100+ Ways To Get Free Infant Car Seats(In 50 states), Diapers, or Baby Food (Updated 2022) (2023)

Becoming a parent is one of the most important moments in your life. Your little bundle of joy is completely dependent on you and that responsibility may feel heavy - you want to give babies every single thing in your power. To help you along the way, you'll be using a whole host of baby supplies, from infant car seats to diapers. Don't forget items that will help momma too from this pre-baby registry checklist.

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The reality is that baby products are expensive and these items add up. It might even feel like you're emptying out your pockets to make the life of your baby comfortable. But you know what? If you are a little clever about it, you can get through the newborn stage without putting a massive hole in your bank account.

Let’s break down the most important products that you need for your baby and then find a way to get it for free or at least highly subsidized!

Infant Car Seats

100+ Ways To Get Free Infant Car Seats(In 50 states), Diapers, or Baby Food (Updated 2022) (1)

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Choosing The Right Car Seat For Your Baby

Any car seat should be chosen to fit your child’s size and weight. From birth to 12 months your child should always ride in a rear facing car seat. Infant car seats are specifically designed to be facing. The American Academy of Pediatrics actually provides a list of car seats and manufacturers, which is an excellent guide.

Car Seats Expire

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One little known fact is that most infant car seats have an expiration date of 6-8 years after manufacture. Plastics don’t last forever, and the integrity of the car seat can be compromised after wear and tear or just sitting in a hot car for years.

Do not settle for any free infant car seat that comes your way. Free baby car seats still need to adhere to the safety standards. If you want one that lasts through toddlerhood, you will need to find a convertible car seat.

Where Do You Find A Free Baby Car Seat?

Free car seats are often available either from parents looking to reduce clutter (because baby stuff really does pile up!) or from organizations that assist low income families. Most of these organizations are (by necessity) going to be local, so it’s worth looking up your local departments.

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100+ Ways To Get Free Infant Car Seats(In 50 states), Diapers, or Baby Food (Updated 2022) (2)

Government Assistance

  • WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) - The WIC program provides federal money to states for programs that offer nutrition and health education to women, infants, and children. There are eligibility requirements for the overall program, but if you already enrolled, car seats can also be obtained.
  • Social Services - The Department of Children & Family Services locally can often help to help you out with a free car seat. Be prepared with the necessary documents and proof that you are the legal parent of the child to benefit from their schemes. For example in Fairfax County there’s aChild Safety Seat Education and Distribution Program
  • State Departments of Health - For example Texas has a SafeRiders Car seat distribution program, though it's been suspended during COVID
  • Police & Fire Departments - Your local police and fire officers can often help you to get a free infant car seat. They are also handy for helping to install your car seat
  • Call 211 - Dialing 2-1-1 from your phone gives you access to community services. The hotline is staffed by trained specialists

Health Insurance

  • Private Insurance or Medicaid - If you are insured, then you should ask your health insurance provider if they provide free baby car seats. For example, depending on the state Medicaid offers this service. You can look through your policy document for more details, or you call customer support and specifically ask
    • Superior Healthplan - Offers baby showers, which if you attend, may provide additional benefits. Once a notification of pregnancy form is filled out, free diapers and diaper bags can be provided. If a prenatal visit to the doctor is made as well, a convertible car seat is provided. These are some of the services provided in Texas, for example
    • Amerigroup - Gives car seats following 13 prenatal visits to the doctor
    • Molina - Provides car seats after 6 prenatal doctor visits

Charities And Nonprofits

  • Safe Kids - A non-profit organization that is present in all 50 states. You can find one in your area or contact them over the phone. They may be able to provide car seats, and they can also teach you to install your car seat for free
  • Salvation Army - The Salvation army takes donations locally and may have car seats to offer
  • Planned Parenthood is another non-profit organization to try - check with your local Planned parenthood
  • United Way - This is a non-profit organization that can help you in getting a free infant car seat. Call and let them know that you are not in a position to provide a car seat for your baby
  • Baby2baby - This nonprofit's mission is to provide low-income children with diapers, clothing, and basic necessities. They've distributed 39 million items in 7 years and are available in 20 cities across the US. Their site also lists some resources, for example for children in Los Angeles. Support is provided for kids 0-12 with gently used gear necessities.

