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  1. #1
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    Expecting Triplets: Car Seat questions/help

    Hello,

    My wife and I are expecting triplets. These will be our first children, so we have no frame of reference to start, and we know very few people that can relate to our situation.

    We have a station wagon and a SUV whose backseats measure approximately 54"-55" across.

    Which car seat manufacturer(s) make car seats that will fit three across? What types of car seats fit three across (infant, convertible, etc)? What is the max base width to support three across?

    Any assistance in this area would be great, thank you!

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  3. #2
    CPS Technician Pixels's Avatar
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    Re: Expecting Triplets: Car Seat questions/help

    Congratulations! I'm sure you are overwhelmed with everything you need for triplets.

    What are the exact vehicles you have (make, model, year)? Measuring, while it seems like it should tell you what will fit and what won't, really doesn't mean anything. Some seats puzzle together well, which means that when you put them side-by-side, they overlap, and therefore the whole is less than the sum of the parts. Also, vehicle specifics matter, such as the exact placement of the seatbelts and seat placement.

    We can probably come up with 3-across with infant seats or convertibles. What is your preference? Some people love the convenience of an infant seat, to not have to take the baby out of the seat every time. Others are more baby-wearers, and don't want to have to lug around the heavy seat. It's all personal preference. I know you don't have any personal experience yet in this area, and that makes it more difficult to decide.

    I suggest infant seats that have no minimum weight or a 4 pound minimum. Triplets will probably be premature, and small. Infant seats tend to fit small babies better. You can also get the babies strapped into the seats in the house where the temperature is just right, then quickly move them to the car and turn on the heat or air conditioning (whichever is necessary). As they get older and you don't need the portable-ness of infant seats any more, you can leave the seats in the car and use them the same way you would a convertible.
    Melissa, CPST and Mom to three

  4. #3
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    Question Re: Expecting Triplets: Car Seat questions/help

    First let me say....THANK YOU! for responding. I have been pouring over these boards looking for some insights, and while there are plenty of posts about 3-aX configurations, I cannot find any that deal specifically with 3 infant/convertible seats.

    I wish I could speak more intelligently about our preferences, but I am honestly at a loss and overwhelmed by the choices. I think the only preference we have about car seats is whether they can be easily transferable (snap in/out) b/t the car and the stroller(s).

    We have a BMW 5-series wagon(2006) and a Mecedes ML350 SUV(2006). They both appear like they could handle 3-aX configurations, but after reading dimensions specs of infant seats, I am concerned (seems like everything is concerning to me these days!!! AH!!!)

    We have been looking at the new Graco Snugride 32 for our needs. I am sure there are plenty of other options, its just a little much for me.

    Again, thanks for responding.....and as before, any tips or assistance would be very apprecieated!

  5. #4
    Senior Community Member Jennifer mom to my 7's Avatar
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    Re: Expecting Triplets: Car Seat questions/help

    3 keyfits should fit in a 3 across with 54-55 inches of space. They are 17? inches I think at the widest point, which is the handle. And they will work very well for small babies, which triplets might just be. And for now, I think you should just worry about the 3 across infant seats, and worry about convertibles when necessary.
    Whatever Wendy said

    "No one else will ever know the strength of my love for you, after all, you're the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside." -Unknown

  6. #5
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    Re: Expecting Triplets: Car Seat questions/help

    With triplets another consideration is how the infant seat will fit a small baby. Since there are 3 it's very likely they are going to be small. While we love the SR32 and it lasts kiddos a long time, it is not really the best fit for smaller babies.

    You need a seat that fits small babies well AND seats that are narrow and will fit 3 across. Your best bet is going to be trying some seats out in your car since there are not a ton of folks out there with triplets!

    The Chicco Keyfit is relatively narrow and fits small babies wonderfully so might work well for you.
    Tanya

    Allie 6/6/03 - Monterey and Parkway
    Levi 4/3/05 - Probooster and Turbobooster

  7. #6
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Expecting Triplets: Car Seat questions/help

    If you can't get 3 Keyfits across you could probably do 2 Keyfits and a BabyTrend FlexLoc. You could put the largest baby in the BabyTrend since they fit small babies better than a SnugRide but not necessarily as well as the Keyfit.
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 15, Bridget, 13, Maggie, 11, Katie Sue, 6, Jimmy, born May 2019,
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

  8. #7
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    Re: Expecting Triplets: Car Seat questions/help

