Bigger car for baby?

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ChrisInSD
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Bigger car for baby?

Post by ChrisInSD » Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:53 pm

Hi--

Just thought I'd get some opinions on car seats and cars and babies...

We are having our first baby next month. We currently have a small SUV and a small sedan.

We purchased car seats for these vehicles--1 infant carrier thing that snaps intro stroller, and 2 convertible car seats (long story about why I bought all of these now, but suffice to say I have the two convertible seats I will need eventually when we outgrow infant seat).

They all work fine in the SUV. The only one that works in our sedan in the infant carrier. The other two rear-facing infant car seats are huge and take up so much space that the front passenger seat has to be so far forward it that no one else could ride in this car except baby and driver when seat is in reclined infant mode. And this fits only behind the passenger seat, forget about the middle (where they recommend rear facing cars seats be installed). This is despite doing extensive research after buying the first convertible car seat to buy the smallest one I could find front-to-back when I bought the 2nd one.

The baby will likely travel mostly in the SUV and when the family travels together we can easily take this vehicle. So was planning on putting the infant carrier thing into the SUV.

I suspect that there will be a need for the baby to travel in the other vehicle from time to time, probably for Day Care pickups/drop offs.

So I can do a few things:

1. Buy a second infant seat for smaller car
2. Buy a second infant seat BASE for second car, but this seems not too helpful since how can you "pickup" a kid from DayCare if the seat is in the car you dropped the kid off with
3. Buy a larger car

I like our current sedan, which I drive primarily. It is in great condition and has very low miles for its age as I travel out of town for work and it is not driven frequently. It is, however, 11 years old and is at an age where it's nearly worthless. A larger car seems like it is needed in 1 year or so anyway, when the baby outgrows the infant carrier seat. Buying it now would better enable schlepping baby crap around along with grandparents. In our current SUV there is no way 2 adults could fit in the back seat with the car seat--looks very uncomfortable.

I do not want a second SUV, I prefer a sedan. I have reviewed all the various full-size sedans and have decided on a model that will cost roughly $30K that meets my requirements and has loads of space for 2 rear seat adult passengers + car seat + huge trunk. Please do not suggest minivan--we don't intend to have additional children.

What do you guys think? Hold off for as long as possible or buy larger car now to avoid future headaches?

Thanks!

stoptothink
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by stoptothink » Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:03 pm

Buying a new car because 1 infant car seat is too big :shock: ? We had an infant and a toddler simultaneously in one of the smallest cars sold in the U.S. ('09 hyundai accent 3-door hatch) and had zero issues for 3yrs. Unless you really want/need a new car, get a new car seat.

Millennial
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by Millennial » Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:06 pm

Are you sure you're installing it right? I have my 2 year old in a rear facing toddler seat behind the driver's seat of my VW golf. Is your car really that much smaller?

Edit: You leave the infant seat at daycare so it's there to get picked up by the other parent. 80% of parents at our daycare do this and they have no issue with it.

bloom2708
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by bloom2708 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:11 pm

An 11 year old car with very low miles for its age is probably not worthless. Those are Craigslist/Facebook gems and can fetch good money.

If you want a new or nearly new car and have the money, buy one. I would deliver a happy/healthy baby. Get through a few months. No rush. You won't go that many places with a new infant. Lots of curves ahead.

Maybe get a quote on insurance first. New car insurance rates are very high due to all the sensors and gadgets.

I would spend $100 on a different seat before $30k on a different sedan that might have the exact same issue as your current car. Try seats when you test drive.
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bloom2708
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by bloom2708 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:12 pm

Millennial wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:06 pm
Are you sure you're installing it right? I have my 2 year old in a rear facing toddler seat behind the driver's seat of my VW golf. Is your car really that much smaller?

Edit: You leave the infant seat at daycare so it's there to get picked up by the other parent. 80% of parents at our daycare do this and they have no issue with it.
2 bases and one seat. Each base is secured in each car. Easy for one to drop off and the other to pick up.
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Watty
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by Watty » Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:21 pm

ChrisInSD wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:53 pm
We are having our first baby next month.
You are overthinking this which is common for first time parents.

You do not have any urgent need for a different car now so put any thoughts about that on the back burner for now. Get more sleep now instead of car shopping, you will need it. :D

In addition to just adding more car buying stress you also really will not know what you will really until you have had the baby for a while.

