So, my daughter is 4 and 36lb 39 inches and is FF, Newborn is on the way. We drive a volvo station wagon with no latch system, and I cannot for the life of me figure out who goes where in the car. Common sense says to me that the nb goes in the middle so he has the most protection, since DD has more solid bones and such, but since she is FF, is she less safe (even with the bones?)
And about that forward facing, she has been ff for a while now, I just realized she COULD still rear face, for like, 5 more lb and maybe an inch (which actually, she might have grown yesterday- like a bean sprout that one is!) Should we go through the battle of turning her around for a couple months?
Can we install the car seats next to each other (they fit)? Or do we do them both on the outside (then no one is safe?)
BTW, I fricken hate cars.
If they fit next to each other *independently* installed, then they can be next to each other. Just in case you don't know how to check for that, or someone else wonders (I used to)--- to check for independent installation you install one and make sure it is good. Then, install the second and make sure it is good. Then remove the first and make sure the 2nd is still correctly installed. Sometimes they are depending on the other seat to actually be installed correctly. If the 2nd is still in correctly you can then reinstall the first knowing they are both safe.
You're 100% correct about the least protected child going into the middle. The spinal ossification that causes rear-facing to be so important to young children occurs from 3-6 years of age, but is mostly done by 4 so a 4 year old forward facing is seen as "safe enough" by most people. If she doesn't object re rear-facing is definitely an option, but most people wouldn't consider it vital. With a 4 year old I would probably place seats based on convenience figuring the are basically equally safe in an accident.