I recently wrote a post on Inexpensive Baby Items, one of my top tips is to purchase secondhand baby items, however there are a few things you should know before buying anything used or secondhand.
There are two items you should always buy new:
- Car Seat- This is probably the most important item to buy new, you will see a lot of these up for sale secondhand but its really not worth the risk. Car Seat designs are constantly evolving and changing for safety reasons and some have even been recalled over the years. But mostly you won’t know if an important safety feature/ accessory has been removed or is missing, you also can’t be sure whether the car seat has been in an accident.
- Mattress- Moses Basket, Crib, Cot and Cotbed mattresses should all be bought new. Some research suggests there may be a link between Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS or ‘Cot Death’) and Secondhand mattresses due to how easily they can be contaminated with a multitude of bodily fluids, which can cause bacteria and mould growth. They are impossible to completely disinfect. Research also shows that a Baby’s mattress should be very firm, a secondhand mattress may have been used for some time and therefore may have softened.
There are also a few items you should take extra care with when buying secondhand:
- Breast Pumps- Pretty self explanatory.
- Cribs, Cots, Cotbeds- Always check that all the parts are there. Its super handy if they still have the instruction manual too.
- Pushchairs- Again confirm that all the parts are there, also make sure it collapses and opens correctly. This may sound silly but its worth checking that the collapsed pushchair fits in the boot of your car, the amount of times I’ve read about someone getting a pushchair and then not being able to fit it in their car is unbelievable!
And then there are the items you can definitely buy secondhand:
- Baby Clothes- Just check zips and buttons before dressing your baby in them.
- Baby Shoes- especially infant shoes!
- Baby Toys- One of my favourites, my Mum purchased all the toys for her house from charity shops or hand-me-downs and my toddler loves them.
- Baby Baths- Just make sure its clean and doesn’t smell of mould.
- High Chairs- Check it has a harness in place to prevent your child from falling out.
- Baby Bouncers and Swings- De sure to check that they haven’t been recalled, and that it is in full working order before using it.
In my friendship group we also lend and borrow items to and from each other, and pass down clothing and toys. We are very lucky to have received many hand-me-down items, and I’ll be sure to pass them on too (if they haven’t been destroyed by my children!).
Thank you for reading, enjoy your secondhand shopping.