Private Organizations

  • Buy Nothing Group - Started with a mission to bring communities together, your local buy nothing group may offer useful household items
  • Facebook Marketplace - A listing marketplace that occasionally has free or at least discounted items
  • Toyota Buckle Up for Life - Car seat donations from a car manufacturer
  • Nextdoor - This is a social networking site for neighbors, and an easy place to list goods
  • Craigslist – Started in 1995, one of the most well known free classified listings on the web. Craigslist has localized sites and you can find local donors of car seats and arrange for pickup. If not for free, the car seats are often heavily discounted. Because the history of the car seat cannot be confirmed, there are risks to going this route
  • Ask Your Pediatrician - Pediatricians may be well placed to direct you to a local organization that can help you with a subsidized or a free infant car seat program
  • Local hospitals – While at the hospital giving birth, you can also check with them for resources
  • CPST Technicians- Child passenger safety technicians are trained to install car seats correctly. They include policemen, fire fighters, paramedics, doctors, and nurses and have seen enough car seats to be able to advise you on cheap carseats.

Seat Installation

Getting a safe, free baby car seat is just the first step. It’s also crucial to make sure it’s installed properly. This goes for larger car seats as well as smaller ones. A shocking 95% of new parents install their car safety seats incorrectly. To avoid compromising your child’s safety, certified technicians can actually install the car seat for you, typically for free.

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There are sometimes car seat installation classes as well. For example inArizona, the CAPP (Children Are Priceless Passengers) program sponsored by the Phoenix’s Children Hospital, offers a class on child safety seats, though the fee is $35.

Car Seat Accessory

  • Car seat canopies comes in handy to cover a sleeping baby. Visit carseatcanopy.com, click "Shop Now", and during checkout enter the promo code "FTBOFF" and you will receive a free canopy. Just pay shipping and handling.

We've compiled local resources in all 50 states at the bottom. Click the button to jump to them.

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FAQs

How do I get a free car seat in Arizona? ›

HealthLinks Car Seat Program
  1. HealthLinks Car Seat Program. FREE CAR SEATS!
  2. To qualify you must be: ●Pregnant. ●The biological parent or legal guardian of a. child between the ages of 1-3. ●Low income & unable to purchase a seat. ...
  3. 115 E Tonto St. Phoenix, AZ. 85004.
  4. For more information, please call (602) 252-4911 x108.

How do I get a free car seat in Ohio? ›

The Ohio Buckles Buckeyes (OBB) Child Passenger Safety Program provides FREE car seats and booster seats to eligible low-income families in all Ohio counties. In order to receive a free OBB seat, income eligible individuals must attend an educational session with one of our certified technicians.

Do car seats expire? ›

In general, car seats expire between 6 and 10 years from the date of manufacture. They expire for a number of reasons, including wear and tear, changing regulations, recalls, and the limits of manufacturer testing.

How do I get a free car seat from MassHealth? ›

Did you know that all kiddos who have MassHealth can receive a free carseat/booster seat? Call the BMC HealthNet Plan Member Services Department at 888-566-0010 to request your free seat!

Is Florida safe for kids? ›

Despite the sunshine, theme parks, and a multitude of beaches making the state's “family fun” score the sixth-best in the U.S., scores for health and safety, education and child care, and affordability were all low, making Florida rank 39 out of 50 for best places to raise kids.

What are some important things to consider when purchasing a car seat? ›

How to choose an infant car seat: 9 important things to look for
  • Safety: Is the car seat safe and legal in your country? ...
  • Size: Is the car seat appropriate for your baby height and weight? ...
  • Comfort: Is your baby comfortable enough to sleep in the seat? ...
  • Installation: How easy is it to install the seat?

How do you properly install a car seat? ›

With a Seat Belt
  1. Read your car seat's instruction manual and your vehicle's owner manual. ...
  2. Place the car seat base in the back seat of your vehicle.
  3. Carefully thread the seat belt through the rear-facing belt path. ...
  4. Buckle the seat belt.
  5. Lock the seat belt.
  6. Press down firmly on the car seat base and tighten.

Where can I donate car seats in Phoenix? ›

People in Arizona can donate their gently used car seats to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

What is the car seat law in Ohio? ›

State law requires that any child under 4 years old or less than 40 pounds must be properly secured in a child safety seat in a motor vehicle. Children age 4 to 8 who weigh more than 40 pounds and are shorter than 4 feet 9 inches, must be properly secured with a booster seat or other approved safety seat.

How long does a child have to be rear-facing in Ohio? ›

Age - a child should remain rear-facing as long as possible, or at least until 2 years of age, or they reach the height or weight limit of the seat. It is also safest to keep a child in a five-point harness for as long as possible.

Does a 9 year old need a car seat? ›

All children must travel in a car seat (including booster seats) until they are either 12 years old or 135cm (150cm in Republic of Ireland) in height, whichever comes first. Backless booster seats: Any new backless booster seats can only be used by children who weigh 22kg or more.

Why do infant car seats expire? ›

How can a piece of plastic, metal, and fabric expire? safetyMost manufacturers give their car seats expiration dates of 6 to 10 years after they're made, at which point a car seat could, at best, have outdated technology, and at worst, no longer meet the safety standards of the seats on the market.

