One of the funniest times in my life (and also maybe a little scary) is when a person inside Goodwill asked me what car I drove. My first thought was “Oh No!!! Is my car rolling down the parking lot taking out little old ladies and squishing grocery carts like blades of grass?” followed quickly with “Did I leave a kid in the car?” #headcount and then “Am I being hijacked?”……the brain goes where it wants people. And that last one is ridiculous. It would take a solid ten minutes for me to get out of any store with five kids. And then there are multiple diaper changes. And then another five to buckle everyone in. I mean….twenty minutes is how long it takes me to LEAVE anywhere. Surely someone committing grand theft auto would rethink the situation knowing that fact.
But then their voice broke the silence and said “I ask because we have four little kids too and one on the way”. Oh right. That makes sense.
So I am here to share the details on how we fit everyone in the car and how we put one infant carseat, two harness boosters and two regular boosters in the seats as well. First it should be noted that I made Jeremy clean our car for this post. We never have a car this clean. EVER. And we didn’t even clean the car seat pads because well…Max will dump juice on them in two seconds just to see it roll down the sides.
Let’s get to it!
The back row is the seat for Max on the far left and the booster for Weston on the right.
The middle row is where the real action happens. In that row we have Will behind the front passenger on the far left, LJ in the middle in his booster and then Ella’s click-in-base behind the driver.
*Note that these aren’t buckled because we just finished cleaning the massive number of goldfish out from under them!
The key for fitting all of the seats in the middle row is having the biggest seat in the middle – that would be the harness carseat. The booster on the left can fit kind of like a puzzle piece. And then the base of Ella’s seat is stationary – meaning it never comes out. It also fits under the harness seat snug.
So the way we all get in is that the booster for Will is moved for every load and unload. That is this seat right here. We simply grab it and either slide it to the floor in front of LJ’s seat or hand it to Will.
Then we fold the seat down. Did you see what just happened? We made a changing table appear! 🙂
Yes, this is where 90% of our bum-wipes take place. And it is where the kids climb into the back seat.
We can also fold our seat up like this with a tug of a strap but lets just be honest…this is a rare thing. Usually my kids just climb over.
We always have the backseat kids climb in first and then LJ and we strap them all down (double checking the belts) before Will gets in and does his job (buckle up & close the door).
And Boom! There you have it! Five kiddos and all in seats!
And if you are looking for details – we have a Suburban with a center row…not captain chairs.
Also – here are my best tips for cars and kiddos. First – buy these mats from Husky Liners. They are super durable and fit the car perfectly. We have the WeatherBeater ones….and yes, they are pricy but we figure it into the cost of maintenance.
They are heavy duty ones that overlap at seams and the carpeting underneath still looks like new. And they pressure wash off! We also have them in the front seats because we do eat in our car. I know. I know. Someone out there will feel like this is a big no-no but once sports happen and so many different schedules – it is better to have fed kids and happy adults.
And we love the fact that they are custom made for each car….you simply type in your model of car and year and they are molded to fit. No more slippery mats. This isn’t an ad for them or anything – we just love the mats and have bought them multiple times for multiple cars.
Also – this is random but recently we added a lanyard to our keychain and it helps me so much when I am looking for my keys. It may be the worst fashion statement ever but no more keys in the bottom of my purse and I have one less thing in my hands or in my pockets. (my pants don’t need any help falling down, thank you very much!)
Lastly – and I know I will get questions about this….we do this thing with the kids where they have to visit the local fire station to move up to the next stage of carseats/booster. We bring a scale and the car seat fit guide and allow the firemen to ‘graduate’ them to the booster. This way the kids know it is not just a mommy/daddy decision but it’s official business. Most fire stations will also check your carseats to make sure they are properly installed if you have any doubt.
So if you are like the person at Goodwill and have a growing family….or if you just want more insight into life with five kids, this is a big part! And here are the carseats we have used and recommend…click on any of the photos below for more info….
Happy packing them in like tuna!