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Don’t Buy These Six Baby Items Second Hand

The Expense of These Six Items Outweighs the Risk of Buying Secondhand or Receiving as Hand-Me-Downs

Awaiting the arrival of a new baby is an exciting time. It’s also very expensive. There are so many baby things to buy for your new little one. New parents are often shocked at how much all the newborn baby essentials cost. This is before the newborn even arrives. While thrifty new parents might be tempted to buy essential items secondhand, there are some things you should never receive as hand-me-downs or buy used.

Six baby items to buy new:

Car Seat

A car seat is one of the most important items you will buy for your baby. It’s essential for protecting your child in an accident. Every state requires infants and children to ride in a car seat when they are in the car. In fact, parents are not allowed to leave the hospital without their baby in a car seat. New car seats are expensive. When you see used car seats for a fraction of the price, you might be tempted to purchase a car seat secondhand.

What you probably don’t know, however, is that car seats expire. Car seats typically expire six to nine years after their manufacture date. For this reason, it's important never to buy a used car seat unless you know it has never been in a crash. Taking a risk with a car seat is a dangerous option for a newborn or toddler. In addition, it’s best to buy a car seat new from a reputable company. Skimp on something else. Never skimp on a car seat!

Crib for your Newborn

Along with car seats, cribs are also essential baby items to avoid buying secondhand. While a sturdy crib can cost a few hundred dollars, you have peace of mind knowing it meets today’s stringent safety standards. A few years ago, many children sustained injuries in cribs that had drop-down sides. Drop-down sided cribs were banned because of safety issues. You won’t find them in any stores, but you may see them sold online by individuals. Do not purchase them. They can be a danger to your little one.

In addition to safety concerns, you don’t know the care a used crib received before it was sold. For example, it could have been in storage with heavy boxes placed on top of it, exceeding the recommended weight limit. This compromises its structural integrity. It may also be missing important pieces. In the end, it’s better to spend the money on a new crib so everyone sleeps better at night. Especially baby.

Baby Crib Mattress

Just like the crib, do not buy a used crib mattress either. Many parents sell their crib mattresses secondhand after their child transitions to a regular bed. However, that means the mattress has been slept on for at least two or three years. This can cause a lot of wear and tear on the mattress. This includes rips and creases where mold and bacteria can grow. Instead of risking your baby’s health to save money, it’s better to get a new mattress at the same time you buy the new crib. That way, you’ll know it fits correctly, too.

Breast Pumps

For some mothers, a breast pump is part of their baby registry. While you can rent a hospital grade pump designed for more than one user, you should never buy a breast pump that has already been used. Moisture and milk can travel through the tubes and get into the pump’s motor. This can then enter the milk you’re pumping and make your baby sick. If you’re looking to save money on a breast pump, contact your health insurance company. Many plans cover breastfeeding supplies. This means they may pay for the cost of the breast pump.

Infant Formula

At around $20.00 a can, infant formula is one of the most expensive products for your newborn. A quick search on websites that sell secondhand items reveals plenty of people selling infant formula. While the obvious risk of buying infant formula in this way is that it could be tainted, there are other issues that even well-meaning sellers might not realize.

Infant formula must be stored in a cool, dry area that’s between 55 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If the seller accidentally left the formula in a freezing car overnight or stored it on a shelf next to the stove, the formula has the potential to degrade and loses nutrients. 

There are ways, though, to safely save money on infant formula. The FDA strictly regulates the ingredients that go into baby formula, so you can buy store brands as low as half the price of name-brand formulas. Your baby still gets the same quality and nutritional benefits, just at a lower price.

Baby Toys

With so many new baby products to buy, purchasing toys might not enter your mind. Many grandparents put their favorite childhood toys in storage units to pass on to a new baby. While seeing your baby play with vintage toys is fun and nostalgic, it’s also dangerous. Older toys don’t always meet the safety standards we have today, and they might have small pieces or sharp edges that can hurt babies. Additionally, some older toys contain lead paint, a known health hazard.

You have plenty on your baby registry to purchase for your little one. However, you don’t want to put your baby’s health and safety at risk by getting these items secondhand. Instead, spend the extra money and buy them new or ask for them as gifts for baby.

New Mama Deck

To find more tips and tricks for a new mom, check out our New Mama Hack Deck at life Hack Decks™. The deck is a pack of 52 card prompts. These prompts provide ideas for a successful transition to parenthood. Each card is a specific task designed to encourage self-care. Others offer educational advice for ways to, for example, organize your home for your new little one. The ideas are designed to reduce the stress of becoming a new parent or offer a new perspective to those who have already started a family.
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