If you're interested in saving money and reducing waste, both of which are good for the environment, then shopping for used baby products may be something you want to look into.
Many first-time parents are taken aback by the total cost of preparing for a newborn baby.
Even while frugal first-time parents might be tempted to buy gently used versions of several baby essentials, it's best to avoid doing so.
There may be hidden dangers in seemingly fine old baby gear.
As the regulations around baby products like cribs, strollers, and car seats are routinely changed to ensure the maximum safety for infants, you should go for the most recent model available.
Mildew and chipped paint are signs of regular wear and tear that can pose a risk to your youngster.
Learn more about our wide selection of change tables for nurseries.
Items That Should Never Be Bought Secondhand
An honest breakdown of what baby gear you can reuse and what you should buy brand new.
Children's Safety Seats
One of the most important purchases you will make for your kid is a car seat.
Every state has laws mandating the use of child safety seats for children under a certain age and for infants.
When compared to the steep price of a new car seat, the low price of a used one can seem very attractive.
Pregnant women probably read about car seats more than anything else.
Car seats are expensive, especially if you need one for each parent's car and a backup for the in-laws or a sitter, so it's fair that you might want to try to cut costs by purchasing a used one instead.
The one thing you should never buy used, though, is a car seat.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises parents to buy a brand-new car seat for their infant, toddler, or older kid because it is the only method to guarantee that the child's heart has not been harmed during the crash.
There's no telling if a previously used car seat is still in good working order or if it was involved in an accident or recall since you wouldn't know its history.
Furthermore, vehicle seats have a shelf life of six to nine years after production. Used car seats are unsafe unless you can confirm they have never been used in an accident.
Varying models of car seats have different expiration dates, but in general, a seat should not be used for a child after six years have passed from its date of manufacture (which may be found on a label in the seat's back).
When it comes to protecting your child in the automobile, the AAP recommends never using a seat that is older than ten years.
Talk to your doctor about options, such as WIC, that may help you finance a new car seat if you really need one but can't afford to outright buy one.
Baby's First Crib
One item in a baby's nursery that should never be utilised is the crib. Source: Bigstock.com
Cribs, like car seats, are an absolute must-have for every new baby, but they should never be purchased pre-owned.
A good crib may cost a few hundred dollars, but you may rest easy knowing that it was built to today's exacting requirements for child safety.
Cribs with sides that can be dropped caused many injuries to infants and toddlers a few years ago. Due of those safety concerns, this fashion is currently prohibited.
The items are hard to come by in stores but can be purchased from private sellers on the internet.
An further reason why you shouldn't buy a secondhand crib is that you have no idea how it was treated before it was put up for sale.
It may have suffered structural damage while in storage because boxes weighing more than the maximum allowed were stacked on top.
Possible downsides include missing features you are unaware of. Spending the money on a new crib can ensure a more restful night's sleep for everyone involved.
Crib safety regulations are often revised. Avoiding the purchase of a drop-side crib, also known as a crib with a side rail that moves, is highly recommended.
A brand-new crib is the finest option because of the necessity of providing a secure environment for infants while they sleep.
Mattress for Infant Cribs
You shouldn't get a used crib, and the same goes for the mattress inside. Once their child outgrows the crib, many parents unfortunately dispose of the mattress by selling it.
But that suggests the bed has been used for at least two or three years. Because of this, there is a lot of wear and tear, which causes folds and creases where germs and mould can thrive.
It's preferable to spend a little more money on a new mattress for the crib than to endanger your child's health by using an old one.
To reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, infants should sleep on a firm mattress. The dangers of using a used mattress in a crib go beyond the obvious squeaks and smells associated with a previously slept-on bed.
Breast pumps for sale that have been previously used
A breast pump may be on the must-have list for some new mums. A multi-user hospital-grade breast pump is available for rent, but you should never buy a used breast pump.
Milk and moisture can enter into the pump's motor if the tubes aren't sealed properly. It can get into the breast milk you're pumping, potentially making your infant unwell.
Talk to your health insurance provider about getting a discount on a breast pump. The cost of the pump itself may be covered by a plan that also pays for other nursing necessities.
The FDA advises against sharing a breast pump, as doing so can lead to the transmission of infection.
If your insurance plan includes coverage for a breast pump, then it is advisable to get a brand new one.
