It’s no secret around here that I’m expecting Baby #2 in a few weeks’ time. Yes, that’s right… WEEKS! As I’m starting to grasp the concept of having two kids at the same time here in this house, some practical thoughts have crossed my mind. Not the least of which, of course, is what I’m going to need to buy. It’s easy to drag all of that baby “stuff” out of storage, clean it up, and reuse it. But I’m a conscientious parent who wants to make sure she’s doing right by her children. If I’m supposed to buy something new, I’m going to do it. But what’s on that list?
Here’s what the experts have to say about buying new versus reusing some common baby gear and supplies.
Cribs: Reuse or Replace?
No one wants to replace a monstrosity like a crib, but with so many recently recalled models, you’ve got to do some research before you decide. Older, unstable cribs can pose safety and injury risks to your little ones. In some cases, the bars are wider apart and your child can get stuck in them. Also be aware that many drop-side cribs and convertible cribs have been recalled because of serious injury and death risks when children are caught inside of them.
To be on the safe side, REPLACE your crib if it isn’t up to the latest safety codes.
Car Seats: Reuse or Replace?
I found some mixed information on this topic, but the vast majority says you should always buy a car seat new for every child. For such an expensive item, I need more than that before I go shopping. The reason, though, is a good one: car seat safety requirements change over time. You should always make sure you have the safest transport available for your kids, even if it means shelling out some extra cash. Beyond that big reason, sometimes car seats get recalled. If you absolutely have to reuse your car seat, just make sure it’s not a recall!
On the con side, my children are being born pretty close together and the safety requirements have not changed (to my knowledge). I’ll be doing some research before I decide if the newest models offer additional benefits to my baby. If they do, I’ll be upgrading without a moment’s hesitation.
The ruling? REPLACE your car seat for Baby #2 (3, 4, 5, etc.) and you’ll help keep your little ones the safest they can be! Save some money on your new car seat with our BabiesRUs coupon codes.
Baby Clothes, Bibs, & Towels: Reuse or Replace?
I’ve spent a lot of time lately going through plastic tote after plastic tote of baby clothing. Since I’m having a boy this time, those girls’ clothes are obviously irrelevant. Still, I’ve got a lot of neutral clothing, particularly in smaller sizes, that I’d like to reuse if I can. The same goes for bibs, towels, and wash cloths. Honestly, the answer to this one is something of a mixed bag. While clothes and linens pose no health or safety risks to my new baby, some of what I’d be passing down just isn’t good quality anymore. It’s not worth it to save a few bucks here and there if I’m going to be dressing my son in clothes his sister stained, right?
My decision? I’ll REUSE baby clothes, bibs, and towels as much as I can, but take it on a case by case basis. Pick out some new items for your baby with our Carter’s Coupon Codes.
Mattress: Reuse or Replace?
Since my toddler is now using her crib mattress in her toddler bed, I’ll have to buy a new mattress anyway. But if she were older and not using it, would I need to? Unfortunately, baby mattresses are subject to the same safety standards and frequent recalls as some other baby gear. Besides that, any kind of mattress can harbor bacteria. (Most baby mattresses are plastic-covered, but any punctures can let milk and bodily fluids into the actual mattress, where they breed bacteria.)
The verdict? REPLACE your baby mattress if it’s been recalled, damaged, or even has a slight tear.
Baby Toys: Reuse or Replace?
This is another one of those case-by-case basis type of decisions for me. Many of my daughter’s baby toys are in good condition, but a few have definitely been chewed on one too many times. Before passing them on to my son, I’ll have to go through each one, sanitize it, and inspect it for broken pieces. I’ve been rounding up all the attachments to the play mat, ditching the half-eaten board books, and looking for “boy” versions of my daughter’s favorite pink toys.
So what’s the word? You can REUSE most baby toys as long as they’re in good condition and have been cleaned. Adding more to your collection is up to you!
Bottles & Pacifiers: Reuse or Replace?
This one almost goes without saying, although I’ve been tempted to just sterilize the ones we already have. But pacifiers and bottle nipples can be unsanitary and may also break down over time, posing a choking hazard to your new little one. While the bottle might still be okay, you should definitely replace all the nipples (and make sure they fit properly!) Fortunately, these are fairly inexpensive compared to some of the other items on the list, so I really don’t mind. Plus, now I can trade in all those pink and purple ones for some blues and greens!
So that means you’ll need to REPLACE bottles and pacifiers to keep your new baby safe.
Use the same discerning eye for your other baby gear, like strollers, high chairs, sleepers, baby swings, etc. Always check for recalls on every model before you reuse it, make sure to sanitize everything you reuse, and be willing to replace whatever you need to. Read more tips at The Stir at CafeMom to see what other moms reused or replaced.