Starting a family is an exciting time not only for you… but your family and friends. It’s when hand-me-downs start appearing on your doorstep and when your bassinette, which hasn’t been used in years, is dusted off and delivered to you along with a significant history lesson!
To help ensure the safety of your newborn, here are some tips around second-hand baby equipment and what to look for before buying or using it.
If the item had instructions for use when it was new, it must still have those instructions or you must be able to access them on the internet, for example, if you can’t assemble, fold down or install a product correctly your baby may be at risk of injury if the product fails. Following instructions reduces the risk of injury to baby.
It is law in New Zealand to use a car seat for your child until they are 7 years old. Information about the law can be found here.
Your baby will need a car seat for their first car ride. This can be a capsule (rear facing seat with a carry handle) or a convertible seat that starts rear-facing and is turned forward facing when your baby is older.
It is strongly recommended that a second-hand car seat is used only if:
If in any doubt about the suitability of the car seat, check with a child restraint technician. You can find a child restraint technician in your region.
Buying second-hand clothes or being given hand me-down clothing can be great.
There's more great information about Keeping Kids Safe, product safety and more on the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment website.
It’s good to know how and where the bottles have been used in the past, the type and manufacturer to be assured of accuracy of measurements ie privately imported bottles don’t always have the same quality control regulations.
Glass bottles can generally be reused as long as they are completely intact.
Plastic bottles need to be replaced regularly according to manufacturer’s instructions, generally within 12 months. It can be difficult to know how old a second-hand bottle is. Also make sure the polycarbonate is BPA free.
Never use a bottle if:
Although a used pump may be more affordable than a new one, there are health implications and it isn’t something we would recommend. Home sterilization methods are not always reliable to ensure the safe destruction of all germs, especially in the rubber parts. It is difficult, without knowing the history and how a pump has been used, to be sure that this is a good option.
To find our more information on breast pumps, see the La Leche League website.
The booklet Keeping Kids Safe (Children’s and nursery products from Consumer Affairs) contains some great information about second-hand and new nursery products.