8 Used Baby Items you Want to Avoid Buying at a Yard Sale

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One of the main reasons many of us love to go yard sale shopping is because we love to get a great deal. And no one loves a deal more than a mom! Moms love yard sales because it gives them the opportunity to find items for their family at a discount + gives them a reason to get out and shop without all of the guilt of spending lots of money.  Some of the most popular items we see at yard sales is infant gear, clothing and toys. These items are well-loved by yard sale buyers because of their low prices, however, could post a threat to the safety of their child. Below, we’ve listed the 8 baby items that you may want to avoid buying at a yard sale.

1. Car Seat

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According to Consumer Reports, when it comes to purchasing an infant car seat, you are better off purchasing a brand new seat instead of a used one. Safety is the primary concern with used car seats.  One of the reasons that you’ll want steer away from purchasing a secondhand car seat is because of the frequent car seat safety recalls.  While at a yard sale it’s hard to tell whether or not the car seat you are contemplating on purchasing has been recalled. Another reason to avoid buying used car seats is that you don’t know the history of the seat, it could have been involved in an accident. Car seats that have been in an accident (however minor) should be replaced. Lastly, all car seats have an expiration date printed on the seat. If you aren’t familiar with expirations dates, you may unknowingly purchase one that has already expired.

2. Crib

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As tempting as it may be to purchase a secondhand crib due to their high cost, it’s a bit of a gamble to do so. Purchasing a brand new crib is always a better option than purchasing a used one. Like car seats, cribs also undergo frequent recalls. Some older cribs are not even allowed to be sold anymore due to their now illegal drop-side feature. Lastly, because cribs undergo an enormous amount of wear and tear it’s possible that a used crib has paint chips missing or lost screws and parts. Save yourself the headache and say “Pass” to the crib at a yard sale.

3. Infant Formula

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Let’s face it, infant formula is expensive and between clipping coupons and waiting for sales, there are very few ways to save on infant formula. Some yard sale hosts think they are doing their buyers a favor by offering discounted leftover infant formula, but as a buyer you’ll definitely want to stay away from formula at a yard sale UNLESS it’s absolutely sealed and hasn’t expired yet. If the canister looks like it’s been open or if it doesn’t have an expiration date on it, you’ll definitely want to avoid buying it.

4. Sippy Cups & Bottles

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Speaking of formula, you’ll also want to skip the bottles and sippy cups that go along with it. Older bottles & sippy cups may contain BPA (an industrial chemical known to be toxic) which is now banned in modern sippy cups and bottles. Because it’s hard to tell whether or not a used bottle contains BPA, you are better off purchasing these brand new.

5. Bath Toys

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Used bath toys can be deceiving because even though they may appear clean on the outside, the could be bearing hundreds of bacteria and fungi on the inside. Ask any mom you know and she’ll tell you tales of finding bath toys with black mold growing on the inside. Leave these toys at the yard sale.

6. Baby Carriers

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Infant carriers are pretty popular these days and can be quite expensive when purchased brand new. However, you’ll want to think twice about purchasing one at a yard sale. Some baby carriers have been recalled for safety reasons and unless you know which ones have been recalled it’s hard to tell if the yard sale baby carrier is amongst those recalled.  Another reason to avoid purchasing a secondhand carrier is that, the carrier could have be stretched out during it’s previous use and the safety of the carrier is now compromised.

7. Breast Pumps

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Photo credit: aaron_anderer via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-ND

While it’s common knowledge that most of the external parts of a breast pump are washable and can be sterilized, there are some risks associated with using a secondhand breast pump. Because the inside of the pump is not removable nor washable, it can harbor bacteria and mold which in turn could be exposed to your nursing baby.

8. Crib Mattress

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Crib mattresses are another baby item that frequently has recalls. Beyond the recalls a used mattress can be a breeding ground for bacteria and mold caused by urine, feces and vomit. It’s best to purchase a crib mattress brand new for each baby.

What items do you avoid buying at a yard sale? Leave us a comment!