After deciding on the best car seats for your baby, another question may come out.
What is the safest car seat position?
The center of the back seat is statistically the safest place in the car to install a child safety seat.
That is the direct and short answer to this question. It is the easiest decision you can make for your first child in case there are three seating positions in the back of your car.
How about for the second kid? Where are the safest places for both of them?
If you’re going to have more children in car seats, then what are the safest positions for placing the car seats?
In this guide, we’ll provide a few safety tips to help you find the safest car seat position to ride your boys or girls, from birth to 12 years old.
Commonly, there are four positions in a sedan to install the car seats – rear-middle, rear passenger, rear driver, and front passenger.
So we ranked these four car seat positions considering their crash performance to be the safest spot and show you why.
Safest Car Seat Position by Crash Performance
Based on the kid’s age, there are different places for the safest car seating position. If you want to know the result matching your child’s age, directly click to choose that age.
After your child grows to 5 years old, 6 years old, or 7 years old, he or she in the same situation at this age range. You can click the ‘Five Year Olds’ button to check the details.
After your child’s eighth birthday, he or she does not need to stay in a car seat anymore – even if it’s better and safer for them to use a car seat.
Older kids aged between 8 to 12 years old are in the same situation. You can click the ‘Eight Years Old’ button to view details on the safest car seat position for a child in this age range.
Safest Car Seat Position by Age
It’s very common that a growing family has more than one child. If this is your case, you may find the safest place for all of them. Click to get the best recommendations for your personal situation.
Safest Placement for Two Children and More
If you know the car seat stages meaning and want to learn more on placing the car seat in the right position along with the direction, click to get a direct answer for that.
Safest Car Seat Position by Stage
Rear Middle - The Safest Spot
The rear middle is theoretically the safest place for placing a child safety seat because it’s furthest away from the passenger-side airbags and the sides of the car to avoid any potential impact.
However, in the real-life case, it might not always be very practical or even possible due to the lack of a seat belt or ISOFIX points of your vehicle or the size of the car seat (this is not a big problem as there are a few slim fit options).
So you should check both the car seat and vehicle manual to make sure the rear middle seat allows for installation of the child safety seat.
Why is the rear middle seat safest?
According to the study published in Pediatrics, newborns to 3 years old toddlers, with all installs being equal or proper installation, sitting in the rear middle seat is 43% safer than sitting on the side in the back.
The rear middle seat will be the furthest position from any impact in any type of crash, and from the airbag impact of the front passenger seat, which is supposed to cause fatal injury for kids if it is active.
When Is The Rear Center Not The Safest Location?
Assuming you can get a good install in all seating positions, the center in the rear seat is the safest.
If you cannot get a proper, safe installation in the center seating position, it is no longer the safest car seat position.
Let me say it in another way. It is more important to have a good car seat installation than to be in the middle seating position.
If the center seat is challenging for you but you can get a good install in a side seat, install the baby car seat behind the driver or passenger. These two sides have no difference behind the driver or passenger in safety considering crash performance.
If you are planning to put the seat on the side, choose whichever side you prefer or where the car seat fits best.
Rear Seat behind the Passenger
Parents often choose this position to place the car seat, even though it’s not considered the safest car seat position statistically.
Away from the side impact, the rear passenger seat offers the convenience to allow parents to get their children in and out of the car more easily on the pavement side. And you can always keep an eye on the baby if you put them in this location.
The researchers found that 41% of parents put the child’s car seat in the rear passenger seat. That’s a great percentage!
Rear Seat behind the Driver
The rear seat behind the driver is still a safe location for installing the car seat because it is in the rear of the vehicle.
However, it is less safe than the rear passenger seat because this spot is a more common side of impact in a crash.
This is a less popular position due to the easy access of the child. If you normally park with the front passenger side next to the pavement – that’s the most common case for most parents, the front passenger seat is more convenient; but if you prefer to park with the driver’s side next to the pavement, this position would be better than the opposite side.
Front Passenger - The Last Option
It’s safer for your kids to travel in the back seats than in the front.
That’s why the NHTSA and experts always recommend parents stick to the rear seat unless their children grow to 13 years or older.
Being in the front should be the last choice, due to the higher risk of side impact for the children as well as a distraction to the driver.
