It is easy to go overboard gathering baby products. You want your little one to be happy, and let's face it, a lot of the new products on the market are just plain nifty. The good news is you do not have to buy everything brand new. Unfortunately the bad news is that used is not always safe. There are some potential safety risks involved with certain baby products. The following guidelines will help you make informed decisions.
Clothing - You can save a lot of money here. Feel free to accept used baby clothing from friends or relatives and check resale shops to complete the layette. The only hesitation here would be clothes that have drawstrings around the neck. Simply set those aside, or pull out the string. Used clothing is absolutely fine and a great way to save money!
Cribs - It is possible to reuse a crib. The key is to inspect it for safety. Check to be sure it complies with the national standards of safety meaning the slats should be no more than 2 3/8-inches apart and there are no cracks, damage or rust. The crib mattress should also fit inside without any gaps. If you are looking in resale shops or considering asking for the crib from your neighbor's attic, keep those standards in mind.
Car Seat - You need a car seat for your infant. In fact, most hospitals will not allow a baby to even leave their premises if there is not a proper car seat in the vehicle. When looking at used car seats, start with asking how old the seat is, if it is more than six years old it is probably not a good idea. You also need to take the time to see if that particular seat has been recalled by the manufacturer. It only takes a moment to look up the information and it can save you a lot of heartache. So, while used car seats are acceptable; it is your responsibility to ensure your child's safety.
Strollers- As long as the stroller is in good shape, you are probably safe. Before purchasing or accepting a used stroller check to see if it was manufactured within the past few years. Push it around to be sure the wheels turn smoothly and try to open and close it.
Play pen - Old play pens with an unknown history should be avoided. The top rail can collapse, they could be missing important hardware or have other safety problems. Even if you know who used the play pen last, you should take the time to check the recall list.
Breast pump - Don't do it. A used breast pump is simply not a good idea. Invest the money, or put this item on your baby shower registry list.The safest strategy involves two parts. First of all when you purchase a new product, take a moment to fill out and send in the registration so that you will be informed of any recalls. For all other products, double check www.recalls.gov to stay informed.