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Where Should You Put Your Car Seat?

put your car seat center rear

Car Seats Series #3 : Location

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

You are getting ready for your first baby, YAY! You selected your car seat and know which direction it should face in the car. Now you need to know where to put your car seat in the car.

The safest place to put your car seat in the car (or for anyone to sit in the car) is the center of the back seat.


(Wow, that was a short post. OK, I’ll give you more…)

put your car seat center rear

Where is the safest place to put a car seat?

A study published in Pediatrics, showed for children newborn to 3 years old and all installs being equal, sitting in the center rear seat is 43% safer than sitting on the side in the back. The rear center position will be the furthest from any impact in any type of crash.

The researchers also found the most common location in the vehicle for a car seat was the rear passenger side. 41% of parents put the child’s car seat here. We’re not sure why so many parents put your car seat there. Perhaps this is for ease of access and keeping an eye on the baby.

We often told new parents at the hospital, the center is the safest. But

  • if they couldn’t get the car seat to install properly in the center, or
  • they really wanted to use LATCH to install but couldn’t in the center, or
  • there is a hump or too narrow of a center position to install a seat, or
  • mom just had a cesarean and didn’t feel she could lean over to put baby in the center seat,

then to put baby on the passenger side. We recommend the passenger side in case you ever have to park on the street, you will be on the sidewalk side of the car putting baby in the car seat.

Never install a rear-facing seat in the front seat in front of an active airbag. Always keep children in car seats in the back seat unless absolutely necessary to have it in front, like in a two-seater car.

When is the center NOT the safest location?

Assuming you can get a good install in all seating positions, the center is the safest.

If you cannot get a good, safe installation in the center seating position, it is no longer the safest position. We really want to reiterate this point so let me say it another way. It is more important to have a good car seat installation than to be in the center seating position.

If the center seat is being challenging for you but you can get a good install in a side seat, install the seat in the passenger side seating position.

Note on LATCH

most common car seat mistakes

Often cars have LATCH for the two side seating positions in the back seat. Many times you cannot use one lower anchor from each side to install a car seat using LATCH in the center. (Every car is different and you need to read the owner’s manual for the vehicle.)

If this is the case in your car, you can use the seat belt to install the car seat in the center position even if it is a lap-only seat belt.

No, LATCH does not equal safer.

The purpose of LATCH was in hopes to make installing a car seat easier for parents. Personally, I think in many ways it backfired as it added more options to confuse matters.

My first child made it safe and sound in the center but now I have child number 2 on the way

There are two schools of thought here:

  1. Put the newborn in the center rear seating position as the baby is the most vulnerable in a crash.
  2. Put an older forward-facing child — assuming the older child is forward facing — in the center seat since rear-facing children are inherently safer in their rear-facing seat.

We are on the school of thought of number 1; put the most vulnerable, ie. youngest child, in the center. A short lesson on crash dynamics which affect this decision:

  1. The majority of crashes are frontal impact crashes.
  2. Being in the center rear seat is most beneficial of the more rare but more dangerous side impact crashes.
  3. Being in a rear-facing car seat is safer if the crash is front impact as the child’s head, neck and back are all being supported during the crash. It would stand to reason, the benefits of being in a rear-facing seat are less significant in a side impact crash.

There are often other variables involved so if there is any question, we recommend asking a Child Passenger Safety Technician, preferably in person and with your car.

Wait. I can’t fit my infant car seat and my forward-facing convertible seat right next to each other.

If you can’t fit two seats right next to each other, you will have to use the two outside seats. There isn’t really a preferred side for the infant as far as crash safety is concerned. There is virtually no difference between driver’s side and passenger side in crash statistics.

One thing you may think about is, again, if you ever street park. If you do, you may want to put the child who takes the longest to get buckled in on the passenger side so you are in the street with the door open for as little time as possible. For instance, a toddler has to be put (or climb into — for those independent ones) the seat and get buckled, whereas a child in an infant carrier just gets popped into the base already installed in the car. Obviously the infant carrier is a quick open the door, pop it in, close the door and you’re out of the way of traffic.

Of course that’s assuming the infant carrier fits behind the driver’s seat in your car. Ugh, so many variables!

YAY! Both my children have been safe in the back seat but HELP number 3 is on the way

RideSafer best travel car seat

Much the same answer as going from one car seat to two in your vehicle. The challenge here often becomes whether or not 3 car seats will fit across the rear seat in your car. There are many narrow car seats on the market and the RideSafer vests to help in this situation. (Click here to get more information about the RideSafer Travel Vest. Psst, they are great for travel or carpools too!)

Sometimes this becomes a puzzle to find out which piece — ahem — car seat, fits next to which other piece — err — car seat and you can still fit your hand in between to buckle the seat belt. My advice, don’t try this game on a hot summer day.

What if I have a third row?

Middle center seat would still be farthest from any type of crash impact. In some vehicles the third row seat is over the rear axle, which theoretically could be provide some impact protection in a side impact crash.

Otherwise, same rules apply. Most importantly, get a proper install. One thing to consider when putting kids in the third row seat is how easily can you get back there to buckle them up. You can have older, more independent kids can sit back there and put younger kids in the middle row.

What about my older kids who are not in a car seat anymore?

The back seat is the safer place to ride in the car for anyone. Period.

So all children should remain in the back seat of the car until they are driving. No really. They should. As best practice, CPS technicians recommend keeping kids in the back seat until they are a minimum of 13 years old. Yup, sorry tweens.

Next up: Car Seats Series #4: Installation

Was this helpful information? Where do you put your car seat in your car? Share your comments below.

By Amie Durocher, Creative Director at Safe Ride 4 Kids and certified CPS Tech since 2004

Copyright 2022 Safe Ride 4 Kids. All rights reserved. You may not publish, broadcast, rewrite or redistribute this material without permission. You are welcome to link to Safe Ride 4 Kids or share on social media.

We originally published this post in August 2019. We updated the article for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

© amie durocher


  1. I just got a 2015 Nissan Pathfinder & my wide Graco rear facing carseat doesn’t seem to be securely fastened in the center. It tilts, shifts & wobbles in the center as we drive. In my 2011 Toyota Camry it was secure in the center of the back seat, but now it’s not.
    Will my little one be safer being placed on the outer side?

    1. Hi Shelita, It would be safer to install the seat on the one of the sides rather than the middle IF you cannot get a good/correct install in the center seating position.

      Have you contacted a local CPS technician to take a look? Sometimes we have little tips that can make it work but it can be dependent on each particular situation. You can go here to find a technician near you to meet with.

      And if you do place your child’s seat on one of the outside seats, please consider if you ever park on the street. If you do park on the street often, you may want to think about putting the car seat on the passenger side so you are on not in the street putting your child in the car seat.