When you do decide to get a different car and go car shopping be sure to take car seats so you can "test drive" putting the baby into the car. Sometimes that will be a lot easier or harder than you might think based on the car size. I have heard of people getting a large SUV only to find that the Mom is too short to be able to get the baby in and out easily. Likewise some small cars can be very easy to get a baby in and out of.
Last edited by Watty on Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BlueCable
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by BlueCable » Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:22 pm

My daycare has shelving just for infant seats. We did two bases and it worked great. We think we will still be ok with a Civic and a CR-V for two kids, but at three we'd get a minivan.

Our convertible car seat came with an "angle adjustor" which makes the seat more upright when rear facing. Not sure if the front passenger seat would be useable in the Civic with the convertible seat behind it; the second adult may need to sit behind the driver.

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dm200
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by dm200 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:25 pm

I suggest thinking "longer term" about the best vehicles for your situation.

We have one child (now grown and long out of the house).

When he was a baby, we had two cars - but the car my wife drove most of the time and our "travel car" was a two door 1974 Dodge Dart. We had his car seat in the back seat - and it was ok for travel.

As he got bigger - and outgrew a car seat, he could not see out the windows from the back seat. At that time, we needed to get a new car - and we got one of the original Dodge Mini-vans in the fall of 1984 - when our son was six. This Dodge Minivan was great for travel - lots of space for everything AND our son could now see out of the windows. My wife just loved it for running errands, car pooling with children, shopping, etc. We had it for seventeen years - and we got another Chrysler Minivan. Our minivan was, therefore, great - even with only one child. However, when you get into car-pooling with children - you may want a vehicle that handles a lot of children well!

I think, now, many such vehicles - like minivans come with (optional I think) "built in" children's seats, etc.

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Watty
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by Watty » Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:28 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:12 pm
2 bases and one seat. Each base is secured in each car. Easy for one to drop off and the other to pick up.
Multiple bases is the way to go.

We even have the bases for our grandkids car seats in one of our cars in case we need to pick them up

That would be 3 bases for one seat since each of the parents also have the bases in their cars.

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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:31 pm

It's been a long time since my kids were babies and back then a convertible was a car but we were able to put an infant seat into my 2001 Subaru Impreza 4 door without issue. This is worlds smaller than a Camry. I guess I'd suggest to buy a smaller seat. I'd also let you know that friends and relatives will be looking for gift ideas and the worlds smallest car seat is a good suggestion.

When we dropped our kid at day care when we didn't have an extra seat, we left the seat with him.

Where an SUV did help us was in carrying the child in the seat and just putting them in the truck. With a car, you're bending over. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but it is so much easier on your back. We found this easy to justify because we needed a plow vehicle, so sold a pickup and bought an SUV and simply transferred over the snow plow attachment.

In the end, you don't HAVE to buy an SUV. Upping the size can get out of hand and pretty soon you have 2 pre teens and are buying a Suburban so they can't touch each other (and complain about it). Unfortunately, even with a Suburban, you'll get the complaint "he's smiling at me, dad". I was unable to find a Homer, shown on the Simpsons.
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p14175
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by p14175 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:39 pm

How about a Ford Crown Victoria? Big, body on frame, huge trunk, safe, reliable... the Police Interceptor models come with a fire suppression system. You can get a great one for way less than $10k and it will easily last 300,000 miles if you take care of it.
Last edited by p14175 on Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dm200
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by dm200 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:39 pm

Let me add one Mini-van (or vehicle with three rows of seating) - when you have more than one child in a vehicle - it is very common that they get to squabbling, arguing, and so on. With such a vehicle, you can separate them - or threaten to.

Even with one child, as he got old enough to carry on a discussion - he and my wife would get to squabbling - just like two little kids. I then threatened to put our son in the very back seat if he did not shut up.

When our son got bigger, we would take out the middle seat(s) - so there was a lot of space and legroom for him - seated in the far back seat.

A LOT of flexibility - that made those minivans really great for us.

Starfish
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by Starfish » Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:49 pm

I had a kid in a medium size sedan and a Honda Civic with 2 doors. My friend had a toddler and a baby with a VW Golf.
I remeber at some point we though we need a crossover like a Subaru Outback. I just hate SUVs so much that I we kept delaying buying one and then we realized that we did not need any SUV.
We had pretty long road trips in with the baby with no issues.

