This is a must-read for new, and expectant moms! What shouldn’t you buy used?
This post is for moms; moms to be and new moms who are looking to save money on expensive baby items. While saving money is a good option to do especially because babies are expensive! However, you should do your homework before buying a used baby item. I would highly suggest checking the CSPC for all product recalls on baby gear.
So what is something you should and shouldn’t buy? Below is my list of baby and children items that you should NOT buy for your baby or child.
Drop-side cribs pose a danger such as a side coming loose and the baby can become trapped in between the bar and the mattress, or risk having fingers or toes amputated. If you already have a crib that is a drop side I would highly suggest getting a stabilizer kit from the manufacturer to prevent these injuries. Remember when you’re done using these cribs please destroy them any way possible, as they are illegal to sell or donate.
Baby Bath Seats
These seats have suction cups or attach to your tub or shower and used primarily for older babies and toddlers. These items are dangerous for young children because they pose a drowning hazard should they baby wiggle their way out or trip the ring over.
What makes a car seat so dangerous? You more than likely don’t know the person and you don’t know the full history of the car seat. All car seats are made of durable plastic that in an event of a car accident they will remain hold and sturdy protecting the child in the seat. However, after daily use and sitting in a hot (and/or cold car) all year long can deteriorate the plastic making it more likely to crack or break. Most car seats expire after six years, however, some higher-end brands expire after eight.
Sleep positioners are one baby item to be cautious in using. These items like many others can cause a suffocation hazard because the baby could roll and get stuck in between the two pillow-like sides. While they aren’t especially recalled many officials warn against the use of these items.
Bumpers, pillows, stuffed animals, and blankets
These items should NEVER be in your child’s crib or bassinet because they pose a suffocation hazard, as well as a potential health hazard. Dress your baby warmly at night, swaddle them or use an approved sleepsack. If you decide to use bumpers opt for breathe-able ones with mesh siding also these bumpers will collapse when attempting to stand are and secured with Velcro versus ties that can come off and suffocate your baby.
Formula, Baby Food, and Cereals
Even if the item is new and not open I would suggest steering clear of this item; you just never know what would have happened it that item it could be tainted in some way you just can’t trust anyone anymore.
Yes, you can replace all the pieces but there’s no way to be certain it can be thoroughly cleaned. It may contain bacteria or contaminated milk. You can rent one for little to no cost.
Bottles and Sippy Cups
Many older bottles may contain BPA and those babies have been washed several times have a risk of bacteria or breakdown of the plastic.
Several toys have been recalled because of small pieces breaking/falling off, magnetic toys should never be given to a younger child. Inspect all toys prior to purchase and check against the CPSC.
After a short while, these babies start to harbor mold and bacteria so NEVER buy these and toss frequently!
Older and Vintage Items
If anything looks dated to you I would recommended staying away. With the advancement in technology, higher safety standards and lead paint older baby items carrier a higher risk of faulty use.
Mattresses & Changing Pads
They should be avoided because it isn’t something you can easily clean and still can harbor bacteria and bugs. Over time mattresses lose their shape, springs can come up and any unevenness to the mattress can pose a risk to infants. Not to imagine all the things babies do on them; the three p’s pee, poop, and puke.
Baby Slings or carriers that are soft-sided or wrap should be checked carefully for rips, tears and recalls. (I personally had 3 slings and never felt fully safe using those things!)
These babies hold up your puppies! As with extended use with your regular bra, they deteriorate over time and straps can come loose, be missed labeled or just fit you incorrectly.
Other important things you should keep in mind when buying used items:
- Check expiration dates and ask when and where the item was purchased if applicable. Avoid items that have been used twice already.
- Request instruction manuals when purchasing complicated items such as furniture. Many manuals are available online in an easy downloadable printable PDF format.
- Check how the item operates; does it run on batteries or does it have an adapter? Also, check for split or frayed wires for electrical swings and gliders. Also, check the battery compartment for acid damage.
- Check sleepwear and blankets for flame retardant labels. These items will NOT burn in the event there is a fire in your home. Infants should avoid using blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, etc.
- Make sure all items purchased are up to date and have NO recalls on them. Do your homework before you buy; if you’re looking at an item online request additional information from the seller like model numbers and product names to check for recalls.
- Secure all furniture to the wall. Make sure if your purchasing used furniture it has all the pieces needed and ask for a wall anchor if not contact the company and request one. This will prevent a tragic accident for your child especially older children with younger siblings.
- Make sure any purchased strollers or play yards are up to current standards. Like every other baby item, safety standards change to check for recalls as well. Anything made past 2007 should be safe but double check in case! Also, check high chairs for 5 point harnesses.
- Be cautious of free items. They may be free but that doesn’t mean they’re safe and many people will take in the attempt to re-sell.
- One option instead of purchasing baby items is renting them from a company, a friend or a family member. Rented equipment is more likely to be checked for recalls and defects. Should you choose to borrow from friends and family make sure all items are safe for use before using.
Having a baby can be expensive but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot doing so. If you’re lucky enough to be thrown a shower be extremely happy in receiving brand new baby items. The only way to almost completely avoid recalls is purchasing everything new which can be costly, however, if shopped right it can be done. Items can still be recalled prior, during or after purchase. It is extremely important to make sure you register ALL products in case of a recall.
Did I miss any important items that should be added to this list? What items would you be reluctant to purchase used? Sound off in the comments below I love to hear what you have to say.
Hi there! I’m Jacqueline Diaz, the voice behind Mayhem & Motherhood and the mother of five wonderful children. I enjoy sharing my passion and knowledge about a wide variety of topics such as home management, crafts, to parenting and beyond. I am passionate to help you achieve even a little bit of sanity in the chaos we call life.