    2. I have a SUV, had an Explorer and now have Grand Cherokee, and I found if I reclined the 2nd row back a little the car seats fit on the seat better.

      1. Hi we have 9 kids in total and we have a 15 person van with 2 in the front 3 in the 2nd and 3rd row than 4 in the last row. Where’s the best place to seat the kids; the 2 oldest are 8 then we have a 7-year-old, a 6-year-old, 2 5-year-olds, a 3 year old and two infants?

        1. Hi Gisella, The seating arrangement for your van is also going to depend a lot on the various car seats you are using and how they fit with each other. The best option is to visit with a local car seat technician with your van and all the car seats. Find a local car seat technician here.

  2. What if all 3 children have made it and i am pregnant with twins? Can i train my oldest child to drive a seperate car for the two older children and I follow closely behind with the twins? What if our second vehicle is only a two-seater? HELP IM CONFUSED.

    1. Hi Conrad, We would love to help you figure this out. However there are other variables (ages, vehicles, etc.) to include to come to the best answer for you and your family. Please contact our customer service via 844.421.SAFE (7233) #700 to talk directly with a CPS Tech.

      1. I think Conrad was joking. First, subtle hint: Conrad (a guy’s name) says he’s “pregnant with twins.” Wink, wink… ;-)

        1. That would be my guess as well but you would be amazed by the really crazy, and serious, questions we are asked. And you never know about names these days! ;-)

    2. We have the 2011 Toyota Sienna minivan with two captains chairs in the middle row. There is a center insert seat but our rear facing infant car seat seems to wide and doesn’t fit properly. Is it better to put the car seat in the passenger captains chair, or use the seatbelt latch with the car seat in the center third row that has bench seating? Having our baby in the third row seems so far from me if I’m driving?
      Thank you!

      1. Hi Emily,

        So here’s the deal, there are many factors that need to be weighed by a parent when making these choices.

        1. A good solid install outweighs the center position conversation hands down. In order for the car seat to perform at it’s designed optimum, it must be installed in a seat that allows for correct installation.
        2. The center seating benefits are theoretical benefits in certain types of crashes, specifically, severe side impact (which also happens to be the most avoidable type of crash with good defensive driving habits). Just the back seat itself is safer in the case of front impact crashes.
        3. Your peace of mind and the practical aspects of daily use also come into play when making this decision. Would you be a more distracted driver if the baby is in the 3rd row? Would you be more inclined to add things that are not recommended (mirrors, cameras, etc.) in the pursuit of peace of mind if the baby is in the 3rd row?

        At the end of the day, you, as the caregiver, have to make the decision after weighing all the variables and your personal priorities.

        The most common type of crash is a frontal crash and the seat will perform exactly the same in any seating position that allows for a correct fit. The #1 job of ALL restraints (children and adults) is to keep the occupants inside the vehicle. This more than doubles their odds of surviving. #2 priority is to spread the restraining forces (the force of deceleration) across the strongest parts of the body and #3 to spread those forces over a wide body surface area which reduces injury. These last two are why correct harnessing is so important.

        We hope this information helps you make an informed choice.

  3. I went to a safety class and then I found this article. Would you consider moving your carseat and your mother”s?? I’ve moved my carseat as well to the center because it’s safer for Braelyn

  4. Ok, so I have a 3year old toddler in a front facing convertible carseat (maxi cosi) and I’m pregnant (due any day) with baby#3. I have a 2015 toyota sienna van so my eldest who is 12 can sit in the 3rd row. Just to be clear… where do I put my toddlers carseat and the newborn carseat for maximum safety? Help please.

    1. Hi Jenn, My web search shows the 2015 Sienna could come with captains chairs or whole second row. Which do you have? There are several variables to take into consideration depending on the seating configuration of your car and your family needs. You can visit a local CPS technician or you can call our CEO/CPS tech of 16 years so he can ask you more specific questions. You can reach him at 844-421-SAFE (7233) #700.

  5. I have a mustang convertible the rear facing car seat my 7 month in rides below the wind and I cover her with a tinted mesh cover to provide sunshade., and further reduce breeze…. I don’t know anyone else with a convertible who transports a child. Is this legal?

    1. Hello Kelly, I would say that there is likely nothing specifically in the legal code that would identify this one action as “legal or illegal”. With that being said, your child restraint (car seat) manufacturer might have a statement in the instructions that would state that “no other products shall be added to the seat” or something similar to that and then your actions may fall into the category of “Not using according to manufacturer instructions”. But, what you seem to be describing does, not sound like any more than putting a sheet or blanket over the top of the seat after it and your child are properly restrained. That is typically a non issue from a safety perspective. We want to avoid adding thick clothing and bulk under the harness but generally allow blanket/coats to be added once the child is securely harnessed. If there are any components to the sun shade that are hard plastic or that you generally would not want flying around in a crash striking you or your baby, than you will likely not want to use it or modify it until there is nothing that is of concern.

  6. So, I can put my 23 pound 1 year old in his car seat in one of 2 positions: on the side and rear facing, or in the center forward facing. is one of those options better? (I know center-rear facing would be the best, but I can’t find a car seat that will accommodate my husband’s long legs and the rear-facing car seat)

    1. It is 5 times safer to be rear-facing. We would definitely recommend to keep your child rear facing at least until he’s 2 years old, preferably longer. So if you need to have your child in the side to keep him rear facing that is what we would suggest.

      1. My friend had an issue with her 2 year old with the rear facing he is tall and his legs are long. She started to forward face him because she thinks his legs were hurting not being able to stretch his legs. Is that ok.

        1. Many parents turn their child too early because they think the child must be uncomfortable with legs having to bend. In reality children are very flexible and like to sit in all kinds of positions often finding criss-cross very comfortable. And children can straighten their legs up the back of the seat no problem to stretch. While we do recommend to keep a child rear facing as long as possible, your friend’s child is 2. Car seat experts and the American Academy of Pediatricians suggest rear facing until at least age 2. She has met the minimum.

      2. So rear facing is 5x safer for both the center and side seats? And being in the center is 43% safer, is that for both rear and forward facing? Can you point me to the research?

        1. Yes, rear facing is safer because the back, neck and head are all being supported by the seat. The link to the study in Pediatrics talking about the 43% is linked above.

