Our oldest will be 4.5 years old when baby number 3 comes along, so I knew when I got pregnant one of the first things I needed to do was double check the expiration on our infant car seat. Did you know they expire?! I wasn’t positive how long it was good for, so after locating the manufacture date on the seat, I went to my manufacturer’s website to confirm my seat’s lifespan. It will last us until the baby is almost a year old, so we’ll need to switch to a rear-facing convertible car seat before his first birthday – sooner than I’ve done with my older two, but guidelines have changed since then.
Many convertible car seats fit babies as small as 5 pounds. Local baby stores do car seat trade-in events several times per year. I’ll be able to trade in my expired car seat (or car seat you no longer need) for a discount coupon to be used toward the purchase of a new seat. Car seats are one of the more expensive baby purchases you’ll make, so it’s a great option to save a little cash.
One of the other car seat challenges I’ve been trying to solve is how to arrange three car seats in our vehicle. We bought a minivan right before we got pregnant knowing we wanted a third child. I was dreading trying to cram three car seats and kids into our 5 passenger SUV. Now we have a spacious, automatic-opening door van that both my kids can easily climb into on their own and start getting buckled by themselves. They’re both currently in the captain seats but my plan is to fold a captain seat down into the floor and put our infant in the other captain seat with the older two on the bench seat in the back; that way, I can easily get to the back to safely buckle them myself. However, with the help of a certified car seat specialist, it will be easy to learn the safest way to install three car seats for my particular vehicle and child size.
Did you know that 73% of car seats are not being used correctly? Scary. Even as an experienced mama, I am not an expert when it comes to car seat safety. Check out these tips from the experts at Olathe Medical Center. Whether this is your first baby or third, it’s always a good idea to have your car seat(s) checked by a professional. To find an inspection location, click here.
Choosing a car seat and keeping up with changing safety guidelines can be overwhelming. Installing them correctly can be even more challenging. But, this is one of those things you just can’t get wrong. Luckily, there are resources and professionals that are more than willing to make sure your child(ren) are as safe as they can possibly be!
To read other posts in this series, click here.
About the author: My name is Sarah and I’ve been a Kansas gal my whole life; born and raised in Manhattan but have been living in KC for 6 years. I have a degree in Family Studies and Human Services and I’m wife to Derek and mom to Collins (4), Brooks (2) and baby 3 who will arrive this Summer. We are big K-State fans and also cheer for our Royals and Chiefs. We are lucky enough to have a lot of family close by so we enjoy spending as much time as we can with them or doing all the fun things KC has to offer.