    Another step to remember is that some infant have to have the handle down. The flex-loc has to have the handle down. Can someone tell him about the key? I don't remember.
    Stefanie - CPST in Iowa
    mom to dd 11,/00, ds 11/01, ds 3/06, dd 04/07, dd 08/12 (radian rxt) ds 12/13 (evenflo sureride)

  9. #8
    CPS Technician ShumNum's Avatar
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    Re: Expecting Triplets: Car Seat questions/help

    Keyfit handle can be up.
    I work in a hospital with preemies and I although I'm not supposed to have 'favorites,' I have seen time and time again that a huge majority babies under 5-6lbs, fit best in the Chicco Keyfit. That being said, they might not fit in your car, so the Snugride32 or SafeSeat (essentially the same seat 'footprint'), might be worth a shot.

    Remember not to buy any additional preemie 'head supports' or inserts for the car seat. They are not safe. (Same thing goes for seat protectors, the mighty-tight, bundle me, etc). If the head support comes with the carseat (ie. in the box) it's okay to use, but often small babies fit better without it.

    Keep posting as you have more questions and congratulations!

  10. #9
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    Re: Expecting Triplets: Car Seat questions/help

    Congrats!
    Try the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio. They worked beautifully in our ML.

  11. #10
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    Re: Expecting Triplets: Car Seat questions/help

    There's a new seat, rated from 4 lbs and up, called the Safety First On Board. Another family w/triplets used it recently. We've had 2 preemies, one born at 29 wks weighing 2.5 lbs, and came home at 4 lbs. The second came home weighing less than 6 lbs. We use a Compass I420 w/ds2, and it's much too wide for 3 across and doesn't work as well as advertised for a small baby.

    At any rate, a convertible seat is not an option for you, b/c your babies will be too small for them. There are a handful of infant seats rated for babies from 4 lbs and up--Chicco Keyfit (the number one pick around here, and mine, too..but we couldn't afford one), Britax Companion (find deals on albeebaby.com), Safety First On-Board, and Compass/Learning Curve infant seat. I think Combi also has a seat rated from 4 lbs now, too.

    If I could afford it and they fit, I'd get 3 Keyfits, but they are expensive for 3 of them! I would definitely check out the Safety First seat--it's about $120. Maybe a combo of these would work.

    hths and Congrats!!!!

    henrietta

  12. #11
    CPS Technician Pixels's Avatar
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    Re: Expecting Triplets: Car Seat questions/help

    Quote Originally Posted by ShumNum View Post
    Remember not to buy any additional preemie 'head supports' or inserts for the car seat. They are not safe. (Same thing goes for seat protectors, the mighty-tight, bundle me, etc). If the head support comes with the carseat (ie. in the box) it's okay to use, but often small babies fit better without it.
    BabyTrend does allow the use of aftermarket products with their seats, as long as there is less than 1/4" between baby's back and the seat. I used an aftermarket head support with DD in my BabyTrend. The only thing you have to watch out for, is make sure that the head support is not pulling on the straps and introducing slack. If the head support slides down, then you put baby in, baby's weight on the head support will keep the harness from tightening properly (but it will feel tight).
    Melissa, CPST and Mom to three

  13. #12
    CPS Technician cryswilkins's Avatar
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    Re: Expecting Triplets: Car Seat questions/help

    Congrats on the triplets!

    I would suggest ordering three seats from a site that has return shipping insurance, so if they don't work out you can return them without loosing out on the money. The best way to know if three across will work is to actually try it.


    Quote Originally Posted by pixels99 View Post
    BabyTrend does allow the use of aftermarket products with their seats, as long as there is less than 1/4" between baby's back and the seat. I used an aftermarket head support with DD in my BabyTrend. The only thing you have to watch out for, is make sure that the head support is not pulling on the straps and introducing slack. If the head support slides down, then you put baby in, baby's weight on the head support will keep the harness from tightening properly (but it will feel tight).
    I personally don't feel that its worth the risk to use any after market product.