  7. I have a 2014 model minivan with 3 rows. In both the 2nd and 3rd rows, there are 3 seats each, making a total of 8 seats in the minivan. I have 2 young children that I want in the safest spots in my minivan. I currently have them each in a middle seat in the 2nd and 3rd row. My reasoning behind this is, that in a side impact, neither of them is right up against a possible point of impact, with little crush space. Even in the 3rd row of my minivan, there is at least 2 feet of crush or crumple space in the event of a rear impact., before reaching the area my child is sitting. Iwould like to know if this is the best thing to do. I’ve researched a good bit and found that the 3rd row in my vehicle (Honda odyssey) is sheltered by the occupant safety cage and does have some space that is allowed for the crumple zone, unlike a side impact where an occupant is right against the door, with little or no crush or crumple space. Any other info anyone has or thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you – Chad

    1. Hi Chad. Typically the third row seat is over the rear axle of the vehicle which offers additional side-impact protection. Some would say, as most collisions are forward impact, being closer to the rear of the vehicle offers slightly less protection in the event of a rear-end collision. Though you are still over the axle and would have trunk space (is it called trunk space in a minivan?) between the point of impact and the third row seat where your child is. We think you have your children in the two safest spots in your vehicle.

  8. My child is 4 and switching to a booster seat with back. Is it best to place this booster seat in the center? It fits fine but seems to be designed for an outside seat.

    1. As with most things, it depends. If it fits in the car fine and the booster positions the seat belt correctly (shoulder portion mid-chest/mid-shoulder and lap portion on upper thighs and hips) then it should be fine in the center seating position. Be sure to read both the seat manual and the car manual just to make sure it doesn’t say anything differently in there. If you are feeling unsure still, it may be best to visit with a CPS technician in person. To find one near you click here.

  9. I have three kids and getting ready to move seats into our truck for a trip. 10 yr old (no seat), 6 yr old (bottom booster base) and 1 yr old (20ish lbs, rear facing convertible). Last time I had my 6 yr old in the center, she seemed to high up so wondering who would be safest there as the center also has the smaller type seat. We are going in a 2500 Dodge Ram pickup. Thanks

    1. Hi Michelle, You want to be sure there is seat or a head rest behind the older children’s heads. Does the rear facing convertible fit properly in the center seat? Is there a head rest on the side seats for the older children? You can visit a local CPS technician or you can call our CEO/CPS tech of 16 years so he can ask you more specific questions. You can reach him at 844-421-SAFE (7233) #700.

  10. We currently have three kids and expecting our fourth. We have a 2013 Toyota Sienna and unsure how to make things work so everyone is safe. When new baby gets here we will have a 5 yr old, 2.5 year old, 1 yr old and newborn. 5 yr old is well above weight and height limit to be in a booster but I want to keep him harnessed problem is there is only one top tether in the 3rd row. The other two top tethers are in the captain chairs and I was going to keep the rear facing 1 yr old and new born in those chairs. HELP!!!!! We cannot get a new car we have to make this work not sure how but we have to.

    1. One option would be to use a RideSafer harness vest for the 5yo in the 3rd row with a RideSafer EATAL to create an additional tether anchor for the tether strap. To talk this through further and find other options, please call our CEO/CPS tech instructor of 16 years so he can ask you more specific questions. You can reach him at 844-421-SAFE (7233) #700.

  11. May I have the pediatrics article citation? My child’s preschool is asking that carseats be placed in right rear as that is safer for the child. Safer in Podunk, maybe but not in our metropolitan area..

    Thanks in advance!

    1. The abstract (or summary) of the study published in Pediatrics can be found here. The specific quote is, “Child occupants seated in the center had an injury risk 43% less than children seated in either of the rear outboard positions.” Some schools that do a drive-by kind of drop off may prefer children riding in the right back seat for ease of getting kids out of the car quickly.

  12. So in a minivan that has captains chairs in the second row and then a full set of 3 seats in the 3rd row, which is safer? One of the captains chairs or the middle seat of the 3rd row?

    1. Typically the third row seat is over the rear axle of the vehicle which offers additional side-impact protection. Some would say, as most collisions are forward impact, being closer to the rear of the vehicle offers slightly less protection in the event of a rear-end collision. Though you are still over the axle and would have trunk space between the point of impact and the third row seat where your child is. We would say the safest would be the middle of the 3rd row. That said, it may not be the most convenient. Depending on your vehicle’s built-in side impact protection the captain’s chairs also may offer a safe place to put your child’s car seat.

    1. It depends.
      Do you do school drop off? Which side?
      Do you often park on the street? We typically recommend, if you do, to have the child on the passenger side so you are putting your child in the car seat from the sidewalk not the street.
      Can the car seat fit behind the driver? Typically a question when the driver is tall.
      Some also say the passenger side is better because you’re more likely to see oncoming cars about to hit you side on. But there is only a difference of about 1% in the percentage of drivers side to passenger side impacts. Front impacts are the most common type of crash.

  13. Thank you for your article. One can always agree to disagree, but I disagree that the infant should be in the center seat, rear facing, if they can be placed there. The most vulnerable child is going to be the forward-facing one – your statistics mentioned that. Secondly, you also mentioned that the most common crashes are front impact (and followed by rear-ending); it doesn’t make sense to me to have the child who is forward-facing and at a disadvantage to be on the side while the rear-facing infant is in the middle. Especially when side impact crashes are less common, it just seems to make more sense logically, to give each child a fair shot, to have the forward facing child in the middle. I would love to keep my 3 and a half year old rear-facing even after her sister is born in a few months, but I just can’t take the room in my car of 2 rear-facing seats. I’m really not looking forward to switching her around :(

  14. I’m confused about the street parking notes in this article. We park pretty much exclusively on the street and I paralell park from either side, so there is no way to tell which side will be facing the street. I just realized this is because we are dealing primarily with one way streets in the city where I live. If they were two way, I guess this wouldn’t be the case, but I would think the a lot of people who are dealing with lots of street parking also deal more with one way streets.

    1. I guess it depends on where you live. We mostly street park also. We have more two-way streets than one-way streets near us. You are right, on one-way streets you could be on either side so it would be more challenging to figure out which side to put the car seat on.

  15. We have a third child on the way, and I was wondering if it would be safe to put the infant car seat in the center rear of our 2006 Dodge Ram cause the middle seat isn’t a full seat so the car seat would hang off just a little, is that okay as long as it’s latched properly?

    1. You’ll need to check with the manufacturer for your car seat. Most car seats need to be at least 80% on the vehicle seat. (20% is allowed to be off.) Depending on how much is hanging off and how much your manufacturer allows, you may need to look at getting another seat, perhaps one with a load-bearing leg like the Cybex Aton.

  16. I have a van we don’t have middle seat. We only have the far backseats with the middle seat. Should I place my child that far back?

    1. That’s going to be a parental choice. The center of the far back seat is still the center of the car and typically over the rear axle which offers some benefit in side impact crashes. It does put your child closer to a rear impact crash; though there is usually at least some trunk space to take some of the crash energy. And it does put your child farther from you so it does take away some convenience.

  17. Hi. I have a ford smax and three kids. Two of them are in high back booster seats (maxi cosi rodi air protect) and the youngest is in an extended rear seat (besafe) The extended rear seat cannot be placed in the centre back (as advised by the manufacturer). Is it safe to put it behind the passenger seat? The eldest child (7 yrs) behind the driver and the 4 year old in the middle? What do you think?