Do strollers expire? ›

Strollers do not have expiration dates; however, the car seat included in a travel system does expire.

Do baby carriers expire? ›

Baby carriers do expire and won't last forever. So make sure to check the integrity of the fabric and all of the attachment hardware regularly to maintain the highest level of safety for your baby.

Is Medicaid a insurance? ›

Medicaid is the nation's public health insurance program for people with low income. Medicaid is the nation's public health insurance program for people with low income. The Medicaid program covers 1 in 5 Americans, including many with complex and costly needs for care.

What time does MassHealth customer service open? ›

Call the MassHealth Customer Service Center at 800-841-2900 (TDD/TTY: 711). Hours: Monday- Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

What city in Florida is best to raise a family? ›

The best places to live for families in Florida are:
  • Tallahassee.
  • Ocala.
  • Port St. Lucie.
  • Fort Myers.
  • Lakeland.
  • Daytona Beach.
  • Orlando.
  • Miami.

What age can a kid stay home alone in Florida? ›

Florida has no minimum age requirement for leaving kids at home alone. Only three states currently have laws regarding a minimum age for leaving children home alone. Maryland requires the child to be at least 8 years old. In Oregon, children must be 10 before being left home alone.

How old can a child be left alone in Florida? ›

According to the Florida Department of Children and Families, the National SAFE KIDS Campaign recommends children should not be left alone before the age of 12. It also states that older siblings should not supervise younger children until 15.

Can I skip the infant car seat? ›

As long as you have an appropriate car seat that fits your newborn, there is NO requirement of having an Infant Car Seat in order to be discharged from the hospital. However, a reader pointed out that you won't know the size of your newborn until they've arrived and they may be too small or too short for your seat.

What color car seat is best? ›

Light is better than dark!

The same applies to your child's car seat. Try and avoid car seats with black/navy/dark gray fabrics as these will absorb more heat than lighter colored fabrics.

Do you need an infant car seat to leave the hospital? ›

The most important item for the trip home is a proper child safety seat (car seat). Every state requires parents to have one before leaving the hospital because it's one of the best ways to protect your baby. Even for a short trip, it's never safe for one of you to hold your baby in your arms while the other drives.

Should car seat go behind driver or passenger? ›

Install in the Backseat

If not, it is fine behind either the driver or passenger side. The important thing is that it is in the back, away from the airbags.

What age does the 2 hour car seat rule end? ›

The advice is not to use car seats for longer than 30 minutes for babies younger than four weeks and not using car seats for more than two hours in one go for babies of all ages (The Lullaby Trust, 2016).

Is latch safer than seatbelt? ›

Either seat belt or LATCH, when used correctly, are equally safe. There are many things to keep in mind when deciding which method to use for your child's car seat. Child's weight – If your child's weight is over the LATCH limit, then the decision to use a seat belt installation is an easy one as it's your only option.

What can you do with old car seat parts? ›

Recycle it

Some city recycling programs or local recycling plants may accept used or expired car seats, but call to confirm before dropping yours off. If your seat is recyclable, you'll likely have to take off the seat cover and harness to make it easier for the plant to dismantle the plastic and metal pieces.

Do booster seats expire? ›

All car seats and boosters have different lifespans. There is no one rule; seats can expire anywhere from 4-12 years from when they were made. To find out when your seat expires, take a look at the seat itself.

How do I know when my car seat expires? ›

Expiration dates are usually listed on a sticker on the seat itself, but in some cases, they might be stamped directly into the plastic shell. You'll usually find them next to the car seat's model number.

Is it illegal to smoke in a car with a child in Ohio? ›

It is still legal to smoke with a "child" in the car in Ohio. There was a recent senate bill proposed, which would have made it illegal for people to smoke with a child in the passenger seat younger than the age of 6.

When can a baby face forward in a car seat in Ohio? ›

Infants must not face forward until they are at least 1 year old and weigh at least 20 pounds. Children should remain in a harnessed car seat until reaching the weight or height limit of the seat. Most car seats have forward-facing weight limits of 40-65 pounds.

How big do babies have to be to face forward? ›

While 1 year and 20 pounds used to be the standard for when to flip car seats around, most experts now recommend using rear-facing child seats until children outgrow the top weight and height recommendations of the car seat manufacturer.

Is it safe for a 10 year old to ride in the front seat? ›

Buckle all children ages 12 and younger in the back seat.

Buckle children in the middle of the back seat, when possible (using a lap and shoulder belt), because it is typically the safest position in the vehicle. Air bags can kill young children riding in the front seat.

