Car seats — The Bump
3rd Trimester

Car seats

I bought a car seat from a lady today, I asked her about the expiration date because this is our first baby and we know they expire just not where to look for the date at. Well the lady told me it was good for another year so we bought it and brought it home just to find out from a friend that looked to say it expired on may 5th this year. What's the difference between using that one or buying a new one because everything we researched said its not illegal in our state and its good 2 years past that date still. So what do you ladies think ?

Re: Car seats

  • Yea that lady probably screwed you over.  If she did get into a car accident, a replacement car seat is usually covered by insurance and she's trying to make money off the old one.  I wouldn't trust a rando.
    BackbypopulardemandMamaBishemgee27stellaluna14
  • I was also told that the fluctuating temperatures in cars can make the seat more brittle, so you don't want one that's expired because it has been through its fair share of wear and tear.

    I'm not sure if all hospitals check expiration dates on car seats, but do you want to find out after you've given birth and are about to go home that the seat is unacceptable? 

    If she lied to you about the expiration date, what makes you think she didn't lie about anything else, like a car accident? 

    Car accidents are the #1 killer of children 0-14. 
    BackbypopulardemandMamaBish
  • I echo everything said above. I would be most concerned about it possibly having been in an accident. However, to @austinjl's point, we had to hand over DD's old car seat to receive a new one through our insurance.
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    Backbypopulardemand
  • delujm0delujm0 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    I would buy a new one.  There are plenty of infant car seats available for under $100.  If you really want to be cost-conscious, you can just buy a convertible seat and use it from the beginning instead of doing the infant seat for the first several months and then switching to a convertible seat.  DD had grown out of the infant seat lengthwise by 8 months.  If we had known that would happen, we probably wouldn't have bothered with it at all.

     

    Car seats exist over a large price range, but every single one of them need to meet the exact same safety standards.  So you can be assured that even if you buy the cheapest new seat on the market, it is perfectly safe.  Higher price doesn't guarantee a safer seat.  It may be more comfortable, or have more features, or be easier to wash...but safety is generally equal.  A used seat is a risk, unless you are getting it from a person you know has used it properly, and it is not expired.  I would reuse DD's infant seat for my own next kid, assuming it's not expired by then, but that's about the only hand-me-down car seat I'd accept - because I know exactly how it was used the first time around.

    Me: 36 DH: 36
    Married 5-31-14
    DD1 born 6-21-15
    DD2 born 6-11-17
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  • I echo everything said above. I would be most concerned about it possibly having been in an accident. However, to @austinjl's point, we had to hand over DD's old car seat to receive a new one through our insurance.
    It might depend on insurance companies. We didn't have to hand ours over when we had one replaced, neither did my friend (and she had to replace five carseats).
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  • @PhoebeJune1984 I wasn't sure if it was universal or not, but thought it would make sense to require it since they have no proof the car seat was in the car or what kind you even had. Ours was something like $350 so they definitely wanted some proof at our insurance. Regardless, we all agree you should not use a used car seat from a stranger anyway.
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  • I agree with all.of the above advice
  • I echo everything said above. I would be most concerned about it possibly having been in an accident. However, to @austinjl's point, we had to hand over DD's old car seat to receive a new one through our insurance.
    It might depend on insurance companies. We didn't have to hand ours over when we had one replaced, neither did my friend (and she had to replace five carseats).
    We had to replace ours three (!!!) times this year thru insurance (my driving luck is terrible but luckily no injuries and no accidents were my fault). Only one time did they make me turn the car seat in, the two other times they just assumed I threw it out. We did toss it, and even with one in the way I wouldn't even turn it in at a trade in event, God forbid someone got it somehow. I personally would never trust a used car seat for this reason unless it was given to me by someone I trusted.
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  • @PhoebeJune1984 I wasn't sure if it was universal or not, but thought it would make sense to require it since they have no proof the car seat was in the car or what kind you even had. Ours was something like $350 so they definitely wanted some proof at our insurance. Regardless, we all agree you should not use a used car seat from a stranger anyway.
    Yeah ours was around the same price, and they never asked for it, they just wanted the receipt for the new one, so they could reimburse us. Which was nice, because then I could cut the straps and trade it in at BRU for something else that we needed. 
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    whataboutscience
  • @PhoebeJune1984 I'm jealous. The fabric on ours zips out so you can wash it and we were really hoping they'd let us keep it since DD pees through a diaper in an hour sometimes. No such luck though. My husband was proud he got away with the detachable cup holder and shoulder pads without them noticing. Not nearly as helpful to have extras of though.
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  • If you deliver at the hospital they will check the car seat and expiration date before they let you leave with your baby.