Baby Milk Formula
Infant formula is one of the most pricey items on your shopping list, coming in at roughly $20 a can.
For those interested, there are many people selling infant formula on websites that feature secondhand goods.
Infant formula purchased in this manner runs the obvious risk of being poisoned, but there are other hazards that well-intentioned people may not be aware of.
Avoid buying used baby formula, no matter how cheap it is, because you only want the best for your child.
A product's storage conditions are unknown even if the container has never been opened. For this reason, the formula is one product that should only be purchased from trusted retailers.
And even then, make sure the seal hasn't been broken, as the formula spoils rapidly if exposed to air.
Baby formula needs to be kept in a dry place between 55 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
The process degrades and nutrients are lost if, for example, the formula was left in a chilly car overnight or on a shelf adjacent to an oven.
However, there are safe ways to cut costs while buying infant formula. Because the contents are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you can save money on your baby's formula by purchasing store brands for as little as half the price of name-brand alternatives.
Employ Infant Toys
There are so many other brand-new infant necessities that you may not even consider toys at first.
It's fairly uncommon for grandparents to store away their grandchildren's favourite toys from their own childhoods.
It can be nostalgic to watch your child play with old toys, but you should keep in mind that they could be hazardous.
Classic toys may not have been made with the same care as modern toys, and as a result, they may have small parts or sharp edges that can be dangerous for young children.
In addition, lead paint, which is toxic, can be found in some vintage toys. As you get ready for the arrival of your little one, you undoubtedly have a long list of necessities.
Don't endanger your baby's well-being by purchasing second-hand baby gear. Spend the extra money and get brand new ones.
Try Google to find the best portable cot for your baby's room. I've got you covered with my baby nursery.
Kid-Friendly Spaces/Playground Equipment
Play yards, like cribs, are subjected to heavy use and abuse, but they remain an essential baby safety item. Rather than taking a chance on a used, worn-out model, it's safer to buy brand new.
Never buy a new stroller that was manufactured before 2015 because of the new safety regulations.
In addition, see if the model you want to buy has ever been recalled. Lastly, if that price tag still seems high, consider buying a brand-new stroller; you'll likely get your money's worth out of it over the years.
Secondhand Baby Gear Is Available
Many items can be purchased used with confidence if you know the seller.
You can save a lot of money and help the environment by purchasing these things second-hand:
Your baby will outgrow garments faster than you can blink.
Many mothers come to terms with the fact that they have baby apparel that has not yet been used since the baby has outgrown it.
Clothes are typically the least worn infant item, making them ideal for thrift store shopping.
To find recently published content, seek out NWOT (new without tags) or NWT (new with tags) labels. These items of clothing have never been tried on and are therefore sold at substantial discounts.
One of the easiest methods to cut costs is to shop for used baby clothes. Due to their rapid development, infants rarely wear the same set of clothes for more than a few of months.
Stay away from anything with a drawstring, double-check the status of the buttons, zippers, and clasps, and look for signs of unravelling before purchasing used clothing.
Babies also outgrow their footwear soon. If you want to dress your baby in a nice pair of tennis shoes or sandals, but you know she won't wear them very often, consider purchasing a used pair instead of spending a lot of money on a new pair.
There's no denying the "ick" element of this practise, but cloth diapers are made to be reused from baby to baby.
Women who choose to cloth diaper their babies tend to be thrifty and environmentally conscientious.
You can buy lightly worn cloth diapers online or at garage sales, and there are several Facebook groups devoted to selling them (you might not even realise that some prints are collector goods).
Cloth diapers should be disinfected by soaking them in chlorine for 30 minutes after purchasing.
So many toys are produced and then thrown away after being used only a handful of times. Used stores are wonderful places to find wooden toys, activity blocks, bikes, and other tough stuff. Stuffed animals and other soft toys can be purchased secondhand if they are in good condition and can be cleaned. You should use caution with old toys since they may present a safety risk.
For the first year or so of a child's life, a changing table is incredibly useful, but after that, it becomes more trouble than it's worth to wrestle your youngster onto the table.
This makes them a fantastic second-hand purchase if you don't mind having a mismatched cot and changing table in your nursery.
There are plenty of reliable pre-owned high chairs available because most of them are built to last. Be sure to give a used high chair a thorough inspection before buying it.
