Are you in the market for a baby bassinet, but you don’t want to pay new prices? We all know baby stuff is expensive – and there’s so much of it to buy! Opting for used baby gear can save you lots of money, but what about safety? It’s perfectly fine to go second-hand, as long as you take a few precautions.
What Not to Buy Used
Before we get into the how-to of safely buying used baby gear, let’s take a look at a few items that are better to buy new.
A car seat is one of them. Car seats come with expiration dates on a label. Many used car seats have worn or missing labels, making it impossible to know how much life they have left. Even if the seat is still within its safe lifespan, its materials wear down over time. Used car seats have a greater chance of missing pieces or having tears or cracks. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also warns never to use a car seat that’s been involved in a car accident. Overall, you’re better off purchasing car seats new.
Cribs and mattresses may also be best as new purchases. Bed bugs and other sanitary issues come into play with bedding, and it can be challenging to fully clean and sanitize a crib and mattress. Cribs made before 2011 also weren’t governed by the newest federal safety regulations and could have dangerous designs that pose trapping and falling hazards for little ones.
You should also skip buying used breast pumps. Cleanliness and sanitation are extremely important to reduce passing along illnesses to yourself and your baby, and it’s impossible to know how well someone cleaned a used pump.
Safety Tips for Buying Used Baby Gear
Items like clothing, toys, high chairs, and playpens can be safe to buy used, but we have a few tips to encourage safer purchases:
Items like strollers, playpens, and high chairs typically come with a label that notes their manufacturing year. It’s important to pay attention to the date to determine if the product meets current safety standards. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is a good place to check the safety standards for infant toys and furniture, and when they were put in place.
Check for recalls.
The CPSC website is also a helpful resource for checking recalls on baby items. Browse this page for a list of recent recalls. Or, enter the item’s name into the search bar to see if it’s had a recall in the past.
Inspect items thoroughly.
Do a complete inspection of any used gear you’re considering purchasing. Check buckles for improper clasping or releasing. Search fabric for tears or pulls. Look for any choking, pinching, or scratching hazards, too, like pieces that don’t connect properly, cracks, or sharp edges.
If it’s not possible to wash the gear you want to buy, you may want to skip it. Clothing and cloth diapers are easy to clean, but some toys may not be as straightforward. Consider how challenging an item will be to wash thoroughly, including hidden nooks and crannies, to reduce the risk of passing along germs to your baby.
A used item may seem like a great buy until you consider that you might be able to find the item new with a warranty for a slightly higher price. With a used high chair or stroller, you probably won’t have access to a warranty, leaving you without the item and your money if something goes wrong. Do a little research before buying to see what a similar item sells for new and the details of its warranty.
Looking for used items for your baby can be an excellent way to save money while still getting what he needs. Want to make sure you have all the essentials? This guide to recommended nursery items can help.