Where Should Infant Car Seats Be Placed? – The Safest Spot Revealed


Not all places are equal!

Did you know that there’s only one place that’s the safest to your infant car seat?


You have probably invested a lot of time and money to get the safest car seat now the most common question I get is where should I put it?

Depending on your car there are 4-7 locations where you can install your car seat. There’s only one place that has been proven to be the safest.

I will tell you all this and everything you will need to know if you have multiple car seats or forward facing.

So what’s the safest spot?




Where should the car seat be placed?

The infant car seat or any other car seat should be placed in the back row in the center.

Statistics show that after analyzing accident data that the center spot has a 43% less chance of injury.

If we imagine a T-bone accident then you might get lucky and the car gets hit on the other side where the car seat is located. This is a gamble. However, if you place the infant car seat in the middle then no matter from which direction the accident happens your baby will be protected no matter what.


Does baby car seat have to be in middle?

Not necessarily. The answer here will depend on the vehicle type. If you have a car, SUV or van with three rows of seats, there are some different options you can have for where to install an infant safety seat.

You can typically mount your rear-facing child seat onto either one side of your middle row or both sides next to each other within close facing distance from one another.

If you don’t have many people riding in the car it’s good to have your baby in the middle however if you have other kids you can put them in the middle because most infant carriers have more than enough side impact protection.

All in all it’s good to have your baby car seat in the middle, but it’s not necessary. It comes down to your needs.


Do you put car seat behind driver or passenger?

Whether you put your child’s car seat behind the front or the rear of the vehicle might depend on factors such as their age, whether they are riding in a forward- or rear-facing position, and how much space is available.

One way to decide which spot to place your baby’s car seat is by considering where it will be positioned relative to where adults ride. If there are three people in the vehicle—including an adult driving, another sitting behind that driver, and a third sitting behind passenger side—chose the middle. If only one person sits up front with baby up against their chest facing towards them, consider setting them next to that person instead of between them and another passenger if space permits.

However, if there is limited space or you have other children in the car, it is best to put the infant car seat behind the driver.

Since there’s no difference between driver and passenger side I always think of my parking habit. If I mostly park so the traffic is on the left side then I prefer to install the car seat on the right side because it’s easier to put and remove my daughter.


Which is the safest place for a car seat in a minivan or SUV?

Regardless, there are different factors to take into consideration when determining where the safest spot is for your baby’s car seat.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children under the age of one be kept in a rear-facing position in the backseat, so ideally you’ll want to install your infant car seat in the middle.

Different seats have different rules about how they should be installed, but the answer to your question is contingent on a few variables.

-Does your seat come with any special restrictions for installation? If so, follow those directions before anything else.

-Do you have a car or truck? In many cases, car seats can go in the middle, adjacent to each other. Truck beds are often flat and wide enough that there is plenty of room for them too.

-What kind of restrictions do you have with space around the seat itself? Is there a console between where baby would sit and where an adult would sit? Is there another person sitting directly next to their baby when they travel in their backseat?

Let it be a van or SUV still the safest place to install the car seat is in the middle.


Should a car seat go behind the driver or passenger?

As I’ve mentioned above there’s no real difference. I prefer it behind the driver’s seat because I tend to park so the driver’s side is next to the sidewalk. It’s easier to get in and out from my child like that.


Can you put a forward-facing car seat in the middle?

Yes, you can put a forward-facing car seat in the middle if the manufacturer allows it.

Also if there’s enough space for the middle to securely install it then sure. As you know the middle is the safest spot to reduce the chance of injuries.


Which is the safest place for 2 car seats?

Well this depends on the type of car seats are you using.

For example if you have an infant car seat and a convertible or a booster than it’s better to put the front facing car seat in the middle because the infant car seat typically offers a cocoon like protection.

Most infant car seats come with side impact protection so it means that your baby will be safe and sound no matter what and the middle can reduce risk of injury for the older kids who don’t have side impact protection.


Can car seats go in the middle?

Yes, car seats can go in the middle. They should be placed behind the driver or passenger, depending on whether the seat is rear-facing or forward-facing.

You might also like: What’s the best car seat for a 4 year old?


Can an infant car seat be in the middle?

Yes, and as a matter of fact that’s the safest place to install an infant car seat.


Can you put car seat at front?

For this you need to check your state laws and see if the manufacturer allows it.

Normally you can put the car seat in the front if you have the airbags disabled. This is #1 requirement. .

So if you’re looking for safety then yes, car seat can go in the front but along with that you need to disable airbag system at least until your child outgrows the car seat.


Conclusions where should an infant car seats be placed?

If you’re looking for safety, the best place to install your infant car seat is in the middle. Keep them rear-facing until they are at least one year old or forward-facing if their weight and height meet certain restrictions. Check with your state laws before installing a baby car seat in front of an airbag because it’s possible that this could disable important features like side impact protection.

Now you know that the middle is the safest spot.

I hope you have learned something valuable and please share this article it would help me out a lot.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Should a car seat go behind the driver or passenger?

Until you install the car seat in the back there’s no difference between the driver and passenger side. It comes down to preference and convenience. Think about your parking habits and how do you park concerning traffic.

Should car seat go in middle or side?

If we look at it logically the middle is the safest while the side is a gamble. You might get lucky and with a t-bone accident you can get hit on the other side or on the side where the car seat is installed. This is why the middle is the best choice.

Can you put car seats in the front seat?

First of all you need to check what the car seat laws say about it in your state. In most cases they are not banned and if they are then they don’t apply to cars that don’t have back seat. Riding in the front can be allowed if the airbags are disabled. However it’s not the safest place for kids.

Last Updated on April 6, 2024 by Brian Beasley

Written by Linda Reid

Hey there, I'm Linda, a mom of three cool kids. I've tried so many car seats, you could call me a "Car Seat Detective." Searching for the perfect car seat can feel like finding a needle in a haystack, but don't worry! I've committed to researching and reviewing car seats that are super safe, cozy, and great for growing kids. Together, we'll find the perfect car seat that keeps your child safe and cozy, and makes you feel like a super-parent!