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#1 of 43 Old 11-18-2009, 11:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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SO I have a problem.
I am having my third baby in Feb and we have a car that does not fit three regular carseats. I am a SAHM and my DH is a student so we barely have any money.
ONce the baby comes my carseat solution is going to be:
Newborn- rfing in Graco snugride bucket
Two year old dd- ffing in Radian
3.75 year old ds- in a high back booster

This is the only way I can fathom on how to get them all in our car. We cannot afford a new vehicle or another radian for my ds.

Will he be "safe" in a booster? If not what are my other options (please remember I cannot just *save* up for a radian when there is no money to save)? I will be able to save enough for a booster by then and I was going to get the Graco Turbo Booster. A good choice? (The reason it will be a booster and not his currant carseat is that the booster is a few inches skinnier and that makes all the difference in getting the door closed )

BTW, he will be 4 in April/ he is about 35-40 lbs now and is regular size/ he can sit still mostly and I will require it but keep in mind he is 3...

Help?!
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#2 of 43 Old 11-19-2009, 12:15 AM
 
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How often do all 5 of you go out together?

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#3 of 43 Old 11-19-2009, 12:21 AM
 
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is it possible to RF your 2 yo and try puzzling your son's current carseat in the middle? I'm thinking Radian on the passenger side, your son's seat in the middle and your bucket behind the driver? Also try installing the bucket without the base and see if that puzzles any better. What carseat is your son in? Can you ask family for $$$ for christmas towards a new radian for your son?

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#4 of 43 Old 11-19-2009, 01:00 AM
 
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He shouldn't be in a booster. Can you come up with $50? I would put the 3 year old in the radian and get a scenera for the 2 year old. Check with local places (safe kids, health department, children's hospital, ect) to see if they do discounted or free seat programs.

If you can put the 2 year old rf'ing that will help the seats "puzzle" like one pp said. Also, you can use the graco bucket baseless to save some space.

ETA: There's a new evenflo seat coming out called the maestro that will have a 50 lbs weight limit and nice, tall top slots. It's supposed to retail for about $75. I'm not sure when it will be out, but it's already showing up on the sears website, just not shipping yet. It looks fairly narrow and would last your son probably 2 more years.
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#5 of 43 Old 11-19-2009, 01:14 AM
 
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I did this. But I put ds2 in a rfing convertible, I can't remember which ATM. It was narrower than a bucket. You might find that, too.

I researched it and decided I was comfortable with the safety of it. We didn't go out much, and I didn't really have another option. The crappy part was trying to get it buckled up. I scraped my hand on the other seat almost every time.

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#6 of 43 Old 11-19-2009, 01:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OK so thanks for all your insight.
To answer some questions:
1) I live in Canada so our seat options are more limited here plus car seats cost a far amount more here then down in the US. For example another radian would be about $400 and that would be a good deal.

2) I totally would rear face my dd (2yo) but she gets carsick really easy and vomits all over herself and the seat. Like large vomits which makes a major mess. She vomits dramatically less now that she is ffing so I will not turn her around. She would just cry, be miserable and throw up all over. Poor thing .

3) I do not know of any place anywhere near here that does free or cheap seats.

4) I do not think putting a scenera in the mix would work as it would be too wide.

5) We drive around a lot... What does this have to do with it? Even if my dh is not with me my child is way to young to sit in the front seat...

6) Sadly my family is broke so I cannot ask them for a radian for Xmas. They give like $15 gifts. I will not ask the ILs.

I know this sounds complicated I am not wanting it to be. Sometimes I think one cannot have both safety and no $$. If you just do not have the money what can one do?
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#7 of 43 Old 11-19-2009, 01:42 AM
 
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What kind of car?
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#8 of 43 Old 11-19-2009, 01:47 AM
 
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In Canada, a child must be 40# (not 35#) to use a booster.

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#9 of 43 Old 11-19-2009, 01:47 AM
 
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I'm wondering what kind of car, too, because I had a Nissan Sentra, which is a VERY small car, and I was able to fit two carseats (two Alpha Omegas, which are both decently sized) and a Graco bucket in the backseat. It was a snug fit, but it was possible.

I wouldn't put the 3.5-year-old in a booster. They're supposed to be 40 pounds AND 4 years old, and even then it's not the safest option.

There used to be a website where you could apply to get a free carseat donated. Let me see if I can find it.
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#10 of 43 Old 11-19-2009, 01:50 AM
 
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I would get the passenger airbag disabled and put the snugride in the front seat.
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#11 of 43 Old 11-19-2009, 02:14 AM
 
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[QUOTE=Spirit Dancer;14693508]OK so thanks for all your insight.
To answer some questions:


5) We drive around a lot... What does this have to do with it? Even if my dh is not with me my child is way to young to sit in the front seat...


QUOTE]

I only asked because some families choose to take one or 2 kids with them and leave the others home with the other parent. This would solve the carseat dilema.

