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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had my shower on Sunday and I had registered for a car seat. No one got it for us, which I kind of figured would happen cause it is kind of pricey. My sister in law brought her old car seat stroller combo which she used for her two boys. I am not sure of the expiration because I can not find the sticker on the car seat. Her oldest boy is 4 so I know that it can't be any older than that. It has also never been in a car accident or anything like that.

Would you guys use this car seat or just go ahead and buy the new one. I just want the safest option. If we use this it will save us money, which is always nice, and we will have more to spend on the other odds and ends we didn't get at the shower. Any advice would be helpful :)
 

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I'm not certified as a car seat tech, but I'm kind of a nerd about car seats, so I'll tell you what I've learned over the years:

There are several reasons that older car seats just aren't as safe as a new one. Technology advances pretty rapidly, so a car seat manufactured in the last few months is going to have more safety features and a design that is likely better than one made 4-5 years ago.

Car seats undergo a LOT of stress every time they're used and installed, and the temperature extremes from being in a car during the heat of summer and/or cold of winter will degrade the integrity of the plastic and impact foam over time. If you plan to use a seat very regularly for the next year (or several years) know that you're already starting with a seat that's been through a lot, which can affect its safety.

Another consideration is are *all* the parts (including the original owner's manual, any accessories, locking clips, pads, etc.) included? You shouldn't use a seat that is missing any part, even if it's never been in an accident of any kind.

Bottom line: Would you trust your baby's life with the person who's giving you the car seat? (The answer to that question is usually "no" for car seats available on Craigslist, for example, but a family member might be different.) I know car seats are expensive, but just keep in mind that the number one killer of children is car accidents and that 80% of children are improperly restrained (either with a seat that is not installed correctly, not used correctly, expired, etc.) I don't want to be a downer----but I personally think a new seat is a worthy investment.

My two cents.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karalynnskies View Post

I had my shower on Sunday and I had registered for a car seat. No one got it for us, which I kind of figured would happen cause it is kind of pricey. My sister in law brought her old car seat stroller combo which she used for her two boys. I am not sure of the expiration because I can not find the sticker on the car seat. Her oldest boy is 4 so I know that it can't be any older than that. It has also never been in a car accident or anything like that.

Would you guys use this car seat or just go ahead and buy the new one. I just want the safest option. If we use this it will save us money, which is always nice, and we will have more to spend on the other odds and ends we didn't get at the shower. Any advice would be helpful :)
I found the expiration on the one I got on the underside of it, for what it's worth.
 

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I would be fine using it IF you trust her to tell you if it's even been in a minor accident etc. Save up & buy a great convertible seat :) in a few months/a year. It's most likely that your baby will still need to be rearfacing after they outgrow this infant seat.

All seats do suffer the wear that was mentioned, but that is why they have expiry dates ... so w/in those dates, I have no issues with using a seat. There should always be a sticker or an embossing of the date of manufacture and/or expiry date on the back of the seat. It should be on the shell portion somewhere.

Make sure you get a copy of the manual, and if she doesnt' have one you can call the maker of the seat to get one (some are available online to download, but not all of them). You'll need the date of manufacture to get the correct manual.
 

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I talked this over with DH. We bought our infant seat more than two years ago, and I too wondered about the integrity of the plastics, etc. His opinion was that it's just fine. He says this as someone who has worked with safety plastics, and plastics moulding.

However, a car seat is the only thing I would NEVER buy used. Never, never, never. And even a minor, minor accident, still counts as an accident. I also wouldn't use a seat that I couldn't for sure verify that there hadn't been a recall. If you can't find a serial number or a manufacture date, then I wouldn't do it. You also want to make sure that ALL the padding is still in good shape. If there are indentations, rips, or tears, I wouldn't do it. That padding can save your baby's life! But if the seat has truly never been in an accident, and you can find a serial number/manufacture date to be SURE there is no recall on the seat, then I'd go ahead and save yourself the money and use it. And like Rochelle says, you can put that money toward the good convertible seat once you get past the itty bitty baby months.
 

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I agree that you need to consider whether you would trust her to give you an accurate history about the carseat. I got my infant seat from my sister (also a huge carseat nerd) and I was positive it hadn't been in any accidents and she still had the manual, etc. I'm guessing a carseat she used with her 4 year old would be close to expiring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I am probably just going to go ahead and buy a new one. I trust her but some of the padding looks a little worn, which is to be expected after going through 2 boys. I am just not willing to risk the safety of my baby.

My only dilemma now is what to buy. I was going to buy a convertible seat but I have been reading today that newborns are almost too tiny to fit these seats. What do you ladies use? I found an infant seat on amazon. Its chicco key fit and it has a lot of really great reviews. Plus I get an additional 10% off since I am registered on there. Would you go with the infant seat or do you find that the convertible seats work just as well?
 