What age can a child travel in front of car? ›

Children 3 years and over, up to 135cm tall must sit in the rear and use an adult seat belt. Children aged 12 years or more, or over 135cm tall, may travel the front, but must wear the seat belt. (See the Other Vehicles section).

Can a 4 year old sit in a booster seat? ›

Your child should be at least four years old. Your child has reached the minimum requirement of the seat (15kg when approved to ECE R44 or 100cm when approved to UN R129) – this is legally binding by the regulations. Your child has the mental maturity to sit still in the high back booster seat.

Do you turn the airbag off if a child is in the front? ›

It's OK to leave the airbag active for forward-facing-seats but you should move the car's seat back on its runners as far as it will go. Do check your car handbook for model specific advice though as airbag size and performance does vary.

Can a 2 year old sit in the front seat of a car? ›

Children 3 and Over

While children legally can sit in the front seat from three years of age, it is important to remember that children are always safest in the backseat, even with appropriate car seats and boosters.

What car seat should a 1 year old be in? ›

When your child hits 1 year old: Based on our most recent recommendations and test results, if your child has reached his or her first birthday and still fits in a rear-facing infant seat, the safest move is to switch to a rear-facing convertible.

Does Uber have car seats in Florida? ›

Uber and Lyft drivers can decline their services to parents who do not have proper seats for their children. They are not required by Florida law to make those decisions. Uber has an option called the Uber Car Seat, formally known as UberFamily, in Orlando, Florida.

What is the car seat law in Florida? ›

Child Restraints – Car Seats and Booster Seats

Florida law requires children age 5 and under to be secured properly in a crash-tested, federally approved child restraint device. Children ages 0 through 3 must be in child restraint devices of a separate carrier or a vehicle manufacturer's integrated child seat.

Do you need a carseat in a taxi in Florida? ›

In Florida, taxis and other rideshare-type services are exempt from the car seat laws, as are shuttle buses. It is up to the parents to ensure the safety of their children.

When can a child legally sit in the front seat in Florida? ›

Children under the age of 13 should ride in the back seat of the vehicle whenever possible for additional safety.

Can I take a baby in an uber? ›

Uber car seats

If you are planning on riding with small children, then you should bring a child seat or baby seat for them. If you don't have the correct child car seat, children can travel without one – but only if they travel on a rear seat, and wear an adult seat belt if they're 3 or older.

How do I order a 7 seater Uber? ›

Open the app and enter your destination in the "Where to?" box. Once you confirm your pickup and destination addresses are correct, select UberXL at the bottom of your screen. Then tap Confirm UberXL. Once you've been matched, you'll see your driver's picture and vehicle details and can track their arrival on the map.

How much is a ticket for a child without car seat Florida? ›

Parents who do not follow the Florida law regarding child restraint systems in their vehicle can face a $60.00 fine and three points against their driver's license.

How long does a child have to be rear-facing in Florida? ›

Infants must ride rear-facing until they are at least one year old and weigh 20 pounds or more. Rear-facing, the infant should be semi-upright, at an angle of no more than 45 degrees. A forward-facing older child should ride sitting upright.

Can a 4 year old sit in front seat of car? ›

Children 3 years and over, up to 135cm tall must sit in the rear and use an adult seat belt. Children aged 12 years or more, or over 135cm tall, may travel the front, but must wear the seat belt.

How do you travel with a baby in a taxi? ›

Taxis are exempt from needing baby seats. Some (not all) taxis have baby/child seats built in and the driver will explain how to pull them out. The law is that in a licenced taxi or mini cab, children under 3 years of age can travel without a child's car seat or seat belt, but only in the back seats.

Do you need a car seat in a taxi in Orlando? ›

Taxis & Car Services

If you want to take a taxi or other car service, you need a car seat for the safest transportation and to abide by Florida law, just as you would to and from the airport.

Is it safe for a 10 year old to ride in the front seat? ›

Buckle all children ages 12 and younger in the back seat.

Buckle children in the middle of the back seat, when possible (using a lap and shoulder belt), because it is typically the safest position in the vehicle. Air bags can kill young children riding in the front seat.

How big do babies have to be to face forward? ›

While 1 year and 20 pounds used to be the standard for when to flip car seats around, most experts now recommend using rear-facing child seats until children outgrow the top weight and height recommendations of the car seat manufacturer.

How long should a child be rear-facing? ›

According to the AAP and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), children up to 3 years old should stay in a rear-facing car seat until they reach the top height or weight limit suggested by the car seat's manufacturer.

Can I put my child's car seat in the front? ›

A: Yes, although it is safer for children to travel in the rear of the car. If you must put a forward-facing seat in the front when there is an airbag present, make sure that the car seat is as far back as possible and the child seat is securely held to maximise the distance between the child and the airbag.

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