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Newborn in middle or side seat?

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#1 Ruby05

Posted 14 February 2020 - 10:50 PM

Baby due in 2 months. I have isofix option in the side seats, but not the middle seat. I haven't bought a car seat yet, but obviously need to soon.
I have my 3yo in a car seat currently on the side and 8yo that sits on the other side.
I can't decide if I should
A) put newborn in the middle so 8yo could help put a dummy in and entertain baby. Better shade from sun. But then possibly harder to get baby in and out, and no isofix option there, or
B) put newborn on the side with 3yo in middle, get to use isofix, easier to get baby in and out, but 3yo in middle prob won't be any help, shielding baby from sun is annoying.


I won't be getting a capsule seat. I would be getting a 0-4yr convertible seat. Just can't decide if worth investing in isofix if I'm not even going to use it.

Note I have 2 kids 10yo and 8yo 70% of the time. I have 2 stepkids 3yo and 8yo every 2nd weekend. I typically leave 3yo car seat in the car all the time. I need to leave one middle row side seat free so that seat can move forward for kids to access 3rd row. My car is a 2014 Pathfinder.


Posted 15 February 2020 - 12:17 AM

I’d personally put baby on the side.
I’m guessing your third row seats don’t have anchor points.  If they did. I’d put 3 yr old in third row and the 8 yr old can help with the baby.
If this is not an option, it’s surprising what most 3 yr olds can help with as long as they can reach.  I guess all kids are different, but my kids loved helping baby their little brothers and sisters when they were babies.  Unfortunately not so much now!

#3 Starflash

Posted 15 February 2020 - 05:31 AM

Could the 8yo be in the middle, and climb/ buckle themselves in?

#4 Hands Up

Posted 15 February 2020 - 06:03 AM

Get a window shade for a he sun element. I’d have the baby on the side with 8 year old in the middle.

#5 NotBitzerMaloney

Posted 15 February 2020 - 06:09 AM

Baby on the side, 8 year old in the middle

#6 Mose

Posted 15 February 2020 - 06:28 AM

The way I read the OP I think 8 year old can't go in the middle, because then 3 year old and baby would be on each side making the back row inaccessible due to the carseat?

#7 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 15 February 2020 - 07:30 AM

It would only be unaccessible if she's rear facing the 3 year old as well. The older kids would get in from the other door if the baby is rear faced and on one side.

#8 gatheringpieces

Posted 15 February 2020 - 07:30 AM

I've got baby on the side and 3yr old in middle. 3yr old has no interest in helping in any capacity and that's fine. He can get himself in and out of his seat and then obviously either myself or one of the big kids (8&10) help with strapping him in.

It would be way too hard reaching to the middle to bout baby in and out of his seat!

#9 ~Jolly_F~

Posted 15 February 2020 - 07:45 AM

8yo in the middle, baby on drivers side and 3yo in the passenger side.

That’s how we did it when I had kids of those ages.

As for the sun - tiny the windows or buy a window shade.

Older kids can get in and out of car from the back door.

#10 MadMarchMasterchef

Posted 15 February 2020 - 08:35 AM

Ive got 7,8  and baby.   Baby is behind driver as other 2 get themselves out for school on the passenger side.

Its ideally safest to have the baby in the middle but I wouldn't be able to reach that seat anyway when standing next to the car.

#11 laridae

Posted 15 February 2020 - 08:50 AM

Baby and 3 year old will need door seats to make strapping in easier.
Put 8 year old in middle or back seat.
Kids can either jump over seat or go in the back way to get to 3Rd row.

#12 Kaz83

Posted 15 February 2020 - 08:58 AM

We have our 1 year old rear facing in the middle, 4 year old in a seat on one side and 8 year old on the other. I think it depends what car you have as we can easily buckle the middle seat from the side. When we have extra kids they climb into the third row through the boot.

#13 Ruby05

Posted 15 February 2020 - 10:55 AM

Thanks for all the feedback everyone. I think I'll go with putting baby in the side seat and 3yo in the middle. Baby will be with me full time obviously and it will be easier to get them in/out all the time if they're in the side seat. I ideally want to keep the other side seat free as I'm not a fan of the kids climbing over the seats to get to the third row and want that seat free of a car seat so it can fold and slide forward. If baby is often unsettled I'll just remove 3yo car seat in between the every 2nd weekend we have the 3yo. I'll invest in an isofix seat.

#14 Ruby05

Posted 15 February 2020 - 10:58 AM

I'll consider putting 3yo in 3rd row. I need to check for anchor points. I often put 3rd row down for better boot storage when we don't have all the kids.

#15 FuzzyChocolateToes

Posted 15 February 2020 - 08:28 PM

Can you definitely slide the side seat forward with a restraint installed in the middle position? I can't do it in my 7 seater Subaru. Very annoying.

#16 Ruby05

Posted 17 February 2020 - 09:16 PM

I'm pretty sure I can. The middle row is split in uneven 2 parts for folding/sliding. 2 seats on one side of the split and 1 seat on the other side of the split. Each side of the split can move independently of each other.
I'll put the 2 car seats together on one side of the split, and so the seat in the other side of the split won't have a car seat and will be free to fold/slide as needed.

#17 PrincessPeach

Posted 17 February 2020 - 09:26 PM

You still need to use a top teather strap with an isofix seat, they just dont use the seatbelts.

#18 Ruby05

Posted 17 February 2020 - 10:10 PM

Yes I have just discovered that pricesspeach. Bit bummed as I was getting excited by the idea of not having to battle with the top teather straps getting in the way when seat rear facing. It seems that isofix really doesn't seem like a big deal of convenience, but oh well got the seat now.
This still won't affect the other side seat without the car seat from sliding/folding. Also my top teather anchor is on the back of the seat, so even these seats could slide forward.

As it turns out my 3rd row doesn't have standard anchor points that I can tell. So I will stick with the plan of 3yo in middle of middle row, and newborn in side of middle row.

#19 HolierThanCow

Posted 18 February 2020 - 07:39 AM

I think having the 8 year old on the passenger side is good - I had a newborn, 2 year old and 10 year old, and found school pickups and dropoffs were much easier with my 10 year old on that side. Also, it meant the 10 year old could stand on the pavement while I got the middle seat buckled and then get herself into the car. We actually found it easier to have the baby in the middle and get the two year old to climb around the capsule to her seat from the passenger side. That way, the only thing to do roadside was buckle the 2 year old in.

Edited by HolierThanCow, 18 February 2020 - 07:40 AM.

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