When you’re preparing for your baby’s arrival, it’s easy to get caught up in getting absolutely everything, even if you don’t need it. There are plenty of things you can buy secondhand, but for a few necessities, it’s best to invest in new, quality products.
If you’re loading up on baby products, these are worth splurging on:
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It took nearly 30 years for crib safety standards to be updated, and in 2011 they were. Millions of cribs have been recalled in the last decade for everything from drop-sides to poor hardware — dangerous features that proved fatal in some cases. If your family passes down a crib to each generation, you may want to forgo this family heirloom for something new — and very likely safer.
2. Crib mattress
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Firm, clean mattresses are best for new babies. In fact, some research suggests a connection between secondhand mattresses and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), according to Livestrong.com.
Older crib mattresses also may have chemicals like BPA that may be hazardous to your baby. Those not cleaned thoroughly or not kept in a cool dry place could harbor bacteria or fungi growth. And, as not all cribs are created equal, you may find one you inherited isn’t the right fit for your crib. If you get a mattress that doesn’t fit snug and tight, ditch it immediately to avoid huge safety risks posed by gaps.
3. Car seats
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This may be one of the biggest purchases for your new little one. You can’t even leave the hospital with your baby if you don’t have a properly installed car seat. Safety standards for them are updated often. The American Academy of Pediatrics has a handy list of which seat is best for your child.
You’ll be able to tell if a car seat is too old by checking the user manual for the expiration date. If you’re inspecting a used car seat and can’t find the date or you find that it has expired, move along. Buying a new car seat is worth the investment! Don’t waste your time with hand-me-downs here.
4. Breast pumps
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For breastfeeding moms, investing in a breast pump can get exceptionally pricey. Some new parents look to family and friends who have a decent one handy. Unfortunately, you put your baby at risk for contamination from mold and viruses by accepting a used one. Even with a sterilizer, you may not actually be able to completely sanitize the pump.
If you’re worried about the cost, remember that breast pumps are covered by insurance since passage of the Affordable Care Act, so getting a new one should come at no cost to you. Also remember you can stick with a manual breast pump — which is much cheaper than its electronic siblings — or try hand expression or exclusive breastfeeding, if those work out for you.
5. Play yard
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Whether this is your baby’s primary sleeping setup or just a place for your little one to hang out sometimes where you can keep an eye on him, you should skip the secondhand ones. New safety regulations went into effect in 2013, and unless the used one you’re eyeing was made after that, and you’re checking for product recall updates, make sure you grab a new one.
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Just like play yards and cribs, there are newer safety standards for strollers and carriages that older models may not meet. The most recent rules for strollers and carriages took effect in 2015. Many strollers purchased since then are mostly likely still being used by their original owners. If you’ve inspected a stroller thoroughly and checked the Consumer Protection Safety Commission website to rule out any recalls, you may find a gem. But for the safety of your child, and to give you peace of mind, splurge on a brand new one.
How have you chosen to gear up for a new baby? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.