One of my favorite strategies for saving money on baby items is to buy items slightly used. In fact, most of the time, I buy a gently used baby toy, baby equipment, or clothing, use it, then sell it for a small profit.
Since babies tend to grow out of their clothes and toys, it makes sense to avoid buying everything new at a retail store. However, there are baby things you should not buy used. Here are a few baby items that should always be bought new.
1. Bottles and Sippy Cups
Most bottles and sippy cups come with several small parts, and hiding spots, which can grow mold. Even as I was washing out an old sippy cup today, I decided to clean extra carefully with a nipple cleaner. A good portion of mold came out — gross!
Even with scrubbing and frequent cleaning, it can be hard to get into the crevices of certain bottles and sippy cups. The problem with bottles is more with the nipples. I have found that nipples do not hold up well and can get gummy with too much use.
It’s far more sanity to replace old sippy cups and bottles with new ones, than to spend a lot of time or effort cleaning them.
2. Car Seats
Buying a used car seat can be iffy since there’s no way to know if the car seat was in an accident. When you purchased used car seats, you also do not know if there has been a recall on them, due to the seat being an older model.
It’s okay to buy or use a car seat from a reliable source, but know that all car seats have an expiration date. You want to buy, or borrow, a car seat that’s only a year or two old for the best safety. Remember that safety technology is continually improving in the car seat market, so a newer model might be better after all.
3. Cribs and Mattresses
Obviously, you want to avoid buying older crib models due to the mass recalls that have happened over the years. I would also be wary of buying used cribs because it can be hard to set them up safely without the instructions. Plus, you don’t know how the owner before you set up the crib.
I have seen a few used cribs listed that were put together by very impatient parents, and they made the crib unsafe with their carelessness.
As far as crib mattresses, it’s more of a cleanliness issue. I’ve had to replace our crib mattress because it cracked and tore from use, and since my daughter soaks through her Pull-Ups some nights, the dampness in the cracks can lead to mold and bacteria growth.
4. Breast Pumps
Unless it’s a hospital-grade breast pump, then most pumps are made for one-time use only. I decided to use a used Medela pump with my first daughter, but replaced all of the tubing and shields. The problem was that the power was not as strong as it should have been. This affected my milk supply greatly.
If pumping is important to you, then go with a top of the line, new pump or rent a hospital-grade pump. Yes, it is pricey, but many women have issues with pumping and need the higher end models to efficiently stimulate their milk supply.
Written by Ashley Eneriz for MoneyNing and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where to Find the Best NEW items
All varieties of Bottles, Sippy Cups, and Breast Pumps can be found at Buy Buy Baby, either in the stores (all over the country) or online at buybuybaby.com. They have great customer service and return policies. Many local baby boutiques also carry these items.
Our Favorite Baby Crib/Furniture Lines
At Liz and Roo, we recommend several lines of furniture that we also show in our room settings. First, Natart Furniture is a luxury, high end brand designed in Italy and made in Canada. You’ll love the quality and safety features of Natart and the fact that these convert to a full or queen sized bed that will last a lifetime.
Second, a more moderately priced made in USA brand is Westwood Designs. We love the variety, styles, and solid construction of these cribs. Finally, when it comes time to dress up the nursery, look to Liz and Roo! Liz and Roo baby bedding is designed and sewn in the USA, ensuring impeccable construction and attention to detail.