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Speaking of Car Seats and Boosters

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We will be having a baby in February so that means a new infant car seat. We have a Ford Freestar with two 2nd row captain seats and a bench in the 3rd row. We have 3 in booster seats and one in a forward facing car seat. As of now, we have a booster in one captain seat, the car seat in the other captain, and two boosters on the outsides of the 3rd row bench.


Technically in South Dakota, anyone over the age of 4 and 40 lbs doesn't need a car seat or booster. The three oldest all meet this requirement, but we keep them in boosters because of safety issues and, frankly, they like to sit higher and they are more comfortable.


I originally wanted to put the FF car seat in the back middle, one booster still in a captain seat, and the infant seat in the other captain seat.


BUT....after measuring between the backseat boosters, there is NO way we can fit the FF car seat between them. Even if we bought another, narrower seat like the Radian.


So, the question is...What to do? Our oldest will be 8 in June and she is somewhat "freakishly" tall. :tongue_smilie: I've had her try out the middle, back spot without a booster. The seat belt really doesn't fit her well and she is squished between the two boosters.


So, the three boosters are Cleks and the FF car seat is a Graco Nautilus. The new infant seat will be a Graco Snugride.


Any thoughts about how to arrange all of these?

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Have you tried all combinations of the 2 boosters and Nautilus in the 3rd row?

Like: booster Nautilus booster, booster booster Nautilus, booster booster booster ... to see if one arrangement puzzles better than another?


Yes, a Radian (aka Diono) is an option that might help. I don't have the measurements of a Clek in front of me, not sure if there are narrower boosters.


As much as I enjoy playing with carseats, sometimes I really hate having to figure out THE plan. I feel your pain!

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I don't have the measurements of a Clek in front of me, not sure if there are narrower boosters.

Clek Olli Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 17.2 x 10 inches


ETA: Nautius Product Dimensions: 35.6 x 19.4 x 12.2 inches

Edited by ChrisB
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I think you first need to check what type of seatbelts are in each of the spots; they may dictate which children can sit in them. I have four children -- 9yo needs only a lap-shoulder belt, 6yo needs only a backless booster, 3yo is forward-facing in a Graco MyRide, and infant is rear-facing in the big Graco infant seat. The older two are in the back row, and the little boys are in the middle row. The only spot that is currently unoccupied is the middle spot in the back row, and it's the only spot that has just a lap belt, no shoulder belt, so it cannot hold a child without a harness. In the event that we have a fifth child (likely), most likely, I would move the current infant to the MyRide and the current 3yo to a Radian in the middle spot of the very back.


Also, I remember from when I had three children in boosters/carseats all squished into a Ford Focus (that was tight, but it worked, though I am so grateful for the van now), sometimes seats puzzle together differently if one is FF'ing and one is RF'ing, so you might consider trying a rear-facing Radian for the new baby, putting it between the boosters in the back row. As well, there is a really small infant seat, a Cocoro, IIRC; I think it is more of a bonus for depth, rather than width, but you might ask at car-seat.org. They have all been super helpful to me.

Edited by happypamama
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