Things To Never Buy Used For Your Baby
Things To Never Buy Used For Your Baby
The twinkettes are 4 years & 5 days old.
I know that kids can be very expensive. Even before the day they are born you are stocking up on items you will need for when you take your bundle of love home from the hospital. Perhaps you are having twins or beyond which makes things even more costly. I have been there, and I feel your pocketbook’s pain. However, there are certain items that should never be compromised when it comes to the safety and welfare of your own little one(s). I will explain why with each item.
1) Car seats
I know many people do buy used car seats, as they are sold online, in consignment shops, at yard sales, etc. It’s very tempting to do this because a really good one can cost anywhere between $125- $350 each. With the twins that was a big expenditure. Not only for the infant seats, but then when we moved on to the big kid seats. Those were even more expensive. I won’t never put a price on their lives though.
Why is it important to not use somebody else’s used car seats?
a) Former accidents
The car seat could have been in an accident and may not be as safe as the reviews you are reading online any longer. They could be missing some important shock-absorbing material, it could be damaged in some small but important way that you may not visually see. And it is just an overall risk that its safety has been compromised. Unseen damage is not uncommon with previously owned car seats. Just a note.
b) Old seats are not up to par with newer ones, safety wise.
Technology keeps advancing and so does the quality of car seats, which impacts their safety. If I remember back to ’95 and the 1st car seat I ever bought, it just doesn’t come close to the ones that I see on the market today. You really do want up-to-date protection for your sweetie-pie. Your child or your multiples are precious cargo, indeed.
c) The possibility of purchasing a recalled item.
Some baby items are recalled over the years. The seller may or may not even know about their older item being recalled in the past, and thus you may end up with an unsafe car seat that has in fact been recalled. If you absolutely must buy used please do check the brand, make and model to ensure it is not a recalled seat before use. It could be very dangerous oversight if you don’t.
I personally think that since car seats are used daily and are used in a situation where there is a risk of a crash and injury with every single ride, skimping on this item, whether a single baby or quadruplets, is NOT a smart thing to do. I saved my car seats from ’05. An expensive Peg Perego and a bigger Britax for the toddler years. We didn’t use either for our twins, and they were our own. They had been in the garage awhile. I just didn’t trust them. Think smart when it comes to your child’s safety in the car.
2) Crib mattresses
Used crib mattresses have been formally linked to SIDS, so I think a new one is the most important purchase you will ever make. NEVER USE A USED CRIB MATTRESS! Even if it was your own from 2+ years back with another child and not some stranger’s mattress, it still could very well be dangerous.
After a crib mattress is out of its plastic dressing, as times goes by it starts emitting highly toxic nerve gases, due to the chemicals that make the mattress flame retardant. Those chemicals mixed together with the saliva, spit up, urine, etc. of a baby, has now been linked to a HUGE increase in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. 3x’s over as a matter of fact! Some sites I researched 4 years ago said that unless its been within a very short time (like in the case of Irish Twins at best), a used crib mattress should be disposed of, not re-used or sold to anybody else. A new mattress should be bought for every new baby in your home.
1st born children are far less likely to die from SIDS.
Now we realize that this is because their crib mattress is most usually new. 2nd born and latter children are much more susceptible when the same mattress is used.
We had two mattresses saved and we chucked them after I saw this information about SIDS. One was brand new, but it was out of the plastic. I wasn’t secure enough about that one. If it is still kept inside of the plastic, this is a much safer scenario. The danger is posed after the plastic’s removal. Many people do not know this, so it is VERY important that I let you know just in case you are one of those people who do not. For the health of your child it is not worth the risk for the cost of a mattress or two. It isn’t just a comfort issue, it could be a life-saving one.
Besides the SIDS factor, which is more than enough for me, even when a mattress appears in good shape there can be mold, mites and you can betcha some bodily fluids that are trapped inside of these used mattresses making them highly unsanitary, despite a ‘clean look’. Something else to think about if the 1st reason was not enough to convince you. (I think that it was though.)
Read all about used crib mattresses and the SIDS connection by clicking the pink link. It explains everything.
