While there are few things as exciting as welcoming a new baby into your life, there are also few things as daunting. How exactly does one install a car seat? What kind of stroller should you buy? And how on earth will you afford all the necessities?
To help ease the new baby burden at least a little bit, here are four baby items you definitely should buy used and four things that you definitely should not:
Clothes and shoes
Since babies grow so quickly, it can be maddening to constantly buy new clothes. Considering your newborn will probably only wear each outfit for a month or so before she needs a new one, it makes sense to buy used and avoid making big investments in new outfits.
While there are some great new books out there for babies, it’s not as though Pat the Bunny has suddenly stopped being relevant for your 4-month-old. Most baby books are timeless. It’s also relatively simple to keep books in good shape, so they can be reused over and over. Plus, you’ll probably be able to find whole bins of baby books for less than you would spend on just one or two new ones.
A baby bathtub
If you want to use a baby bathtub rather than using a sink or washing your baby in the tub with you, it’s a great idea to go used. Baby tubs are only used for a few months and they can be very easily cleaned with some bleach and hot water.
Used baby toys are another great bargain. Since your baby’s interests and abilities will be changing all the time, you don’t want to invest in something that they’ll only lose interest in after a few months. Plus, yesterday’s blocks are just as entertaining as today’s!
Some research suggests that toxins and chemicals in used mattresses and certain bedding can cause SIDS. Though the evidence is still inconclusive, it’s definitely not worth the risk. Stick with new bedding and mattresses.
Since safety standards are changing all the time, there’s a good chance that what was once considered top-of-the-line has since been recalled. Since it’s crucial that your baby’s crib meets today’s safety standards, no bargain you may be able to find will be worth the risk that it may be dangerous for your baby.
For sanitary reasons, avoid buying used breast pumps. Their design makes them impossible to completely sterilize and built-up bacteria can contaminatethe milk.
Car seats actually expire after a number of years (usually between five and nine). If the expiration date has passed, definitely look elsewhere. Even aside from that, though, used car seats should be avoided since even minor damage can compromise their effectiveness. Since not all damage will be visible, it’s best to simply avoid used car seats.