Buying second-hand baby furniture can be a great way to save a buck. Just make sure it isn’t endangering your child’s life.
Every expectant mother wants the best of the best for her child. But somewhere between pouring over the most ergonomic rocking chair and finding the best black-and-white toys that will sufficiently stimulate a two-month-old, you realize that something has to give. Buying the best of everything brand new isn’t going to realistically fit into anyone’s budget.
This is the point where soon-to-be parents start looking at second-hand options. This can be a great move for things like onesies and books, but when you start looking at bigger things like baby furniture, you need to be careful. The safety regulations on these items change frequently. There could be an open recall.
Looking for Open Recalls
Be gracious when you accept hand-me-downs, but don’t be so gracious that you start using them without checking them for safety. While it would be rude to check for open recalls while someone is giving you a gift, you should check before using the product with your child. Check for the product on the Consumer Protection Safety Commission’s recall search engine. If your product is one that is regulated and requires special labeling with lot numbers, be sure that the label is still in tact so you can make that check efficiently. If it is not, do not use the product.
When you’re shopping garage sales and consignment, those measures of courtesy go out the window. Pull out your smart phone to check then and there, before you shell out money for the product.
Register Your Baby Furniture and Products
Once you find that there are no open recalls, be sure to protect yourself and your child from them in the future. Even if you are not the first owner, you can register regulated baby products with the manufacturer. This allows them to contact you directly should there be a recall on the item in the future.
While first owners have the option of filling out a pre-paid postcard that comes with the product at time of purchase, odds are you will not have that luxury. Instead, you’ll want to go to the company’s website where you will have the option of filling out the same form online.
Baby Products to Never Buy Used
There are some items you should never buy used, even if the product labeling is still in tact. Car seats should always be purchased new, because you cannot be certain of any damage sustained prior to your ownership. Mattresses should be bought new, as they must be very firm, especially for newborn infants. After use, especially if they’ve been used through toddler hood, they wear and become softer, making them unsafe to use with newborns even if there is no active recall.
Other items to not buy used include:
- Breast pumps
- Pacifier and feeding equipment that may contain BPAs
- Baby carriers
- Skin care products
- Bath toys
- Painted toys
- Stuffed animals
Use Second Hand with Assurance
There’s nothing wrong with taking or buying second hand items for your child. Just be sure that they are not items that would pose a health hazard from prior use, and that there is no open recall on the item. By registering the item when you become the new owner, you are assuring that baby furniture or any other product you may use is not just safe when you acquire it, but throughout the entire time you use it with your child.
Have you used second hand items with your child? Have you checked them for recalls?