What to Do When Twin Car Seats Don’t Fit the Car

Joe Rawlinson by Joe Rawlinson - January 17, 2014

This question comes to us from parents of twins whose twins are now five weeks old, and they are realizing that their car seats do not fit comfortably in their car. They’ve got a Kia Sorento.

Twin car seats can be bulky.

Now, obviously, the twins must go directly behind the driver and passenger seats in this type of setup. He says that they tried a few other cars and noticed the same problem, where the car seats don’t quite fit right behind the passenger and driver seat. He asks, “Do you know of any car or SUV models that would allow more space for car seats? Or are we just out of luck until they’re old enough to face the car seats forward?”

Options for Fitting Twin Car Seats

So getting car seats into your existing car is a challenge. Since each car and car seat combination is different, it’s going to be hard for me to make a specific recommendation. However, I wanted to give you some options that you have and some things that you can think through as you try to overcome this challenge with the car seats.

The first option is to wait it out, like you mentioned. Wait until the kids are no longer rear-facing and they are forward-facing. So you’re going to be kind of cramped if you have to move your seats forward. It’s probably not ideal, but it is possible. This is a good mindset to have to be able to make do with what you have, especially in a family with twins. There are going to be a lot of concessions like this where you have to just make do with what you have.

Option number two is to buy different car seats that actually fit in your Kia. You can do this by measuring the space that you have and consider buying a used or a hand-me-down car seat from a trusted friend or a family member, that would fit better in the backseat of your car.

Now, option three is to buy a minivan. So it’s not a car. It’s not an SUV. So, since these minivans are designed to let people walk through that sliding door to get into the backseat, the third row, typically there’s a lot more room between the driver seat and the first row of seats behind there. We noticed in our minivan, which is a Kia Sedona, that there’s plenty of room between the driver and passenger seats and that first row of seats. So the car seats didn’t butt up against the back of the chairs, and it was easy for our other two kids to get in and out of the third row backseat. So there was space for them to move.
Now, of course, depending on which option you’re going to go on, it will impact your budget differently. If you have no budget whatsoever, then stick with what you have. If you have a little bit of budget, maybe you consider buying different car seats that would fit better in the backseat of your vehicle. If you know you’re going to get a minivan eventually anyway, or you’re going to grow your family some more, that might be an option that you could consider.

(RELATED: Still expecting twins? Will you be having two boys, two girls, or boy/girl twins? Answer these quick questions to see what several old wives’ tales claim you’ll be having….)

Picture by Brian McGuirk

This question was originally addressed on the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast Episode 52: Balancing Your Sleep Needs With Twins & Fitting Twin Car Seats.

Further Reading

Dad's Guide to Raising Twins book
Don't forget to pick up a copy of the definitive guide to raising twins. "Dad's Guide to Raising Twins" was written for fathers of twins to help guide you through the first several years with twins. Click here to learn more about the book and get your copy.

6 thoughts on “What to Do When Twin Car Seats Don’t Fit the Car”

  1. We have a 2012 Toyota Yaris and our newborns fit perfectly into our car. It took some time at our local Toys R Us with trial and error to figure out which seat would fit, but it turned out not to be a problem. Buying new at a place that was happy to hold my drivers’ license while I tested them out was great.

    I’m not sure what we’ll do when they get over the 22lb limit for these initial seats – the next car seats might be much larger, but I’m going to repeat the same process and see how we do.

  2. We have a one year old and are expecting our twins in the next month. We drive a Scion xB (toaster car). We did lots of research and bought new car seats instead of buying a new car. We got Urbini Petals for the twins, they’re not expensive, they’re skinnier than most, and they go down to 4lb. We just had to look at the measurments online and measure the back seat, and now we will be able to fit all 3 back there, at least until they get bigger…

    Good luck!


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