A car seat is one of the most important purchases you will make for a child. Every time you go for a ride in the car as a family, your child’s life is at risk. A safe, quality car seat can help prevent injury or death in case of an accident.
In 2015, 618,000 children up to the age of 12 rode in a vehicle without car seats or seat belts.
1. Add it to Your Registry
Once you’ve done your research and found a car seat that you like, consider adding it to your registry before the baby shower. You may even want to add a child seat to your registry, even though you won’t be using it right away.
Friends and family will be more than happy to pitch in and help with safety essentials, like car seats.
2. Take Advantage of Coupons
Another obvious way to save money on a car seat is to use a coupon. Most registries will provide coupons for completing a registry.
Target, for example, may give athat can be used on any item that wasn’t purchased on the registry list.
3. Attend a Trade-In Event
This tip is for parents who have already purchased a car seat. Some retailers host trade-in-events, in which they provide a coupon in exchange for trading in a car seat and upgrading to a new one.
Babies-R-Us and Target both host these types of events.
4. Buy Used Only from People You Know
Experts generally advise against buying a used car seat, but if you do go this route, it’s important to ensure that you choose a seat that meets current laws and guidelines.
Consider buying only from people you know, so that you know you’re getting a safe seat. But don’t just commit to buying something based on photos you see on Craigslist or some other listing site. You will need to have a discussion with the seller before you buy.
Ask the seller about:
- The crash history for all vehicles the car seat was in
- The complete history of the car seat
- The expiration date of the model
Don’t commit to buying the seat until you see it in person, and gather all of the information listed above. If the seller is unwilling to provide this information, then it may not be worth considering buying.
If you don’t know the crash history of the car seat, do not buy it.
5. Buy a Convertible Seat
Buying a convertible seat may wind up saving you more money in the long run. While these seats often cost more upfront, they may wind up being the only car seat that you need to use.
If you plan to have more children in the future, the seat can be used from the moment you take your new baby home from the hospital.
Buying a car seat is not a decision to be taken lightly. Don’t rush into buying one – do your research. And while you can save money, don’t sacrifice your child’s safety in the process.