By the end of the month our new baby should arrive. We have been trying to prepare. We've painted the kids' bedrooms and moved the girls into the bigger room. We've purchased new blankets and onesies. We got a second crib. We've been throwing stuff away.
This week I bought a new infant car seat. The car seat that has faithfully kept my other babies secure has expired. Yes, expired. I always thought expiration dates were for milk and driver's licenses. Who knew that car seats expired as well? At first, I was incredulous. Then, after a little research, it began to make sense.
Car seats spend a significant amount of time in the car. They are exposed to extremely cold and extremely hot temperatures. The plastic can warp. The straps and fabrics wear out. Technology and advances in safety, such as the LATCH system, change and are updated. You can read more about car seat expiration dates on the Safety Squad website and others. Check out the car seat manufacturer's website. By the way, toddler car seats expire too.
So, I bought a new one and will throw the old one in the garbage--where it apparently belongs. It was an expensive purchase for a last baby but it is worth it to keep the little one safe.
Once this new baby joins our family, every seat belt in our car will be filled and all five of my children will be safely secured in car seats or booster seats. My oldest two are in booster seats. My three year old and 20 month old are in forward-facing car seats (my 20 month old just barely hit 20 pounds a few weeks ago and got to face forward). The hand-me-down car seats from their older siblings have also expired. Fortunately, we recently bought a minivan with two built-in car seats.
Utah State Law has recently been changed so that all children under the age of eight are required to be buckled in a car seat or booster seat. Utah Safety Council's website has important information about safely securing your children. Please make sure they're safe.