How Do You Fit 3 Car Seats Into 1 Car?

Me - Zooming to work in my Santa Fe :)
I drive a 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe that I love, love, love! Yes it’s old, and yes the kids have spilled sticky weird things all over it, and yes it has a very funky smell inside – but I’m sure a trip to a car detailing place to have it cleaned and shampooed will take care of all of that. The best part – we own it. Yep – we finished paying it off two yrs ago and it has been cheap driving ever since – unlike my hubby’s 2007 Mazda 6 that he gifted himself for Christmas after I gave him socks & underwear. Hubby’s POS car cost us $8 grand in repairs this past spring!!! (We had to replace the engine on it exactly TWO WEEKS after the warranty expired). Obviously I’m no longer a fan of Mazda ‘cause the 8 grand could have been used to stop my damn bathroom from leaking into my kitchen….

My Santa Fe has been super reliable, besides oil changes, tires and brakes my “truck” hasn’t cost us a dime. BUT… (‘cause there’s always a but) we have a third child on the way and we have no idea how to fit an infant carrier, a booster seat and a car seat in the bench seat across the back. So we’re stuck with a dilemma:

* Do we try to squish the three seats in?
* Do we buy a new 7-seater (SUV, Cross-over or the dreaded Mini-van)?
* Do we lease a new vehicle?
* Do we take over a lease of a vehicle, then buy it?
* Do we keep our beloved Santa fe or trade it in?

We need to come up with an answer soon too ‘cause I’m now at the half-way point of my pregnancy (yes – already!). Summer will go by fast and before we know it we’ll be on baby count down!

So here are my questions for all those moms of three out there:

* Do you have any tips on fitting three seats across the back bench of a vehicle?
* If you drive a seven + seater:
* What vehicle do you drive?
* Do you like your vehicle?

8 thoughts on “How Do You Fit 3 Car Seats Into 1 Car?

  1. I have a mini-van, 1992 Dodge Grand Caravan, and LOVE it! Yes, it sounds like your Sante Fe – but it’s ours and it’s paid for! So, we’ll be driving it for a while. I am able to fit 2 normal carseats and 1 booster in the middle of the two on the back bench. I also add two car seats on the front bench. ( I have an inhome daycare)

    I get new car envy sometimes when I drive by a dealer, but then remember that it comes with a hefty monthly payment – no thanks!

  2. We are actually working this out right now. We have a Trailblazer and a Jetta and we CAN NOT get a new car (long story) plus I love the cars we have and don’t want to get rid of them. Our oldest (4 y.o.) is in a booster seat now which is much narrower, for our 2 y.o. and the baby we are considering Sunshine kids seats – they are actually built with a narrow footprint and can fit 3 across in a sedan. (new seats are chaeper than a new car right?)

    Now I have to come back here and check often and see if anyone that actually already has 3 gives some good tips :)

  3. Simple, we bought a minvan. When I was buying a minivan my only requirement was that I wanted the van to have three proper second row seats. We can put three fattest car seats side-by-side, no problem.

    Problem with other cars is that even if you can fit three car seats (and we have), they dont necesserily stay safe because those sits don’t sit within guidelines.


  4. One website:! Post on the discussion forum (you don’t even have to register if you are asking a question) with your car model, the kid’s ages and weights (and heights if you know them), your current carseats if you know that, and ask how to get three seats into your car. If it’s possible, they’ll be able to tell you how to do it and which seats will work the best. Make sure to say you are in Canada, since that changes what seats are available.

    You might have to buy some new carseats to make it work, but that’s cheaper than a new car!

    And congrats!

  5. Another vote for Or try the baby bargains board (on phone, can’t link) – those ladies are smart. Even if you have to buy all new seats that would be cheaper than new car.

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