Road tripping with toddlers – and other scary tales

Since having kids, we haven’t really been able to take any trips as a family. Finances, work and the like have precluded us from the few trips a year we used to take. So, when one of my best friends informed me that she was getting married this year, I immediately started planning our trip.

Yep, that’s right, a trip with a 4 year old, a 2 year old and a 3 month old.

In a car.

For a day.

When we first started planning our family, we assumed that by the time we would have our 3rd child, we would have upsized our vehicle to a larger car/hybrid/SUV. We were so wrong about that! We’re still driving around the same Mazda 3 we’ve had (as a hand-me-down) since 2010. We were feeling the pinch with the two car seats in the car, but adding a third? I wasn’t sure it was possible.

As I was investigating, Henry sized up into a high-back booster (he’s 4 feet tall and 46lbs). And we added the Graco Affix to the car. Lauchie got into a Diono, but the profile of that on a rear-face would actually be too big for our sedan. Hoping for a budget friendly, convertible seat, I thought I was completely out of luck, and then, I learned about Graco’s new, slim convertible seat, the Dimensions 65. From 5 to 65 lbs, easy to use adjustable 5 point harness and a slightly raised profile, the seat fits right in the middle of our car just like a jigsaw puzzle!

Our previous bucket seat made it incredibly difficult for us to buckle Henry’s seatbelt, but with the Dimensions, there is nothing blocking the clip. Its depth also doesn’t interfere with our front seats at all. Like AT ALL. I also found it incredibly easy to install with the self-locking seatbelt in our centre back seat.




With all three of the kids safe and secure in the back of our little Mazda, all that’s left for us to do is pack the trunk and get a tune up! I honestly had a bit of anxiety about our previous seat because I didn’t feel that it fit with the other two seats. The fact that the Dimensions goes to 65lbs, means that this will be the only seat that Angus needs until he’s ready for a booster seat, and with three kids, I’m all about saving money.

I wish I had known 5 years ago what I know now about car seats, babies and seat installation and am grateful that even though our family has grown, and our car hasn’t, that everyone is still safe, secure and comfortable.

If you are in the Toronto Area this September, I highly recommend you come out to Graco’s car seat clinic September 26th at Walmart in Burlington – for info, see Trust me when I say that if you have a small car, or are looking for the best bang for your buck, the Graco Dimensions 65 car seat is the best car seat I’ve yet to try (and I’ve tried many – 6 brands in total!).

Here are some of my favourite specs:

  • No re-thread! The Simply Safe Adjust harness system is so easy to use that if you put baby in the seat and notice you need to adjust the straps, you just pull up and voila! No seat removal, no rethreading, nothing!
  • Added head and body support to help keep even the smallest babies safe and secure.
  • 2 position recline for baby’s comfort.
  • Removable cup holder keeps drinks within reach of your toddler while keeping cups upright and secure.
  • Toddler height rated to 43 inches! This is huge and awesome for my very tall family.


The Graco Dimensions 65 is available now at Babies R Us!







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