    1. Hi Jaime, Which BeSafe seat do you have? I looked at some of the manuals and didn’t see where it says to put it in the center seat. Is it advised or required? Since the center seat is the safest, that may be why they are advising it for a car seat installation. However when trying to fit 3 children in the back, they obviously can’t all be in the center. If your car seats fit and the rear facing seat isn’t “required” to be in the center then the configuration you are suggesting would be what we would suggest also.

  18. Hi we are expecting our third child. I have a 2006 Ford F-150 I was thinking of having my older two who are now both front facing (5 and almost 3)behind the drivers (5yr old) side and middle (the almost 3 yr old) then the infant behind the passengers side…? Any advice? Thank you for the article!

    1. Of course there is no one answer as it is situation dependent; vehicle and family dynamics. For instance, we had our youngest rear facing in the middle between our two older children who are close in age and prone to arguing until said youngest child starting kicking them in the face and he had to get turned around earlier than we planned.

      Are both the 5yo and 3yo in a forward-facing 5-point harness seat or is the 5yo in a booster seat? If both are in a 5-point harness, the 3yo would be the less protected/most vulnerable of the 3 and some would suggest should be in the center seat as you mentioned. If the 5yo is in a booster seat, the 5yo is the least protected and should be in the center seat assuming it has a lap-shoulder belt. Then there is the school of thought that the infant is most vulnerable due to age and development, regardless that the infant will be in a rear-facing seat which is 5x safer than forward-facing, and therefore should be in the center seat.

      Then there is also the question of, in what configuration will all the seats fit properly installed? Is there a configuration that fits better than another? Will the infant seat need to be in the center because of the width of the two forward-facing seats next to each other make them twist a bit?

      You are welcome to call so we can get into more details about your car seats and family or visit with a local CPS technician. Find a local tech here.

  19. This is really interesting. I assumed the centre seat was the safest as most people would due to side impact. But what I spoke to halfords, they said they strongly disagreed to use the centre seat…. Maybe it was the type of seat I chose I am not too sure.

    1. What we’ve found in the U.S. is just because a store sells car seats doesn’t mean their staff is trained on car seat safety. While shopping we’ve heard many sales reps give parents poor information and advice. Yes, as CPS technicians, we will step into the conversation. That said some other parents in the UK have mentioned their car seat manual said to place it on the side. (I have not seen the manual nor could I find information about it online to verify.) And some cars have a center position that is not compatible with installing a car seat.

    1. Yes as most crashes are front impact crashes, the back seat is still safer in mini cars.

      In general about mini car safety, Edmunds says, “New small cars are safer than they’ve ever been, but new larger, heavier vehicles are still safer than small ones. It’s a matter of physics: Bigger and heavier is safer than smaller and lighter. Large vehicles weigh more and have longer hoods and bigger crush zones, which gives them an advantage in frontal crashes.”

  20. Hi I was wondering if you could help me, I have a baby on the way that will be in a capsule, a 4 year old in a car seat and my eldest no car seat , where should I put them? I have a Mazda 3 , thank you

    1. That depends on your view of who is the most vulnerable child. Most safety experts either say either the youngest child because they are the least physically developed or the older child who does not have the additional protection of a child restraint. The “most vulnerable” child should be seated in the center seating position. Without knowing age of the oldest or what type of car seat (5-point harness? rear or forward facing? or booster?) the 4 year old is in and other specifics, we can’t really say what will be best for your situation. We recommend visiting a certified car seat technician near you to go over everything in person.

  21. I was wondering what the safety rules are regarding car seats in trucks with no back seat? I’ve put my first child in the middle, rear-facing in an emergency before (like a high fever and needing to bring her to the hospital) but it’s not something that we do regularly by any means. However, we are planning to have another child and I didn’t know if I could put two car seats in the front of a truck if I had to, or if even the one was okay?

    1. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do. Is the truck the only vehicle you have available? Are there enough seat belts to properly install the car seats? Is there an airbag at the passenger seat? Can you turn it off? Do you ever need to travel with a passenger in addition to the two children in car seats? These are all questions to consider when traveling with a child who requires a child restraint in a single cab pickup. We would recommend taking your truck and seats available to a local child passenger safety technician to discuss your situation in person. You can find a local tech through this link.

  22. Hello. Thank you for your time.

    We just purchased a honda pilot 2005… i have 3 children 9 year old no seat, 4 year old 5 pt harness high back booster ( front facing ) ( hes 38 lbs) and a 15 month old in a rear facing convertable. The pilot has a center lap belt and no metal U clips … is it okay to attach to the outer seat U clips or sufficant using the lap belt? Or one of the side seats? ( During winter it is really hard to take baby in and out of passenger side because of snowbank. Also the rear 3 seats fold down and you access them through the middle row passenger side seat. So i thought for convience id place my 9 year old there? And my 4 year old behind the driver side… or should the forward facing 4 year old be in center? i hope they fit well in this bigger suv….

    1. They should fit great in the Pilot. We have a little bit newer model and 3 kids. The oldest sits in the third row unless we’re hauling a full load of gear in the back.

      Installing the rear-facing in the center seat with a lap belt is great, do not use the Lower Anchors from the outboard seats in the center. In most cars it’s not allowed and the lap belt is just as easy to use for installation. As we mentioned in the article, we lean more toward the younger child being the more vulnerable school of thought and choose to put the younger child in the middle.

  23. I have a 15 mo old and another due anytime. 15 mo old is currently rear facing in center. My husband suggested leaving her seat there and putting the infant seat on the rear passenger side so that we’d be able to get the older one in her seat from the sidewalk before clicking the infant seat in place. It seems like placing the newborn in the center would be safest, but logistically this seems like it would cause issues when trying to remove the infant seat and would force us to put one kid in from one side of the car and the other in from the opposite side. Thoughts?

    1. Especially since both of your children are in rear-facing car seats, we would recommend the infant be in the safer center seating position. Even if you have to put the carrier in from the driver side and park on the street, putting the infant seat in the base is quick; just be mindful of traffic.

  24. Thanks for all the great information.!! My question relates to safety of 5 point harness car seat (diono radian) on the side vs. booster seat with shoulder/lap belt in the back seat center? If you had to choose one for a “normal” sized five and a half year old… Which would you recommend?

    1. Thanks for the thought provoking question. The reality is that both combinations of position and restraint have pros and cons. The center seat would be farther away from any type of crash. The 5-point harness contacts more points on the body. As the child gets bigger the restraining force increases dramatically (Speed x Weight) so contact surface area is relevant. What kind of crash are you planning to get into and at what speed? You see, car crashes are extremely violent events and the reality is that it’s probably an unrealistic expectation that everyone will walk away unscathed. The whole point of car seats and all the technology built into the car is to reduce fatalities and reduce the severity of injuries.