Now this is a big purchase, and many people do search for a used crib on Craigslist or in a consignment shop. Buying two or more cribs is quite expensive, though I did get a great deal after having scoured the Internet for sales and coupon codes. No danger in getting a great bargain. Unless the crib is your own from the past and has been kept together, most preferably, it may be risky business. Beware of the following if you do this:
a) Lack of instructions
People may lose the assembly instructions, and you may not be putting everything back together properly, and/or you may not know every part that it is meant to have. This can be very dangerous. If you must buy used please make sure it comes with directions and that everything is accounted for. Check this carefully before any money exchanges hands if you feel you must buy used. It is highly doubtful that you will track down instructions for older model cribs, even on the Internet.
b) Missing pieces/ broken pieces
You or the seller may not even realize this. If the crib has been taken down, whether yours or a strangers, an important piece of the crib, maybe one you might not even notice can be missing, which would make the crib very dangerous to use. There could also be pieces that have cracked or weakened over time depending on how old it is and where it has been stored. (Such as in a damp location.) It’s just something to think about.
c) NEVER use a drop-side crib anymore no matter where it comes from.
Remember that drop-side cribs that have the up and down rail have been proven to be dangerous. NEVER re-use one of your own, or purchase a used crib in a ‘drop-side’ style. You must get a static -side crib for your child’s protection.
d) Improper storage
Since most people don’t keep cribs assembled in their home, but might move them into a garage, there is a potential for mildew and/or weakness in the wood of the crib. This may happen over time and could cause a potential threat to your sleeping child.
e) Possible recall
Again, cribs are recalled often. While people should not sell their recalled cribs, some still do. There are others who don’t even know it has been recalled. Do your homework if you must buy used because items are recalled for a reason. They aren’t safe, and you want where your baby sleeps to be completely and totally safe. Babies use their cribs A LOT, so I feel best to go bargain hunting for a reliable and safe new crib or two, than to settle on something else to save a few bucks. Read reviews online for reputable brands and look for sales. We got 2 cribs for less than we paid for one last time. $498 total! (Not bad!) They converted into toddler beds to, with rails included. Those aren’t the least expensive either.
Now this is a huge item for baby that many people will buy used, if money is tight. If you have a properly stored stroller from a past child that is not very old, it may be alright to use for your new baby. Just be absolutely sure to check for any possible recalls and thoroughly wash all seat cushions and washable details on the stroller itself, to ensure that it is clean and ready for baby. Make sure all pieces are present, that it still rolls smoothly and passes an intense investigation process. If it has a funky odor from being stored too long in a garage or what have you, you can try washing it, however, there could be mildew and rot inside and you may wish to re-think and re-purchase.
As far as buying from somebody else…use immense caution. This is an item that your baby will be using for several years and on a mostly daily basis. It could be missing something as small as a screw or a nut that you may not visually see that can cause danger. It can be a recalled item that is in need of modification to be safe. Something that you may be totally unaware of.
I personally would only buy this product new, but that’s me. I’d rather get a more budget-friendly model if I needed to, unlike a car seat which can be in a road-related accident. Those I never skimp on cost. But do hunt down a brand that has a solid reputation for safety and quality, as there are safe yet practical strollers or double strollers (if needed), that will suit your needs..new. Plus, there are always sales and coupon codes when shopping to bring costs down a bit. You don’t need a $700 stroller to have a safe stroller. Just buy smart.
Read reviews online and/or get recommendations from others on this. Online message boards and Amazon reviews helped me on my hunt. I used to quiz strangers about their strollers to get some ‘public input’ if you will. I researched strollers online and thought long and hard about the purchase before making one. In the end this is your call. That is just my own thoughts on it.
(FYI- IF you find that you must buy used here…please only buy a stroller that is at least from 2007 and up. The newer the model the better in most cases. Again, do consider buying a new, nicely rated, recommended by others, bargain brand. It’s one less thing to think about, as stroller recalls are certainly NOT uncommon.)
5) Used clothing
(NOT a deal-breaker. Just use caution 8-).)
