Operation 3 Car Seats and a $100 Giveaway

3 kids can sometimes seem like A LOT of kids. Mostly when I remember I only have 2 arms, or when I recall there are only 2 grown ups in this house, or when I think about squeezing them all in one vehicle.

The bad news is there really isn’t anything I can do about the 2 arms or 2 adults thing. (I mean, unless we take on a sister wife, which… maybe?) The good news is we managed to get 3 car seats in the back of Scott’s car this week, and I breathed a huge sigh of relief.


We plan to sell my Jeep Grand Cherokee before the baby is born, and upgrade to a 3 row vehicle. It will likely be the Honda Pilot. We test drove it last fall, LOVED it. LOVED the way it worked for our family (and YES, we considered a minivan so thank you in advance for not telling me how we should really consider a minivan). We are also currently test driving a Chevy Tahoe for the week, but so far the Pilot is still our front runner.

Anyway, we’re putting that off as long as possible because we like not paying for the cars we’re driving as long as possible. Not exactly thrilled at having another car payment, but hopefully we can time it so that we’re not paying on a new car until we’re done paying for Kendall’s pre-school (summer program). So the moral of that is I’m not too worried about the car seat situation for my vehicle, but I was worried about Scott’s car.

Magic Beans, a baby and kids retail store based out of Boston with a fantastic online shop- mbeans.com, hooked me up with 2 new carseats, and we managed to figure out the perfect combo to make all 3 work across the back seat of Scott’s 4 door sedan.

We wound up keeping Kendall in his Britax Frontier booster seat that’s he’s had for about 2 years now. That’s behind the driver’s side. Leyna switched out of her Britax Marathon and into a Diono Radian RXT. She’s in the middle seat. The baby will be riding in a Chicco Keyfit 30 infant car seat behind the passenger side.


It was like solving a complicated puzzle, and there were a lot of safety factors to take into account. I consulted with a couple friends who are certified child passenger safety technicians. This seemed like the best combo for the 3.

The big, huge difference was moving Leyna out of the very wide Marathon and into the very narrow RXT.  I was worried it was going to be too narrow for her at first. I mean, she’s not a petite girl, but she seems comfy in it. We’re just going to have to make sure she knows not to use baby’s face as a foot rest.

(I’m really not too worried about this. If it’s a huge deal, we’ll try to switch her seat and Kendall’s, but I’m hoping she’ll be able to figure out that’s just not a thing we do when there’s an actual baby in there.)


I loved looking around the MBeans.com site for the best seats. They had every seat I was considering (and that most people recommended on a very insightful thread on my FB page). Sometimes it’s nice to look at an actual baby/kids store for a curated collection of the best stuff over just randomly scrolling through reviews on Amazon. I knew that whatever I ordered from MBeans.com was going to be great, because they only carry great stuff.

In fact, as I started to go through the rest of the products they sell, I found so many of my very favorite, tried and true items for baby- things we have used and loved for years. I even started a new Pinterest board called Tried & True For Baby, and pinned stuff I can personally vouch for that worked great for my family and my friends’ families.

So I’m really excited that I get to offer one of you a $100 store credit to Mbeans.com! Because I know you will find something (probably lots of things) that will be really useful for you if you’re expecting, have a baby, or a toddler.

To enter, you’ll need a Pinterest account. All you have to do is head to the MBeans.com site, check out what they have to offer, and pin something you would like to get if you won. You can pin it to whatever board you want.

Follow the directions and enter via the Rafflecopter widget below.

*Disclosure- MBeans.com provided me with the carseats at no cost to me in exchange for this post.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

50 Things to Do Before You Deliver: The First Time Moms Pregnancy Guide
Available now: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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  1. Just found out a few weeks ago that we’re pregnant! Awesome timing on the giveaway 🙂
    Also, have you considered a GMC Acadia? I got one last month and love it!

  2. 3 Across is a PITA, yo. I researched for months, and ended up with 2 Radians and a Chicco, so yea, I think you did the right thing. And are you SURE you don’t want a swagger wagon? (kidding….I’m dealing with 3 across to avoid one as long as possible!)

  3. Lanette Williams Artiles on

    Thanks for yet another great post! I hadn’t looked at the Radian before, but since we’re currently in the market for another convertible I’m thinking this would work better for us than another Britax :). Also, have you looked at the new Nissan pathfinders? We just bought one last weekend and loooovvvee it! 3 row seating, without moving to a mini-van was a must and I was surprised at how many features we got w/ the Nissan for the price we paid. My top 3 favorite features: air conditioned seats for the wonderful Tx summers, 2nd row seat that folds forward w/ a car seat in it for easy access to the 3rd row, & the entertainment system to keep the kids mesmerized while on long drives 🙂

  4. So you use Kendall’s as a booster with a regular seatbelt? We are still using Ella’s with the straps. In our other car, the Civic sedan, we use a smaller booster with the regular seatbelt, only because I bought the wrong one accidentally. Debated and fretted – especially since the Civic is lighter weight car to begin with – but finally decided we’d have to at some point, and it makes it easy to switch that seat out to other cars (which I’ve had to do a lot lately.)

    How did you feel ready to switch from 5-point to seat belt? I’m sure my kid would love to, but the 5-point is just so much safer I can’t make myself make the switch. She’s 48 lbs. so not a lightweight.

    • No, he’s actually still in the 5 point, and the seat is secured to the car with the lap belt. I’m not sure when we’ll be ready to switch him out of the 5 point, but it’s going to be a while for this car, at least. There’s no way he’d be able to buckle himself in with the lap belt because it’s such a tight fit back there.

  5. Oh, and I didn’t know about this before a friend forwarded an email:

    I’m sure you guys already know this, but just in case you’re like me and didn’t know I thought I’d pass the following article along. We just got a booster seat for C to put in my mom’s car and were told that when C gets to 40lbs (not too far off), we must use the safety belt to secure the car seat instead of the LATCH system. Most LATCH systems will only hold up to 65lbs total, which includes the car seat and the child. Also, you should never use LATCH with the seatbelt as it puts too much stress onto the seat which could crack it. I looked this up to verify and found the following article. Looks like we will be switching C’s car seat soon. I honestly had no idea!


    My kid is 48 lbs and the Britax we use is listed as 19.6 so we’re over the limit and I didn’t even know.

    • I also recently learned that! The Frontier has really worked well for us, though, because now it’s secured with the lap belt while he’s in the 5 point harness. When he finally does switch the lap belt, we can go back to using the latch system just to keep the seat in place (and keep it from becoming a projectile in the case of an accident). The lap belt over him will be what keeps him in the seat, though.

  6. Curious why you moved Lena FF? Not judging or asking to be ugly, genuinely curious because I struggle with this decision, and I believe you discussed ERF before. Glad you found a solution! We love our Radian and recently got a Foonf to try, we have small cars 🙂

    • We kept both the kids RF until 2. At this point, I can’t physically lift her into a RF car seat, especially not one in the middle of the car. Also, we don’t have rear AC vents in either of the cars, and it gets very hot for them RF. We felt okay turning her around, but I totally understand why others would want to keep their kids RF longer. It’s really just a person by person judgement call I think 🙂

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