Hints and Tips

Buying Secondhand Baby Items

secondhand 2

I recently wrote a post on Inexpensive Baby Items, one of my top tips is to purchase secondhand baby items, however there are a few things you should know before buying anything used or secondhand.

There are two items you should always buy new:

  • Car Seat- This is probably the most important item to buy new, you will see a lot of these up for sale secondhand but its really not worth the risk. Car Seat designs are constantly evolving and changing for safety reasons and some have even been recalled over the years. But mostly you won’t know if an important safety feature/ accessory has been removed or is missing, you also can’t be sure whether the car seat has been in an accident.
  • Mattress- Moses Basket, Crib, Cot and Cotbed mattresses should all be bought new. Some research suggests there may be a link between Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS or ‘Cot Death’) and Secondhand mattresses due to how easily they can be contaminated with a multitude of bodily fluids, which can cause bacteria and mould growth. They are impossible to completely disinfect. Research also shows that a Baby’s mattress should be very firm, a secondhand mattress may have been used for some time and therefore may have softened.

There are also a few items you should take extra care with when buying secondhand:

  • Breast Pumps- Pretty self explanatory.
  • Cribs, Cots, Cotbeds- Always check that all the parts are there. Its super handy if they still have the instruction manual too.
  • Pushchairs- Again confirm that all the parts are there, also make sure it collapses and opens correctly. This may sound silly but its worth checking that the collapsed pushchair fits in the boot of your car, the amount of times I’ve read about someone getting a pushchair and then not being able to fit it in their car is unbelievable!

And then there are the items you can definitely buy secondhand:

  • Baby Clothes- Just check zips and buttons before dressing your baby in them.
  • Baby Shoes- especially infant shoes!
  • Baby Toys- One of my favourites, my Mum purchased all the toys for her house from charity shops or hand-me-downs and my toddler loves them.
  • Baby Baths- Just make sure its clean and doesn’t smell of mould.
  • High Chairs- Check it has a harness in place to prevent your child from falling out.
  • Baby Bouncers and Swings- De sure to check that they haven’t been recalled, and that it is in full working order before using it.

In my friendship group we also lend and borrow items to and from each other, and pass down clothing and toys. We are very lucky to have received many hand-me-down items, and I’ll be sure to pass them on too (if they haven’t been destroyed by my children!).

Thank you for reading, enjoy your secondhand shopping.

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  • Reply
    Inexpensive Baby Essentials – The Diary Of An 'Ordinary' Mum
    23rd February 2016 at 11:04 pm

    […] my other post Buying Secondhand Baby Items for more information on what to buy and more importantly, what not to buy […]

  • Reply
    25th February 2016 at 8:16 am

    My neighbour gave me a car seat and a brand new cot mattress. Neither have been used though. That’s okay right.

    • Reply
      Hannah G, The Ordinary Mum
      25th February 2016 at 9:15 am

      Oh yeah they should be fine, I love how helpful friends, family and even neighbours can be!

  • Reply
    29th February 2016 at 10:08 am

    It’s amazing how much stuff you get given. RJ lived in his cousins baby grows until he was about 6 months! #bigpinklink

    • Reply
      Hannah G, The 'Ordinary' Mum
      29th February 2016 at 10:20 am

      I really love how generous people can be when it comes to babies and children, we got given lots for our first and now it’s all on round 2 with our littlest. Thanks for commenting x

  • Reply
    29th February 2016 at 11:06 am

    go you touched a very sensitive subject there. Baby stuff and the whole second hand market. It just doesn’t work. I am sitting on a pile of stuff unable to shift it because people either want to buy new or want second hand for free. there is no middle ground.

    • Reply
      Hannah G, The 'Ordinary' Mum
      29th February 2016 at 11:13 am

      That must be really frustrating, we don’t seem to have that problem where I live. Secondhand stuff sells like hot cakes around here, anything I’ve put up for sale has sold within a couple of days. Sorry to hear you haven’t had the same experience!

