New, or expectant, parents often quickly find that having a baby is expensive. And there are many items that need to be purchased for an infant. Some items can be considered as luxuries and can be bypassed if it stretches beyond the family budget, however, other items are necessities.
Purchasing baby related items at a thrift store, consignment shop, or even on Craigslist or eBay, help offset some of the costs and be a good value, however, not everything should be purchased used. There are certain items you should avoid buying secondhand, especially if the item is being purchased from a stranger.
Here is a quick overview of some used baby items should be avoided:
Car seats are probably the number one item you should never buy used. Aside from the fact that safety guidelines for car seats are always changing, with a used car seat you do not know the history. It may have been in an accident, had a recall or some other damage done.
As U.S. News points out, car seats can sustain invisible damage. This is one item you want new, or given to you by a very trusted person who can tell you all the information associated with the seat. Also, modern car seats have expiration dates, which may or may not be apparent on the car seat’s exterior if it is an older model.
Cribs are another item you do not want to buy from an unknown source. The crib may have been used by several children and its structure been weakened. Another consideration is it may have been reassembled numerous times which also could weaken the crib. Also, if any hardware is missing, the crib may not be secure.
Additionally, secondhand crib owners do not receive notification regarding recalls. If you must buy a used crib, be aware of the safety considerations and always know for certain how old it is.
Used Breast Pumps
Breast pumps are another item you always want to buy new. According to Pregnancy and Baby, pumps are “designed in such a way they can never be totally sterilized inside”. As a result, harmful bacteria and disease could contaminate the pump.
Certain Types of Baby Equipment
Baby gear can be helpful and aid in giving parents an extra hand when they need it, however, certain types of apparatus should not be purchased used unless it has been investigated thoroughly. Safety regulations are always changing and that nifty baby bouncer or other piece of equipment might be outdated and unsafe to use for your baby. Always do research before buying any type of baby equipment used. It is probably better to buy new or borrow from a trusted family member or friend.
These are the “big” items you should never buy secondhand to use for your baby. Other smaller items include skin care products or old toys that may contain lead paint. Additionally, other used items that should be avoided are bath toys, bottles, pacifiers and sippy cups.
Used items can be useful in keeping down costs, but some things are worth paying for new.
Leigh has been writing on the web since 2007. She has a high interest in business, tech, higher education, and Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia travel, but loves to write about a variety of topics. In addition to writing on Writedge, she also runs a blog about the Washington DC Metro Area and a photography blog Photos by Leigh Goessl.