"Deals" via Budget in Google Reader

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Baby Stuff - New vs. Used

Office Supplies directional sign garage sale  24"x9" w/s
So, you want to be frugal, but you also want the best for your baby and want to make sure what your buying is safe. Today I will talk about what I have heard about what not to buy used, why and if I agree with the logic.

Never buy used:
  • Car seats
    • Why? 
      • When buying a used seat, you don't know if it was in a crash or dropped or otherwise misused.  If a car seat is in a crash, you are supposed to dispose of them immediately, even if the accident was moderate. Even though the seat may not look damaged, there could still be damage in the seat that you cannot see. It could also weaken an area that could break in the event of yet another crash. Here are some guidelines of when a seat should be replaced and when it is OK to keep using it.
      • Another reason is that most car seats are installed incorrectly!! You want to make sure you have the correct manual for your car seat so that you install it properly.
    • Exceptions
      • You know and trust the person you are getting the seat from to tell you if it was in an accident.
      • The date on the car seat is less than 6 years from the time you plan to use it. Safety standards are constantly being updated and some say the plastic and foam can deteriorate.
      • You can purchase new covers from most manufacturers.
    • What did we do?
      • A co-worker gave us her old infant car seat and base that we used in one car and then we registered for a convertible car seat that we use in my husbands car. I think that we will purchase a new infant car seat if we have more children as it is getting close to the 6 year mark and showing signs of age.
  •  Cribs
    • Why?
      • Like the car seat, safety standards for cribs are periodically updated, so getting a crib that is older may not be as safe as other cribs. CPSC safety standards can be found here.
      • Cribs that are put together incorrectly (missing instructions) or missing parts can also pose a risk to your child.
      • Recalls!! - There have been a lot of recalls lately for cribs.
      • Mattress fit matters! If you buy a used crib without the mattress, you may have an issue finding a mattress that fits as well as it should.
    • Exceptions
      • If you know someone who has the manual and all the part and preferably still has the cribs set up so you can disassemble it yourself so that you know you are assembling it correctly as well. Also, that you have checked the recall list and the crib is not on it.
    • What did we do?
      • We had a hard time finding anything we liked. The big convertible sleigh cribs didn't fit our decor. We bought a new crib from IKEA that doesn't even have drop sides. It is nice and low to the ground and has adjustable mattress heights, so it is easy to get baby in or out, even if you had a c-section delivery.
  • Crib Mattress
    • Why?
      • In addition to a growing concern about chemicals used in mattresses, some also believe that fungus can interact with these chemicals causing toxic gasses. The older and more used the mattress is, the greater build up they may have.
      • If the mattress was not purchased with the crib, there may be fit issues.
      • Some Moms will not even use the same mattress for their next baby.
    • What did we do?
      • We also got our mattress from Ikea. It is similar to this one. We liked the crib came from the same manufacturer and they were made to fit each other. It was also much softer than those at BabieRUs (have you felt the ones there?). The price was also right, the cheapest mattress at babies R us was still about $20 more than the one we got at Ikea.
  • Nipples and Pacifiers
    • Why?
      • Rubber and silicone break down. Most manufactures recommend replacing them every three months to prevent a part from breaking off and causing a choking hazard.
      • I also heard somewhere (can't remember where) that there are also concerns that rubber and silicone are not fully sterilized by boiling water.
    • What did we do?
      • I never used used nipples or pacifiers, but I never really had them offered to me either. I did use the ones we purchased for more than 3 months though. I feel confident that I would see any damage or tears while washing them before giving them to my son to use.
Grey Area:
This section are things that some people buy used and have no problem with and others would cringe at the thought.
  • Breast Pumps
    • Arguments for used:
      • You can boil or purchase new all parts that touch the breast
    • Argument against used:
      • Hospital grade pumps also have air filters
      • Pumps have labels that say they should not have more than one user.
    • What did we do?
      • My insurance covered all but about $20 of my pump, so I purchased one new. I think I would personally have a hard time buying a used pump, even with all new cups and tubes.  I did however boil and used extra pump cups I got in a free bin at a Mom 2 Mom sale.
  • Bottles (You can get these in free bins at Mom 2 Mom sales).
    • Arguments for used:
      • You can boil them and kill off anything that might be on them from the previous user.
    • Arguments against used:
      • You could spread illness if something remained on the bottle from the previous user.
      • Older bottles may not be BPA free.
    • What did we do?
      • Both. I registered for new bottles, but between pumping, storing and daycare, we needed more. We purchased some of the cheapest ones that were still BPA free but I also gladly took some that came in a free bin, boiled them and still use them today.
  • Cloth Diapers
    • Arguments for used:
      • You can boil, bleach or otherwise sanitize them.
      • If you use a diaper service, you are getting "used" diapers"
    • Arguments against used:
      • Mom's don't like the idea that another babies poop was in them.
    • What did we do?
      • We got most of our diaper new, however someone was kind enough to give us some of their well loved ones for free. I washed them on the sanitize cycle and they have been in our rotation ever since.
  • Pack n' Play
    • Arguments for used:
      • New ones are expensive
      • Some are barely used
      • The part your baby touches can be covered with a sheet
      • They make pack n play covers.
    • Arguments against used:
      • You cannot just throw the material in the washer and they can be dirty.
    • What did we do?
      • This is one item that I wanted new. I looked at them at garage and Mom 2 Mom sales and they were usually in pretty rough shape and expensive. We got one of the cheaper models, so it wasn't too much more than a used one.
What are some things that you would never buy used? Is there something on my list that you bought used and have no problems with the idea of using it?

1 comment:

  1. Kate and I tell people all the time not to buy used car seats.