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ChrisInSD
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by ChrisInSD » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:11 pm

Millennial wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:06 pm
Are you sure you're installing it right? I have my 2 year old in a rear facing toddler seat behind the driver's seat of my VW golf. Is your car really that much smaller?

Edit: You leave the infant seat at daycare so it's there to get picked up by the other parent. 80% of parents at our daycare do this and they have no issue with it.
In 2 YR old mode it fits, it was in infant mode where the convertible seats are most reclined, that it does not fit.

Thank you much re the info on day care--that is a very helpful.

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ChrisInSD
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by ChrisInSD » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:13 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:11 pm
An 11 year old car with very low miles for its age is probably not worthless. Those are Craigslist/Facebook gems and can fetch good money.

I would spend $100 on a different seat before $30k on a different sedan that might have the exact same issue as your current car. Try seats when you test drive.
Sorry, not worthless. It seems like it's worth $6K or so. Just not much.

Re seats, I did--when I looked at the full-size cars I took the seat to the dealership.

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ChrisInSD
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by ChrisInSD » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:15 pm

BlueCable wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:22 pm
My daycare has shelving just for infant seats. We did two bases and it worked great. We think we will still be ok with a Civic and a CR-V for two kids, but at three we'd get a minivan.

Our convertible car seat came with an "angle adjustor" which makes the seat more upright when rear facing. Not sure if the front passenger seat would be useable in the Civic with the convertible seat behind it; the second adult may need to sit behind the driver.
Thanks for this info.

Re the 2nd point, that's my issue. I am 6-2 and no one can comfortably sit behind the driver. Owning a car that no one can travel in but baby and driver is not appealing.

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ChrisInSD
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by ChrisInSD » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:24 pm

dm200 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:25 pm
I suggest thinking "longer term" about the best vehicles for your situation.
Yes, this is what I am trying to do. I appreciate everyone's comments. Yes, I am definitely overthinking this along with lots of other things--it's my personality both with baby and every other topic.

It seems like the two base thing will work fine for a good long while since we can leave the seat at day care so that buys time--thanks.

The only piece I did not see answered, and would be interested in other's thoughts--is one car that everyone in the family can travel in. My parents re-located to be 1 hour away from us--they lived 6 hours away in a different state before we were having the baby. I expect to see them much more often and have them be a greater part of our life.

Was not having one car that multiple adults could all travel in not a big issue for people? Everyone talked about multiple children, multiple infants, etc but I'm thinking 4 adults and a kid in the car would be a great benefit. Maybe not and everyone can just drive themselves around, who cares? Curious as to people's experience in that area. Thanks!

randomguy
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by randomguy » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:30 pm

ChrisInSD wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:24 pm

Was not having one car that multiple adults could all travel in not a big issue for people? Everyone talked about multiple children, multiple infants, etc but I'm thinking 4 adults and a kid in the car would be a great benefit. Maybe not and everyone can just drive themselves around, who cares? Curious as to people's experience in that area. Thanks!
If this is something you do on a regular basis, you are buying a minivan or some huge SUV. You aren't going to find a 2 row car that fits 4 adults and a car seat and most of midsized 3 row SUVs are too small for most car seats in the 3rd row and most adults over about 5'6 will not have enough leg room for more than really short trips.

RubyTuesday
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by RubyTuesday » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:35 pm

Didn’t read the thread, but the thread title begs the question...

HOW BIG IS THIS BABY?

Congrats :D

Millennial
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by Millennial » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:39 pm

ChrisInSD wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:11 pm
Millennial wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:06 pm
Are you sure you're installing it right? I have my 2 year old in a rear facing toddler seat behind the driver's seat of my VW golf. Is your car really that much smaller?

Edit: You leave the infant seat at daycare so it's there to get picked up by the other parent. 80% of parents at our daycare do this and they have no issue with it.
In 2 YR old mode it fits, it was in infant mode where the convertible seats are most reclined, that it does not fit.

Thank you much re the info on day care--that is a very helpful.
I that case, I'd say keep your car and use the infant seat w/two bases until the kiddo can use the other seat in the mode where it fits. I wouldn't get a new car now, wait until you have settled in with the baby and decide what's best then. You'll know much more about your needs and your budget.

