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5 Baby Items You Should Always Buy New

When you first have a baby, it's hard not to get swept up in the joy and excitement, and going overboard on purchases is usually a given. Granted, there are many items your baby doesn't really need, but there are a handful of products that are best to buy new. Here's what you should refrain from borrowing, or from buying used or secondhand to keep your baby happy, healthy, and most of all, safe!

  1. Car Seats: I know a car seat may be the last thing you want to buy new for your baby, but here's why you should: car-seat designs are constantly changing and evolving. Older car seats may have been recalled (many are), or maybe it was in a crash or has missing parts. Even if a secondhand car seat looks perfectly fine, you don't want to take the chance and put the safety of your baby in jeopardy.

Here's what else you should always buy new.

  1. Mattress: Maybe you were planning on getting a new mattress for your baby's crib, but your older sister's baby has transitioned into a twin bed, so she is going to give you hers? The thing is, used mattresses may be contaminated with vomit, urine, and feces, which tend to be a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. Something else to keep in mind is that a baby's mattress should be very firm to reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). And a used mattress usually gets soft over time, which can increase the chances of your baby suffocating.
  2. Crib: Cribs are probably one of the most common item parents buy secondhand or used. Your baby will spend hours upon end in his or her crib, so you want to make sure it is a safe sanctuary and not a danger zone. Just like car seats, cribs can be recalled, and older cribs may not meet current safety standards. In addition, it's hard to tell if a used crib is missing an important part, and you don't want to learn the hard way that it is.
  3. Breast Pumps: This may seem like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how many people think they can wash and sterilize a breast pump and give it to someone else to use. The exterior parts of a breast pump can be thoroughly washed, but the safety hazard is inside the pump — which provides areas for bacteria to thrive — is very unhygienic. Reusing someone else's breast pump can expose your baby to harmful bacteria and possibly even mold.
  4. Soft Baby Carriers: Soft baby slings and carriers have been subject to recalls, so you may want to do your homework before you buy one secondhand. Even when you get a new carrier, make sure its straps and closures work properly so that your baby stays secure and safe.
Image Source: Thinkstock
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ChetMC ChetMC 3 years
Recall information and product manuals are widely available online. It's not difficult to check if you have all the parts for something, make sure it hasn't been recalled, and get the usage guidelines. The only thing on this list I would strongly encourage people to buy new is a breast pump. And even then, there are plenty of people who will say that if the choice is a used breast pump or introducing formula they'd pick the used pump. The key is just to be informed. We don't need to insist that used baby items belong at the dump and that people have to drop a mountain of cash at Babies R Us. I wish this article was called "How to Safely Buy Second Hand Baby Gear."
ChetMC ChetMC 3 years
Some people prefer their crib mattress to not be brand new so the worst off the off-gassing will be over.
ChetMC ChetMC 3 years
I think it's often better to buy a second hand item of higher quality than a new item of marginal quality. With carseats you definitely need to know the history of the seat. You do need to be certain that it's never been in an accident. Also, you need to check when the seat expires so you can be sure it will last for as long as you will need it. For a lot of people though, the only way they'll be able to afford a top quality carseat (like a Clek, Radian or Britax) is second hand. We once sold three Radians that had only been used for a year because we had to move and were getting rid of our car. They were perfectly good seats with years and years of use left in them. The person who bought them got a great deal and was thrilled, and I was really happy to not have them end up in a dumpster.
KeriRozansky KeriRozansky 3 years
What about first child to second child? I mean, not buying from someone else for your child, but just reusing for your next child. I get the hygiene aspects, but if you know your crib has all the pieces and hasn't been recalled, wouldn't it be safe to use for baby #2?
CottonCandyLane CottonCandyLane 5 years
Great post Heather! In response to the comment above about professional photo sessions, we had to post this link for you(!) - The CUTEST newborn pics ever in our props!
eleshaj eleshaj 5 years
I think people can buy or use some pre-owned baby items. If you do your research on to make sure nothing you are purchasing or are given has been recalled, your baby will be perfectly safe. Plus you'll have some extra money you can use on something special for your precious one, like a professional photo session.
alicat19 alicat19 5 years
The only exception to this are Hygeia breast pumps. They're made to be reused and recycled. They have closed interior parts so no moisture or milk can get into the actual pump. You buy a new set of shields and tubing of course though. Any other pumps you definitely don't want to buy used!
ilanac13 ilanac13 5 years
i definitely agree with these. especially the crib one. i know that a lot of people are looking for ways to save money but with all the recalls lately - you have to be careful. i got cribs that are convertible for my babies (and the one on the way) that way as they grow - there's a use for the furniture that i spent all that $$ on
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