But if you do have to put your baby in the front passenger seat, make sure to turn off the airbags for every trip.
NEVER put a rear-facing car seat in the front if there is an active passenger airbag. It is illegal and dangerous to do so.
In case your car does not have airbags in the front, or if they can be deactivated, or if the car has sensors that switch the airbag off automatically when you fit a child seat, then you can legally carry a child safety seat in the front.
However, it is still better to fit it in the rear seat of the car.
Baby Car Seat Behind Driver Or Passenger?
From the above comparison of the seating positions behind the driver or passenger, you’ll know that the crash performance of these two spots is quietly the same.
Then you should consider which side is preferable for your driving habit.
If you usually park alongside the pavement, put the baby car seat behind the passenger; otherwise, you can choose to put the baby car seat behind the driver.
No LATCH in the center, is it still the safest?
LATCH was specifically designed for child safety seat installation. Without the LATCH, the center is still the safest place in the vehicle.
You can install your child’s car seat in the center with a seat belt, which is allowed to be used to install car seats in the United States.
However, the center is often the most difficult spot to achieve a tight installation. If you can’t get the car seat tightly installed in the center but can easily achieve this on the side, leave it tight on the side.
Proper installation is more important than the placement of the car seat.
- The center seat is typically the narrowest of the three seats in the back. If there is no LATCH in the center, finding a car seat with a slim design and a built-in locking system for the seat belt will greatly increase the chance of getting a tight installation in the rear middle of your car.
- If you need to install a child safety seat forward-facing in the rear center without a LATCH, always remember to use the seat belt with the tether anchor for a tight and proper installation.
Safest Car Seat Positions for Two and More Children
The safest car seat position for each little passenger varies on several factors, like the age and weight, the height of a child, the size of the car seat, the type of seat belt, etc.
If you have only one child, you can pick up the safest place based on the ranking above.
But if you have two children, who go to the center then? What if you have a growing family with three children? How do you determine the safest place for each occupant?
Safest Car Seat Position for 2 Car Seats
First, place both of them in the back seat of your car.
It’s typically recommended to place the most vulnerable who need the most protection in the rear center.
You may wonder: which is least protected and should get the center?
Before answering this question, let me explain the safety performance.
A rear-facing car seat with 5 point harness is much safer than a forward-facing car seat with a 5-point harness, no matter from frontal or side impact crashes.
In case of a crash from front impact, the child’s head, neck, and back are all being well supported during the crash, rear-facing is still safer.
So if you’re in the case with two children, put the forward-facing child in the center.
Of course, you need to make sure you can properly install the car seats in the center.
But wait, can I put a booster seat in the center?
That depends. If you have a lap-only belt in the middle seat, you should NOT place the booster in the rear center.
The government regulations in all 50 United States require the boosters to be installed in a lap-shoulder belt system.
But if there is a lap-shoulder belt in the middle seat, it’s okay to have the forward-facing booster seat in the center. Make sure it’s installed and used properly following the manufacturer’s instructions.
How to Install Two Car Seats Side by Side in the Back Seat?
If you want to fit two seats right next to each other in the rear, the first choice is to find some slender options.
Most infant car seats are slim enough and do not need much space.
Assuming you have a newborn and a toddler, then you can place the rear-facing infant car seat in the center and use another toddler car seat facing the rear or front. It’s better if the toddler seat is narrow enough to fit 3 across.
There isn’t really a preferred side for the front-facing as far as crash safety is concerned. There is virtually no difference between the driver’s side and passenger side in crash statistics, but it’s much a preferred way based on your habits.
Safest Car Seat Postion for Three Children?
Much the same answer to have two car seats installed in your vehicle.
The challenge here often becomes whether or not 3 car seats will fit across the rear seat in your car. There are many narrow car seats on the market and the RideSafer vests help in this situation.
- the newborn in the rear passenger position
- the toddler in the rear driver position
- the 5-year-old in the front passenger seat position (with deactivated airbags and the front seat in the rearmost position) all in their appropriate restraints.
If you really don’t know how to determine that, reach out to a local Child Passenger Safety Technician. They will be happy to help provide education and recommendations for your particular needs, taking all passengers (front and rear) into account.
Can I Place A Car Seat in the Third Row?
