Subsequent babies get lots of newborn hand-me-downs, but parents should double check their items to make sure they are still safe. In the time that passes between one tot's use and the next, goods may have been recalled or held to new safety standards.

  • Car Seats: Car seats are manufactured to last approximately six years, so be sure to check the manufacture date before installing it in your vehicle. It's also imperative to check the brand's website for news and to make sure the straps and harness are in working order.
  • Cribs: Make sure the slats are not cracked or missing and that they are not spaced more than 2 3/8 inches apart. The mattress should also be checked to see that it fits snugly into the crib. Precautions also include side drop cribs and the use of bumpers.

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  • Strollers:  Strollers are tossed around throughout their use, so they must be thoroughly examined before reuse. Make sure the seat belt and harness systems are in working order and still attached to the frame.  Test the brakes for effectiveness.  Consider greasing the wheels to ease the steering.
  • High Chairs:  Check the unit to see that the straps are still in working order and that the tray cannot be pushed off by a pushy tot.
  • Bottles:  If your oldest tot is over the age of two, it is likely that any bottles or sippy cups you used with him contained BPA.  Many states have banned the sale of products with BPA in them, and it is advisable to replace your bottles with newer, safer ones.
  • Breast Pump Accessories: Most breast pump manufacturers suggest replacing breast pump tubes and attachments for each child to eliminate any possibility of cross-contamination. Newer versions also tend to be BPA-free, making them even safer for babies.