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I would buy a new infant seat. they make life SO much easier if you are just running into the store and baby is sleeping, just pick up the seat and go. if you are going to be in the store for a while, i would leave the seat in the car and wear the baby, but for thoes "in and out" stops its a life saver. I switch my babies to the convertible seat at about 4-6 months when the infant seat just seems too small. i never feel like i can get a good install on the infant seat too, so thats why I like to switch early (my sister is a CPST and checks my install, so I know they are safe, but they never feel as safe as the convertible seats do)
 

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We're skipping the infant seat this time. We hardly ever took it out of the car with DS. Not all convertibles fit newborns well, but some fit them beautifully! We got a True Fit, which is an awesome seat. Other ones that fit newborns are the Graco MyRide, the Evenflo Symphony or Triumph 65, and the Radian 80 or XTSL (or the 65, but you'll want the infant padding that comes with the 80/XTSL).

Along important thing to ask about if you choose to use the used seat (aside from if it's been in an accident or recalled) is if the straps have been washed. SOO many people have no idea that you cannot soak the straps/run them through the laundry/use harsh cleaners/etc. I've heard of people putting them through the dishwasher to get stains out!
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And, personally, I would not feel comfortable using a seat that had ever been checked as baggage on an airplane. My sister (a flight attendant) tells me how poorly baggage is treated, even baby gear and items marked "fragile." The stress that being banged and tossed around on an airplane can really damage the seat in ways one might not be able to see just by looking at it.

If you go ahead and buy a new infant seat, the Key Fit is a great choice. It fits itty bitty babies well. Not all car seats do. Many full term babies are still too small to fit properly in popular seats like the Graco Snugride 22, because their shoulders are not at or above the level of the lowest harness strap! But you won't have to worry about that with the Chicco. They are super easy to install in just about any car. You'll definitely need a convertible seat to keep your baby RF after s/he outgrows the Chicco, but you'll have some time to see how your baby is growing and what kind of convertible will be best (ie: is the baby long and lean? heavy and chunky? etc).

The Family Safety forum here on MDC is a great place to ask questions. An even more thorough car seat site is Car-Seat.Org, if you want to check that out. Tons of CPSTs are posting there daily.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisastrickland View Post

I would buy a new infant seat. they make life SO much easier if you are just running into the store and baby is sleeping, just pick up the seat and go. if you are going to be in the store for a while, i would leave the seat in the car and wear the baby, but for thoes "in and out" stops its a life saver. I switch my babies to the convertible seat at about 4-6 months when the infant seat just seems too small.
We have a Chicco Keyfit and loved it. LOVED it. Once DS got to be bigger (about 7 months), it was too heavy. But there were SO many times where DS fell asleep in the seat on the way somewhere, and it was so nice to just be able to leave him asleep. Like say, on our way to a restaurant... I bet there were at least a dozen times where I got to eat a meal with DH while DS snoozed in his infant seat. And those precious, quiet meals made having an infant seat SO worth it (at least for me).

Do you have a Babies'R'Us in your area? I'm on their mailing list, and they send me pdf coupons every week. And coupons in the mail every week. But there's always a coupon for 20% off one regularly priced item in the mix.
 

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I second (or third) all of this. We had a different infant seat system other than the Chicco, but I LOVED being able to leave my peacefully sleeping babe in the seat while I ran errands. If he was awake or I was going to be somewhere for any length of time, I would wear him in the Moby, but there were many times when having the infant seat and stroller was simply invaluable.

As for where to get the best deal, I have found that Amazon usually beats BRU's prices on most carseats even after the 20% coupon. Plus, in most areas you don't have to pay any sales tax and they have free shipping. I'd recommend checking out both before making a decision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Italiamom View Post

We have a Chicco Keyfit and loved it. LOVED it. Once DS got to be bigger (about 7 months), it was too heavy. But there were SO many times where DS fell asleep in the seat on the way somewhere, and it was so nice to just be able to leave him asleep. Like say, on our way to a restaurant... I bet there were at least a dozen times where I got to eat a meal with DH while DS snoozed in his infant seat. And those precious, quiet meals made having an infant seat SO worth it (at least for me).

Do you have a Babies'R'Us in your area? I'm on their mailing list, and they send me pdf coupons every week. And coupons in the mail every week. But there's always a coupon for 20% off one regularly priced item in the mix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It looks like the expiration sticker has been removed. I am just going to trash the infant seat I received because I am pretty sure she told me that she washed the straps and I was not aware you weren't suppose to do that.

I was about to buy the infant seat I found on amazon but I just got done looking at the true fit convertible and now I am torn again. Ughh why does buying a car seat have to be so complicated!!
 