BlueCable
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by BlueCable » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:45 pm

I suggest you bring your car seats to a dealership with some friends. No need to be shy about installing the seat and piling in. For occasional rides around town and medium-sized adults in the backseat, an Accord or Camry is probably going to work. A 2020 Accord is much roomier than 2000 Accords were. Or, step up to a full-sized Avalon or similar.

If full-sized sedans are too cramped for your lifestyle, you may need to go with a third row.

Or a wagon with a rear-facing third row!

Cycle
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by Cycle » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:47 pm

On the daycare piece, I've found it to be pretty convenient to live across the street from one. Can just carry the infant there, no need for a stroller.

Then having the grocery store, brewery, restaurants, doctor, park, dentist a couple blocks away eliminates most of the hastle of loading the child into the car.

Best not to overcomplicate life as a new parent and involve operating heavy equipment for your day to day transportation.

This may sound unactionable, but I moved a few weeks ago with my 10mo old and spouse.

We moved from a car dependent neighborhood to a condo on a pedestrian only mall. Life is much better now. Serenity.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way

gmc4h232
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by gmc4h232 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:48 pm

Do NOT buy another car using the new baby as a rationalization. This is a trap.

What make/model/year/mileage are your existing vehicles?

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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by TallBoy29er » Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:17 pm

Watty wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:21 pm
ChrisInSD wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:53 pm
We are having our first baby next month.
You are overthinking this which is common for first time parents.

You do not have any urgent need for a different car now so put any thoughts about that on the back burner for now. Get more sleep now instead of car shopping, you will need it. :D

In addition to just adding more car buying stress you also really will not know what you will really until you have had the baby for a while.

When you do decide to get a different car and go car shopping be sure to take car seats so you can "test drive" putting the baby into the car. Sometimes that will be a lot easier or harder than you might think based on the car size. I have heard of people getting a large SUV only to find that the Mom is too short to be able to get the baby in and out easily. Likewise some small cars can be very easy to get a baby in and out of.
A new car for a single kid? Yep. Get sleep, and look back in 5 years and laugh at the absurdity of the solution. you will be fine with what you have now. Really.

Oh, and when you do go shopping in a few years when you're having your second or third kid, take not just car seats, but things like strollers with you, to make sure they fit in the car you are scoping out.

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scubadiver
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by scubadiver » Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:31 pm

Congratulations on the pending birth of your baby!

I would not rush to buy a new car right now but rather wait to see how things are actually working out once the baby arrives. Honestly, this will change your life in so many ways, I suspect that cramped car space will be the last thing on your mind for quite some time.

But, if you really must, we need to talk finances, which you make no mention of in your post. This is really a can I afford it question, so what do your debts, assets, income and expenses look like now and after the baby arrives?

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JoeRetire
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by JoeRetire » Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:35 pm

ChrisInSD wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:53 pm
We purchased car seats for these vehicles--1 infant carrier thing that snaps intro stroller, and 2 convertible car seats (long story about why I bought all of these now, but suffice to say I have the two convertible seats I will need eventually when we outgrow infant seat).

They all work fine in the SUV. The only one that works in our sedan in the infant carrier. The other two rear-facing infant car seats are huge and take up so much space that the front passenger seat has to be so far forward it that no one else could ride in this car except baby and driver when seat is in reclined infant mode.

I suspect that there will be a need for the baby to travel in the other vehicle from time to time, probably for Day Care pickups/drop offs.
So move the passenger seat forward from time to time.

If someone beside the driver needs to be in the car at the same time, they can sit in back and play with baby.
Don't be a lemming.

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Nate79
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by Nate79 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:32 pm

ChrisInSD wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:13 pm
bloom2708 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:11 pm
An 11 year old car with very low miles for its age is probably not worthless. Those are Craigslist/Facebook gems and can fetch good money.

I would spend $100 on a different seat before $30k on a different sedan that might have the exact same issue as your current car. Try seats when you test drive.
Sorry, not worthless. It seems like it's worth $6K or so. Just not much.

Re seats, I did--when I looked at the full-size cars I took the seat to the dealership.
Great. $6k is plenty to buy a used sedan big enough to hold your car seat. No need to make excuses to buy a new car.