      So, until car’s no longer allow us to crash, we have to apply these principles: The #1 goal of all restraints is to keep the occupants in the passenger compartment. Achieving this one goal reduces fatalities significantly. #2 is contact strongest points of the body with the restraint (hips/shoulder). #3 spread the restraining force over as much surface area as possible… The “textbook” answer to your question is “use the restraint that fits your child, fits your car and that you will use correctly every time…” In the end, its a parental choice.

      We have a testimonial (see review from Karina 5/2/17) from a family who had a 3-year-old in a 5-point harness and an older child in a RideSafer using the seat belt. The older child was the only person in the car that did not require medical care. The 3-year-old had abrasions from the harness. (We have no idea of pre-crash condition of all occupants or the specifics of the crash so their experience is no indication of what anyone else’s will be.)

  25. In a Chevy Tahoe that has 3 rows, where the 2nd row does not have a middle seat… Where would be the safest advised placement for a 5 month old?

    1. Hello Mikayla,
      Safest (but maybe not the most practical) would be center 3rd row. The reality is that this is true even when the 2nd row is a bench because the 3rd row is basically on top of the rear axle/suspension which offers a degree of protection. When we see a vehicle wrapped around a tree it is typically folded in the mid section of the vehicle with survivable space (some times) in front and rear. If you choose second row there is no consistent statistical difference between driver/passenger but you do need to take into consideration your safety when loading/unloading.

  26. We are going on a family trip in a full size truck with a back seat and a bench seat in front. We have 4 children and 2 adults. I’m concerned about which child to put in the front in between my husband and I. We have a newborn( rear facing), 3 year old, 5 year old( both in foreword facing) and 8 year old(in booster). What is the safest? Is it safer to put one of the foreward facing car seats in the front and turn off the airbags, or the booster? I’m torn!

    1. Hey there. Let’s first talk about airbags and kids… Injuries do not come from a child coming in contact with a fully inflated airbag. They come from a child (occupant) being IN the deployment zone as the airbag is inflating at 200-400mph. That is why we NEVER put a rear-facing car seat in front of an active airbag – they are by default IN the deployment zone. So… when we have to put a child in the front seat our #1 goal is to make sure that we choose the child that we have the most control over where their body is going to be. A child in a 5 pt harness or RideSafer (with tether) would meet that criteria. We know they will not be bending over picking something up off the floor with their head in the deployment zone. For you that is the 3 year old or the 5 year old. There is no definitive answer as to which one would be recommended and there are probably multiple opinions on the topic but I would probably put the 3 year old up there. They are smaller and therefore less likely to get extremity injuries in a forward impact just because they are smaller and further away from the dash. My guess is there is not a shut off for the airbag because you have a full backseat but even so I would probably leave it active for the adult passenger’s benefit knowing that the child will not be in the deployment zone and therefore very unlikely to have any adverse interaction with the airbag (in fact they might even benefit from it like the adult). Hope this helps ease your mind and make an informed choice. Safe Travels!

  27. I have a two year old and twins on the way so do you think it would be safe for all three in a Chevy 2012 Equinox?

    1. It sounds like you are asking about the RideSafer for your 2 year old? Is that correct? If so, in order to be compliant with the “manufacturer specifications” we can not endorse the use of the RideSafer for children who are outside the specified “3 year old and 30 pound” minimum requirements. Essentially, if you were to make a parental choice to use it with your child outside those specs you would potentially be assuming product liability IF something were to go wrong in a crash. The manufacture could say “the product was not used correctly”. Now.. In order to provide you with some perspective… During the certification process the “3 year old 30lb” crash test dummy is used. That dummy is intended to represent the 50th percentile 3 year old. That is where the numbers come from. I hope this helps you make an informed choice. BTW we highly recommend you protect your twins starting now with a Tummy Shield. :) Safe Travels!

  28. Hi! I need your advice, please! I have a 14 months old and a 4 and a half years old in a c3 picasso. three days a week we drop off another child aged 3 and a bit.
    at the moment, when i have all of them, my baby is in the front seat rear facing, my girl in her romer and the other girl in a forward facing chicco seat. baby now needs to movr to a new car seat.
    the middle seat is very small and even a booster is difficult to fit. what i have to do?

    1. First of all, IF your vehicle has an airbag in the front passenger seat please DO NOT put your rear facing child in the front. This is VERY dangerous. When it is necessary to put a child in the front it must be a forward-facing child, preferably one in a 5-point harness car seat (or RideSafer vest with tether) so that they are unable to put themselves in danger of being injured by the airbag when it deploys in a crash. A rear-facing seat is, by default, always in the deployment zone of the airbag. You should ideally keep the youngest rear facing until they are at least 2 years old. You may need a convertible seat that goes rear and forward facing.

      Secondly, I understand that space can be a problem with 3. We first started using the RideSafer as parents 6 years ago when our 3rd child was born. To address your challenge (without purchasing any additional equipment), I would put one of the children who is in a 5-point forward facing seat, up front and the other 2 in the back. If you decide you want all 3 in the back you can consider a RideSafer vest. It is certified for children starting at 3 years old. For younger children (3 to 5), we often recommend the “with tether” option just to help keep them properly positioned throughout the drive.

  29. I drive a 2014 convertible Mustang, it only has 2 seats on the back, there’s a hump where the middle seat would be. Would it be better to install my carseat (Evenflo Pivot with Sensorsafe) behind the passenger or the driver? Space on the back is limited and there’s a specification on my carseat’s manual that says there should be at least an inch of space between the base/carseat and rhe front seats. My husband is rather tall and has to push his seat back further than I do and when we ride together he always drives. I could also install the carseat without the base, but I’m not sure if it is equally safe.

    1. The difference between the drivers side rear seat and the passenger side rear seat is minimal (only a percentage point or two and it tends to switch from year to year); one is not considered safer than the other. We do recommend the passenger side if you ever street park; that way you are on the sidewalk putting your child in the car rather than standing in the street. In your situation, we would recommend installing the seat behind the passenger.

      Installing the infant seat without the base needs to pass the same crash tests as installing it with the base so it should be just as safe. You can test if it fits properly with the base to make the base or no base decision.

  30. Yes I have a question I have a 2005 Ford Taurus, I have a 2 1/2 year son he weights 40 pounds n is in a forward facing car seat is it save to have him in the middle of the back seat. Also he is out growing his car seat what is a good car seat to move him to w a five point harness..

    1. Hi Amy, Yes it is safe to have him in the center rear seat as long as you can get a good install in that location. Without more information I cannot point you to the right next car seat. When selecting your car seat, it needs to fit your child, fit your car and be easy for you to install correctly. We recommend checking some out of the store and trying them in your car.

