Second isn’t always best

By Published On: March 1st, 2015

When a friend generously offers to let you borrow some of her baby gear, you’ll no doubt be tempted to do so. But while it’s OK to take her up on hand-me-down bodysuits and baby carriers, there are certain things that are best bought new.

While the thought of baby sleeping in your former crib may sound dreamy, older furniture is often considered unsafe by today’s standards. Drop-side rail cribs are a no-go, and designs with slats more than 2 3⁄8 inches apart or with poorly fitting mattresses are also ill-advised. Another concern? Lead paint. Play it safe by bypassing the heirlooms and adding a brand-new crib to the family.

Car seats
If a car seat has been in a moderate to severe crash, its potential to protect your child may have been compromised, and because you can’t be certain of a car seat’s history, it’s best to buy new. Beware, too, that car seats expire (usually after about six years), so even hand-me-downs from big siblings aren’t necessarily ideal. Check the date to confirm the model you’re considering is not past its prime.

Breast pumps
Unlike hospital-grade breast pumps, personal-use breast pumps are typically designed for a single user. Passing them from one user to another increases risk of contamination and often voids the manufacturer’s warranty. Unless a pump is specifically designated a multiple-user device, get your own.