While you can buy a good portion of your baby’s items second hand, it’s important to be smart about second-hand purchases or gifts. For example, while you really can buy a second-hand crib that conforms to today’s guidelines, it’s probably not a good idea to take the crib you used as an infant.
Here are some more items that should not be bought second hand.
* Mattresses – Baby crib mattresses aren’t expensive, but they do get dirty. While most are wipeable, it’s much better to just get a new crib mattress. In fact, it’s not even legal to sell a used mattress. It’s very hard to get everything off a crib mattress such as baby poop, vomit, and whatever else gets on it. Much better to use a brand new one for your baby.
* Car Seats – The rules for car seats change all the time and you never know whether the person before you had a wreck with the car seat, or whether it’s been cared for properly. You can buy a safe car seat inexpensively by looking for sales. Also, some car insurance companies offer approved car seats at a discount, so call your insurance company to find out if they offer this benefit.
* Breast Pumps – It might seem obvious, but many people don’t realize the danger of using a used breast pump. It’s very hard to fully clean them, and diseases can be transmitted through breast milk. Just save yourself the trouble and buy a brand new one.
* Formula – Sometimes people have extra formula and sell it. It could be perfectly fine, but you don’t know what someone you don’t know is doing to things without your knowledge. It’s not worth it to buy it used. If you know someone who wants to give you some formula that isn’t expired, that’s one thing, but don’t buy it used from a stranger.
* Dangerous Toys – While most toys you buy for your child can be used, it’s important to pay attention to safety. Many older toys just aren’t safe. If your granny wants to give you a bunch of old toys, it’s best to not use them. What was considered safe 20 years ago has proven to be unsafe today due to accidents happening.
* Bicycle Helmets – As soon as you want to put your child on a scooter, big wheel, or bike they need a helmet, but helmets go through a lot of damage, wear and tear. They’re not that expensive, so just be on the safe side and buy all protective equipment brand new.
* Shoes – Too many conditions can be transmitted through used shoes. You’re better off buying your child brand new shoes, and you can do so inexpensively. Shoes for most infants that have no foot problems should be flexible and soft so that they can use their feet in a natural way, which means you don’t need expensive ones anyway.
* Bedding – Rules have changed about bedding too. One year bumper pads are a thing, and the next year you learn they’re a choking hazard. Most babies should not use pillows or anything that could wrap around their neck at night anyway.
* Cloth Diapers – If you’re going to use cloth diapers for your child, the best thing to do is buy or make a set that is brand new for just your baby. Even though technically you can wash them, used cloth diapers may not be absorbent enough if the prior owners did not take care of them properly (no bleach and no fabric softer).
The important thing is to understand current guidelines for baby-safe products before buying anything used. But for the items above, it’s better to buy new to ensure the safety of your child.
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