  31. I have a Chevy surburban with bucket seat. Baby two is on the way. Should I put them in a bucket seat or all the way in the back? Not sure what to do in this situation.

    1. Hi Melanie, Do you mean you have two side bucket seats in the Suburban with no middle seat? How old is your other child and what type of seat is he/she in? Without all of the information it’s hard to say what would be the best options. I recommend you take your car and car seats to a local child passenger safety technician.

  32. Hello, I need a car seat that has a very short base (front to back) to fit the center rear seat of my Ram 1500 Quad Cab. It is a difficult vehicle to fit rear facing car seats due to limited space behind the driver and passenger seats. So the middle of the rear seat is the ideal position. However, the middle of the seat has a shorter depth than either side. What is the car seat shown in the picture you have in this article at the top? It has a short base that I’m looking for. Too many car seats have long bases and I can’t get the 80% rule. Thanks!

    1. Hi Randy, The car seat pictured is a Britax seat. This particular one was an older model and is expired. I’m not sure what their current bases look like. If you are shopping, go to a local store with car seats and ask to take them out to see if they’ll fit in your car. Good luck!

  33. Hi. Im hoping you can help.
    I have 3 kids, aged 5, 3 & 1 & a baby due in a couple of weeks. We have a Seat Alhambra, 7 seater. Where would be safest to place all the kids? Currently all 3 are on the middle row, but I will now have to put one kid in the front (& possibly disable the airbag) or put one on the third row.
    The 5 and 3 year olds are in cybex solution mfix seats. My 1 year old is in a cybex sirona. All these are isofix. The newborn will be in a maxicosi cabriofix, not isofix. We live in the UK.
    If I put a child in the third row, will he be safe from rear impacts and side impacts? And will I somehow have to secure all the stuff in the boot? I need to fit a double buggy in there.
    Ultimately, I would like to know the safest position for all kids in the car.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Jen,

      The statistics show a front impact crash is the most common type of crash. Placing a child in the third row would be better than in the front seat. As far as rear and side impacts, the third row (I’m not specifically familiar with your make/model) is typically over the rear axle which inherently offers additional structural protection. Can you fit the double buggy in the boot with the third row seats available? If not does just part of the third row fold down and will the buggy fit in that section? Can you strap the buggy down so it does not become a projectile during a crash (a concern now as well)? These are just some additional questions you will need to take into consideration.

      Are there child passenger safety techs in the UK with whom you can visit with all 4 seats to find a proper seating arrangement that will work for all of your needs? Sometimes it’s a puzzle that needs to be solved in person.

  34. I need help on what to do. My daughter is currently in the middle of the back seat, rear facing. She does not NEED to be rear facing, she is tall and heavy enough to be forward facing – here are my options:

    1. The height of the back of her seat should go up one “click” – but then the seat hits my front seat. I can put it back down but then the straps are significantly below her shoulders, not at her (or slightly below) her shoulder. Then leave the car seat in the middle.
    2. I can forward face her in the middle of the back seat.
    3. I can rear-face her on the side and have the correct strap (at or below her shoulder).
    4. I can leave her rear-facing in the middle, with her seat touching my seat and the shoulder straps in the correct position.

    I want to do whatever is safest. I how do I find out what is safest? I am so confused with all the information out there. Please, please help me.

    1. Hi Elizabeth, There are many unknown variables in your situation that we cannot give you a proper suggestion. For instance, what kind of car do you have, what kind of car seat do you have, how tall are you and how much room is there? It would really be better to take your vehicle and car seat to a visit a car seat tech in person to help you best determine what is most appropriate for your needs. The “best practice” is to keep your child rear facing in the center seat, if you are able. But “best practice” may not work for your specifics.

  35. “There is virtually no difference between driver’s side and passenger side in crash statistics.”

    I would love to read more about this and was wondering what data you read that supports this statement?

    I do have access to academic papers, which is the level of source I am seeking on this subject; any good articles or publications you would refer me to to?

    1. It’s based on statistics we learned in our Child Passenger Safety Technician classes and updates from NHTSA statistics and what auto safety engineers have told us. Sometimes statistics show a slight preference to one side, then the next year there is a slight preference to the other side. It’s usually within a percentage point or two difference. I can no longer find the specific information on NHTSA’s website. (They redesigned their site a year or so ago and deleted, or buried I’m not sure, a lot of information we used to link to.) This is a visual that has floated around for a few years. percentage of car crash types

  36. I have a 2 year old who is about 28-30 pounds. I currently have him in the center seat rear facing. Given the two options of turning him to forward facing and leaving him in the center or keeping him rear facing and moving him to the rear passenger side, which would be recommended as safest?

  37. What nobody ever tells you: With the epidemic of distracted drivers, I’m not nearly as concerned about a head-on crash as I am about being rear-ended by a texting driver. In Europe, all infant and child seats are tested in both head-on and rear-end collisions. Ironically, the US, where distracted driving is much more rampant than in Europe because, you know, staring at my cell phone while driving is considered a personal liberty, still only requires head-on crash testing for child seats.

  38. Amie,

    I would kindly appreciate if you put a reference to this study on your blog post. There is some great information here, but I feel that this specific information is not prevelant:

    Basically, There is a a 35-46% reduction in risk of death by moving the child from the front seat even if the front airbags are disabled. But there is an additional 41% reduction in risk of death by moving the child from the outboard seat to the center seat.

    So this begs the question: You wouldn’t put your child in the front seat because it increases the risk of death by 35-46%… So why would someone risk placing the child in the outboard seat?

  39. Hi I have Pathfinder, so it has a 3rd row. I have a 17-month old that is front facing but baby #2 is on the way and my husband has 3 older children (2 in boosters). Is it safe at all to put the 17-month old in the 3rd row with one of the older kids. I’m sorry if this is a stupid question. Just trying to figure out the best way to arrange everyone. Thanks

    1. Yes, it is fine to put a forward-facing car seat in the third row. Fitting in a car load of kids can be a bit of a puzzle. You can visit a local CPS Technician to walk you through the various options and determine what is best for your family and car.

  40. I have a 2018 Hyundai sonata with a 12 year old 10 year old a 4 year old and another on the way what is the best way to seat them

  41. Which would be safer for a 48-lb, 47″-tall 5-yr-old: outboard seat in 5-pt harness or center seat in highback booster?

    1. That depends. What kind of crash are you planning on getting in? I know you aren’t planning on getting into a crash but different types of crash would make different placements safer. We always would prefer that a child have more points of contact. Safety is reduced with the reduction of points of contact. In which case the 5-point harness would be safer. But if you experience a side impact crash, we would prefer the child be in a center seat to be further from the impact. In which case the center seat would be safer. Ideally you could use a 5-point harness in the center rear seat. Sounds like something is prohibiting that placement though. Is it the seat not fitting in the space? Would a RideSafer with a tether (4 points of contact) allow the child to sit in the center seat with at least one additional point of contact?

