Raising a newborn is expensive, and we all love a good bargain. You’ll get severe sticker shock if you’re buying everything new from your never-ending list of essentials. But there are risks involved in some items so it’s essential you know which baby things you should not buy used.
You should be cautious with certain things, while others are a big no when buying second-hand baby items. Avoid used car seats, strollers, cribs, walkers, or mattresses. Else you’ll be endangering your child. Toys, breast pumps, some clothing, electric-powered items, and play yards can contain BPA phthalates or not conform to today’s safety standards.
Since you can’t weigh your baby’s safety against spending extra, go for new and safer items. You can buy clothes, playthings, and shoes second-hand or accepted as hand-me-down gifts. While describing baby things that shouldn’t be purchased used, I will also let you know what to look out for when shopping at thrift shops, online, or the flea market.
Which Items Can Put Your Baby at Risk If Bought Second Hand?
Being frugal isn’t always a bad thing, especially when your bank breaks from the high costs of baby items. Newborns and infants grow fast out of something like shoes and clothes, which you can buy second-hand with a bit of precaution. But there are areas where it’s not worth cutting corners despite the allure of money saved.
Wear and tear on some items can get noticed, but the damage on others will be concealed from your prying eyes. You could also end up buying an old model not subject to recently developed safety standards. The manufacturer may have recalled other baby things, and when you buy from a private seller, you won’t be covered by any consumer warranty.
Yes, it’s crucial to recycle for the sake of the environment, but some used items pose a high risk to you and your tot. Second-hand baby things that you shouldn’t buy include;
1. Car Seats
The cost of a good car seat is hefty, with convertible brands priced at $300 or more. This expense grows if your baby is always on the move and often in more than two vehicles. When using a car, your baby’s seat is a crucial safety device with an expiration date. The only exception to this non-negotiable item is if the thing is less than two years old.
There’s no way of finding out if a car seat has been involved in an accident. That’s even if unoccupied at the time. A baby’s stroller, carriage, or travel chair protects its vulnerable head, neck, and body. Even when a used seat’s been involved in a fender-bender in speeds as low as 30 mph, the metal frames or polystyrene shells are compromised It’s best to buy a new one.
2. Cribs and Their Mattresses
Over the years, there have been massive recalls to crib models, some related to sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS cases. Older cribs are also challenging to set up safely, especially if the instruction manual is missing.
For mattresses, it’s more of a hygiene issue, as these are prone to mold, dust mite, and bacterial growth. That’s as a result of leaking night diapers or pull-ups. According to FSID or Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths, each baby should have a new mattress, and it’s called Lullaby Trust.
If you are receiving a hand-me-down mattress from someone you know, check to ensure a waterproof cover surrounds the foam. It should have no cracks, holes, or tears while being sufficiently supportive and firm. Only use second-hand mattresses after cleaning thoroughly and drying them.
3. Breast Pumps
Breast pumps are an essential baby item if you are breastfeeding as sooner or later, you’ll head back to work, leaving your husband or the babysitter a bottle for nursing. A double electric pumper will get as much milk as possible without allowing contamination. But unless it’s a premium medical-grade breast pump, most are meant for single-person use.
If you can’t afford a top-of-the-line breast pump, it’s better to rent a hospital-grade one than buying second hand. With the Affordable Care Act, you can also get pumps for free if your insurance provider deems it eligible.
4. Sippy Cups and Feeding Bottles
Many sippy cups and bottles have small parts and niches where mold and bacteria can grow. The nipple areas especially are hard to clean, hiding spots where grossness will accumulate. If not adequately sterilized, these baby feeding things will give your child an infection when bought used.
Even with frequent cleaning and scrubbing, you should never share certain parts like the nipples of feeding bottles. These don’t hold up well with time, with cracks or holes that are choking hazards to your baby.
5. Disposable or Cloth Diaper Pails
After a couple of years, diaper pails become stinky. No matter what else you’ll be combining with these receptacles to combat odor, it’s easier if you bought a new pail. One fact you’ll find out is that you can tolerate your child’s stink but not a stranger’s.
6. Baby or Toddler Helmets
I recommended that you put a helmet on your baby using a walker outdoors or a toddler learning to ride a bike. Just like car seats, helmets that have been in a crash or even minimal bumps won’t sufficiently protect your child’s head. Other factors like pollution, sunshine, and sweat can wear out a helmet’s exterior or interior, compromising its protection.
7. Vintage Toys
Some toys are so antique they were passed down from grandparents. Others are hand-me-downs that seem to defy the tests of time. While they can be nostalgic, many old playthings don’t conform to current safety standards. Yes, you and your predecessors survived the small choking hazard pieces and sharp edges, but that doesn’t mean your child will.
Older toys are susceptible to breakage, could contain plastics with BPA, lead paint, or even asbestos. A couple of decades or years ago, well-known health hazards today were not delegated as such.
If you are not the first owner of a child’s item that’s recalled or suffers damage, its warranty doesn’t protect your tot since it’s often nontransferable. That’s termed as losing continuity of contact, typical when you buy second-hand items. You can find out whether a product has been recalled due to defects or causing injury. But it’s best to avoid purchasing the above baby things used.
I’m Cathrine and I’m a 39-year-old mother of 3 from Utica, New York. And I’m extremely happy you’ve come to visit my hide-out on the web. Here I post about everything related to family-life and usually it will involve babies and lessons I’ve learned over the years from experts, friends, and my own mistakes. So hopefully you will find what i write fun and informational!