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Yep, we're skipping it this time too (for the first time). We had a bucket with the first two, but we bought a Graco MyRide 65 for this one----it will force me to babywear more! It was a good investment because it will get us to 65 pounds without having to buy another seat. Also, hauling that bucket around was just not good for my back. (If this was a winter baby, though, I might reconsider, because it's so nice to be able to snap the bucket in at the last second when it's cold outside.)

Car-seat.org is another great place to learn about car seats, and what would be a good fit for your vehicle and your lifestyle.

Also: I'm going to put a plug in for seatcheck.org. It's a way to find local car seat safety inspection sites by entering your zip code or city. We have had all our seats inspected by a local car seat safety tech (and have an appointment next Tuesday for the new car seat!) and we have learned so much each time. We really thought we had that bucket installed correctly the first time, but we were way off. They installed it correctly, took it out, taught us how to install and use it correctly, and then watched us do it so we knew we got it right. It's free, and it only takes about half an hour. Definitely something to get done before you're due, because you do not want to have to buckle baby into a car seat that's improperly installed or used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mama2soren View Post

We're skipping the infant seat this time. We hardly ever took it out of the car with DS. Not all convertibles fit newborns well, but some fit them beautifully! We got a True Fit, which is an awesome seat. Other ones that fit newborns are the Graco MyRide, the Evenflo Symphony or Triumph 65, and the Radian 80 or XTSL (or the 65, but you'll want the infant padding that comes with the 80/XTSL).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by karalynnskies View Post

I am probably just going to go ahead and buy a new one. I trust her but some of the padding looks a little worn, which is to be expected after going through 2 boys. I am just not willing to risk the safety of my baby.

My only dilemma now is what to buy. I was going to buy a convertible seat but I have been reading today that newborns are almost too tiny to fit these seats. What do you ladies use? I found an infant seat on amazon. Its chicco key fit and it has a lot of really great reviews. Plus I get an additional 10% off since I am registered on there. Would you go with the infant seat or do you find that the convertible seats work just as well?
I skip the bucket (infant seat), sort of! We have one, and we had one with DS. But we only took it out of the car a few times, so it functioned more as a convertible - even though he was a February baby in a Canadian winter. I had two with him that were on loan from good friends, and around 4/6mths bought him convertible seats for both vehicles.

With this baby, the bucket is going in DH's truck. B/C that way DH can leave the base installed & still be able to use his truck for work all week --- he's in sales & has loads of STUFF in his truck all week -- inventory, catalogs, computer, travel desk, projector, spare clothes, boots, hardhat ... it's like an office/warehouse on wheels. So, being able to install the base but not have the whole seat in there will allow him to keep the passenger seat way back to fit his desk during the week -- and then on the weekends when baby will be in there, the desk won't be :)

I found that if DS was asleep, I could take him out of his seat, and get him in a sling w/o a problem ... and he'd stay asleep. He was a good sleeper in the car/sling ... just not at home! I HATED carrying that infant seat, so I didn't. However, you never know until baby is here and you've settled in a bit if they are going to be the one that can't be moved once they are asleep, or if you'll get the model I did, that you can move them all you want once asleep, as long as you don't lay them down in their crib!

In my car, baby girl has a Radian, the X ... whatever the letters are. DS has an older Radian that is basically the 65.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyfah View Post

Yep, we're skipping it this time too (for the first time). We had a bucket with the first two, but we bought a Graco MyRide 65 for this one----it will force me to babywear more! It was a good investment because it will get us to 65 pounds without having to buy another seat. Also, hauling that bucket around was just not good for my back. (If this was a winter baby, though, I might reconsider, because it's so nice to be able to snap the bucket in at the last second when it's cold outside.)

Car-seat.org is another great place to learn about car seats, and what would be a good fit for your vehicle and your lifestyle.

Also: I'm going to put a plug in for seatcheck.org. It's a way to find local car seat safety inspection sites by entering your zip code or city. We have had all our seats inspected by a local car seat safety tech (and have an appointment next Tuesday for the new car seat!) and we have learned so much each time. We really thought we had that bucket installed correctly the first time, but we were way off. They installed it correctly, took it out, taught us how to install and use it correctly, and then watched us do it so we knew we got it right. It's free, and it only takes about half an hour. Definitely something to get done before you're due, because you do not want to have to buckle baby into a car seat that's improperly installed or used.
Thanks for the link! I got a True Fit a couple months ago, and have been a little skeptical about installing it. I can't seem to keep it at the right angle for a newborn, and the people at car-seat.org showed me some pics of using pool noodles to stabilize it, but I still can't get it right. Glad to see there's someone in my area that might be able to help.
 
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