I myself have bought used clothing for all of my children, be it on eBay or at a consignment shop at one time or another. It’s not a regular practice for me, as I can hunt down some amazing bargains and still buy new. However, I never even thought about the possibility of bringing bed bugs into my home. This is a very rare thing to happen considering how many people actually do buy used clothing. This could happen even in buying new clothing on the Internet from regular people, I suppose. It’s definitely not a huge no-no.
Kids grow fast and it costs a lot of money to keep their bottoms covered. Just make sure to thoroughly wash any used clothing items as soon as they come out of the box they are sent to you in. You should always wash even new garments before putting them on your baby, but this case scenario is most important. If you are buying from an eBay seller make sure you check their feedback reputation and buy from these reputable sellers only. Smell the items. Some may be old, have mildew and may be stored in places such as garages for extended periods of time.
I bought something one time that had such a funk to it that I tossed it without a second thought. I didn’t even attempt to wash and re-wash it. Use motherly discretion always, please. Things like swimsuits or cloth diapers that touch a child’s privates, I would not use from anybody aside from one of my own former children. Just use your parental judgement. It is costly to clothe children..I get that. I also understand that the way I treat my kids’ clothing may NOT be the way it is handled in somebody elses’ hands. That is why feedback and input from past buyers is important.
In person, inspect every clothing item and make sure it is in pristine condition for your little sweetie or twins. The risks are VERY small in this practice, as it is so commonly done. Just wash those garments quickly, throw out the boxes they came in immediately. (I put them outside right off the bat.) And keep the risks of everything really low in doing so. If it’s old clothing from a past child of yours or a friend or family member, of course wash these items as well, but you need not worry about anything else. I had twins so all of my daughter’s former clothing was unusable. (Different seasons to.) I also craved dressing them alike as two girls also.
6) Baby bottles
This is rarely a used item by people because it does seem a bit gross to most moms & dads. However, do remember that old bottles may not have been BPA free, which is very important. Throw out all of your old bottles and buy new ones for your new baby or twins. Multiples especially go through a ton of them. We just got smart and stopped buying those expensive Dr. Brown’s bottles and found that cheaper bottles worked best for us anyway. Plus with multiples, who has time to clean all of those parts?
7) Crib bedding
Do not use UNLESS it is your own! Bed bugs will cost you way more to try and get rid of then a new crib set would be. I got two brand new, lush looking crib sets for only $49.99 each for my twins. They were so soft and lovely. (Great eBay seller!) My other kids’ bedding was well more than twice that each, so you can find some great steals and deals when you keep your eyes open.
Plus, even when washed the thought of another child’s vomit and pee having been on that bedding just isn’t an appealing thought. If you know where its been, meaning it’s yours from a past baby and has been stored properly and smells alright, then go for it. If not, just go for a bargain instead. They will use these night after night..is it really worth it?
Don’t use blankets in cribs for babies. This was just a cat nap. Mom was in the room. Allie was perfectly safe :-P.
AWE…I miss my babies!
Just showing off the sets. They came with the wall art , pillows, valances & diaper hangers to!
FYI- When buying other used items like pack ‘n plays, high chairs, bouncy seats, exercausers, baby swings, etc. etc. use caution and make sure that each item is:
a) Thoroughly cleaned by YOU. (Not the seller.)
Fabric washed well and metal and plastic parts cleaned with soap and water. Do check for any smells after washing to make sure they do not linger.
b) Check every item to ensure there are no recalls on any of them.
c) Make sure they all work properly.
Bring batteries along with you if you must. You don’t want to get shafted.
d) Make sure all pieces are there. None are missing.
e) Check for sharp edges from broken off plastic pieces that can potentially harm your baby.
f) Figure out the real price comparison.
Sometimes, depending on the item and the deal, you aren’t saving THAT much by buying used. If it’s only a bit more, perhaps you might consider buying as much as you can new. If you are having a shower..even better! (I think every multiple mama deserves one :lol:.)
I know that it’s hard, and I myself was in a situation when I was 19 where I really had little choice in it. But do shop smart and you may be surprised at what great sales you can get. (End of season sales, coupon clipping, etc.) And with these items if they are yours from a former child or a trusted family member or friend, still check them over. However, I’d definitely have the most confidence in that situation.
Good luck and safe & happy shopping!