Life Lessons

Life Lessons: Baby essentials--new or used?

Life lessons baby essentials

Studies show it costs about $8,500 a year to feed, clothe, and do all that's necessary to take care of a newborn.

That's why lots of parents consider used baby equipment to try to keep costs down.

Certainly it can be a huge savings to get used items from second hand stores or family and friends. But are they always the best choice?

Experts say it depends on what you are using. For example, a recent FDA report warns moms to take extra precautions when using secondhand pumps and accessories.

Nancy Imperiale, who is a lactation consultant with Mease Countryside Hospital says new moms need to be careful.

She says, "You should not share or buy off of Craigslist or the internet. It's really not worth the risk."

Imperiale says potentially infectious particles could linger in a single use breast pump.

"There is potential for breast milk to back into the motor and certain viruses and bacteria can then be transmitted to your baby."

Along with breast pumps, many parents also rely on used car seats, cribs, and strollers.

Parents should make sure the product hasn't been recalled, it has no missing parts, and has never been in a crash.

As for cribs, new crib rules took effect in 2011 so anything made before that could be obsolete.

As for a used playpen, first find out if was made after 2000. The last safety updates were issued in 1999. Avoid it if it's older than that. Also, make sure the mesh has no tears and the holes are smaller than a quarter of an inch.

Experts say hand-me-down high chairs are fine, as long as the chair has a five-point safety strap.

For anything and everything you buy for your baby that's used, be sure to check the recall list before buying.

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