Car Seats for Parents with Multiples

Car seats are designed to keep our precious cargo safe while riding along in the car, but have you noticed how bulky they can be? If you place your standard infant car seat in the middle of the backseat, as you should being the safest placement for a car seat, it can leave additional passengers feeling very cramped on each side. That is, unless you have a very roomy vehicle. What if you need car seats for multiples? I use the term multiples loosely here, because I’m not just referring to just parents of twins or triplets, but also parents who have more than 2 children.

While a minivan or an SUV with a 3rd row seat may seem more ideal for those with multiple kids, it is not always the practical solution. We’re expecting our third child and nowhere near ready to be buying a new vehicle at this time. I realized I needed to look into suitable car seats that would work in my current vehicle. Even if you bought the most expensive car seats on the market, it would still be cheaper than having to buy a new vehicle.

**Always check the latest car seat recalls to ensure safety and remember to register your car seat upon purchase (even if it’s a secondhand seat) to receive updates from the manufacturer should your current seat become recalled.

Best Infant Car Seats for Multiples

It is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics that infants stay rear-facing until the age of 2 or at least until they’ve reached the maximum weight and height limit of the car seat. That means, even if you don’t have twins, you could very well have two babies under the age of 2 that still require rear-facing car seats. If you do have multiples, the best fit for low-birth weight and premature babies is an infant car seat, not a convertible seat. There is no guarantee that any car seat will fit adequately with more than 2 seats in a row until you actually install them, so you may want to measure the backseat of your car from door to door before buying new seats.

Chicco Key Fit 30Chicco keyfit 30
I’ll admit this particular car seat comes at a pretty steep price, but it’s one of few that you can fit 3 across if need be. The widest part of any car seat is where the handle attaches at the sides of the car seat. This model features a narrow design allowing you to easily fit it between other seats. This is also ideal for parents of multiples or preemies as it has a starting weight of 4lbs and goes up to 30lbs. max so you get more use out of it than those that only go up 22 lbs. It’s also a top rated car seat for easy installation.

Britax car seatBritax B-Safe Infant Car Seat
This car seat has a much more slender design and base than many models allowing for more room on either side regardless of where you place it in the back seat. The dimensions are 27.5″L x 17.5″W x 15.5″H. It is rated for babies from 4-30 pounds with four harness heights and two buckle positions so it’s suitable for smaller babies and grows with them. It’s also very lightweight weighing just 9.4lbs (car seat alone) making it easier to carry.

Maxi Cosi Mico AP Infant Car SeatMaxi cosi car seat
Here’s another really lightweight car seat that is easy to carry and can easily fit at least 2 in a back seat with another car seat. The dimensions are 28.5″L x 17.5″ W x 25.5″H. It offers air protect technology for better side impact protection and comfortable padding with newborn insert to support smaller babies. It is  suitable for babies from 5 to 22lbs. and 29′ in height.  The 5-point harness can be easily adjusted from the front.

Best Convertible Car Seats for Multiples

These convertible car seats can be placed rear-facing or front facing for longer lasting use. Here are some of the best convertible car seats that you can fit across your backseat.

Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seatevenflo tribute
If you’re looking for a convertible car seat that will allow up to 3 seats across without breaking your budget, here is an affordable option that costs less than $100! The Evenflo Tribute measures 17″ across the widest part (from armrest to armrest). It fits rear-facing and forward-facing for infants and toddlers from 5-40 lbs. It has been crash tested to exceed the federal safety standards for optimal safety.

Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seatsafety 1st 65
This seat is ideal for smaller vehicles and can accommodate up to three babies simultaneously rear-facing, or front-facing. Rear-facing it can securely fit babies from 5- 40 lbs. and forward-facing 22-65 lbs and up to 52” in height. It does come with a removable cup holder, which you obviously won’t be able to use with 3 seats across. It also features an adjustable headrest to accommodate your child’s growing needs.

Britax Boulevard 70-G3 Convertible Car SeatBritax boulevard
Not only should this seat fit among two others in your back seat, it offers long-lasting use. Your baby can sit rear-facing from 5-40 pounds and forward facing from 20-70lbs! These seats are designed to be narrow where it counts. It offers advanced safety features like side impact protection and a Harness Ultra Guard system. It’s also very easy to adjust to your growing child with a no-rethread harness system.

Keep in mind that these seats may not fit across all back seats depending on the model of your vehicle. Before investing in car seats for multiples you should test them out to ensure they’ll fit. Some stores will allow you to try their store model in your vehicle if you ask. If you already have two seats and will be needing a third, you may not need to buy 3 different car seats. Try a combination of placements to see what works best. For us, we placed our convertible car seat in the middle and my daughter’s high-back  booster and the infant car seat on each side in the back of my Honda Accord. It helps if you have friends or family with children close in age to yours that will let you try out their seats before going out and buying one.

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