it is pretty much impossible without both parents having minivan/SUV/Van. My parents with 4 of us handled it first by if we were all going somewhere they took two cars and then later by having a big van for traveling (since you need room for luggage and people) and then a car for each of them for everyday use, my Mom's everyday car could fit her and us kids, but not always Dad too. But if the car seat laws were the same then as they are now, there strategy would not have worked as we would not have been able to all fit in Mom's car.

This is why when I found out I was having twins, I bought a minivan. Besides a full-sized van, you can't beat them for having enough space for everyone and they are very carseat friendly allowing you to configure however you want since latch and tethers tend to be available at every position.

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#6 of 9 Old 09-12-2013, 10:23 AM
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We only have carseats in one car, but DH WAH, and I don't work. Even then, it gets annoying sometimes. I can see how if we both worked outside the home we'd want to get a second set of car seats. This reminds me of when I was young, and my mom was going to night school-- my dad and her would meet on the road and just switch cars with the kids inside :)

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#7 of 9 Old 09-14-2013, 02:05 PM
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We've always kept carseats for both kids in each car, but we lucked out in that we only had to buy two of each type of seat because of the timing of the kids.

DS was in a bucket for a year, then moved to a convertible and DD used the bucket when she was born, then just when she started needing the convertible, DS was ready for a booster. If the timing had been different and we would have needed 4 convertibles to have seats in each car, we probably would have just stuck with 2 and switched them out when needed.

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#8 of 9 Old 10-02-2013, 09:13 PM
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We only have one car so we only need one set!  


It would be nice to have a back-up set though, mostly because I really dislike having to remove the seats from my car (if we ride with grandma, friends, a rental, whatever).

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#9 of 9 Old 10-02-2013, 09:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay, so apparently I am the only person who is stubbornly clinging to a wish for simplicity in numbers of car seats. :wink I really like the idea of being a one-car family but I think we would have needed to structure our lives differently for that to be an option--we would have had to live near enough to a good bus line that my husband could bus to work EVERY day, for starters (me bussing to work is really not an option). 

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