5 Baby Items You Should Always Buy New... Or Not?Monica Bielanko
I’m starting to smell a conspiracy. Seriously. Like, you know how some people say there is a cure for the common cold but the government or pharmaceutical companies or whomever don’t want us to know about it because of all the money spend on symptom-reducing products? That’s how I’m starting to feel about baby items.
I recently read an article floating around the internet in several different forms. It’s called 5 Baby Items You Should Always Buy New Or Else You Are SO Totally The Worst Mother In The History Of The Universe. Okay, so I added that last bit but you get my point. The latest version of the article popped up over on Lilsugar.com, a website I generally really enjoy.
Here’s the thing: 4 of the 5 things on the list I bought used. And I’m okay with that. So okay. I wondered what y’all think about it so here is the list of baby items you should allegedly always buy new, courtesy of Heather Dale over at Lilsugar.com:
Car Seats: The reason given is that car seat designs are constantly evolving and older car seats may be recalled. I bought a new car seat. But, like my colleague, Ceridwen Morris, I really wouldn’t have a problem buying a lightly used one. Danielle Elwood is worried about expiration dates. Michelle Horton says you never know the crash history. It’s pretty easy to do a little research and find out the recall history and expiration dates. As far as crash history goes, seems to me you could have an expert check out the seat if you were that worried? Although the Lilsugar.com article states “Even if a secondhand car seat looks perfectly fine, you don’t want to take the chance and put the safety of your baby in jeopardy”, you’re telling me there is no way an expert can look at a car seat and determine it’s safe?
Cribs: With the absolutely ridiculous price of cribs nowadays, I bought used, and no, I don’t think I was putting my child’s life at risk by using an older crib. It was a good brand, hadn’t been recalled. According to Lilsugar.com, “Your baby will spend hours upon end in his or her crib, so you want to make sure it is a safe sanctuary and not a danger zone.” Look, I’m not an idiot. I can tell if a crib is old and rickety and should be replaced or if it’s a nice, solid crib worth reusing. It almost seems as if Babies R Us is behind this list, yeah? Like, there is a vast conspiracy to convince every mom that she must buy new if she cares about her baby at all! In fact, I just remembered that my mother-in-law shipped us my husband’s bassinet that she used when he was a baby. He is nearly 40. I used that bassinet all the time. It is solid craftsmanship and it rocks.
Mattress: The used crib I bought came with a perfectly firm, nice mattress. And no, I wasn’t worried it would be “contaminated with vomit, urine and feces” as Heather Dale says. It’s plastic for godsakes!
Breast Pumps: I know, this is the one I suspect you’re probably going to give me crap about. I purchased a used breast pump from this place and feel perfectly fine about it. $300 for the electric pump I like is highway robbery. I got mine for $125 and it is awesome. First time around I borrowed my friend’s. Those In The Know would tell me I walked a dangerous line there and I’m lucky I didn’t infect my baby with bacteria that was likely lurking everywhere in the pump. The friend whose pump I borrowed is the head nurse at a local hospital’s labor & delivery unit. I feel pretty good about my choice. Apparently thousands of women all across Utah are okay with it too. Our local classifieds website is constantly full of ads for breast pumps. In fact, I put a pump on the classifieds once and it sold in an hour. The milk doesn’t even go through the tubes on the pump I like, but it’s easy to replace tubing if that’s the case with the pump you buy. I mean, women are using other women’s breast milk for hellsake. Is there a story about a baby dying from breast pump bacteria that I don’t know about?
Soft baby slings and carriers: Again, they say these may have been subject to recalls. Okay, that’s pretty easy to find out. Google. Go to the manufacturers website and check it out. Call the company. Likely, you’d have heard about a recall involving a carrier you own… So, yet again, I just don’t get it. The original article says “make sure its straps and closures work properly so that your baby stays secure and safe” No kidding? I should make sure my carrier snaps properly? DUH.
Considering the fact that necessities like diapers (yes, I know cloth diapering is an option but that, too, can be expensive) and, for many women, formula, are so expensive, I’m a huge secondhand proponent of stuff like cribs, clothing, bedding, swings, slings, the whole nine yards. I think the only thing I bought new for Henry was binkies. I wondered if y’all always bought new or went secondhand. Do you think the companies that sell baby items are just praying on mom’s who notoriously feel guilty about everything? What are your thoughts on this one? What is the absolute one item you will always buy new?