  • If you deliver at the hospital they will check the car seat and expiration date before they let you leave with your baby.

    This isn't true for every hospital. Ours makes sure that you have one, either convertible or bucket seat, but doesn't make sure it's not expired or installed correctly. Also on my convertible seat, the only way to check the expiration date is to uninstall it. 


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  • PootsDragonPootsDragon member
    500 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper Photogenic
    edited May 2016

    If you deliver at the hospital they will check the car seat and expiration date before they let you leave with your baby.

    This isn't true for every hospital. Ours makes sure that you have one, either convertible or bucket seat, but doesn't make sure it's not expired or installed correctly. Also on my convertible seat, the only way to check the expiration date is to uninstall it. 
    How do they check to make sure you have a carseat? Ours is a convertible too. Do they come out to the parking lot and peer into the back seat of the car? The infant seats it makes sense, but just wondering if staff are following parents out to the parking lot.
  • If you deliver at the hospital they will check the car seat and expiration date before they let you leave with your baby.

    This isn't true for every hospital. Ours makes sure that you have one, either convertible or bucket seat, but doesn't make sure it's not expired or installed correctly. Also on my convertible seat, the only way to check the expiration date is to uninstall it. 
    This. The hospital I delivered at the first time, didn't check how the carseat was installed or the expiration date. They just checked to make sure that you had one (either an infant seat that you brought inside, or saw the convertible one when you went outside). Other than that, for all of the hospitals in my area....they cannot place your baby in the carseat, show you how to strap the baby in, make sure it is installed correctly, etc....due to liability reasons. Having the carseat, having it installed correctly, knowing how to safely put the baby in the carseat (and strap them in correctly), and get the carseat in the base (if using an infant seat)....is the responsibility of the parents. That is why they suggest getting the carseat into the car ahead of time, and practicing, because the last thing they want to see is a parent walking in with a carseat still in the box and trying to figure out how to install the base, on discharge day.....
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    stellaluna14
  • If you deliver at the hospital they will check the car seat and expiration date before they let you leave with your baby.

    This isn't true for every hospital. Ours makes sure that you have one, either convertible or bucket seat, but doesn't make sure it's not expired or installed correctly. Also on my convertible seat, the only way to check the expiration date is to uninstall it. 
    How do they check to make sure you have a carseat? Ours is a convertible too. Do they come out to the parking lot and peer into the back seat of the car? The infant seats it makes sense, but just wondering if staff are following parents out to the parking lot.
    The hospitals in my area have someone come out with you, usually it is a nurse or a volunteer person. They will help bring out items that were in your room (gifts/flowers/balloons/etc that you accumulate during the stay), or push you out of you are taking a wheelchair out to your car, etc. They also come in handy for if you want to have a family picture taken while you are leaving the hospital for the first time. So if you have an infant seat, most people bring it into the hospital and put the baby in it, inside the room, and the nurse can see the seat right then. If you have a convertible, they will just see it when they are helping you bring things out to your vehicle. 
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  • J1DJ1D member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers

    If you deliver at the hospital they will check the car seat and expiration date before they let you leave with your baby.

    Mine didn't. Didn't even check to see if we had one at all. They wheeled me and the baby out front stood me up and said, "peace out."

    That being said, I still 100% agree with everyone that OP should buy a new carseat and take it to the fire department (or other authorized place) to get it checked for a proper install.
  • If you deliver at the hospital they will check the car seat and expiration date before they let you leave with your baby.

    This isn't true for every hospital. Ours makes sure that you have one, either convertible or bucket seat, but doesn't make sure it's not expired or installed correctly. Also on my convertible seat, the only way to check the expiration date is to uninstall it. 
    How do they check to make sure you have a carseat? Ours is a convertible too. Do they come out to the parking lot and peer into the back seat of the car? The infant seats it makes sense, but just wondering if staff are following parents out to the parking lot.
    Yes, they have you drive up and then check the car to ensure it is the right fit for baby. Especially if you have a convertible as the angle needs to be correct. 
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    whataboutsciencemcborthmomma
  • @brianssister @Meether we thought they would check ours at discharge. Nope! In our area only one children's hospital does it. All of the rest consider it a liability and refuse. The nurse wouldn't even help us get him in and secured right much less check our him in the car. This was especially stressful given we had to use preemie inserts. I definitely recommend people practice getting baby in and out comfortably before they're discharged just in case. 
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