The Story of an Infant Car Seat

Now that we’ve cleared the air about our stance on secondhand car seats, I thought I’d share the exciting story of my own daughter’s infant car seat. We purchased a basic infant car seat before she was born. We weren’t opposed to borrowing one from a friend, but unfortunately none of our friends cooperated by reproducing before we did. (Later we learned that we could have gone without an infant car seat altogether and purchased a convertible car seat instead—that would have lasted longer.)

Once Audrey was over a year old, she outgrew the car seat for height. We passed it down to a friend of a friend, whose baby used it for eight months before he became too heavy for it. On it went to my cousin’s new baby, who outgrew it just in time for me to pass it along to another friend. This is where the car seat is today. As the seat expires very soon (they say to toss a car seat after five to seven years), it may be enjoying its last car rides this year. I am perfectly comfortable with the idea of reusing a car seat in this way—passed along from friend to friend, so we can keep tabs on the seat’s whereabouts.

All-in-one Car Seats Save Money and the Planet

I won’t even go into my car seat drama, but suffice it to say I ended up going through more hunks of plastic than strictly necessary. In our upcoming book (The Eco-nomical Baby Guide), we suggest purchasing an all-in-one car seat to avoid putting a strain on the planet. These seats “grow with the baby” and are supposed to work from birth until your child no longer needs a car seat or booster at all.

Why did I not do this? My only excuse is that I just wasn’t aware of the choices at the time. My search found just three all-in-one car seats, but they all look like great options if you want to avoid buying a new seat every couple years.

Do You Need an Organic Car Seat Cover?

In search of an eco-friendly car seat, I ran across the latest must-have baby accessory: organic car seat covers. That’s right—you simply take the horrible polyester cover that came with your car seat, throw it away, and buy your baby a bamboo infant car seat liner ($40). Too cheap for your precious bundle? You may be interested in the Itzy Ritzy Baby Ritzy Rider in Organic Baby Bamboo Infant Car Seat Cover ($110) or perhaps the organic wool car seat cover ($99.95). Never mind that they cost just as much as the car seat itself!
satsuma designs bamboo velour infant car seat liner

All right, to be fair, some babies may be especially sensitive to toxins in the fabric of regular car seat covers. And it wouldn’t be a bad idea for car seat manufacturers to use natural materials in their products. But we’ll save our money for a car seat made out recycled milk jugs!