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ChrisInSD
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by ChrisInSD » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:44 am

[/quote]

Great. $6k is plenty to buy a used sedan big enough to hold your car seat. No need to make excuses to buy a new car.
[/quote]

For those who've asked about finances, this isn't really a financial issue for me. I am generally extremely frugal which is why I've kept my old car so long--I bought it new, I've had it for 11 years. I mentioned that I like my current car quite a bit actually. The only thing I don't like about it is its size.

And that being said, I don't have a problem spending money on useful things--I just like to make sure they are useful first.

And for those asking, I'm 38, have a professional career that earns ~$400K per year and am a millionaire. $30K really isn't very much money for a car for us--I would be paying cash--no new debt. I didn't say that because others might say "well then it seems like you can afford it so go ahead" but I'm honestly just trying to be practical. I only buy things I need. We generally live comfortably beneath our means.

Most posters don't seem to think this is necessary. I do appreciate that feedback. No one has really opined on the experience of carrying around adults + kid in the car yet except one guy/gal--and no, I don't need a giant SUV or minivan, I can get a full size car like a Toyota Avalon mentioned by another poster that will do exactly the task I have in mind.

bluebolt
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by bluebolt » Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:53 am

ChrisInSD wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:11 pm
Millennial wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:06 pm
Are you sure you're installing it right? I have my 2 year old in a rear facing toddler seat behind the driver's seat of my VW golf. Is your car really that much smaller?

Edit: You leave the infant seat at daycare so it's there to get picked up by the other parent. 80% of parents at our daycare do this and they have no issue with it.
In 2 YR old mode it fits, it was in infant mode where the convertible seats are most reclined, that it does not fit.

Thank you much re the info on day care--that is a very helpful.
It's likely that by the time your child moves from the infant seat to the convertible seat, you will not need it to be in the fully reclined mode.

motorcyclesarecool
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by motorcyclesarecool » Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:24 am

1. Check out car seat blog dot com. They are a helpful resource. They have an excellent forum that will be able to recommend a convertible car seat for your make, model, year, and parameters.
2. We got a Cosco Scenera Next from Wally World to be the rear-facing car seat in my (small) car and on board aircraft. It is a masterpiece of compactness, lightness, and elegant simplicity. After kid #1 threw up in her $$$ car seat and I had to completely disassemble it for a multi-day deep cleaning, we put the cheap car seat into my wife’s car, and after a few days, she didn’t want to switch back to the expensive one, as the Cosco was simply more user-friendly to her. It became our primary seat until the kids were at the point where we had to go forward facing.
3. I know that the middle of the back seat is theoretically the best place for a child seat. In real life, in a small car, repeatedly loading and unloading a baby / infant seat from the middle seat is a good way for you or your significant other to put your back out.
4. Have you considered a later model used Prius (not the -c)? They have a shocking amount of rear leg room and cargo space. We were able easily to do 4 adults and a baby in one around town.
Understand that choosing an HDHP is very much a "red pill" approach. Most would rather pay higher premiums for a $20 copay per visit. They will think you weird for choosing an HSA.

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wander
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by wander » Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:49 am

dm200 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:39 pm
A LOT of flexibility - that made those minivans really great for us.
+1 And good for future growth too.

randomguy
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by randomguy » Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:05 am

ChrisInSD wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:44 am


Most posters don't seem to think this is necessary. I do appreciate that feedback. No one has really opined on the experience of carrying around adults + kid in the car yet except one guy/gal--and no, I don't need a giant SUV or minivan, I can get a full size car like a Toyota Avalon mentioned by another poster that will do exactly the task I have in mind.
Don't want or don't need?:) Car fit though is an easy thing to test. Grab 3 friend and hit the dealership up with your carseat. Put the seats where you want and decide if you are OK spending a couple hours in those positions. Peoples size and willinginness to put up with discomfort vary significantly. Read any of the threads about how paying 1000 bucks for a couple hours in a nice seat in a plane is well worth it.

Most people sort of solve this by getting 1 big car (your SUV) and 1 normal sized one. The other good news is that you need less and less space as the kids age. In 4 years you are in a front facing car seat that doesn't need anywhere near as much space.

sd323232
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by sd323232 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:07 am

Why not suv? Consider toyota highlander, big and reliable.

