4 Tips for Surviving Three Car Seats

Families with three kids are often put in a difficult position when it comes to choosing a vehicle.   The struggle that is three car seats.

If you weren’t driving a minivan before baby #3 came along, you may be strongly considering one now.  But a minivan isn’t the only option.  It is entirely possible to accommodate three car seats comfortably in many different vehicles.  Here are my best tips to help you get through this phase.

*Sponsored Post*  I received compensation for this blog post, however all opinions are my own.


1. The right vehicle

Whether you’re looking to upgrade or wondering if your existing vehicle will be able to accommodate three car seats, it’s best to do your research ahead of time.  You can use Cars.com’s car seat check to find out the rating on your vehicle or one you’re considering buying.

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cars.com

The busy lifestyle that this stage of parenthood is infamous for means spending a lot of time on the road. If I factor in our regular 2 hour road trips back to our hometown on the weekends, it’s safe to say that we spend nearly as much time in the vehicle as we do anywhere else. Purchasing our family vehicle was as big of a decision as was purchasing our home, so research was essential.


2. The right car seat

The type of car seats you’re using will also have an impact.  In a perfect world, you may have one child in a high back booster, one in a convertible forward facing seat and one in a rear facing bucket seat.  But if your children are closer in age or if you have multiples, you may have two in bucket seats and/or rear facing.  The combination possibilities are endless.

The other thing you’ll want to consider is the brand of car seat you are using.  Some are created bulkier than others and this can affect how well they fit side by side by side.

Cars.com has done a lot of this research for you.  Here is a list of vehicles that can fit three car seats side by side.  

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cars.com

3. The right position

Which car seat goes where?  There’s no right or wrong answer.  As long as the car seats are installed correctly and don’t hinder the position of the driver and passenger seats in front of them, it doesn’t really matter which child sits where.  You can watch this car seat safety video from Cars.com for more information.

Consider keeping easy access to the child who needs the most attention.

If the baby tends to sleep during car rides, then you may want to keep the rambunctious toddler within arms reach instead.

OR, you may want to keep the oldest child closest to you in order to pass things to them to distribute among their siblings.

Another thing you need to think about is the convenience of getting into and out of the vehicle:  

If the oldest child can buckle themselves in, put them the farthest away from the door. 

Bucket seats on a base are simple enough to move but can be heavy and bulky and usually best suited close to a door. 

Give yourself enough space and leverage to buckle in that squirmy toddler.

Factor in the weather.  Dealing with car seats is one of the reasons why moms hate winter.


4. The third row shuffle

Having a vehicle with a third row isn’t always a necessity with three kids.  But it IS a bonus.  I, like many other parents, avoided getting a minivan and opted for an SUV with a third row instead.  Here’s a list of the best three row SUV’s for car seats.  And while that third row isn’t regularly used, it’s a nice feature to have, both for additional seating and for when the kids get older and will want their own space in the backseat.

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cars.com
Because as much as I don’t want to admit it – the day will come when they will no longer be in car seats and the struggle of the daily buckle will be another memory for the baby book.

 

 

25 Reasons Why Moms Hate Winter

We recently got hit with a blizzard.  On Sunday, my world was covered in muddy puddles and brown grass – a sure sign of spring.  On Tuesday – 4 ft high snow drifts greeted me as I opened the garage door.  It made me realize remember exactly why I HATE winter, and I’m sure other parents can relate…

25 Reasons why Moms hate Winter

*This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.  Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.


1. Three kids = 3 jackets + 3 sets of ski pants + 3 hats + 3 scarves + 6 mittens + 6 boots = two dozen things to put on!!! (not counting my own)

Kids Winter Clothing
CartersOshkosh.ca

2. Now multiply all of that by 2 because at least one child will need to pee after getting fully dressed.

3. One of your children hates wearing a snowsuit and will fight you to the death if you try to put it on them.

4. If you’re lucky you can get everyone into the vehicle before the command start automatically shuts off.

5. If you don’t have command start then you need to run out to start the vehicle and come back inside only to discover that all the children have now undressed themselves and you have to start over again.

6. Snowsuits and car seats don’t mix. (Unless you opt for one of these new Buckle Me Baby Coats!)

Buckle Me Baby Coats

7. You have to take your mittens off to do the car seat buckles up and your fingers get frostbitten in the process.

I hate car seats in winter!

8. You can’t hear what your kids are saying from the backseat over the sound of the heat vents blaring.

9. The cup of Starbucks that you bought yesterday and accidentally left in the car overnight is now stuck to the cup holder in a spilled cappuccino popsicle.

10. The back of the driver and passenger seats are covered in snow and salt and sand from your kids kicking them with their boots. (Better invest in kick mats!)

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11. The kids are complaining that they’re too cold. Now they’re too hot and asking why they can’t put their windows down?

12. When you get to your destination, they’ve lost their mittens and hats, possibly a boot or two and their jackets are unzipped.

13. Strollers and snow don’t mix. (Unless you splurge on an expensive all-terrain one)

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14. Shopping carts and snow don’t mix.

15. Walking around in knee deep snow is a feat in itself. Try doing it with a baby in your arms.

Sorel Women's Winter Carnival Boot
Amazon.com

16. Getting inside a store where the kids decide they are now too hot and take off all their jackets and hats and mittens and scarves.

17. Throwing everyone’s winter gear into a shopping cart and then not having any room for actual groceries.

18. Getting ready to leave the store and needing an extra half hour to dress everyone back into their winter clothes.

19. Having your anti-snowsuit child throw a temper tantrum because they don’t want to put on their hat.

20. Kids are naturally drawn to giant snow piles close to busy roads.

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21. The kids like to use the snow brushes as lightsabers.

22. Having a vehicle full of people who are of zero use to you should you get stuck in the snow and need a push out. (You may want to get a set of these auto traction mats instead)

Amazon.com

23. Someone always wants to start a snowball fight but they can never take a hit.

24. The baby always want to eat the snow and they don’t know what color yellow is yet.

25. Getting back inside and ending up with a heaping pile of cold, soaking wet items of winter clothing.

Hate Winter