4 Baby Items That Are Totally Fine to Buy Used (and 5 That Aren’t)
Photographs By IPGGutenbergUKLtd
Sure, it’s tempting to shell out $850 for a new stroller with the best shocks (or so you’ve heard), but pssst, it’s actually one of many baby-related items you can totally buy used. That’s why we pulled together a full list of second-hand essentials that don’t have to be 100 percent new … plus some that totally do.
Used: A Stroller
As long as it’s manufactured after 2007—when new safety standards were put in place—it’s A-OK to invest in a stroller that’s been around the block a time or two. Just be sure you do a once-over for loose or missing parts before you buy. (You can cross-check the sale by researching what’s typically included with a new model online.)
Used: A Baby Bathtub
Sad but true: Your newborn outgrows it in a hot second. As long as the one you snap up isn’t moldy (and doesn’t smell of mildew), you should be good to go.
As long as they don’t have any loose parts or chipped paint, it’s completely fine to accept hand-me-down toys. Just be sure you know the origin of any plush or fabric critters. (Ending up with bed bugs via a used teddy bear would be the worst.)
Used: A High Chair
As long as there’s a crotch post, safety restraint with a five-point harness and wheels that lock in place, it meets current standards and is totally fine to buy used.
New: Breast-Pump Parts
The machine is fine to reuse, as long as it’s a closed pump system (aka the working parts of the pump never actually touch the breast milk). But you shouldn’t scrimp on brand-new pump parts—think the flanges, tubing and bottles. It’s a sanitation thing. You want to make sure all the auxiliary pieces that go with the pump machine are squeaky clean.
It’s all about finding one that meets current safety specs. (FYI, drop-rail sides and wide gap slats are officially no-nos, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.) If you do find yourself with a used crib on your hands, be sure these important standards for safety are met.
New: Baby Bottles
If they’re made of plastic, there’s a risk that they might contain BPA and phthalates (chemicals that have the potential to have harmful effects on your newborn).
New: Car Seat
The life of a car seat is typically about six to eight years. If you have access to the model name, number and manufacturing details—meaning you can cross-check for any recalls—it’s probably fine, but if you can’t confirm this info, it’s worth investing in a seat that’s brand-new. You also need to be sure the car seat hasn’t been in an accident before, so if you don’t know the person selling it, you should probably steer clear.
New: Changing Pad
Even if a machine-washable liner has protected it for the duration of its use, there are no guarantees against seepage. (Ew.) Treat yourself to a new one.