What second-hand items can I buy for my baby?

We want the best for our children, but not all baby items need to be new. Which second-hand items should you buy or avoid?

Nowadays, second-hand markets are very common and a fantastic resource for buying items that would otherwise be very expensive. What's more, a lot of baby accessories are essentially new as they have only been used for a short time.

With the wide range of products on offer, it is easy to quickly find what you're looking for. Websites like Vibbo (formerly called Segunda Mano), CashConverters, Ebay, and specialized baby websites, such as Baby Echo, have quickly been joined by apps that use location-based searches, such as Wallapop, and specific baby apps, such as Mooms.

Buying second-hand is a good option to save on baby costs. While not everything has to be brand new, some items cannot be reused. Extra precaution must be taken with baby safety products as you know very little about their previous use.

Before buying a second-hand item, it is important to consider its age and whether it is an officially approved product. This is a key point as certain items may not have required official approvals when manufactured.

Recommended second-hand items:

Crib bedding and baby clothes

These items tend to be as good as new as they are only used for a short time. It is recommended to clean crib bedding and baby clothes, even if they appear clean, as they may have gathered dust.

Safety mechanisms

Barriers for staircases and beds, outlet covers, drawer locks, corner protectors, etc. These items can be reused provided they have not become loose, as they are designed to not be removed by children.

Baby bathtubs and changing mats

These are expensive products that tend to stay in good condition as they are only used for a few minutes every day.

  • Make sure that the feet are firmly attached and steady.
  • It may be advisable to fit a new changing mat cover.

Highchairs

Highchairs are used a lot. However, they are usually quite sturdy and do not break.

  • It is advisable to check that the belt opens and closes and that the adjustable height mechanism is working properly.
  • Also, check that the material covering the back of the chair is in good condition.

Cribs

Make sure that the crib is CE Marking approved and in good condition.

  • Remember to check that there are no sharp edges or corners and that the space between the bars is not large enough for your baby to fit their head through.
  • Also, check the mechanism to lower the side and also the brakes, if the crib has wheels.

Baby strollers

When purchasing, remember that your baby is going to spend a lot of time in the stroller. Therefore, they must be comfortable.

  • The seat should be as firm as when it was new (as the cushioning may have molded to the shape of the previous baby). Also, check that the safety harness is firmly attached, the brakes work properly, and that there are no loose screws.
  • Another important feature is that it has a detachable fabric cover that can be easily removed and washed.
  • It is also worth considering the weight of the seat, as newer models are becoming increasingly light.
It is important to be very careful when buying second-hand baby items. Please remember that, due to safety reasons, not everything can be reused.

Second-hand baby items to avoid

Mattresses

A used mattress may have defects that could damage the newborn's back.

Shoes

When your baby starts to walk, using second-hand shoes is not recommended, since they may have been deformed by the previous child. 

Car seats

It is fine to reuse a car seat used previously by another sibling or the child of a friend. However, it is not recommended to buy second-hand car seats as you do not know if they have been involved in an accident or if any of the safety features have been compromised.

In addition, the regulations for child restraint systems are changing and, while the older R44 standards (based on weight) still apply, future systems will have to follow the I-Size system (based on height) which prioritizes Isofix child seat restraint mechanisms.