Yes, of course. The same rules apply to the third row. The rear middle seat would still be furthest from any type of crash impact and it’s the safest car seat position.
In some vehicles, the third-row seat is over the rear axle, which theoretically could provide some impact protection in a side impact crash.
Always remember, it’s more important to get a proper install than to choose a safe place. If you plan to put kids in the third-row seat, one thing to consider is how easily you can get back there to buckle them up.
It’s better to have older, more independent kids who can sit back there and put younger kids in the middle row.
Front or Rear: Which is Safer for Kids Not in a Car Seat?
If your child meets the requirements to get out of a car seat, it’s better to keep them in the back seat, which is a safer place than the front to ride in the car for anyone.
A lot of parents may still wonder: when can a child sit in the front seat in the United States? Some states indicate this by writing this rule in the government regulations, but some do not.
As a best practice, CPS technicians recommend keeping kids in the back seat until they are a minimum of 13 years old.
Is It Still The Safest If There Is Only A Lap Belt In The Center?
Lap belts are very safe for securing a car seat where the child uses a 5-point harness.
Kids in boosters and adults in seat belts need a shoulder belt to keep their heads and chest well protected.
That means, if you’re using a booster seat for big kids, it’s safer to put the seat on either side, depending on your parking habits.
Do I Need A New Car If Only 2 Seats in The Back?
If you mean that there is no center seat in the back, you don’t need to buy a new car with three seats in a row.
Kids are safe on the side, as long as you can install and use the car seat properly following the local laws and manufacturer’s instructions.
However, if the vehicles that only have 2 seats in the back tend to be small-sized ones and would be a significant challenge for you to install the car seat properly and tightly, you may need to get a new car or change the child safety seat that fits your car.
For example, a tether anchor is necessary for installing a forward-facing car seat tightly. But many convertibles (vehicles) may not have that.
In this case, the child should not remain rear-facing or not ride in this vehicle. A bigger car seat with more space is a better choice!
Safest place for a car seat in a minivan or SUV
It depends on several factors for various situations when you’re trying to find the safest place to put the car seat in a minivan or SUV.
There is only one car seat for installing:
- If the minivan or SUV has third-row seating, putting your baby in the middle is still a safer choice.
- If your vehicle has a bench in the middle row, it’s still the best idea to place your car seat in the center of the middle row. Conversely, if your middle row has bucket seats instead, you’d better install the car seat in the third row of seats.
But, what if you’re installing more than one car seat?
- If your minivan or SUV has bench seats in both of the back rows and needs to install two car seats, put the car seats on the center seat of each now.
- If you have more than two car seats to install in a vehicle with bucket seats, do so by first installing two car seats on the center seat of each row. If you need to install the third car seat in a minivan or SUV, the next best place to do that is the passenger seat of the middle row. Then the next best place to install the fourth car seat is on the passenger seat of the back row.
Safest Car Seat Position by Stage
Safest Car Seat Postion for Rear-Facing
If it’s the only car seat, the safest place to put a rear-facing car seat is in the center of the back seat.
As I said before, it’s statistically proven that the rear middle is the safest place to install a car seat.
According to the study that was conducted to analyze the relation between the risk of injury and a car seat’s placement in the back seat, kids sitting in the center of the back seat are 43% safer than those sitting behind the driver or passenger.
This study focused on children between 0 to 3 years old who are commonly placed rear-facing.
Another study on the survival rates of children involved in fatal crashes showed that children in car seats sitting in the center of the back seat had a 13% increased chance of survival than those sitting on one of the sides.
Safest Car Seat Postion for Forward-Facing
Safest Car Seat Postion for Booster Seat
Will the same center-seat-is-safer rule work well with boosters seats? That depends.
If you have a lap-only belt in the center seat in the back, things get complicated.
A child in a booster seat should NOT ride with just a lap-only belt. That’s the booster seat requirement in all 50 United States laws.
So if a lap-only belt is available for the center seat, the safest place for putting a booster seat is on the side, whichever is preferable for your convenience.
But if you have a lap-shoulder belt in the center and the booster is the only car seat to install in the vehicle, the safest place for booster seats is still the center in the rear.