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#12 of 43 Old 11-19-2009, 02:25 AM
 
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Being in Canada it's actually illegal to have him in a booster before 40lbs (and correct me if I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure 4 years old, too...) What kind of car are you working with? I drive a civic and can fit 3 in the back - albeit I did buy radians for that purpose. I don't know where you're looking at radians but they're not $400 up here - you can find a Premier for around $199 right now (juniorbaby website has it at that - as do many others..) I know you say you're broke but maybe you could sell something in order to make it work? Child tax/UCCB?

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#13 of 43 Old 11-19-2009, 02:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by alfabetsoup View Post
I would get the passenger airbag disabled and put the snugride in the front seat.

I would look into if this is even legal in your state. Its is very illegal here for a child under the age of 12 to be in the front passenger regardless of safety belts. Personally I woulnt put that child who even needed to be in a carseat in the front at all.
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#14 of 43 Old 11-19-2009, 02:38 AM
 
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which radian do you have? How big is your son? Is it possible for him to ride RFing in the radian? I would try the snugride baseless and see how that fits. What seat is your son in right now?

Mom to Morgan 4-3-06 and announcing Baby Kelsey 4-11-10
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#15 of 43 Old 11-19-2009, 04:27 AM
 
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www.car-seat.org in the forums there are 3-across lists that might help you figure out a combo that will work for you.
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#16 of 43 Old 11-19-2009, 04:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by alfabetsoup View Post
I would get the passenger airbag disabled and put the snugride in the front seat.
That would be nice, but impossible, unfortunately. You have to petition to be able to do this, and they are very hard to come by.

OP, what car do you have and what seat is your DS currently in?

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#17 of 43 Old 11-19-2009, 09:55 AM
 
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I'm note sure about the law where you live but it's still a bit early to use a booster. IF your child can sit properly and the booster fits properly then it's just as safe as a forward facing harnessed seat. Problem is most kids under 4 can't do this.

Children 4+ are not any safer in forward facing harnessed seats compared to high back boosters. There is no research , data, statistics or real life experiences showing this.

Keeping your 2 year old forward facing in a Radian is far bigger problem than your son in a booster. Your son is about as safe in a booster as in a FF Radian while your daughter is 500% percent less safe in her FF seat compared to sitting rear facing.

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#18 of 43 Old 11-19-2009, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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WE have a 2002 Sunfire. I have tried on at least 6 occasions to get 3 carseats in (with different rfing/ ffing combos). I know 3 radians would fit but we do not have the money.

Right now my son is in an Evenflo Chase Booster )it has a five point harness he is using). I really am not sure what he weighs. I need to find and accurate scale. He is about 39 inches tall.

I am not comfortable at all putting a rfing newborn in my front seat besides I think it is illegal here and people will notice.

AS far as a booster bing illegal till 40 lbs/ 4years I do not know the law on this but most people I know put their 3 yr olds in boosters and I know not all are 40 lbs. I even know a couple people who have 2 yr olds in booster (I would not do this). It is very common and no one says anything and the cops do not care.

If I do this my son will be almost four. Are there any crach tests or data showing a young four in a properly harnessed NB booster?
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#19 of 43 Old 11-19-2009, 10:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by luv-my-boys View Post
I would look into if this is even legal in your state. Its is very illegal here for a child under the age of 12 to be in the front passenger regardless of safety belts. Personally I woulnt put that child who even needed to be in a carseat in the front at all.
What do people who have trucks do?
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#20 of 43 Old 11-19-2009, 10:56 AM
 
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Yeah, you definitely can't put the baby up front. If anyone goes up front, it would be the oldest harnessed child.

Anyway, no there is no data specifically addressing harness vs. booster, but 4 years and 40 pounds is really the bare minimum I'd be comfortable with, and definitely only a high back booster. Obviously it's a parental decision.

Can you ask on car-seat dot org? You should be able to get some insight with the 3-across situation. I know you have tried, but it could be that someone has tried just the right seats to get them all in there.

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#21 of 43 Old 11-19-2009, 10:56 AM
 
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What do people who have trucks do?
Trucks with no backseat laws are exempt from backseat laws

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#22 of 43 Old 11-19-2009, 11:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Spirit Dancer View Post
WE have a 2002 Sunfire. I have tried on at least 6 occasions to get 3 carseats in (with different rfing/ ffing combos). I know 3 radians would fit but we do not have the money.

Right now my son is in an Evenflo Chase Booster )it has a five point harness he is using). I really am not sure what he weighs. I need to find and accurate scale. He is about 39 inches tall.

I am not comfortable at all putting a rfing newborn in my front seat besides I think it is illegal here and people will notice.

AS far as a booster bing illegal till 40 lbs/ 4years I do not know the law on this but most people I know put their 3 yr olds in boosters and I know not all are 40 lbs. I even know a couple people who have 2 yr olds in booster (I would not do this). It is very common and no one says anything and the cops do not care.

If I do this my son will be almost four. Are there any crach tests or data showing a young four in a properly harnessed NB booster?
After 4 and 40 lbs, it is safe assuming the child sits correctly every time. Why would you be using a backless booster though? It's not going to be any narrower than a high back, and the back provides side impact protection and helps position the shoulder belt better. It also helps smaller kids stay in position better, especially if they ever fall asleep in the car.

