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  1. #1
    pinkmommy
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    Question Need seating help for 3 kiddos...

    I am searching thru posts here to get info, but it is all a bit overwhelming and I am having a hard time finding my exact needs.

    I have three children:

    8 yr old (will be 8 in one month so just going with 8 for now); 52" tall; 55 pounds

    6 yr old; 45" tall; 39 pounds

    3 yr old; 40" tall; 39 pounds

    My older two are thin for height. My youngest is more height/weight porportional but I suspect he will also be thin for height as he grows because that seems to be pattern for our kiddos.

    We have two vehicles: Mazda MPV and Chevy Colorado. Right now, we have 2 Huskys and 1 Wizard in minivan. Older two are in Huskys but they are now expired or will be very soon. Youngest is in Wizard. We have two in back and one in middle row. In the truck, we have two convertible seats (currently being used as 5 pt harness seats for youngest two) and one booster. The truck configuration is ok for now. It is a real pain to buckle up oldest in booster because it is a hard reach and a tight fit. Oldest can't do it himself. I can barely do it. DH usually does it because he has long arms. They don't ride in truck as much, so the main issue is for the minivan.

    By law, oldest will no longer need to be in carseat when he turns 8 in one month. Of course, all of his friends are either out of seats or in boosters and I am getting comments and resistance about the harness issue but I would prefer he stay in harness as long as possible. I have a saftey concern about the kids being in the rear seat in our minivan. There is pretty much no clearance between the window and the third row. The seats just about touch. There is a small cargo area but there is not much in the way of protection for a rear collision. If I moved 2 up to the middle and leave only 1 in the back, it makes rear access difficult. I may go that route even though it makes it difficult to access.

    I am guessing in about a year or so we will be looking for another vehicle and are leaning toward a Honda Pilot. Ideally, I would like to fit all three kids in the middle row. I am looking for narrow seats. In essence, I am looking for narrow harnessed seats but I am not finding any that seem to work for us. The Radian says height limit of 49" and my oldest is well above that and my middle child is right at that. I don't really need another seat for youngest at this point, though the size of the Wizard comes into play when I want to eventually get all three in the middle row of next vehicle. Should I just resign myself to the idea that oldest should go to booster seat? I haven't even really looked at booster seats and don't know the best options, but again I would want narrow seats. I don't care about cup holders and other bells and whistles. Since I have to replace middle child's Husky, I also need to figure out something for her. She is pretty much at the height limit for the Radian. I know if oldest goes to booster she will want to do the same.

    Factor into all of this we will be traveling to Europe in a few weeks. I was looking at the travel vests but it seems they are difficult to use for everyday. I don't know about this. Do you have to thread vest/seatbelt each time? I was thinking that at least it is a harness option for my older kiddos. I can rent seats during our trip but the rental cost gets close to buying travel vests...then wondering if the vests might work for everyday here but am thinking not.

    Is oldest safer in a booster at side of DH's truck (absolutely no room between door and booster) or would he be safer in middle seat without any booster or seat? I can't remember why, but the booster doesn't work in the middle seat. Maybe it does but it is super hard to reach over the convertible carseat that would be on the side to buckle the booster. Again, maybe travel vest is an option there but if there is a lot of threading involved then it will be hard to reach over seat.

    WHY don't they make many harnessed options for older children? I love my Britax and would be happy to stick with that company but they don't seem to make narrow harnessed seats.

    I know this is long and all over the place. I appreciate any help/info!

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  3. #2
    Senior Community Member momof2kiddos's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
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    Virginia
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    Re: Need seating help for 3 kiddos...

    Okay,so let me see if I can help at all here...

    For the oldest if he is mature enough to stay seated correctly during long rides,I would get a parkway. http://www.specialtybaby.com/br20pabocars.html

    For the 6 year old depending on torso height he might fit very well in a radian.Sunshine kids said you can use the harness for 1/2 inch over the top slot.

    The reason I am reccomending the parkway is because I love the SIP(side impact protection) it has on it,plus kids can use the wings to sleep on it.

    So now that I said that,let me make since out of this....

    1) get the oldest a parkway but thier is also a fisher-price booster that is narrow too,I will find the site for you in a second

    2)get the radian for your 6 year old now and when he outgrows it you can give it to the youngest to use in your new car since you will need a narrow seat anyways,and then buy him a booster,that way he stays harnessed a tad longer.
    Courtney SAHM to~
    DS~3.5 years old/ Graco Nautilus in Bravo
    DD~2 years old/ Graco Nautilus in Mariposa


  4. #3
    Senior Community Member momof2kiddos's Avatar
    Join Date
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    Re: Need seating help for 3 kiddos...

    Courtney SAHM to~
    DS~3.5 years old/ Graco Nautilus in Bravo
    DD~2 years old/ Graco Nautilus in Mariposa


  5. #4
    Senior Community Member momof2kiddos's Avatar
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    Re: Need seating help for 3 kiddos...

    also wanted to add that the parkway is the tallest booster on the market so it will last your oldest the longest.
    Courtney SAHM to~
    DS~3.5 years old/ Graco Nautilus in Bravo
    DD~2 years old/ Graco Nautilus in Mariposa


  6. #5
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    739

    Re: Need seating help for 3 kiddos...

    I just wanted to chime in on the travel vest option. I would recommend getting them. I have one and really like it. Yes, you do have to rethread and adjust everything everytime, but it's really no more difficult than putting a kid in a 5pt car seat. The only reason I would say not to count on it as an every day seat at home is that you'll start to miss a real seat. A real seat is more comfortble for a kid that might still fall asleep on a long drive. A real seat is nice in that you can tell a kid to climb in and then get around to buckling them once you have everyone else settled. But you CANNOT beat the usefulness of a vest for travel! And while I don't use the vest everyday, we come up with a need for it pretty often, especially now that dd has playdates and friends and friends and such.

  7. #6
    Carseat Crazy Jordynsmama's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
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    North San Diego area
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    724

    Re: Need seating help for 3 kiddos...

    Parkway for the oldest- when he outgrows it you can use it for the 6 yr old.

    Radian for the 6 yr old b/c it is narrower than the regent and then can be passed down to the youngest or be sold in a few yrs.

    And if your 3 yr old can stay in the wizard keep him in that? I guess?, or another radian- or an apex if u have high back head rests. It may be worth it to just get the radian b/c I have heard that the apex's don't fit boys well.
    Jessica, mama to Jordyn (8) in a backless

    and Madisyn & Kingston (2 yrs) in Britax

  8. #7
    Senior Community Member
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    Cleveland, Ohio
    Posts
    2,775

    Re: Need seating help for 3 kiddos...

    Parkway for the oldest
    Recaro Como or Signo (available soon) for your 6 year old -- it has 19 inch top harness slots and a 70 pound weight limit -- it can be handed down to your youngest when needed.
    "If you don't know how to fix it, please stop breaking it." Severn Suzuki, age 12

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