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5 Items You Should Not Buy Used for Your Baby

Buying used baby items can save you a lot of money, but not all items are safe to buy. Here’s 5 items you should avoid buying used, unless they come from a trusted friend.

pink picture with various baby items, baby bottle, multicolored rattle, pink baby booties, purple pacifier, wooden hairbrush, and a stack of diapers

In a hurry? I totally get it! Click here to pin this for later.

Admittedly, I am someone who likes to feel prepared. I’m a little type A, okay maybe more than a little.

So, when I found out I was pregnant with our first child, I felt like I had NO CLUE as to how much our newest family member would cost. Therefore I wanted to make sure I saved money on everything possible, because I knew I wouldn’t regret having a little cushion in our bank account.

In conjunction with being frugal, I’m also a PhD chemist, which means I love doing research. I spent quite a bit of time doing research on how to save money on baby stuff. I found that a lot of items could be purchased secondhand, but perhaps more importantly, I found some items that simply should NOT be purchased used.

With that in mind, here are a few posts that might interest you:

Here are 5 used baby items that you should not buy for your baby:

1. Car seat

Your baby’s safety should always come first. Car seats can be really expensive (some convertible car seats are $300+). The costs of car seats really adds up if your baby will routinely be transported in more than one car.

I know it may be tempting to buy a car seat second hand to save money, but unless you are getting the car seat from a trusted friend, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Car seats that have been in a car accident are not safe (even if they aren’t occupied during the accident) and there’s no easy way to detect if a car seat has been in one.


grey and black infant car seat


2. Breast Pump

I know a lot of women get hand-me-down pumps from friends, but I think it’s important to stress that this is not recommended for these personal pumps.

Breast pumps, like the Medela Pump in Style or Spectrum S2 are intended to be used by a single user. This is because the way the system works makes it possible for milk to reach the pump. If breast milk reaches the pump, it is contaminated and nearly impossible to clean.

(Most hospital grade pumps are made differently, so they are okay to rent one or use secondhand.)


3. Crib Mattress:

I strongly caution you against buying a used crib mattress. A study published in the British Medical Journal found that the chance of SIDs (Sudden Infant Death) was significantly increased in infants sleeping on a used crib mattress.


4. Bottles, Pacifiers, and Teething Toys

All of these items are relatively cheap. I wouldn’t recommend purchasing these second hand from a stranger, unless they were new, in the original packaging.

As a mother of two children, I would be lying if I didn’t admit to reusing my first son’s bottles with my second son, however I did get new nipples for the bottles and I knew exactly where the bottles had been!

5. Diaper Pail

Although I have no scientific journal to back me up on this one, take my word for it. I’ve tried both the Diaper Genie and the Diaper Champ disposal pails and after a year or two of use, they are both SUPER STINKY.

I suggest you splurge and indulge yourself in a new, odor free pail. When it’s your own kid’s smell, it’s *barely* tolerable, but when it’s a stranger’s kid…

2 white diaper disposal pails (diaper genie-left and diaper champ - right)

As a mom who loves to be frugal, these 5 things I would strongly caution you to NOT buy used for your baby: a car seat, crib mattress, bottles/pacifiers/teething toys, and for sheer luxury, a diaper pail.

Hopefully this list will come in handy when you are trying to figure out what needs to be purchased new versus what can be bought secondhand. What other items do you recommend new moms not buy used?

Now get out there and rock your busy mom life!




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