Safest Car Seat Postion for Seat Belt
When the child outgrows his/her car seat and is ready to wear the vehicle seat belt as an adult, where is the safest place for them? Is it still the center seat in the back?
If there is a lap-only belt for the center back seat, the child should NOT sit in the center. And the safest place is on the side. Both sides have the same protection performance in crash impact from frontal or side.
If you have a lap-shoulder belt system, the center is the safest place as well.
If you put an older child in the center, make sure there is adequate head protection – the vehicle’s seat back or headrest comes up to at least the top of the ears. In this way, the center is safe by decreasing the chances of whiplash.
Safest Car Seat Position by Age from Newborn to 12 Year Olds
Newborns and small kids need a car seat for riding, so the rule to find the safest position for a car seat works for children under 8 years old – that’s the typical age most US states allow a baby to be out of a car seat.
After your child outgrows his/her car seat, they should also find a good car seat position for the best protection. For example, sitting in the back row is safer than sitting in the front passenger.
Safest Car Seat Postion for Newborns (0-12 months)
Babies from day 1 always need a rear-facing car seat. This is the common rule in all 50 US states.
If you have your first baby, you can install the rear-facing car seat in the center of the back seat.
What about twin newborns?
You’ll have to install two rear-facing car seats, one in the center and the other on either side, behind the driver or passenger. Luckily, infant car seats are generally slim and designed to allow installation side by side.
Safest Car Seat Postion for 1 Year Olds
Toddlers as small as one-year-old can be rear-facing or forward-facing, depending on your local car seat laws.
If your child does not outgrow his/her infant car seats and still rides facing the back, stick to keeping them in the center as usual. You don’t need to do anything.
If your child outgrows their infant car seats but still be required to ride facing the rear by local laws, you may need to change to a convertible car seat and install it in the center.
If it’s allowed to ride a one-year-old child facing the front in your state, the center is still the safest place for your baby.
It seems that the center is always the safest place to place a one-year-old. That’s correct!
But things get complicated only when you have two (or more) children with at least one aged 12 months.
Case 1: Twins aged 1 year old
If this is your case and you have one vehicle for riding both of them at the same time, it’s a good idea to find two car seats with a narrow design and put these two car seats in a row.
As long as the car seats are slim enough, you can put one of them in the center and the other on the sides.
However, if you have got two car seats with a wider width to install them side by side, then putting them on the sides is a workable way, with one behind the driver and the other behind the passenger.
Case 2: Two Children with 1 year old and an older child
If the one year old baby is rear-facing, then you can put the rear-facing car seat on the side and the big sister or brother in a forward-facing car sat in the center. Because rear-facing is safer.
Case 3: Two Children with 1 year old and a younger child
If both are rear-facing and the car seats are narrow enough to be installed side by side, then place one in the center and the other on either side behind the driver or passenger;
Provided that the car seats can’t sit side by side, then install them on the sides, with the center leaving a blank for space on both sides.
If the one-year-old is facing forward and the younger child is facing the rear, put the one-year-old in the center and the younger child on either side of the two neighboring seats in the back are roomy enough; otherwise, you might need to install them on the sides.
Case 4: Three Children
If you have to ride three or more children in your car, check our tips on finding the safest placement for 3 car seats.
Safest Car Seat Postion for 2 Year Olds
If there is only one car seat for two years old, the center is still the safest place to install the car seat, no matter rear-facing or forward-facing.
Suppose you have two or more children, with one aged two years old, the rule for one year olds can be applied here as well – put the most vulnerable one in the center.
Safest Car Seat Postion for 3 Year Olds
The rules on car seat position for 3 year olds are the same as the way to find the safest placement for installing car seats for 2-year-old children.
If you have only one car seat, put it in the center of the back. Otherwise, put the ones who need the best protection in the rear middle.
Safest Car Seat Postion for 4 Year Olds
Whether you should put a 4-year-old child in the center depends on what type of car seat is used for riding the child.
If the 4-year-old does not outgrow the rear-facing or forward-facing car seat – you’d better stick to these two types of car seats as they feature a 5-point harness for better protection, the center is still the safest position.
However, things get a bit complicated if your 4-year-old child is in a booster seat.
The center-is-the-safest rule still works if your vehicle comes with a lap-shoulder belt system, which is required by laws for installing a booster seat in the United States.