  42. Hi I have a 3 year old baby and he is 40 lbs can I place his front facing car seat in the middle seat at the back and mine is a sedan model car .please do help

    1. The center rear seat is considered the safest spot to put your child in the car seat as long as you can get a correct install in that seating position. If your car has LATCH you’ll want to check if you can use LATCH in the center seating position. In most cars you cannot. That is OK, you can install using the seat belt in that position. If you have any trouble getting a good install, visit with a local Child Passenger Safety Technician.

  43. Can I just point out that another reason for the rear passenger side being the most common place to install is that a properly installed rear facing convertible car seat extends so far that the front seat of the vehicle must be pushed quite far forward to accommodate. For many of us this makes driving the vehicle much less safe if not totally impossible when we are squished too close to the wheel and pedals thus the passenger seat gets pushed forward and car seat goes on the right.
    This applies to center position as well as most car seats are so wide that in the center position you would have to push both front seats forward to achieve the correct recline on the car seat.

    I might also mention that many people ex. Grandparents, pregnant women, anyone with an injury or physical limitation can find it very difficult to reach the middle seat to either place a bucket style seat in the middle or to access the buckles on a fixed carseat.

  44. Hi! I have a 2016 Honda Pilot. I have a four year old and an almost two year old. The two year old is in a Diono and 4 year old is in a Britax. They are both rear facing but where would you recommend putting them? I might be turning my four year old to forward facing. She’s tall.

    1. Hello Lindsey. There’s no one answer to this because of all the different variables that are unique to your family but the two rear outboard seating positions would be perfectly fine. If you load either of them “curbside” I would say put the one you can load the fastest on the driver side so you’re not exposed to traffic any longer than necessary. If they can fit side by side and they both remain rear facing, the youngest in the center seat and older child in the passenger side outboard seat would put the more vulnerable child in the center. One could argue that the benefits of the middle seat are really only theoretical because that seating position is furthest from any point of contact. In the most common types of crash, frontal and rear, which seating position in the back seat doesn’t really come into play.

  45. Hello. We are expecting a second set of twins. Out first set are 4 yrs old. We have a Kia Sedona. We will be putting the 4 year olds in the third row, FF seats. The new borns in the second row captains seats RF. We would like to keep as much space between the two older girls in the third row, using the two outside seats and securing with the seat belts. However; one anchor is in the middle. Is it safe to use a tether that is angled to the center anchor point rather than straight down. Thanks and great blog.

    1. Hello Lee. Congrats on the second set of twins! I’m not sure exactly what you are describing for the 3rd row anchors. If you’re using the seat belts you shouldn’t be concerned with the “Lower Anchors”. Is it the adult seat belt system that has the anchor in the middle? To serve you the best I think it would be better to talk on the phone or for you to schedule with a certified tech near you. You can send us an email at support@saferide4kids to schedule a time to talk or visit to find a tech near you. (I would suggest only searching by city and state. Don’t include zip code because it limits the search too much) Please have the year of your vehicle so the tech can look up your vehicle in the LATCH Manual. Thanks

  46. Hi, I have a 7 month old, 1 year old and 3 year old. One needs to go in the front as not enough room in back and middle seat is lap belt only. I know the air bag has to be off but is it better for the 3 year old forward facing, or baby rear facing to be the front seat passenger?

    1. Hi Lyndsey, It would really be best to visit with a local CPS (car seat) technician who can see your car and your seats and see if there is a way to configure them to all fit in the back. You can install a car seat with a lap-only seat belt. (You cannot use a booster seat with a lap-only seat belt.) What year is the car and is there a tether anchor in the center seating position? Perhaps you could fit the two rear-facing car seats in the outboard seats and put the 3 year old forward facing in a RideSafer vest between the two car seats. (A tether is required to be able to use the RideSafer with a lap-only seat belt.)

  47. I have a 2006 dodge ram and the middle backseat is a little bit shorter than the two side seats. I have a 3 year old, 4 year old, and will soon have an infant that I take to pre-school everyday (they’re cousins). The problem is that the car seat we have for the infant, Britax B-Safe 35 elite, doesn’t fully fit on the middle seat. Would it be safer to put the infant on the driver side and move one of the forward facing kids to the middle? Or do I install the base to the middle seat and put her there?

    1. If you cannot get a proper install with the infant seat in the center seating position, it is certainly appropriate to put it on one of the side positions and put the forward-facing car seat in the center, assuming they will fit next to each other.

  48. The toddler seat does not fit in the middle seat. We have a graco forever and graco extend time fit and neither will work in the center seat of either vehicle we have. Yes a technician has looked. That is why our child is on the side.

    1. Hi Jessica, And that’s perfectly appropriate when a seat can’t be installed properly in the center seating position. And it can often be the case when parents have two car seats, they won’t fit side by side, one in the center and one on the side. It always depends on the car and car seat(s) among other situational factors.

  49. I have a 2016 Honda Odyssey and three kiddos – almost 6, 3.5 and 10mo. Everyone is still rear facing and sit three across in the middle row. The 6yo will soon outgrow her rear facing seat and need to be forward facing. For safety, is there a best seat to put the forward facing carseat? I know generally speaking that the center is the safest seat. I can see pros and cons of putting the forward facing child in the middle vs a side seat. Specifically wondering about safety – like if the center is better because I’ve read forward facing legs can be injured against the driver/passenger seat back. Or if the openness of the center seat to the windshield can be problematic. Thanks so much for the guidance!

    1. Hi Stacey, That’s wonderful they are all still rear facing. Many would say once the child is forward facing they become more vulnerable because a rear facing seat is so much safer. Thus putting your 6yo in the center seat would be a preferred position. It is true that studies have shown forward facing children are more likely to incur leg injuries. If you are using the harness correctly and the seat is installed correctly (and with a tether), your child should not even come close to contacting the windshield.

  50. I have a 2010 lexus rx350 . My baby is 8 months old have an Uppababy Mesa carseat. Should I out him in the rear right hand side or in the middle. My main concern is where is safer in case of an accident

    1. If you can get a good, secure install in the rear center seating position, we would recommend that position.

  51. Thank you for this. It was very helpful. I will be moving our car seat from the passenger side to the middle seat as you have advised. Thanks!

  52. I have a toyota sienna 2020 with three rolls. I have two 11yr old and 9yr old and a 2year old and one on the way should i put my two yrea old in the the 3rd roll back middle and the infant in the middle 2nd roll? i am also expected to have a c section and iam also concerned about my 2yr old being in the back seat alone when my older kids are at school and i have to travel alone with the babies.

