Post # 1
So my brother and SIL and nephew (!) are flying in from London for my wedding in two months. My nephew is just a year old and so we need to find a carseat for him. They are not renting a car, so renting a car with one is not an option. I first thought of looking for a used one on Craigslist but my mom freaked out at the idea and said it was illegal to sell a used one anywhere because of recall warnings. I hadn’t even thought of that, but it seems like if I can get the make and model of the seller and check for recall notices online that it would be safe. Does that sound okay? Or do you bees have any idea of where else we could find a carseat without spending much money?
Post # 3
Why don’t they just bring theirs? Whenever I travel with my son, I always bring my carseat. They will courtesy check them for you when you check in. (You just give them the carseat right then and they don’t charge you for it)
Post # 4
I wouldn’t buy one off CL either. Try Target. You can get one for like $40, maybe less depending on the size of the child.
Post # 5
I don’t have children of my own BUT have seen several close friends do tons of research before purchasing a carseat. I would think that purchasing one off of Craig’s list that is considered at the top of the safety ratings is much safer than buying a cheap $40 one from Walmart or Target. I do agree with Rosie Girl though, you can check them on the airplane which may be their best option.
Post # 6
You could rent one from a company like http://www.babysaway.com. Or there might be a local baby equipment rental company in your town you can rent from. If you google it, you’ll probably come up with several options.
Post # 7
Used car seats are suspect not only because of recalls but because you don’t know the history of the car seat. If it has been in an accident, EVER, then it needs to be replaced. Just like a motorcycle helmet, if you drop it or get in an accident, you’re supposed to get a new one because the structural integrity is compromised. Also, a little known fact, carseats EXPIRE. Yep, there’s a printed expiration date on each and every one! A lot of carseats sold on CL are past their expiration date and are no longer safe.
Honestly I would ask your brother to bring his with him. That’s the safest, cheapest, and simplest way to do it. If he’s refusing because it’s too much hassle for him, then I think he should send you money for a car seat. His travel expenses for his family are his responsibility, not yours.
Post # 8
I second Mrs. Spring’s advice. There is a local children’s consignment store near me that also rents stuff like strollers, carseats, pack n’ plays, etc. I’m sure in Portland there must be something like that.
Another possibility would be to ask around amongst your friends, coworkers and family. Someone might have one they can lend to you (that a child outgrew or that they use in their second car or something).
A third option is a car seat vest- the child wears it and it positions the car’s seat belt to properly restrain them. They can be expensive (like $100), but are easy to travel with and you don’t have to worry about them fitting into your car like carseats.
Here’s a link to one:
Post # 9
I second MightySapphire’s advice.
I wouldn’t rent or buy a car seat off Craigslist; major concerns with expiration and accidents–even accidents that weren’t reported to the rental company.
We were in the teeniest of fender-benders, and the insurance company replaced both of our seats without batting an eye. If there is any level of impact, then the seats need to be discarded (I think Britax are the only ones with slightly different standards).
What is the weight/height of the baby? At one year, there’s a chance he’d still fit in an infant seat. If you have any friends with toddlers, you might be able to borrow an infant seat that’s not expired (most expire 6 years after date of manufacture)–and I’d trust a friend to tell you about any accidents. Most parents move their little ones out of the carrier seats between 6 months and a year; there are a LOT of those things out there in people’s basements!
That vest is neat, but wouldn’t work for a one-year-old.
Either way, I’d ask around, post on Facebook, etc. If you lived in the area, I’d be happy to loan you a spare seat out of my husband’s car!
P.S. I know lots of people do it, but I’d be very nervous to fly without my kids in car seats–both for safety issues and my sanity! Are you sure they’re not bringing a seat for him?
Post # 10
I think you best bet would be to borrow one from a friend or family member, so thanks have a spare in their second car. Some gradparents may have on that’s occasinally used by grandkids so your parents might want to ask their friends. There is a seat called a Costco Scerena that can often be purchased inexpensively at Traget or Wal-Mart. I’ve seen many people from other online communities use that as a second seat.
Post # 11
Thanks for all of the ideas! They don’t have a car in London, so they don’t own a carseat, which is why they can’t just bring it on the plane, unfortunately. But we looked into buying a cheapish one at Target, like some of your suggested, and I think my parents are just going to buy one to have around in case of future visits.
Post # 12
Here in my area of Boston we have a listserv for parents with over 1500 members. I have borrowed car seats from people off that listserv twice with absolutely no issues whatsoever. Poke around and see if you have that type of network near you. Or you can possibly see if your church or community center or even a local store has a moms group where someone might be willing to lend you one.