FI4LIFE
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by FI4LIFE » Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:34 am

Take the money you would put into a new car and, instead, put it in a 529. There are seats that will fit your vehicle.

helloeveryone
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by helloeveryone » Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:53 am

ChrisInSD wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:24 pm
dm200 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:25 pm
I suggest thinking "longer term" about the best vehicles for your situation.
Yes, this is what I am trying to do. I appreciate everyone's comments. Yes, I am definitely overthinking this along with lots of other things--it's my personality both with baby and every other topic.

It seems like the two base thing will work fine for a good long while since we can leave the seat at day care so that buys time--thanks.

The only piece I did not see answered, and would be interested in other's thoughts--is one car that everyone in the family can travel in. My parents re-located to be 1 hour away from us--they lived 6 hours away in a different state before we were having the baby. I expect to see them much more often and have them be a greater part of our life.

Was not having one car that multiple adults could all travel in not a big issue for people? Everyone talked about multiple children, multiple infants, etc but I'm thinking 4 adults and a kid in the car would be a great benefit. Maybe not and everyone can just drive themselves around, who cares? Curious as to people's experience in that area. Thanks!
Minivan is the answer to this. (or 7 seater suv but its nowhere near as convenient as minivan)

We are a family if four and routinely take inlaws around and when cousins come visit we routinely all take the minivan so there isn’t a need to take two cars to eat, play, travel etc...)

daheld
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by daheld » Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:02 am

1. You don't need a new vehicle, and you can absolutely find car seats that will fit your current car.
2. As others have said, you only need one car seat and multiple bases. Leave the car seat at daycare.
3. As the father of an 11 month old, I understand it's not simple especially when you're sort of inclined to over-analyzing everything, but you really need to take this time to relax and get some sleep. You will not regret it.

There's no shortage of things to worry about, but as others have said, none of this is pressing and there will be time to figure stuff out. You'll figure a lot of stuff out on the fly, and that's just the way it is.

oldfatguy
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by oldfatguy » Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:07 am

I bought a new, bigger vehicle when my child was about a year old. In part, it was to have more space for all the "stuff" (e.g., the stroller did not fit in my trunk). But, my car was also 14 years old at the time, so it was about time for a new ride.

fasteddie911
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by fasteddie911 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:18 am

I'd wait and see until baby arrives to see how the car situation is. It's still not clear to me why you need to upgrade the small sedan, it doesn't sound like the passenger seat will be used often. Also the SUV may be cramped with 4 adults and baby but I'm not sure how much better a larger sedan will be, this maybe large suv or minivan territory. But again, wait and see. If the daycare "stores" infant seats then you can just get a second base and dropoff/pickup baby using one infant seat. If there's one thing we've learned from the baby stage, it's you can't plan everything and we were often best served by waiting for things play out and see what exactly we needed. I will add that we have an suv (bought well before baby arrived) and my wife found it difficult to lift baby or carseat in/out due to the car's height.

Hoosens
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by Hoosens » Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:57 am

Currently have a 2-year old, so let me try to help with my experiences.

First of all, it's already been addressed, but two bases and one infant seat. We started daycare at 10 weeks and have been to two different daycares. I drop off, my wife picks up. Always left the car seat and both places had designated areas to do so.

We each drove sedans when our child was born so it is very doable with smaller cars. I was able to place mine in the middle seat and wife had hers behind the passenger seat. Yes, with sedans, it is an inconvenience to have to bend over. I am pretty tall so it's even more of strain for me, but, again, very doable. Infant seats aren't all that heavy (and neither is your infant early). Once you turn it around for the larger convertible seat, your toddler should be able to get in and out on their own (you will have to bend over, or do it from the front seat as I do, to buckle them in.)

We switched to a front-facing convertible seat (which should definitely fit in your middle back seat, you need to check how you've installed it) at 1.5 years old (yes, I know the AAP recommends they ride rear-facing until two.) At that point, we got rid of my wife's sedan (it was older and breaking down) and bought a small, used SUV.

