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

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 Texas? ›

If you need a car seat, please contact Safe Riders at saferiders@dshs.texas.gov or 1-800-252-8255. Safe Riders responds to messages in the order in which they are received.

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

Arizona Free Car Seats

These requirements include being pregnant, Low-income, the legal guardian of the child and get basic safety education.

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.

What can I do with old car seats? ›

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.

How can I get a car for free? ›

8 Charities That Provide Free Cars
  1. Onlinecardonation.com. The mission of OnlineCarDonation.com is to help provide disadvantaged families with a car, truck, or van. ...
  2. Onlinecardonation.org. ...
  3. 1-800 Charity Cars. ...
  4. Cars4heroes. ...
  5. Cars4christmas. ...
  6. Vehicles for Change. ...
  7. Good News Garage. ...
  8. Working Cars for Working Families.
1 Apr 2022

How do I get my free 2022 Texas Medicaid car seat? ›

If you are approved for Medicaid, getting a car seat is fairly easy:
  1. You'll first need to enroll in a course on how to properly use a car seat for your child. ...
  2. Medicaid-approved courses are available online. ...
  3. Once you've provided proof of completion, Medicaid will provide you with free car seats for your little ones.

Do local fire departments install car seats? ›

Many fire departments will install and check car seats, but they need to have a child passenger safety technician on hand to do it. Not as many firefighters are also CPS techs anymore due to liability risk. You should certainly call and ask before you assume the fire department can help.

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!

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.

Does a 9 year old need a car seat? ›

By law, all children under 150cm in height or under 36kg in weight must use the correct child seat or booster when travelling in a car or goods vehicle. This usually means your child will need to be in a car seat until they are around 12 years old.

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.

Will Graco replace a car seat after accident? ›

Manufacturer Instructions for Using a Car Seat After a Crash

Some car seat manufacturers state in the user instruction manual that their car seats should be replaced after any crash, no matter how minor. Graco, for example, states that their car seats must be replaced after any crash.

Is Target doing car seat trade-in 2022? ›

You will receive one 20% off coupon toward a new car seat, booster seat, car seat base, travel system, stroller or select baby gear. Coupons can be applied to both in-store and online purchases and are eligible through October 8, 2022.

Does Amazon do car seat trade-in? ›

Unfortunately there's no Amazon car seat trade-in 2022.

Are second-hand baby car seats safe? ›

The best advice is do not buy a second-hand child seat.

You cannot be certain of its history. It may have been involved in an accident and the damage may not be visible. Very often the instructions are missing from second-hand seats which makes it more difficult to be sure that you are fitting and using it correctly.

Is Free Charity Cars legitimate? ›

Yes. FCC does award vehicles to other 501-C-3 non-profit charities. Your organization may create a profile for your organization. If you are selected, you may elect to receive a vehicle for your organization or refer an FCC client to obtain the vehicle.

How do I get a sponsor for my car? ›

HOW TO GET CAR SPONSORS - YouTube

What is Zap car subscription? ›

Zap also gives its customers an opportunity to earn by listing their subscribed cars on Zoomcar rental service. The earnings range between 60-75% of the revenue generated from each booking. “On an average, our subscribers list the car for 18-20 days in a month and offset the subscription fee by 75%,” says Moran.

Can you get a free car seat with Medicaid Texas? ›

You probably already know that Texas law requires children to ride in a car seat. But did you know you can get a car seat for free? Free car seats are just one of many Value-Added Services for pregnant women and new moms enrolled in a STAR Medicaid or CHIP insurance plan.

Does insurance cover infant car seats? ›

Does insurance cover a car seat replacement? If you have collision coverage, your insurance will typically replace a car seat involved in an accident. Even if a car seat doesn't have obvious damage, insurance providers may pay to replace it as the integrity could have been compromised in the accident.

Is Medicaid a insurance? ›

Created in 1965, Medicaid is a public insurance program that provides health coverage to low-income families and individuals, including children, parents, pregnant women, seniors, and people with disabilities; it is funded jointly by the federal government and the states.

How do you install a rear facing 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.

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.

Do hospitals check car seat expiration dates? ›

Before you're allowed to leave, most hospitals require parents to bring your infant car seat into your hospital room where the nurse can inspect the car seat to make sure it's up to date and also help parents learn how to buckle their babies in properly.

Do strollers expire? ›

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

How long can a baby be in a car seat? ›

However, infant healthcare professionals, safety experts and most car manufacturers recommend that babies should not be in a car seat for longer than 2 hours at a time and they should be taken out frequently. If your trip involves driving for long periods of time, you should stop for regular breaks.

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).

Does car seat go behind driver or passenger? ›

The car seat should always be installed in the back seat. That is the safest spot for your baby. If you can, put the car seat in the center seat. If not, it is fine behind either the driver or passenger side.

Can 3 year olds sit in 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.

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.

What is the legal age to sit in the front seat in Ohio? ›

There's no law in Ohio on when kids can ride in the front seat, but many car manufacturers specify that kids should not ride in the front until age 13.

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.

Are steel frame car seats safer? ›

Steel frame car seats are more durable and safer than plastic car seats. They are also stronger and can better withstand the force of a car crash. However, steel seats are usually more expensive. If you consider purchasing a car seat for your child, steel is the clear winner for me.