    Crystal, CPST Mama to Zoe 11/30/2006 , Ollie 1/3/2010 , Eli 9/24/2012 and Baby Isabel 7/23/2015

  14. #13
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    Re: Expecting Triplets: Car Seat questions/help

    Just another suggestion: BRU offers a twin discount if you buy 2 of the same seat. I'm pretty sure they would offer you the same for 3 seats. It would even work if you buy like 2 keyfits and then 1 baby trend or other seat.
    Andraya-6 Nathaniel-4 Annalee Grace 18mon

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  15. #14
    CPS Fanatic Heather98012's Avatar
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    Re: Expecting Triplets: Car Seat questions/help

    Quote Originally Posted by jewlsvern View Post
    Just another suggestion: BRU offers a twin discount if you buy 2 of the same seat. I'm pretty sure they would offer you the same for 3 seats. It would even work if you buy like 2 keyfits and then 1 baby trend or other seat.
    Yep. We used the BRUS twins discount when we bought 2 convertibles...& we don't even have twins. Just has to be 2 of the same item (different colors was ok).

    And dh has a coworker who had triplets about 6 months ago & used the Twins discount to get 3 of everything. It works on all products at BRUs...just has to be the same item. 3 cribs, 3 highchairs, etc.

    Back to the OT, I'd go for the Keyfits. Good luck!

  16. #15
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    Re: Expecting Triplets: Car Seat questions/help

    Thank you to all that responed! This forum is absolutely fantastic...nothing but informed opinions and kind people.

    Thanks for all the congrats and well wishes. This is a very exciting, yet intimidating, time for my wife and I. We really appreciate the advice...its just so much to get a handle on at once, but all of you have provided some much need stress relief on the car seat front.

    We now have a good list to use as a jumping off point as we start this quest for the magic 3-aX infant configuration for our cars.

    again, thanks to everyone for your assistance. I plan to register on the site when I get hom from work this evening....so keep a look out for Nick&D+3, b/c I am sure that I will have plenty more questions!

    We are going to the doctor to find out the sexes tomorrow (so excited).....does anyone want to make a guess at the configuration?

  17. #16
    Moderator - CPSTI Emeritus Defrost's Avatar
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    Re: Expecting Triplets: Car Seat questions/help

    I also just wanted to point out that you're going to want to install all three seats using the seat belt, not LATCH, as that will give you the most room. If you do find you can install the outboard carseats with LATCH, the center seat will still need to be installed with the seat belt. I'd definitely recommend a trip to a certified tech to show you how to do it.

    Also, you can get extra bases for infant carseats, so that you could have six bases installed in your cars, and just move the infant seats back & forth between them without having to re-install them every time.
    Debbie, CPST-I
    driving my '07 Mazda5 with
    Thomas (18) * Sam (17) * Patrick (15) * Macha (13)
    Safely secured with seat belts - everyone, every ride!

  18. #17
    CPS Fanatic Heather98012's Avatar
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    Re: Expecting Triplets: Car Seat questions/help

    Quote Originally Posted by Defrost View Post
    Also, you can get extra bases for infant carseats, so that you could have six bases installed in your cars, and just move the infant seats back & forth between them without having to re-install them every time.
    Oh yeah, that's a MUST!! I mean, I only had one baby but had to have a base in both cars. Too much hassle otherwise (or maybe I'm just lazy).

  19. #18
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    Re: Expecting Triplets: Car Seat questions/help

    We are definitely planning on getting 6 bases and having them in both cars at all times....we need to be as efficient as possible!

  20. #19
    CPS Technician Pixels's Avatar
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    Re: Expecting Triplets: Car Seat questions/help

    Another option would be to have one vehicle be designated as the kids' vehicle, and not worry about seats for the other vehicle. Parents swap vehicles based on who has the kids. That is what the family I nannied for did (3 years starting when triplets were 3 months and older sis was 2.5). When the triplets were babies, they didn't go very many places. When they did go, they went as a family, or else whoever didn't go stayed home. As they got older, I think they might have gotten a second seat for the older sister. If there ever was an odd occasion that kids were split up, seats were rearranged (but it was very very rare).

    Now if you are going to regularly need to have babies in both cars, then definitely get the extra bases. For example, if one parent drops kids off at daycare and the other parent picks them up.
    Melissa, CPST and Mom to three

  21. #20
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    Re: Expecting Triplets: Car Seat questions/help

    I don't have any reccomendations. Just wanted to say congratulations!

    I am a fellow parent of multiples (my twins - both boys - are 15 months now) and a singleton (4.5 year old boy). If I may reccomend something non car seat related - try to find a multiples support group in your area. I join one when we found out we were pregnant with twins, and it was a great support. A life saver in those early months.

    Best of luck!

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