If you have a lap-only belt in the center, it’s safer to place the booster seat on the sides for a 4-year-old child.
Safest Car Seat Postion for 5 / 6 / 7 Year Olds
The rule to find the safest place for 4 year olds is workable with big kids between 5 to 7 years old.
Except the booster seat should be installed on the sides in case there is a lap-only belt in the center of the back seat. Otherwise, the center should be the first and best consideration for the child who gets the least protection.
Safest Car Seat Postion for 8 Year Olds, 9 Year Olds, 10 Year Olds, 11-Year-Olds
In most US states, children are allowed to be out of the car seat at their eighth birthday.
But the best practice is to stick to a car seat as long as they exceed the height or weight limits of the car seat (booster or all-in-one).
Then you can follow the above rules to find the safest place for different cases with an 8-year-old child.
In case sitting out of a car seat is more appealing for your child, then you should put him/her in the back seat.
The majority of the 50 states in the US make it clear for this seating requirement for children under 13 years old.
That means, your child should stay in the rear seat of your car even if they are 9 years old, 10 years old, 11 years old, or even 12 years old.
FAQs on Safest Car Seat Position
Does car seat go behind driver or passenger?
The safest spot for installing the car seat is the rear middle. But if you find it hard to install the car seat properly or tightly in this spot, it’s fine to install the car seat behind the driver or passenger side.
Both sides have the same level for safe riding. Choosing which side depends on your driving habit.
What is the correct position for a baby car seat?
The child car seat should always be installed in the back seat.
Where is the safest place to put a car seat? A study published in Pediatrics showed for children from newborn to 3 years old sitting in the center rear seat is 43% safer than sitting on the side in the back.
The rear center position will be the furthest from any impact in any type of crash.
Should car seat go in middle or side?
The rear middle is the safest spot for installing the car seat. It is the furthest from impact from the frontal or side, as well as the furthest away from airbags.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that all children under the age of 13 rides in the back seat, ideally in the center.
When can toddlers be forward-facing?
A toddler can be forward-facing:
- When they reach either the weight or height limit.
Your child should stay rear-facing until she has hit the maximum height or weight for that position, says the AAP and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
- Better not before age 2.
Some states make it clear in the government regulations that children under 2 years old must ride in a rear-facing car seat. That means, in these states (New York, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and Washington), a 2-year-old toddler can be forward-facing at least on the second birthday.
Is it safe to put car seat in the middle?
The middle of the back seat is statistically the safest place in the car.
Research from real crashes shows that the center is safest – It’s far enough from the airbag in the front while it’s furthest from frontal or side crashes. One study of kids 0-3 years old found that kids sitting in the center are 43% safer than those sitting on the side.
What is the safest position in a car crash?
First, the back seat is more protected from head-on crashes than the front seats. There is no potential impact from an airbag in the back as well.
Among all the three seats in the back row, the center is the safest. It’s far away from any carahes from either side.
How to put a car seat in the middle seat?
What is the second safest car seat position in a car?
The second safest car seat position in a car seat should be the left side and the right side of the back seat.
Both sides are the same. You can choose whichever side is in accordance with the convenience of taking in and out of your baby.
How do you arrange multiple car seats?
The first rule is to put the most vulnerable (or the least protective) car seat in the middle, which is the safest spot to install a car seat.
For example, if you have two car seats installed with one being a rear-facing car seat and the other being a forward-facing car seat, you should place the forward-facing car seat in the middle and the rear-facing one on either side – behind the passenger seat or behind the driver.
Or if you need to place three car seats.
How long can a 6 week old be in a car seat?
No laws state a requirement on how long a child can be in a car seat when traveling.
However, it’s strongly recommended that babies should not be in a car seat for longer than 2 hours at a time. You should frequently take them out of the car seat to let them have some fresh air.
Is it safe to have 3 car seats in a row?
As long as there is enough room for 3 car seats to fit and you can install these car seats properly following the user manual, it’s safe to have 3 car seats in a row.
We have talked about placing 3 car seats in a row above, you can read those tips if this is your case.
Where do you put a car seat in a SUV?
Remember that – Always put the rear-facing car seat in the back seat of your vehicle.
The center of the back seat is the safest and it should be your first try. But proper installation in this position may need a bit of luck and skills.