My parents also live less than an hour away and visit often. It was very rare that we traveled with everybody in the same car with either of our sedans. We could for short distances. Again, I am tall so it's already difficult for anybody sitting behind me and than the infant seat makes things only more crowded. We usually took two cars when we went out together, occasionally moved the base to my parent's SUV and all took that. Didn't have to, but was just best for comfort's sake. Now that we own an SUV (a CR-V, so certainly not the biggest), it is no problem at all to travel with 4 adults and a toddler in a convertible seat in the middle back seat. We're taking a 2.5 hour roadtrip this weekend with all.

So, all of that was to say I don't think you need to do anything. You have a sedan that you can use to go to work and take the baby to and from daycare. When your parents are over, use the SUV that you already own to travel with two adults in front, two in back, baby in middle back. Easy. At the very least, wait until the baby is born to see how your current situation actually works for your family. Trust me, you do not need to have this all figured out before the baby is born. Best of luck! :)

michaeljc70
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by michaeljc70 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:11 am

gmc4h232 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:48 pm
Do NOT buy another car using the new baby as a rationalization. This is a trap.

What make/model/year/mileage are your existing vehicles?
+1

You don't need the sedan to fit more than a driver and baby as you can all fit in the SUV.

Luke Duke
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by Luke Duke » Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:19 am

ChrisInSD wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:53 pm

So I can do a few things:

1. Buy a second infant seat for smaller car
2. Buy a second infant seat BASE for second car, but this seems not too helpful since how can you "pickup" a kid from DayCare if the seat is in the car you dropped the kid off with
3. Buy a larger car
Go with option 2. Carry your kid into daycare in the seat. Leave the seat for whoever will be picking up the kid. This is what everyone else in the day care will be doing.

KyleAAA
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by KyleAAA » Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:23 am

A second passenger could sit in the back seat with baby, behind the driver. You will almost certainly want to ride this way for the first few months anyway. We have just about the smallest car imaginable and have no trouble fitting car seats and passengers at the same time, so I question the need to buy a bigger car for that reason.
Last edited by KyleAAA on Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

surfstar
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by surfstar » Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:27 am

ChrisInSD wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:44 am
And for those asking, I'm 38, have a professional career that earns ~$400K per year and am a millionaire. $30K really isn't very much money for a car for us--I would be paying cash--no new debt. I didn't say that because others might say "well then it seems like you can afford it so go ahead" but I'm honestly just trying to be practical. I only buy things I need. We generally live comfortably beneath our means.
Buy the new car. Don't ask for Bogleheads' "permission".

peseta
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by peseta » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:33 pm

ChrisInSD wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:44 am
And for those asking, I'm 38, have a professional career that earns ~$400K per year and am a millionaire. $30K really isn't very much money for a car for us--I would be paying cash--no new debt. I didn't say that because others might say "well then it seems like you can afford it so go ahead" but I'm honestly just trying to be practical. I only buy things I need. We generally live comfortably beneath our means.

Most posters don't seem to think this is necessary. I do appreciate that feedback. No one has really opined on the experience of carrying around adults + kid in the car yet except one guy/gal--and no, I don't need a giant SUV or minivan, I can get a full size car like a Toyota Avalon mentioned by another poster that will do exactly the task I have in mind.
One thing to consider: depending on how big your baby is, he or she might not be able to use the type of seat that pops into a base for very long. Those types of seats are basically infant carriers. Our older son couldn't use that seat+base after 7 months, and our current 8-month-old is almost too big now too. Granted, our kids are bigger than average . . .

In my experience, the base+seat fits the worst in a sedan, then the regular seat facing backwards, then the regular seat facing forwards. FWIW, we have a Camry and we have made it work without too much trouble. I'm glad we didn't get a car just to fit the car seats. That said, we will probably get an SUV, though, in the next few years.

surfstar
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by surfstar » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:39 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:11 am
gmc4h232 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:48 pm
Do NOT buy another car using the new baby as a rationalization. This is a trap.

What make/model/year/mileage are your existing vehicles?
+1

You don't need the sedan to fit more than a driver and baby as you can all fit in the SUV.
It is one months salary for the OP. :oops:

For safety's sake they should upgrade from the 2008, small vehicle.

michaeljc70
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Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by michaeljc70 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:41 pm

surfstar wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:39 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:11 am
gmc4h232 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:48 pm
Do NOT buy another car using the new baby as a rationalization. This is a trap.

