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When you have a new baby, you can barely keep your eyes open, let alone research infant gear. There’s a lot to learn, and you’re already very busy feeding, changing and snuggling your new bundle of joy.
Here’s the reality: Baby gear is expensive and, in those first few months, your infant is going to grow and change quickly. What you need today could be obsolete in a few weeks.
You can save money and help the environment by buying used baby items, including strollers, car seats and more. As you shop for used baby products, here’s a word of caution: There are a few items you shouldn’t buy used, such as bottles, pacifiers, formula and outdated strollers (more on that later).
Top Baby Items to Buy Secondhand
By filling your home with gently-used baby products, you can save money and do your part to make a sustainable impact. Here are some of our top recommended products to buy secondhand.
With an infant, it helps to have a stroller that can accommodate their car seat. With simple attachments, most strollers can integrate an infant seat, including jogging strollers, easy-to-fold models and simple stroller frames. When the baby gets bigger, you might want a different stroller. Since your stroller needs will vary, you can save money — and help the planet — by buying used baby strollers.
An infant car seat is an essential item that you can purchase open box. Unlike used items which have been put to use by another family, open box means that the box has just been opened and the item may or may not have been removed, but the product has not been used. These products are typically floor models or returns and you can purchase them when they’ve been inspected for safety, functionality and cleanliness by resellers like GoodBuy Gear. Most infant car seats are designed for children up to two years old, but many parents move on to larger convertible car seat around their child’s first birthday. If you have two cars, you may want two car seats, and an open box car seat is a great option.
Toys are one of the smartest items to buy secondhand. You want your baby to have age-appropriate and stimulating toys, but they don’t need too many to have fun. Also, the toys that fit their developmental stage change quickly. When you buy used toys, you can expand playtime options without breaking the bank.
When your baby is an infant, they grow quickly, and those newborn outfits don’t last for very long. You’ll always want to have the next size or two on hand. To save money and minimize your environmental impact, buy used clothes.
Bouncers, loungers and swings
Sometimes you need a way to keep your baby safe, soothed and entertained. At those moments, bouncers and swings can be lifesavers. Your baby will grow out of them quickly, so these are perfect items to buy secondhand.
A playard is the ultimate utility player in baby gear. It is a safe space for playtime, a nap or to keep your baby away from older kids or pets. You can use a secondhand playard as a portable crib for vacations or to leave at your grandparents’ house. Since playards have height and weight limits, they are only useful for the first few years, so it’s a good idea to buy a used playard.
Baby Products You Shouldn’t Buy Used
To keep your baby safe, there are a few products you shouldn’t buy used, and they mainly relate to feeding. You can buy unused and unopened feeding items secondhand, but make sure they are still in their original packaging.
Baby Bottle Nipples
Since bottle nipples are made of plastic and get washed and sterilized many times, over time, the material can degrade. Plus, some babies bite and chew bottle nipples, which can leave holes. As a result, you shouldn’t buy used nipples.
Like bottle nipples, pacifiers get a lot of wear and tear. Pacifiers are made of silicone or rubber, and babies suck and chew on them. Over time, they can develop holes or come loose. Plus, if they’re regularly washed in hot water, that also breaks down the material. To be safe, you shouldn’t buy pacifiers secondhand.
Infant formula is expensive and you’ll go through a lot. However, you shouldn’t buy formula secondhand. While baby formula is shelf-stable once open, it should be used within a month, per the Center for Disease Control's Guidelines.
Strollers manufactured before 2015
In 2014, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued new safety guidelines for strollers and carriages sold after Sept. 10, 2015. New strollers have to meet these safety requirements. To be safe, do not buy a used stroller that was manufactured before 2015. On most strollers, you can find the manufacture date on the bottom of the frame or seat.
Is it Safe to Buy Used Baby Items?
Yes, it is safe to buy most baby products used. To make sure you’re buying safely, only purchase from a reputable store or online retailer.
GoodBuy Gear cleans and checks every item for safety, giving new parents peace of mind.They are unbiased experts who put safety first and we support the circular economy.