When Baby B was five days old, we went car shopping for my new mom car. I was sold on upgrading to a van, but D insisted that a third row SUV is a great option for our family. Here we are ten months later and I absolutely LOVE my car. I love that it feels compact without having to give up space. It’s functional and easy for me to get out with all three kids in tow. I kid you not when I tell you that we’ve done our monthly Costco hauls (with a little creative storage arrangement) successfully. And we’ve done several road trips as a family of five humans and two dogs! Talk about packing in a lot in a SUV!
Some of the factors that plays into how to fit three car seats in a SUV comfortably for our family of five are:
- We have a third row SUV that allows to have decent trunk space.
- Our second row has captain’s chairs which allows the kid(s) to move around freely when getting in/out of the car.
- Our 5.5 year old knows how to buckle himself in and out of the car seat in the third row.
- We purchased the Diono Radian RXT convertible car seats for all three boys because of the size and range of convertible options.
When we spoke with our product specialist at buybuy BABY, she provided the latest information on all of our options. Due to our space requirements and all three kids being in different stages of car seats, we chose the Diono Radian RXT convertible car seats. They’re the perfect all-in-one convertible car seat for each of our boys. B just moved into the convertible car seat and is rear facing at 10 months old. C is 2.5 and still rear faces as well. They both sit in the second row of the SUV. A is 5.5 and is forward facing in the Diono Radian RXT. The car seat will easily adjust to a harness booster when he is older as well, so the range of size and fit is wide and perfect for each of our boys’ safety and needs in the car. Here’s a visual map of how to fit three car seats in a SUV. This is how it works for us because our third row SUV has captain’s chairs in the second row. This makes it easy for A to move in and out and buckle himself in/out of the car seat.
Some more information about the Diono Radian RXT car seat:
The Diono Radian RXT‘s premium materials and thoughtful safety features like a steel alloy frame, aluminum reinforced side walls and energy absorbing EPS foam put your mind at ease as your little one stays safe and sound. The reinforced adjustable head support provides additional side impact protection. Seats rear-facing children from 5 to 45 lbs. and forward-facing children from 20 to 80 lbs. in the 5-point harness (up to 57″ in height). Converts to a booster for children 50 to 120 lbs. or up to 57″ in height.
- Full steel frame and aluminum reinforced sides for unmatched safety
- Premium plush interlock knit fabric12-position aluminum reinforced adjustable head support
- Fully lined with energy absorbing EPS foam for superior head and body protection
- Fits 3 across in most mid-size vehicles
- Safe Stop® energy absorbing harness
- Unique SuperLATCH system that makes installation quick, easy and secure
- Sits low on vehicle seat for easy child boarding and improved safety performance in a crash
- Folds flat for travel and is FAA certified
- 10 year life from date of purchase
Depending on SUV size and arrangement, it is absolutely feasible to have three car seats safely in a compact vehicle. If we had bench seating in the second row, we could’ve opted to have all three car seats in the second row. A lot of my friends with three kids have this set up and have ample trunk space. D has an oversized SUV and carries a couple of our older car seats that have been in rotation. We mainly use my car as the family vehicle and save his car as a back-up as needed. I’ll have a post coming up on his car seat set up soon, too.
While we will probably have to upgrade to a bigger car as the boys get older, I love that their Diono Radian RXT convertible car seats will work in any vehicle. I’m planning on keeping both C and B rear facing in the second row until they hit the car seat limits. From there we’ll move them to forward facing, but stay in the second row so that we can continue to utilize our trunk space next to and behind A’s seat in the third row. So I’ll be staying on team SUV for the foreseeable future.
buybuy BABY is the go to resource for all things baby gear. Especially for those of you affected by the closing of Babies R US, head to your nearest buybuy BABY store where the registry and product specialists are ready and available to assist all new and expecting parents during this time and will gladly recreate any Babies R Us registries.
Are you Team SUV or Team Van? How many car seats do you have in your car?
How to Fit Three Car Seats in a SUV