Because of the constant splatter of spilt infant food, high chairs can quickly become unsanitary.
But if you can get a good condition used one, it's a fantastic buy. If you plan on visiting grandparents often or plan on having other young children over for meals, it's a good idea to have an extra high chair on hand.
In order to prevent a child from sliding out of the high chair, it must adhere to voluntary safety standards and have a fixed crotch post to prevent the youngster from climbing out.
A previously used high chair is acceptable provided these two conditions are met. If possible, though, stay away from high chairs that have trays that can be removed or arms that can raise the tray above the child's head.
Bath Time for Babies
The same goes for baby baths, which are only used for a brief time before being resold.
To avoid buying a baby bath with mould or mildew, check it thoroughly before purchasing it used. If the coast is clear, you can proceed! (Also, do your own cleaning and disinfecting.)
Used baby baths are OK as long as they are free of mould and mildew odours.
Babies outgrow these tubs rapidly, so if you're in the market for one, you might be able to get a gently used one at a significant discount.
Stay away from potentially hazardous bath accessories including bath seats, bath rings, and in-bath inflatable tubs.
Carriers, wraps, and slings are all safe and effective ways to transport an infant.
During the first year, babywearing can be a huge help, and some types, like cloth wraps, are made to be used only in the beginning, when babies are small and fragile.
Wraps, slings, and baby carriers come in a wide range of sizes to accommodate a wide range of parent physiques, so you might be able to snag a nearly unused page for a steep bargain.
In contrast, if you decide to purchase a pre-owned sling or wrap, check to make sure the fabric is not torn or otherwise damaged in any way, as this could compromise the product's ability to keep your baby safe.
It's also important to check that the buckles and snaps on a soft-structured carrier are in good functioning order to keep your infant safe.
Tips for Buying Pre-Owned Infant Gear
Here are a few things to keep in mind while you shop for secondhand items:
Verify the Scheduled Dates for Sales
Even if you find a better price on an item through an online marketplace, keep in mind that many expensive baby things go on sale throughout the year, as do clothes with the changing of the seasons, so it's worth checking out the direct merchant as well.
Avoid Potentially Defective Products
Your kid's safety could be at risk from unscrupulous people who try to pass off damaged goods as usable.
If you're picking up the item in person, give it a careful once over before paying for it.
Having the original owner's handbook on hand when you buy a product is a huge plus.
It's important to remember warranties.
Warranties, if any, may not apply to your purchase, leaving you high and dry in the event of a problem down the road.
If you want to make doubly sure that you won't have any issues in the future, you can look up recalls for the specific model or product online.
Don't jump at the first "good deal" you find; instead, check the prices of the same or similar things on other apps or from other merchants, as well as direct stores.
When looking for toys, Facebook Marketplace is a great option.
The majority of what a new parent needs for a child can be found in used stores. Check out garage sales, consignment stores specialising in children's goods, and thrift stores for good deals on gently used baby gear. A great place to look for gently used items is among your friends who have kids.
In addition to the aforementioned online resources, I personally recommend checking out the following locally-based resale and consignment shops geared specifically towards children in your area:
In addition to Facebook Marketplace, dedicated shopping accounts on Facebook and Instagram may be a wonderful location to find deals on secondhand and gently used children's goods and clothing.
FAQs About Baby Nursery
A child can legally only be removed from school for up to 45 days a year. If an exclusion is for longer than five school days, the school must inform the local authority and governing board and arrange suitable full-time education from the sixth day. A permanent exclusion is when a child is expelled from school.
Generally speaking, waiting until after your child has had their first birthday can be a good time to start looking into a childcare service. Many parents look to between one and two years of age.
Afterward, your newborn goes to the well-baby nursery briefly – your partner may be able to go with them – while you head to the recovery room. In the nursery, their vital signs are taken, and they are weighed and measured. As soon as possible, the two of you will be reunited and you can have skin-to-skin contact.
Many of us had to go back when our dc were six months so don't feel guilty about it, if it's what you need to do. DD was in nursery from just under 6 months and it was absolutely fine. They told us babies that young usually settled more easily than slightly older ones as it happens.
Generally a good nursery should consist of water tank/pond, water pump/pump house, seed and fertilizer store room, implement shed, germination/mother bed area; potting/container filling area, seedling raising area, worker mess/hall, office room, propagation structures, compost area, etc.