Everyone loves their babies. Chubby little cheeks, cute little noises, and faces that light up when you appear. But having a baby is an expensive endeavor. They require a pile of costly paraphernalia and constantly outgrow their clothes. The bigger your baby gets, the skinnier your wallet becomes.
You are likely tempted to accept hand-me-downs, venture out to Saturday morning yard sales, or check out the nearby thrift shop to keep your baby in Osh Kosh B'gosh and Baby Gap. One good wash in hot water and these nifty little outfits are as good as new. But what are the things that a parent should never buy used?
Here are a few items that you should acquire brand new no matter what your big sister with nine kids tells you.
1. Car seats.
Car seats have a short life span approximately six year's under the best conditions. Due to ever-changing safety standards, this lifespan can be much shorter. Buying new will ensure that your child is being protected by the latest technology.
Furthermore, if a car seat has been in an accident - even a fender bender - it has likely been rendered useless and needs to be trashed.
Even if you know it's never been in an accident and you've checked for recalls, the very nature of the seat's construction compromises its effectiveness over time. The plastics that it is constructed from are weakened from constant exposure to the hot temperatures commonly found inside closed vehicles.
Surely, your child's life is worth the cost of a new safety seat.
2. Breast Pump
Gack! This is a product that you will definitely need to purchase new. Breast milk is a bodily fluid. Not only is it gross, but it is unhealthy to re-use items that contained a fluid that once resided in someone else's body. A used breast pump is a huge no-no. Just the thought of it sends most people in search of a vomit bag.
3. Anything designed specifically for sucking.
Your baby is adorable, but in all probability, he or she produces more drool than a St. Bernard. As a result, their sippy cup holds as much backwash as it does apple juice. Blick. That little pacifier with the ladybug on the handle is cute, but it's a cesspool of baby spit. So are the bottles.
If something spends most of its time coated with a layer of saliva, don't pass it on to other babies. Make sure to buy new pacifiers, sippy cups, and baby bottles.
And in case your stomach hasn't yet rolled over a few times, here is another convincing argument in favor of buying these items new. Older models may contain harmful chemicals such as BPAs or phthalate.
4. Bath tubs and Bath toys.
Rubber duckies and other tub toys are hard to clean, particularly the ones that have squeakers and can fill up with water. They may also contain molds.
As most mothers will confess, babies no matter how well-behaved will resort to peeing in their tub from time-to-time too. If having your baby swim in the residue of another person's urine doesn't bother you - ick - a used bath may be a valid option for you. If you prefer that your baby comes out of the tub cleaner than he was when he went in, you will wish to purchase a brand new bath tub.
Plus, tubs and tub toys are relatively inexpensive, so you might as well opt for new.
5. Cribs and mattresses.
Admittedly, older cribs particularly the one you had as a kid can have nostalgic value to them. But they can also kill your child.
Many second-hand cribs do not meet today's safety guidelines and pose significant danger to your baby. If you absolutely must acquire a used crib, check it for recalls, make sure that you have all of the manufacturer's instructions and the date it was made. Definitely stay away from anything made before the year 2000 - no matter how cheap it is. Also, make sure that the slats are the correct distance apart - 2 3/8". If you can pass a can of soda through them, they are too wide.
Crib mattresses should also be purchased new to ensure proper fit. Old ones will be more compacted and not fit as snugly, which can lead to injury or death.
When it comes to your baby's crib and mattress, always opt for new if you can.
You may have had a playpen when you were little, but that was then and this is now. Old-school playpens have proven to be extremely dangerous. Don't even consider buying one of these - even if they're paying YOU to take it away.
Although this is not an exhaustive list of second hand baby items to avoid, it will give you a good start. Have fun shopping for your new bundle of joy. But most of all - make wise choices that will keep your baby safe and happy. And free of foreign slobber.
What second hand baby items do you avoid like the plague? Why?