Having a baby is such a blessing, but let's be honest, it can also be pretty expensive, considering how much gear you have to purchase to accommodate your little one's needs.
And that's why so many moms are more than willing to accept any sort of hand-me-downs from family members and friends who don't have use for baby gear in their household anymore.
I spent last weekend with a few of my college girlfriends, one of whom is pregnant with her first child. Being that she's due this summer, one of our other friends loaded her car up with all sorts of goodies, including car seat bases, a high chair, and a crib mattress before she left town to drive back home.
She was so happy and appreciative of everything that was offered to her, but it got me thinking -- where should moms draw the line as far as accepting used baby items goes?
As nice as it is to cut down on costs and get secondhand gear where you can, there are also a few things that should probably be brought brand new, as a matter of safety and cleanliness.
While strollers, pack-and-plays, bouncy seats, baby slings, high chairs, and gently used toys are probably a safe bet, here are a few items you should buy brand new instead.
Car Seats -- Unless the car seats in question are less than a year old, it's a good idea to go for new ones to ensure that the safety standards are up-to-date. My son is 7, and I still wouldn't use his old car seats if I were to have another baby. The ones on the market today are so much better.
Crib/Bassinet -- This is a tough one, because it's so hard to say no when your grandmother offers you the crib your own mother slept in as a baby. I guess a good rule of thumb is the soda can test. If a soda can can fit through the slats, the crib is out of date and not safe for your baby.
Breast Pump -- Get a new one. Bodily fluids = no, thank you.
Playpen -- Don't laugh. Someone offered me an old school playpen when I had my son. You know, the kind with the metal hinges that fold up? Those things are an accident waiting to happen.
Bottles/Pacifiers -- Again, the bodily fluids come into play. I know you can wash and sterilize bottles and pacifiers, but I still wouldn't want my baby using ones other kids had sucked on.
Do you have any hand-me-down baby gear? What did you insist on buying new?
Image via mitchell3417/Flickr