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The One Hand-Me-Down We (Politely) Declined

We are very blessed that my husband’s sister has young kids. Our nieces are 2 and 4 and though the younger one is not thrilled that her role as baby of the family has been stolen, they are otherwise sweet and fun with their new cousin. In addition to having automatic lifelong friends, my sister in law is also great for giving us fantastic hand-me-downs. Obviously we don’t get a lot of clothing from them, what with the whole girl/boy thing, but she’s given us leftover diapers and wipes, their entire crib set, and plenty of toys. I’m most excited to have a second child just to get her super fancy double stroller.

Okay, so maybe that’s not what I’m most excited for, but you know what I mean.

But just a few days after Eli was born, she offered us one item we had to decline- a used carseat. And here’s why.

Even though the car seat appeared to be in good condition, there were several reasons we weren’t comfortable with it.

First, they didn’t have the instruction manual so we didn’t know how to install it. Likely we could’ve found this online but since it wasn’t the newest model, there was no way to know if there are subtle changes to the installation that would’ve impacted our child’s safety in the car.

The second problem was that they weren’t sure how old the seat was. If it was one they had just used recently with their younger daughter, we maybe would’ve considered it more, but they weren’t certain. Old car seats are dangerous because overtime the plastic breaks down and can crack or break without any impact or just lose its strength during a collision. The whole reason we were putting him in the seat was to keep him safe in an accident, so the idea that we couldn’t prove the seat would do that was troubling.

And finally, the car seat had been in their car when they had been in a fender bender recently. And though there was no obvious damage, we couldn’t be sure there weren’t very small cracks that would’ve reduced the strength of the seat.

For us, it all boiled down to safety. We hate the idea of spending more money on a car seat, but our son’s safety is of the highest priority, so we’re pinching pennies to get him a new seat that we can feel confident will protect him the way it needs to.

Are you baby safety savvy? We’re giving away two Graco SnugRide Click Connect infant car seats! To enter for a chance to win, simply comment on this post with a personal tip on how you keep baby safe in the car.

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