Apart from car seats, are there any other baby related things that you should buy new rather than get second hand from one source or other?

I can't think of any, but I'd like to be sure.

asked 25 Jan '10, 19:59

Rich%20Seller's gravatar image

Rich Seller
accept rate: 19%

My general list is:

  • Things that cannot be cleaned properly (mattresses with cloth covering)
  • Things that present a safety hazard when they get too worn out (pacifiers, bottle nipples)
  • Things where damage can occur that is not detectable, but may present a hazard (car seats)

We have made exceptions to the above when we know the history of the item and can trust the owner - such as within our extended family.

But don't get overly worried about this - you can save a significant amount of money on second-hand items, and a lot of 'old' things are perfectly safe for use.


answered 25 Jan '10, 20:49

Adam%20Davis's gravatar image

Adam Davis
accept rate: 31%


+1 I definitely wouldn't buy used pacifiers/bottle nipples/etc.

(25 Jan '10, 22:35) Fun2Dream

+1 for not getting overly worried. Being aware is probably your best defense here. Cruise around the brand new subdivisions around garage sale time and you'll find lots of almost new stuff for a lot less than you'll pay at the store.

(26 Jan '10, 02:14) Scott ♦♦

Many breastpumps (like the Medela Pump in Style) should not be used by more than one user, due to milk contaminating the unit. Some (like the Ameda Purely Yours), do not have the same issue with milk contamination. If you do buy a used pump, be sure to buy new accessories, especially the parts that come in contact with you or the milk, for sanitary purposes. Also, beware of used pump motors wearing out after use. Here is an article talking about used breast pumps.


answered 25 Jan '10, 22:41

Fun2Dream's gravatar image

accept rate: 10%

Yes. You can also rent pumps from the hospital that are OK to use by multiple people.

(17 Aug '10, 17:40) Anne

Use caution with second hand cribs. If the slats are too far apart or if the construction is poor, they could pose a health threat to a child. Also if it is the crib your parents used with you, beware of lead in the paint.


answered 25 Jan '10, 22:31

mkcoehoorn's gravatar image

accept rate: 8%


Also, if you DO wind up with a used crib, be sure to check for recalls on the exact model you have. There have been LOTS of recalls, some of them quite serious. Additionally, be sure you have all of the hardware and pieces, otherwise it may be quite dangerous.

(25 Jan '10, 22:37) Fun2Dream

I'll add toys to the list. Generally, used toys are fine, except when they aren't:

  • If the toy is very old, it may not have been built according to recent safety standards.

  • Please don't give away a broken toy if it's broken in such a way that could be potentially unsafe. If you're on the receiving end of a toy, inspect it before use.

  • Toys that require batteries should either have batteries removed or replaced before giving away. If you're on the receiving end and don't know that batteries are fresh, best to replace them. Old batteries have a tendency to leak. Also, make sure the battery door and screws are still secure enough and not loose.

  • Assume a toy is dirty. Clean it, but remember too that the toy may end up going in your child's mouth! – so be careful and don't clean it with anything harmful. Rinse well.

When in doubt, throw it out. Re-use is great, but be sure it's safe re-use.


answered 26 Jan '10, 00:59

Chris%20W.%20Rea's gravatar image

Chris W. Rea
accept rate: 34%

I wouldn't use a second-hand crib mattress, if I could help it. Basically for the same reason I wouldn't buy a second-hand adult mattress. Bedbugs and such.

I recently saw someone here selling used cloth diapers on Craig's List. That kind of grosses me out too, but others may feel differently.


answered 25 Jan '10, 20:32

BetsyB's gravatar image

accept rate: 12%

edited 25 Jan '10, 20:43

Since mine were just used for burping, I washed and passed my cloth diapers on to my SIL for when she has kids.

(25 Jan '10, 22:32) mkcoehoorn

I would absolutely buy a used crib mattress - crib mattresses have a waterproof cover, and having another user own it first allows plenty of time for off-gassing.

Also, I bought many used cloth diapers. As long as they're washed properly, there's no reason NOT to give them more life and reducing your carbon footprint a bit more by buying used!

(25 Jan '10, 22:34) Fun2Dream

I'd definitely not have a problem with used cloth diapers. They've been washed!

(26 Jan '10, 15:57) Michelle

Here I know other parents commonly use diaper services, and in such cases they bring you diapers, you use them, set them out on your doorstep on a certain day, and they take them and bring you new ones on the same day. I'm quite certain you don't get "yours" back, but everyone who we've talked to who uses that service does seem to like it.

(27 Jan '10, 01:41) Scott ♦♦

May be pushing the definition of 'baby' a bit far, but I'd include shoes in the list.

UPDATE Opinions seem to differ on this point. Here is a quote which is slightly more nuanced:

  1. Baby shoes and young children's shoes are normally worn very little. Children's feet grow so fast, that these types of shoes usually show hardly any wear at all. These types of shoes are usually the most acceptable to pass down.

  2. Make sure that hand-me-down shoes fit properly; never allow children to wear shoes they need to "grow into." This can cause foot and leg problems, not to mention being a tripping hazard.

  3. Inspect the insides of the shoes for wear. If the insoles show much wear, especially, if you can see the imprints of the feet, toss them out!

  4. Inspect the outsides of the shoes for wear. Are the soles in good shape, or do they have smooth spots? Are any sides of the soles worn down? Some children have a tendency to walk on the inside or outside of their shoes. If you see signs of this, toss the shoes instead of making them hand-me-downs.

  5. Check your children's shoes sizes often. Are hand-me-down shoes damaging your children's feet? If they only get bigger shoes when a sibling outgrows a pair, then the answer to that question could be "Yes!"


answered 26 Jan '10, 06:12

Benjol's gravatar image

accept rate: 5%

edited 29 Jan '10, 06:07


Babies out grow shoes so fast, and they get so little wear, it seems a shame to throw them out after one child. You can still sterilize them with some Lysol spray inside and make your kid wear socks with them, but I have no problem with second-hand baby shoes.

(28 Jan '10, 15:58) mkcoehoorn

There is some evidence that using a second hand mattress can increase the risk of SIDS. The theory is that toxic gas releasing fungus can build up in a mattress.


answered 27 Jan '10, 00:36

nickhiggs's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%


"The toxic gas theory has been investigated and found not to be supported by the evidence." Source: http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=6&ved=0CBwQFjAF&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sidsillinois.org%2Fimages%2Freading_material%2FTOXREVIS.DOC&rct=j&q=sids+mattress+toxic+gas&ei=KJhfS5yTO4rL8Qb7uMyZDA&usg=AFQjCNGBbAssFokU2QcPEECLLC4JPHd9HA

(27 Jan '10, 01:37) Scott ♦♦

"Rigorously conducted, scientifically based research has concluded that there is no evidence to support the link between wrapping mattresses and the prevention of SIDS." Source: http://www.sidsandkids.org/documents/ToxicgastheoryInformationStatement.pdf

(27 Jan '10, 01:38) Scott ♦♦

Cheerfully withdrawn. Thanks Scott.

(27 Jan '10, 01:45) nickhiggs

Hey, no problem Nick! We do appreciate you including the link to the article. We like to know where info comes from (we're nerdy that way). :)

(27 Jan '10, 02:30) Scott ♦♦
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Asked: 25 Jan '10, 19:59

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Last updated: 17 Aug '10, 16:41