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Old 01-27-2014, 10:24 AM   #1
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Car Seat in the Front Seat?

I have a 7 passenger minivan and I have 3 kids of my own with another on the way. I was just asked if it would be possible for me to watch another 2 kids after mine is born. Currently I home school but I am considering sending my 2 oldest to a local school very close by maybe a 5 minute drive.
The children at the time will be about 2 mo, 1 mo, 3, almost 4, almost 6 and 7 1/2.
I have no clue if I can turn off the air bag in my van. Dodge Grand Caravan 2001.
My dh has 3 week days off every week so I would only need to pick the kids up from school 2 times a week.

So who would be the safest to ride in the front seat?

Edited because I had one of the ages wrong.

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Old 01-27-2014, 10:49 AM   #2
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Re: Car Seat in the Front Seat?

I wouldn't put any of them in the front seat. Is there a neighbor that could watch the 4 year old for a few minutes twice a week while you do pick ups?
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Old 01-27-2014, 10:58 AM   #3
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The airbag cannot be turned off. I would work very hard at not having to be in a position of needing to put a child in the front seat. However, if it were absolutely necessary I prefer to have the oldest child up front. My choice would be the 7 y/o in a no back booster with the front seat slid as far away from the dash as possible.
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Old 01-27-2014, 12:36 PM   #4
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I just took a car seat training and they talked about this situation, and the safest child in the front (out of your choices) would be a child in a forward facing 5 point harness car seat,
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Old 01-27-2014, 02:52 PM   #5
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Re: Car Seat in the Front Seat?

The CPST curriculum says the oldest harnessed child should go in the front.

Honestly I'd do whatever I could to avoid it. Does the school offer bussing? Are you close enough for your kids to be "walkers"? Is there a neighborhood carpool?

And realistically - it's going to be a challenge to get 5 kids in the back of your minivan. Technically it is a 7 passenger, but you'll need the right combination of car seats to get 3 in the back row.
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Old 01-27-2014, 02:55 PM   #6
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Re: Car Seat in the Front Seat?

I would put the oldest child with the seat as far back as possible if you needed to do it.


Since l am curious and we had to do it with DS1 (DH only vehicle and no money to change right away) ----I am not sure how this would be different than a pick up where there is only one seat "the front seat"
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Old 01-27-2014, 04:21 PM   #7
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Re: Car Seat in the Front Seat?

Yep, oldest harnessed kid goes in the front, but I agree with jjordan. I think you're going to be hard pressed to get 3-across that back row anyway.
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Old 01-27-2014, 04:48 PM   #8
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Not sure how different the way back is from a 2001 Pontiac Montana, but we did puzzle 3 ff harnessed seats in the back and had 2 rf seats in the middle. The ONLY way we could do it was to have everyone harnessed so no one needed to reach between seats. IIRC, we had 2 radians on the outside in the back, I think a Marathon in the centre, then another Marathon and a MyRide in the middle.

Big kids climbed under the littles, and the straps were already adjusted. Quick "mom-check" and good to go. They were 6, 5, 4, 1 and 1.

I would probably try to fit the 3yo and 4yo in the back with the 7yo. Babies in bucket with bases to click in the centre after everyone is buckled in the back, and the 6yo harnessed up front with you. At 3 and 4, I don't think I would worry about ERF unless they are super small. I would get everyone IN, accessible and safe, kwim?

If you did need the 4 youngest all RF, I would have the 3 and 4yo rf in the back and check their buckles through the hatch.

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Old 01-27-2014, 04:52 PM   #9
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Re: Car Seat in the Front Seat?

I edited one of the ages, my second will be almost 6 not almost 5.
Also I am not too worried about fitting 3 across. We only had a car for years and I got used to fitting three across. I have gotten really good at puzzling.
I have a Nautilus that I can have my oldest(7.5) harnessed in for the front seat. Then I can do the infant carrier carseat(2mo) in one of the middle captains chairs. Then I can FF a Britax Roundabout Classic(3) on the right side of the bench with a Britax Marathon (1mo) RF in the middle and then I would probably have the almost 6 yr old ride in the 7.5 old's Affix on the left side of the 3rd row. I want to buy a new seat for the almost 4 yr old and I was thinking about a Britax pioneer but I have another Nautilus he can use. The middle seat on the back bench is belt only so I have to keep a convertible in that seat.
Total list of all seats I have atm. Infant carrier seat would be provided by Daycare baby's mother.
2 Graco Nautilus
1 Graco Affix
1 Evenflo hbb
1 Graco booster
1 Harmony booster
1 Britax Marathon
1 Britax Roundabout Classic
We pretty much never use the boosters unless my van has had to go in the shop suddenly.
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Old 01-27-2014, 05:01 PM   #10
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Re: Car Seat in the Front Seat?

Also there are no neighbors to leave the almost 4 yr old with he might also be going to preschool at the same school. The school is a private school and does not provide any transportation. There is a pick up drop off line so we will not have to get out of the car if just the olders are in school.
The almost 4 yr old started ff on his 3 rd b-day and the 3 yr have been ff since she was 1.5, I think.
Also I am used to climbing in the back to get a child in and out. If I try it once and hate it then I will put my almost 4 yr old rf in the middle of the back and the 1 month old in the other captains seat. He currently weighs 32.5 lbs so will probably still be able to rf in the Marathon. Although that would be that I might need to find another convertible instead of getting a pioneer.
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