  53. I have a 2019 Honda CRV. I need to put 3 car seats in the back kids are 4 1/2, 3 & 7 month old. One child rear facing! I’m thinking I need the trim fit car seats-ideas on which brand is best? . Ideas on which seat should be rear facing? -is a seat belt ok for the center position to attach the car seat? -forward facing children are attending pre-school. ?

    1. I think which brand is best for you highly depends on your budget. There are several narrow seat options for different budgets. If your current seats fit, a forward facing on each side with the rear facing seat in the middle could work well for you since your preschool children may need to get in and out of the car for school easier. Then again, you could choose to use the RideSafer vest for the oldest child in the center position between a forward-facing car seat and a rear-facing car seat. That’s the narrowest you can go with a child restraint as it’s just the width of the child. You can install a car seat using the seat belt in the center seat. LATCH isn’t necessarily safer, it was designed to be easier for parents. So it’s only safer if you are unable to get a good install with the seat belt. But the LATCH system is also only designed up to a certain weight, then you would need to use the seat belt to install the seat anyway. So all seats should be able to be installed using the seat belt.

  54. Hello,

    I have placed the forward-facing car seat in the center seat of my sedan, and using the seat beat to secure it.
    However, there is some sideways movement on the car seat when driving around.

    Is that normal?

    I tried clicking on your CPS link, but it shows as a dead link.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Hemant, Is that normal? That depends. The seat will always have some side to side movement. How much movement and where is the question? Did you do the one inch test? This tests the tightness of the install at the base of the seat where the seat belt goes through. You want this to move no more than one inch side to side when pushing/pulling with your hand. Now when you do this test you don’t want to put all your strength into it; just about 10 pounds of pressure, which is about what you would use to open the car door. If the base moves more than an inch, you want to tighten it down more. If the top is moving but the base passes the one inch test, it should be a correct install. The top will always move some. The CPS link on this page is working; it just takes some time for their page to load.

  55. Hi Amie,
    We are expecting #3 and have a 2019 Honda Pilot with 2nd row captain’s chairs. Because my 7 year old does the drive up pick up line for drop off and pick up, we have to leave the 2nd row passenger side seat open so it can fold down for him to access the 3rd row at drop off and pick up.

    My 4.3 year old is still rear facing (my oldest was rear facing until 6) and it seems like the only way to make this work once the baby is here is to FF him in the 3rd row – does that seem correct? The baby will be in a Doona infant seat – and I guess our only options are baby in her Doona in the 3rd row, passenger side (oldest would be in 3rd row driver’s side) OR put my 4.3 year old in the 3rd row – he still needs help buckling and we wouldn’t be able to reach him if he’s RF in the 3rd row. He’s in a Graco Extend2Fit now but will move into a Chicco MyFit if we FF him.

    Is it easy enough to clip an infant seat in and out of the 3rd row? I am very anxious about FF my 4 year old because I intended to do extended rear facing until he maxed out his Extend2Fit,

    1. First of all, good job rear facing for as long as you have. I agree it would be tough to get your middle child in rear facing in the third row.

      I’m also concerned about whether it will be difficult to get the infant carrier in and out of the third row seat. I would suggest trying it now and test the level of difficulty, while remembering it will be several pounds heavier with an infant in it.

      We have an older Pilot (a bench seat in the second row, not captain’s chairs) but when we had/have a child in the third row, we kept one side of the third row down and opened up the back to have the child hop in and out at school rather than climbing over the seat and car seats in the middle row. Would that be an option? Have the two rear-facing seats in the middle and have the 7yo go in and out of the back? You’ll of course have to be careful of other parents pulling up behind you. If the school is aware who ever is working the drop off/pick up will be able to keep at watch at the back. Usually the beep sound reminded them to go to the back when we were doing drop off.

    1. Hi Natasha, With twins, they are of equal age and vulnerability likely using the same or similar seats. You can try to see if they fit side by side with one in the center or one on each side. There other things to consider, of course, like type of car, if you just had them and whether you had a Caesarean and if you can lean over the seat. Remember the most important thing is that you can get a good install in whichever seating position they are in.

  56. I have a car seat with a load leg (Peg Perego 4-35 Nido). The load leg won’t deploy in my car due to a hump on the center floor. Do you think it would be better to put in the center without the load leg, or on the passenger side with the load leg?

    1. I think it would be best to visit with a local car seat technician. Do you mean the even in the shortest position the load leg is too long to fit on the hump? Can you get a good install in the middle without the load leg? Comparatively, is the install more secure on the side using the load leg?

  57. Hi
    I was wondering if I could get some help on configuring my car seats we are a family of 5 Almost 6. We have an almost 3 year old 1 year only twins and baby on the way coming this January. We are looking into getting a new car with a third row we have really liked the 2022 kia telluride. Im not sure on how to configure the car seats I want my kids to rear face as long as possible we have the Nuna EXEC convertible car seats for all three and we have loved them. We are looking into getting out for our fourth since we don’t think we’ll use an infant car seat with the handle bars since I love to baby wear my infants a lot. So I’m asking if you could help up on how to configure the car seats in the safest way possible those care seats can fit three across but I’m not cute if they can fit three across rear facing. So if you have any help that would be very much appreciated thank you.

    1. Hi Liv, I don’t have any experience with the 2022 Kia Telluride yet to say how well the seats would fit 3 across rear facing. I would suggest bringing the seats to the dealership and trying them out in the car to see how they fit prior to buying the vehicle.

  58. I have a 2021 Honda Pilot Touring. I have 3 grandchildren. The 2 older children are in front facing booster seats. The 3rd grandchild is in a rear facing infant car seat. I have the 2 older grandchildren in the middle row side captains chairs. I tried to put the rear facing carseat in the 3rd row center but I am not able to securely fasten the carseat. Where would be the safest place to put the rear facing infant seat? I am worried about being rear ended with the car seat in the third row. There is not much room between third row and rear end of car.

    1. Hi Suzanne, It may work better and be easier to put the rear-facing child in the car seat if that child was in one of the captains chairs (probably passenger side). And have one of the older two in the third row seat.

  59. I just got a 2014 dodge durango and along with a new convertible carseat for my 1 year old who is still rear facing and the middle seat are captain seats but the car seat is touching the driver seat and passenger seat and neither me nor my husband are able to sit comfortably can I put the car seat in the 3rd row?

  60. Hi! I have an Audi Q7 2022 with a small third row. I have a two and four year old child both in forward facing car seats. Would you put one child in the second row center and another child in the third row? Or both in the second row (1 of course in the middle)? Thank you!

    1. It’s really going to depend on your car, your car seats and your family. You said you have a small third row, would your car seat even fit there and allow for leg room for the child? Can your child that may be in the third row properly buckle themselves in the car seat? If not, how much access do you have to buckle that child in? You may find that you can better install both car seats and better put each child in their car seat with both car seats in the middle row. As long as you have a good install any seating position in the rear of the car is a safe position for a car seat.

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