If you can install the car seat tightly in that spot, either side – behind the front passenger or behind the driver, is appropriate as well.
Can my 18 month old sit forward facing?
The AAP now recommends that kids sit rear-facing until at least age 2 and for longer if possible. NHTSA now recommends: “Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer.”
Some stats also require that children under 2 yr old should ride in rear-facing.
What side of the car should a newborn be on?
As a matter of fact, the center of the back seat is the safest and best-recommended position for a newborn in a rear-facing car seat, if there is only one car seat in the vehicle.
But some parents would like to put the newborn on the rear passenger side for ease of access and to keep an eye on the baby.
Can you have 3 car seats in the back?
Absolutely. It’s probably for growing households to have three small children in a car seat. If this is your case, getting slim car seats for 3 across fit is a must.
Then you should consider how to arrange the 3 car seats in the back, read our pro tips on finding the safest position for three car seats.
Can a 1 month old go on a road trip?
A car seat is a must for driving a newborn from the hospital back home. So theoretically, the 1-month-old can go on a road trip.
But you should not keep the baby boy/girl in a car seat for 2 hours or longer. You must often take them out of the car seat for fresh air.
As for air travel, doctors recommend you wait to fly until your baby’s immune system is better developed. This could be as soon as one month for full-term infants, though most doctors recommend anywhere between three months and six months.
Can people sit between two car seats?
Versatility = Able to Fit Multiple Car Seats + Adults
A versatile vehicle is more likely to fit 2-together (2 car seats side by side) – to allow an adult to fit on the side. The adult will find it much more comfortable to sit on the empty side, rather than squeezing in the middle between 2 car seats.
Can 3 across car seats touch?
No. If you’re planning to install 3 car seats in the back row, make sure there is no overlap between two of the three. A three-across setup isn’t possible in some compact small cars. Even the slimmest car seat can’t fit well.
It’s not just the width of the car seat that factors into which seats will work together — sometimes the car seat’s height matters as well, Diono Radian 3R (28.5-inch product height) for example.
Should the car seat be in the middle?
If you’re placing only one car seat in the back seat, install it in the center of the seat — if a good fit is possible. Placing the car seat in the center minimizes the risk of injury during a crash.
Can 2 car seats share a LATCH?
No. It’s not allowed to install 2 car seats sharing a LATCH. It’s not safe. You can’t install these two car seats properly and tightly following the manufacturers’ instructions.
Is driver side or passenger side safer for car seat?
The rear-center is statistically proved to be the safest, as it is furthest from side impact on either side and from the airbags on the front.
Theoretically, there is no significant difference between the driver’s side and the passenger’s side. Things to think about might be: If you live in an area where you parallel park, never take the baby out on the traffic side.
When should I stop using LATCH?
LATCH has a weight limit, the same as the car seat harness allowing a top weight – of 65 for forward-facing and 40-50 pounds for rear-facing.
If you want to use the LATCH, make sure the sum of the child’s weight and the weight of the car seat must be no more than that height limit.
Since most car seats weigh upwards of around 20 pounds, many manufacturers recommend that you stop using the LATCH system when a child reaches 40 pounds.
Can a 15 month old sit forward facing?
The AAP now recommends that kids sit rear-facing until at least age 2 and for longer if possible.
NHTSA now recommends: “Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer.”
Some stats also require that children under 2 yr old should ride rear-facing.
Is it better to install a car seat with LATCH or a seat belt?
The safest installation method is the one that offers the most secure and tight installation (the seat moves as little as possible, always less than one inch in any direction).
If you want to install the car seat in a rear center position, that usually requires using the seat belt. Some vehicles don’t have LATCH connectors in the center of the back seat.
The best car seat with a seat belt installation comes from Britax. They generally feature a ClickTight for easier seat belt installation.
No matter LATCH or seat belt, you should use ONE way at a time. NEVER use both LATCH and seat belt at the same time. It’s NOT safe at all.
Should the baby seat go behind the driver or passenger?
Can car seats go in the back of a 7 seater?
In most situations, the car seats can go in the back of a 7 seater, check our pro tips on placing multiple car seats in a minivan and SUV. Make sure the car seats are not overlapped and not squeeze the room from one side by side.