Do I need to replace a dropped car seat? ›

Graco recommends replacing the car seat in the event of any type of accident. Even if there appears to be no damage to the car seat on the surface, the impact and force of a collision can cause unseen internal structural damage to your car seat.

Do you have to replace seat belts after an accident? ›

When your vehicle is involved in an accident, you need to have it inspected have the damage repaired. In almost every scenario, you're going to need your seat belt(s) repaired or replaced, too. Your seat belt is what prevented you from getting thrown from the vehicle.

What months are Target car seat trade-in? ›

The fall 2022 Target Car Seat Trade-In is scheduled to kick off on Sunday, September 11th. We anticipate the first 2023 car seat trade-in event to happen in April.

Can you return car seats to Target? ›

Twice a year, you can bring an old, expired or damaged car seat to Target and recycle it to redeem a coupon on your Target app or Target.com/circle for 20% off one car seat, one stroller or select baby gear. Materials from the old car seats are recycled by Target's partner, Waste Management.

How often do car seats go on sale at Target? ›

Twice a year, Target collects old, used, expired, and damaged car seats in exchange for 20% off one car seat, one stroller, or select baby gear.

How do I get Amazon Instant trade-in credit? ›

Once you submit the trade-in form, the earned trade-in credit and any trade-in discounts on new devices are instantly applied to your account, allowing you to immediately make a purchase with those credits and discounts.

Can you stack Target car seat coupons? ›

To maximize your savings, pair your car seat trade-in coupon with baby deals for things that are already on sale or additional Target Circle offers. You can totally stack all of these offers.

Why can't you use a second-hand mattress for a baby? ›

There is some evidence to suggest that bringing in a mattress from another home might increase the risk of sudden infant death very slightly. When using your own mattress for a second (or more) time, ensure it is still firm and flat with no tears or holes, and is not sagging in places.

Is a 5 year old car seat safe? ›

(California Vehicle Code Section 27360.) ​Children under the age of 8 must be secured in a car seat or booster seat in the back seat. Children who are 8 years of age OR have reached 4'9” in height may be secured by a booster seat, but at a minimum must be secured by a safety belt.

How should I lay my newborn to sleep? ›

Put your baby to sleep on his back every time until he's 1 year old. It's not safe for a baby to sleep on his side or tummy. If your baby can roll from his back to his side or tummy and back again, it's OK if he changes positions while sleeping. Dress your baby in light sleep clothes.

Can you get a free car seat with Medicaid Texas? ›

You probably already know that Texas law requires children to ride in a car seat. But did you know you can get a car seat for free? Free car seats are just one of many Value-Added Services for pregnant women and new moms enrolled in a STAR Medicaid or CHIP insurance plan.

What are the car seat laws in Texas? ›

Texas law requires that all children younger than eight years old, unless they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches, be secured in a child safety seat whenever they ride in a vehicle. Older children who have outgrown a booster seat must be buckled with a seat belt.

What year did the Texas seat belt law go into effect? ›

Two states (New Jersey and New York) enacted mandatory seat belt laws in 1984, and 12 states (Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Texas) enacted mandatory seat belt laws in 1985.

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!

Does insurance cover infant car seats? ›

Does insurance cover a car seat replacement? If you have collision coverage, your insurance will typically replace a car seat involved in an accident. Even if a car seat doesn't have obvious damage, insurance providers may pay to replace it as the integrity could have been compromised in the accident.

Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Texas cover carseats? ›

If you have CHIP or STAR and you're pregnant, you can earn points to receive a free car seat from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX).

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.

What age can a child stay home alone in Texas? ›

Answer: Texas law doesn't say what age is old enough for a child to stay at home alone. However, adequate supervision is critical to keeping kids safe. An adult caregiver is accountable for the child's care and inadequate supervision can be a type of neglect (neglectful supervision).

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

Children younger than eight years must be in a child safety seat or booster seat unless they're taller than four feet nine inches. If they aren't properly restrained, the driver faces fines up to $250, plus court costs.

When can babies face forward in Texas? ›

Birth to two years old: All infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car seat until they are two years old, or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their safety seat's manufacturer.

Why did they stop making automatic seat belts? ›

Fortunately, airbags took over

After a short run in the production lines of many automakers, automatic seat belts were eventually phased out in favor of making airbags standard on all cars.

Can you ride in the bed of a truck in Texas? ›

No Texas law forbids adults from riding in the back of a pickup truck. However, it's not uncommon to see farmers and ranchers moving their workers from place to place in the back of a pickup truck. It's definitely not a safe choice for motor vehicle passengers.

Why does New Hampshire have no seat belt law? ›

Meanwhile, in New Hampshire, lawmakers decided to sit this one out. While the state requires that drivers and passengers under 18 wear seat belts, a law for adults never made it through the legislature. Most recently, the House of Representatives considered a seat belt bill in 2009, and shot it down.

Will Graco replace a car seat after accident? ›

Manufacturer Instructions for Using a Car Seat After a Crash

Some car seat manufacturers state in the user instruction manual that their car seats should be replaced after any crash, no matter how minor. Graco, for example, states that their car seats must be replaced after any crash.

Is Medicaid a insurance? ›

Created in 1965, Medicaid is a public insurance program that provides health coverage to low-income families and individuals, including children, parents, pregnant women, seniors, and people with disabilities; it is funded jointly by the federal government and the states.

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.

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