Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Fitting 3 Car Seats in a Honda Fit

I've been meaning to write this post since September, but... I had a baby.  Which is the reason we had to fit 3 car seats in our Honda Fit in the first place, but also the reason I never got around to writing about it.  Now said baby is 9 months old, but our story actually starts about 18 months ago when...

Me:  "Mike, I think we are going to have another baby."

Processing, processing...

 Mike:  "How are we going to fit another car seat in our super-small, fuel-efficient car?  Crap!  We'll have to get a new car."

Don't misunderstand.  Mike was THRILLED about having another baby and actually, that was my first thought, too, after the first wave of nausea settled.  How are we going to fit a third car seat in our 2008 Honda Fit?  We loved our little zippy car and the fact we didn't have a car payment anymore.  So we got on the world wide web and searched for other brave souls who didn't throw up their hands in defeat and immediately upgrade to a mini-van.  (Not that one wouldn't be nice once in awhile, but there's no way on God's green earth city streets that I would ever be able to parallel park one.)  I'm not certain we found anyone who posted about fitting 3 car seats into a Honda Fit - the closest seemed to be a Honda Civic.  But I am posting now to help other fuel-efficient car owners realize their dream of an increased family size without an increased gas budget.

This is what we bought for a grand total of $624.25 on Amazon (through Amazon prime, with the option of free returns if they didn't fit, which they did):

2 Diono RadianR100 Car Seats (for our 5 and 7 year olds)
1Combi Cocorro Lightweight Convertible Carseat

If we had preplanned 8 years ago, we would have saved another few hundred bucks by purchasing these first and using them for all three kids.  But, that would be antithetical to who we are, and besides, car seats are obsolete a year after you buy them.  $700 is still a whole lot cheaper than a new van.

The Radian can be used from infancy through age 18 (or whatever age kids have to stay in a car seat these days), but we couldn't fit it in rear facing.  Hence, the expensive little Combi number that we'll get rid of when Baby #3 turns 2ish.  It was the smallest seat we could find, and the convenient removable kind with the base just wouldn't work.  So that's the one drawback - you can't remove your sleeping baby IN the car seat.  You just have to wake the poor thing up to take her out of the car.  (If her big sisters haven't already, which is more than likely.  Besides, it's the third kid and they are never going to get an uninterrupted nap.  Neither are the parents.  But I digress.  Because I haven't had enough sleep.)  I guess there is one more drawback.  Once you get these puppies in, you will refuse little old ladies rides home in the rain because you will never want to take them out.  It's a bit tricky to get the right fit.

If he could do it, my husband would attempt to fit all of us in a Smart Car but that's just a little ridiculous.  I mean, there's no backseat.  So when Baby Tierce goes forward facing, we'll have the moment of truth - can we fit another Diono Radian in?  I think we can, otherwise, you just might see us on a bicycle built for five.