Tuesday, May 9, 2017

What's Up with Car Seat Expiration Dates?

The idea that car seats "expire" has always confounded me. They aren't exactly cheap, so why do parents have to replace them once they hit that magical date somehow rendering them unusable?

Every time I talk with other parents about this, vague speculations are made. Maybe the technology becomes outdated, and newer seats tend to be safer? Does the plastic start to break down and become less sturdy in case of an accident? Is it just an evil money-making scheme from car seat companies? 


But no one I've met seems to really know why. 

Our current infant seat has been through all three of our kids, and it expires this Fall. I used to think I would be bothered if we hit that date and needed to buy a new one. Now, however, I'm seeing the wear and tear, and it makes a little more sense.

It's hard to tell from this picture, but the straps have started to fray. I would imagine that makes them less reliable in a high speed impact situation. 


There was also the time last winter that E had a nasty cold and had to sleep upright in the car seat. After her cold went away, she cried any time I laid her down flat in the crib. For a month and half I gave in and let her sleep that way. 

My babies are all sweaty sleepers, and after awhile I noticed a not so pleasant smell. I pulled back the cover and was horrified. Because she sweat so much, and there was not ventilation, the car seat never dried or aired out properly between naps and bedtime. Mold was growing on the styrofoam backing of the seat! EEK!

That day I forced her to go back to the crib, and after a few days of extra crying when I laid her down, she adjusted back to a more normal {and hygenic!} sleeping arrangement.


This is disgusting, and I'm sorry if it's more information than you ever wanted on the topic.

But it's reconciled me to the whole car seat expiration thing.

Which is good, because come October we will be needing a new infant carrier.

We will Lord willing be adding another little girl to our ranks. Her due date is the same as E's was {who came two days late}, so I'm anxious to see how close their birthdays end up being.

Life circumstances periodically interfere with my regularity in blogging. A move, teething babies, and other changes in routine affect my ability and motivation to show up in the blogosphere. 

So if you've wondered where I've been lately, the answer is combatting the challenges of all day long morning sickness and pregnancy exhaustion. I'm feeling much better now though, and hoping to be posting around here more frequently! 

I don't know that I've answered the ever-perplexing question of WHY car seats expire in a concrete, non-refutable way... but at this point, I'm okay with it. 

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