I just want to point out that what "everyone else does" is not always safe or right or legal. Whether the cops care or not should NOT be your biggest concern. Your son's safety is more important than a ticket.

I don't think anyone has mentioned this, but buckling in a booster beside another car seat is much more difficult than installing a harnessed seat and just doing up the harness each time.

I would first find out about trading the car in. Because what you intend to do is not a good long-term solution. What happens when the baby is out of the bucket? Then you might be stuck not being able to afford another radian and you'll be at square one. Get a car that will easily fit 3 seats in the back. Even if you have to go down in price/year. A '98 taurus is going to be safer for your family than your current car.

In the meantime, since you don't know how much your son weighs and your DD is ff'ing anyway, put him in the radian and her in the evenflo. Have you tried the bucket in there baseless with those two seats in any combination?
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#23 of 43 Old 11-19-2009, 11:11 AM
 
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What do people who have trucks do?
Put them up front. Most trucks with no back seat will have an airbag shut-off switch. I'm not sure it's actually illegal anywhere though, I think the pp is mistaken. There are many strong recommendations against it, mainly because all new cars come with airbags. Or they have exceptions, like in cars and trucks with no back seat, or when all other positions are occupied, ect.

Bottom line, it is NOT safe to put a child in front of an airbag, especially a rf'ing one. You could probably be ticketed for "misuse" on that count because all car seat manuals say not to use the restraint in a position with a frontal airbag and most states have a "proper use" clause.

Older cars that don't have airbags, or the few that have a shut-off switch? Not a problem. Rf'ing seats especially, up front in a car with the airbag off, are very safe.

But this wouldn't be a solution for the OP.
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#24 of 43 Old 11-19-2009, 11:17 AM
 
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I'm curious, in the OP's situation, is it better to have an under-4yo harnessed in the front seat (with airbag) or in a booster in back? I'm aware of the risks of both situations, but not sure if there's any data comparing the two.

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#25 of 43 Old 11-19-2009, 11:26 AM
 
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I've always found the Evenflo Chase and the radian puzzle well together. Could you fit an Scenera in on the other side for the new baby? They are almost the same price as a Turbo booster.

And where are you in Eastern Canada? If you are in the HRM PM me and I'll come and help you figure this out.

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#26 of 43 Old 11-19-2009, 02:10 PM
 
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I'm curious, in the OP's situation, is it better to have an under-4yo harnessed in the front seat (with airbag) or in a booster in back? I'm aware of the risks of both situations, but not sure if there's any data comparing the two.
This may not be very helpful because it's based off memory and I can't cite studies right now (I know I've read them and am not just pulling an opinion out of my hind end), but assuming the child meets the bare minimums -- not necessarily the best-practice minimums -- and can use the booster properly without wiggling out of it, I'd rather see the child in a highbacked booster in back than harnessed in front. If the child cannot consistently use the booster properly, then it shouldn't even be considered as an option, and I would not consider a backless booster as an option at that age either.

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#27 of 43 Old 11-19-2009, 02:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bandgeek View Post
Put them up front. Most trucks with no back seat will have an airbag shut-off switch. I'm not sure it's actually illegal anywhere though, I think the pp is mistaken. There are many strong recommendations against it, mainly because all new cars come with airbags. Or they have exceptions, like in cars and trucks with no back seat, or when all other positions are occupied, ect.
Some states do have laws about when kids can ride in the front seat, but states with those laws also have exceptions for vehicles without a back seat.

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#28 of 43 Old 11-19-2009, 04:12 PM
 
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The Law as per the Transport Canada Website.

Pre-school to 8 years old

The law requires booster seats for children who have outgrown a child car seat but are too small for a regular seat belt.

Booster seats are required for children under the age of eight, weighing 18 kg or more but less than 36 kg (40-80 lb.) and who stand less than 145 cm (4 feet-9 inches) tall.

A child can start using a seatbelt alone once any one of the following criteria is met:

* child turns eight years old
* child weighs 36 kg (80 lb.)
* child is 145 cm (4 feet-9 inches) tall.

A lap and shoulder combination belt must be used with all booster seats. Your child's head must be supported by the top of the booster, vehicle seat or headrest. The shoulder strap must lie across the child's shoulder (not the neck or face) and middle of the chest, and the lap belt must cross low over the hips (not the stomach/abdomen). Never use seatbelt adjusters.

* Between 18 and 36 kg (40—80 lb.)
* Booster seat
* Use with lap and shoulder belt

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#29 of 43 Old 11-19-2009, 07:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Twinklefae, I do not live near you but thanks for the offer.
I will try a few other combos of seats (with the ones I have) and see what I can do. Thanks.
BTW when I was talking about a booster I meant a high back one- just wanted to clarify.
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#30 of 43 Old 11-20-2009, 02:40 AM
 
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BTW when I was talking about a booster I meant a high back one- just wanted to clarify.
Super, I just saw "NB booster" and thought you meant 'no back booster.'

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