Baby Stuff I Would Never Buy Second Hand
In my post about saving tips for expecting mothers I have talked about the benefits of buying second hand baby items. While it does make sense to buy second hand items with most items, such as clothes or furniture, there are some things that I would personally never buy used.
1. Car Seat
A car seat is one of the items I would never save money on. Safety is so important, especially in a country with such high accident rates. The problem with car seats is that they may have been dropped or used incorrectly. Even worse they may have been in a car accident or they are already expired. Most car seats expire 6 years after manufacture. Unfortunately it is not possible to know the history of a second-hand car seat, so it is best to buy a new one.
Just like used mattresses should not be bought by adults it also applies for babies. The sanitary reasons are obvious, babies are messy and the mattress most likely contains bacteria from bodily fluids. Another issue is that if the mattress has any rips it increases the chance of mold growth. The mattress may contain bed bugs or dust mites which are very difficult to get rid of. Because it is extremely difficult to wash a mattress it is best to buy a new one.
3. Breast Pumps
There are hospital grade pumps and commercial pumps. Commercial breast pumps are designed to be used by one person only, while hospital grade pumps have a closed system and therefore can be used by many mothers. There are several reasons why I would not buy a used pump. I replace all of my breast part pumps every 6 weeks for hygienic reasons, when deciding to buy a used pump I would definitely not use the replaceable parts at all and throw them out immediately. However even when replacing some parts the motor may not be strong enough anymore and the actual pump case may contain mold. It is not possible to sterilise breast pumps on the inside so bacteria and diseases from the pump’s case may contaminate the milk.
4. Nipples, teething toys, pacifiers (and bottles)
Nipples should be checked every 2-3 months for signs of wear and tear. The milk has to drop out steadily, so if the hole is too big it needs replacing. There should be no scratches and any sings of the plastic deteriorating is a safety risk for the baby. For hygienic reasons I would never buy used nipples, teething toys or pacifiers. I would also not buy second hand plastic bottles, especially if they are scratched or have changed in color, however this is just a personal preference. Even a tiny crack in the bottle can harbour contamination. With older bottles there is a risk of the plastic containing BPA, which is a harmful endocrine disruptor. The only exception for me would be glass bottles and I would replace the nipple on them.