Dear PoP – Does Anyone Have a Child’s Car Seat?

Photo by flickr user SwanDiamondRose

“Dear PoP,

What do you think the odds are of random readers having a car seat I can rent for five days later this month? My 10-month-old niece is coming to town. I have a car, and I would so much rather drive them all over town than try to maneuver PT (and sibling relations). I’m just wondering if there is such a thing, if any of your readers have heard of such a thing, and if this sounds less crazy than it feels to write it. I am baby-less, and my friends are, too. I just want to have a good time with them, without wanting to slit my wrists.”

Does anyone have a baby seat they’d be willing to loan/rent to this reader? If so please email me at princeofpetworth(at)gmail(dot)com and I’ll connect you with the reader.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever heard of being rented out? I don’t know if it is an urban legend but I thought I once heard that people rent out puppies…

29 Comment

  • I thought some of your readers may be interested to know that Children’s Hospital on Michigan Ave. offers carseats and boosters for about $20 to DC residents with a valid ID. Don’t know the details, but the poster can try calling the hospital to learn more.

  • How is it the parents aren’t traveling with a baby seat?

    Did the OP ask them?

    Because they will need one for the plane unless they’re flying cheap with the kid on their lap.

    You could probably get a cheap one at Target for $60 or on Craigslist for $30.

    I’d say almost the bigger thing would be, are they bringing a stroller?

    but if you really want to rent, TravelBabees has some stuff:

    • There are loads of baby supply rental companies like Travel, Breezy, and Gear While You’re that carry bulky items vacationers might need for babies and kids at their destination, including car seats, cribs, pac n’ plays, strollers, boxes of age appropriate toys, high chairs and such. Also car rental places ALL rent seats (in California at least I know they are required to have them available.) But it’s not as cheap as borrowing one.
      Ahh to be ignorant of such things. Youth is bliss.
      Take her to the indoor areas of the zoo (it’s hot out!) and Turtle Park at 45th and Van Ness.

    • This is not true. You do NOT have to bring a car seat on the plane. You aren’t required to have baby seat in a taxi in DC either.

      • well the parents can let the child play with the eletrical outlet too, I’m not saying the airlines make the rule about the child safety seat, I’m saying it’s common sense.

  • Call Monkey’s Uncle

  • that picture drives me crazy

  • I have one, it’s for an infant, not a larger toddler though. I’ll email PoP now…

  • Try the Thrift Shop on Georgia Avenue… but you find one real cheap there.

  • If worse comes to worse, the parents can check a car seat for free (if they are flying with the child on their lap). I understand that it’s annoying to have extra things to lug around, though.

    Good luck!

    • ah

      If the parents travel at all they should get a car seat backpack.

      Of course, maybe the parents are urban hipsters without a car.

      I’d go buy one at Target, Babies R Us or Buy Buy Baby and be done with it. Rentals for 5 days will probably cost nearly as much. And they come with free drool.

  • Another new site to plug is

    Basically it is a location based borrowing service that you can find items you may only need for a short time, and others willing to lend you said item.

    The site is in it’s infancy at the moment, but with a larger user base I think it could really take off!

  • Yeah, I agree with the above that it would probably be easier for the parents to bring their car seat with them on the plane.

    And maybe I’m paranoid, but you’re supposed to get a new car seat after an accident. I wouldn’t trust one bought from Craigslist or Monkey’s Uncle. Car rental companies do rent them, but may not always have an appropriate one in stock. Ours didn’t make it on the plane one trip and I was offered a forward-facing toddler seat for a 3-month-old… now all important stuff like that gets gate-checked.

  • Monkeys’ Uncle rents travel stuff. Not sure if they have a car seat, but you can call.

  • Buy one from target.. then return it after 10 days.

    Say the baby didnt like it.. always made it cry and poop.

  • Don’t get a used one off of Craig’s list or otherwise. You don’t know if it’s been broken or repaired improperly. It’s just generally a bad idea. It’s probably best for your relatives to bring the child’s own seat. They can gate-check it for free even if they don’t want to bring it on the plane (or don’t have a seat for the kid). That’s the best result.

    • I have donated all my old child safety seats to charities and none of them were in accidents, for what it’s worth.

    • If you were in a wreck bad enough to kill your child would you be selling his leftover broken car seat on Craigslist for $30.00?

      • It doesn’t have to be a wreck bad enough to kill a child for the seat to be damaged. Just bad enough for the seat to be cracked, even imperceptibly, or for something crucial to become loose. I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to screw around with what my kid sits in going 70mph on the highway – or even 30mph around town.

  • put the kid in the trunk?

  • Be careful of using child seats beyond their expiration dates. You’re thinking, “child seats have expiration dates?”

    They do. The plastic in child seats breaks down over time due to heat, sunlight and time. You run the risk of your child seat failing in an accident if it’s beyond it’s useful life. That’s why it’s generally not a great idea to get used child seats unless you know they’re within their lifespan.

  • This might be a little more effort but I have seen child seats listed on freecycle. You can also advertise that you are searching for one. That way you are spending money and you are taking someone else’s off their hands.

    Sign up here:

  • Wow! Thanks, everyone. I really appreciate all of this information. This is the first time my sister and BIL have traveled with her (first kid) and they are bringing a ton of stuff. While we hope to rely on Metro for most things, I would love to be able to pick them up from the airport, maybe drive at night, etc.
    I am definitely a childless 32-year-old, but I am a huge baby in this heat. I think this car seat is more for me than anyone else 🙂
    Thanks again – I love DC.

Comments are closed.