What make/model/year/mileage are your existing vehicles?
+1

You don't need the sedan to fit more than a driver and baby as you can all fit in the SUV.
It is one months salary for the OP. :oops:

For safety's sake they should upgrade from the 2008, small vehicle.
He said he doesn't like to buy things he doesn't need. He doesn't need it. Of course he can afford it. That wasn't the question.

surfstar
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by surfstar » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:45 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:41 pm
surfstar wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:39 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:11 am
gmc4h232 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:48 pm
Do NOT buy another car using the new baby as a rationalization. This is a trap.

What make/model/year/mileage are your existing vehicles?
+1

You don't need the sedan to fit more than a driver and baby as you can all fit in the SUV.
It is one months salary for the OP. :oops:

For safety's sake they should upgrade from the 2008, small vehicle.
He said he doesn't like to buy things he doesn't need. He doesn't need it. Of course he can afford it. That wasn't the question.
"What do you guys think? Hold off for as long as possible or buy larger car now to avoid future headaches?"

If one month's salary can avoid future headaches and they are likely to keep that vehicle for 11 years (as their current one), why not?
I don't see fretting over need/want here. This isn't a $5k piece of jewelry watch.

anon_investor
Posts: 589
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:43 pm

Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by anon_investor » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:46 pm

As another poster said, just buy a 2nd infant car seat base. Most daycares let you leave the car seat there. Our current daycare actually has an area where parents can leave their car seat, some leave not just those infant "baskets" but even the giant large ones!

When my kids were infants (not that the same time) we had a base in each car, and it worked out fine.

I would suggest doing that first and seeing how it works out instead of spending more money.

surfstar
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by surfstar » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:54 pm

and another way to think about it:

What is likely to have a more negative impact upon the OP's life?

1) Keeping the current vehicle and hassling with the size?
1a - potential of being less safe in any possible accident

2) Spending $30k now, to get a better, newer, safer vehicle?


The 2008 vehicle will need replacement at some point, why not now? I don't see it affecting their overall net worth, retirement date, etc significantly.
Now on the out chance that there's an accident with the old vehicle - better hope the baby is safe and also the family breadwinner (mitigated with life ins., yes) - why chance that?

Topic Author
ChrisInSD
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2015 12:57 pm

Re: Bigger car for baby?

Post by ChrisInSD » Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:30 pm

Hoosens wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:57 am
Currently have a 2-year old, so let me try to help with my experiences.

First of all, it's already been addressed, but two bases and one infant seat. We started daycare at 10 weeks and have been to two different daycares. I drop off, my wife picks up. Always left the car seat and both places had designated areas to do so.

We each drove sedans when our child was born so it is very doable with smaller cars. I was able to place mine in the middle seat and wife had hers behind the passenger seat. Yes, with sedans, it is an inconvenience to have to bend over. I am pretty tall so it's even more of strain for me, but, again, very doable. Infant seats aren't all that heavy (and neither is your infant early). Once you turn it around for the larger convertible seat, your toddler should be able to get in and out on their own (you will have to bend over, or do it from the front seat as I do, to buckle them in.)

We switched to a front-facing convertible seat (which should definitely fit in your middle back seat, you need to check how you've installed it) at 1.5 years old (yes, I know the AAP recommends they ride rear-facing until two.) At that point, we got rid of my wife's sedan (it was older and breaking down) and bought a small, used SUV.

My parents also live less than an hour away and visit often. It was very rare that we traveled with everybody in the same car with either of our sedans. We could for short distances. Again, I am tall so it's already difficult for anybody sitting behind me and than the infant seat makes things only more crowded. We usually took two cars when we went out together, occasionally moved the base to my parent's SUV and all took that. Didn't have to, but was just best for comfort's sake. Now that we own an SUV (a CR-V, so certainly not the biggest), it is no problem at all to travel with 4 adults and a toddler in a convertible seat in the middle back seat. We're taking a 2.5 hour roadtrip this weekend with all.

So, all of that was to say I don't think you need to do anything. You have a sedan that you can use to go to work and take the baby to and from daycare. When your parents are over, use the SUV that you already own to travel with two adults in front, two in back, baby in middle back. Easy. At the very least, wait until the baby is born to see how your current situation actually works for your family. Trust me, you do not need to have this all figured out before the baby is born. Best of luck! :)
Very helpful, thank you.

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