Baby essentials: new vs. used


TAMPA, Fla. – It costs about $8,500 a year to feed, clothe, and do all that's necessary to take care of a newborn. A recent Redbook poll found nearly half of all parents spent too much money on a car seat, 36 percent overspend on strollers, and 25 percent went overboard on baby photos, a crib, and clothing. Now, parents are turning to secondhand items. Everything from car seats to breast pumps, but is it safe?

It's meal time for Ryder Turner. Today's menu: mom's milk.

"It's such a special bond; a special bond between a mom and baby that no one else will have," said mom, Michelle Turner.

To keep up with Ryder's appetite and her work schedule, Michelle uses a breast pump.

A recent FDA report warns moms to take extra precautions when using secondhand pumps and accessories.

"You should not share or buy off of Craigslist or the internet. It's really not worth the risk," advised Nancy Imperiale, a lactation consultant from the Mease Countryside Hospital.

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," explained Imperiale.

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, 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.

Michelle Turner is well aware of the dos and don'ts, that's why she makes sure that her used gear is like new.

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. You can find it at www.Recalls.gov.