  • Reply
    29th February 2016 at 11:19 am

    Such a useful post with some really good advice. Where we used to live was great for picking up second-had stuff but now where we live there is nothing! #bigpinklink

    • Reply
      Hannah G, The 'Ordinary' Mum
      29th February 2016 at 11:21 am

      Thank you lovely 🙂 It does seem to be a very up and down market depending upon where you live, its so easy to sell and buy secondhand where I live but unfortunately it doesn’t appear to be that way everywhere x

  • Reply
    29th February 2016 at 8:05 pm

    I have also struggled to shift things! It’s been so annoying when I know how much I paid for things to have to give them away. So what I actually think is yes, you should ABSOLUTELY buy second hand because you really won’t get the money back for these gorgeous items you buy for hundreds of pounds for. Plus your kids will almost certainly trash the good stuff! 😉 Thanks for linking up with us! #bigpinklink

    • Reply
      Hannah G, The 'Ordinary' Mum
      29th February 2016 at 8:10 pm

      Sorry to hear you’ve been struggling to shift stuff too! I must be in a lucky part of the country where buying and selling secondhand is very popular. I’m really glad I didn’t pay full price for a lot of my stuff, kiddies are far too good at destroying things!! Thank you for hosting 🙂 x

  • Reply
    1st March 2016 at 9:56 am

    This is a really handy list for new parents and parents to be. #bigpinklink

  • Reply
    The Pramshed
    1st March 2016 at 8:34 pm

    We already have a mountain of baby clothes that the little one has grown out – sitting in vacuum packs under her cot. Not sure what we will do with them – keep for the next one, only if it’s a girl. A fab second hand toy would be the Fisherprice Jungle Jumperoo as they are so expensive new, I’m still toying whether to buy one or not, our little one will be walking by the time I decide. Claire x #BigPinkLink

    • Reply
      Hannah G, The 'Ordinary' Mum
      1st March 2016 at 8:41 pm

      We kept all our stuff and luckily ended up having another girl so we were able to re use it all. Now she’s started growing out of things I’m splitting it into items to sell, items for charity and items to pass down to friends. We didn’t get a Jumperoo (only because we don’t have the space) but I did get a door bouncer and swing second hand and they’re as good as new 🙂 x

  • Reply
    Coombe Mill
    1st March 2016 at 10:06 pm

    I’ve never had a problem buying things second hand, as you say some things to be wary of but on the whole it saves a fortune. Half my current warrrobe is second hand. #abitofeverything

    • Reply
      Hannah G, The 'Ordinary' Mum
      1st March 2016 at 10:09 pm

      I’m glad you’ve had good experiences with second hand, I always look at used items before I buy new. Thanks for commenting x

  • Reply
    2nd March 2016 at 9:51 pm

    Great post. Almost everything I own for my kids is second hand; I simply give everything a good clean first and we’re good to go! Raising children really doesn’t need to be expensive; it’s about being savvy. #abitofeverything

  • Reply
    You Baby Me Mummy (@YouBabyMeMummy)
    3rd March 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Great advice! How nice to share things around your group. I have given friends bin bags full of lush clothes before as I would rather that than sell them for a pittance. Thanks for linking up to #TheList x

    • Reply
      Hannah G, The 'Ordinary' Mum
      3rd March 2016 at 3:32 pm

      Thank you, always nice to share and help others. Especially those that have helped me 🙂 Thank you for hosting x

  • Reply
    Rosie Hill (@EcoGitesLenault)
    4th March 2016 at 7:58 pm

    We got so much second hand when T was born – we did buy a new car seat and cot mattress but the cot and pushchair came from friends and so much else was second hand. I often wonder how much money we saved. #abitofeverything

    • Reply
      Hannah G, The 'Ordinary' Mum
      4th March 2016 at 9:32 pm

      Oh goodness, I can imagine you will have saved hundreds, I know we have. I am always so overwhelmed by peoples generosity when it comes to giving! Thank you for reading 🙂 x

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