Do you want to know which baby items you can and cannot reuse for a second baby?
If there is a small gap between your first and second baby, you may have considered reusing baby items from your first baby.
Surely you have wondered “can you reuse bottles for second baby”?
What about reusing the crib mattress? Clothes?
Maybe you want to save some money (because babies don’t come cheap…it’s a fact)
Or you want to save storage space, all that stuff becomes clutter once a baby is done using it anyway.
Perhaps you’ve been asking yourself which baby items you can reuse and what you have to buy new.
I have you covered.
Keep reading to learn what items are unsafe to reuse and which ones are safe to use with caution.
Which Baby Items To Buy New
The main reason behind not using second-hand items is safety for your little one. You want to do as much as you can to keep your baby safe.
You want to protect your little one from harmful bacteria and getting sick, as well as protect them from physical injury resulting from faulty second-hand equipment.
Let’s dig in!
If you are anything like me, you’ll have lots and lots of feeding utensils used by your first baby.
Believe me, it’s tempting to just reuse them, I mean why throw out all that stuff?
Before you put your little bundle at risk, here is a list of feeding essentials that are not safe to reuse.
Reusing Bottle Nipples, Nipple Shields, Pacifiers
The material used to make these products suffers from wear and tear when stored over time. You will notice that they even get discolored and turn yellowish when not in use for extended periods of time.
If your first baby used these, there’s no doubt that you should chuck them out as they have been contaminated with saliva.
If you have new ones you’ve never used, check if the material hasn’t started breaking down as those small pieces might get swallowed by your new baby.
Unlike bottles, nipples are affordable.
Always sterilize baby bottles and nipples before your baby uses them.
From cleaning all that milk and juice from bottles, you can imagine how much bacteria develop on that brush.
Besides, the bristles will become worn with use.
If you are still using the brush to wash your older baby’s bottles, and you thoroughly clean and sterilize the brush after use, you can use it for your second baby’s bottles.
However, if the brush has been sitting for months or years, rather get a new bottle brush for your baby’s safety.
Straw Bottles, Sippy Cups and Spoons
This one is for when you wean your little one into solids. If you are planning to use drinking utensils for baby no.2, check the following:
Bottles with straws might need to have the straws replaced since your first baby has put them into their mouth. Chances are the straws are a bit worn from your first baby chewing on it during use.
Sippy cups have small holes that could trap residues from what your baby is drinking. They are not easy to clean and those residues create harmful bacteria you don’t want to expose your little one too.
Besides having come into contact with saliva, second-hand spoons tend to have a rough surface and edges caused by all the biting from the first baby.
Not safe for your baby and definitely not fair. Buy new.
After your firstborn chews on these to relieve teething pains, they get contaminated with saliva.
Another thing, all that chewing could’ve left dents on the teether, creating sharp bumps that could cut your little one’s gums instead of soothing.
The exterior material could’ve softened from biting and won’t provide much comfort anyway.
Toss out and buy new.
Depending on your baby’s age, teethers help with relieving pain and encouraging tooth growth and this one is perfect for that. With different textures and surfaces, they will get the much-needed relief!
Baby equipment is prone to safety recalls. If it has been a few years since you last used the equipment but now you are thinking of reusing it, check if there haven’t been any recalls.
Another thing to consider is how long the equipment was used.
Prolonged use causes defects. A used car seat or bouncer won’t be as comfortable as a new one, a crib might have lost its durability, especially if baby no. 1 loved jumping in it, etc.
The following is the equipment that is not safe to reuse:
Can You Reuse A Car Seat For A Second Child?
At some point, you are going to take a road trip with your baby. You will need to get a car seat before traveling.
Your baby’s car seat is one of the items you don’t want to compromise on.
If you still have the car seat you used for baby no.1, and it’s still in a good condition, then you can reuse it. If you have to buy, new is always best.
Don’t buy it second-hand, or borrow from your sister or friend.
Why is that?
Only reuse a car seat if you know its life span.
For example, you know it has never been in an accident, and you know it was well taken care of during use with the previous baby.
Another important factor to look at is the expiration date. If you are reusing the car seat, make sure it hasn’t passed its expiration date.
You should also not reuse a car seat if you have forgotten the instructions and you are missing the instruction manual.
There’s no way of knowing if you are using it correctly or if you could be putting your baby’s life at risk.
You should also make sure your car is safe before embarking on a road trip with your little one.
Reusing Crib Mattress For Second Baby
A previously used crib mattress could have bacteria and germs from sweat, shed skin, dust mites, saliva, and possibly milk vomit.
For this reason, it’s NOT OK to reuse a crib mattress. Rather buy a new mattress.
Is it ok to reuse a crib mattress when I know was well looked after?
Only reuse a mattress if you always covered it with a waterproof cover during previous use, and you are sure you’ve always protected it from dust.
A mattress that was bought and never used is also safe to use if you are certain you’ve always kept it covered, away from direct sunlight, and it hasn’t reached its expiry date.
The mattress should still be firm to provide enough support for your new baby during sleep.
You can reuse the crib itself, but take note of the following:
- It has to still be in good condition
- Has no missing or broken parts
- Has never been recalled
- Meets current safety standards
If the mattress your second-hand mattress is not suitable, buy a new one. Remember to always follow safe baby sleep practices every time you put your baby to bed.
Jumpers, Swings, Bouncers, and Walkers
Walkers have been linked to many baby falls and injuries. If you previously used a walker, you should seriously consider not using one for your second baby’s safety.
Check if the bouncer, swing, or jumper you used for your first hasn’t been recalled since you last used it. Check the expiry date if it is written on the equipment.
Also important to consider is how long you used the equipment and if there isn’t any wear and tear.
Like with a car seat, these items are unsafe to buy second-hand or get as hand-me-downs.
You have no way of being sure if no falls occurred during use, or if there are no missing parts and screws.
Only reuse the equipment you used for baby no.1 if you took good care of it and it’s suitable and safe for your new baby.
With my first baby, I was that mom who bought every toy I believed my daughter will love.
Guess what happened?
You are right, my dear daughter didn’t use most of the stuff. Some toys my daughter left untouched, and some she didn’t play much with them.
But of course, some toys she loved playing with and now have cracked pieces, rough ends, loose parts, bitten pats, and yes, missing parts.
These are the kind of toys you want to avoid, they won’t be safe.
Unused toys and half-used ones are fine to recycle. Just make sure you check the toys for safety (use this toy safety checklist), wash and sanitize them before baby no. 2 can use them.
Also good to remember to check the age restrictions.
If you have forgotten, aren’t able to see on the toy itself, or have lost the packaging, rather ditch the toy and wait until you can buy new ones.
Keeping your baby safe is more important than saving that extra penny.
What About Reusing Toiletries and Other Supplies?
Do you have leftover nappies in your cupboards?
This one time I found a bag of nappies I still had from when my daughter was still small, and they were going to expire in a month’s time. What a waste!
I mean, I could’ve given them away when they were still usable.
Check those nappies before you go ahead and put them on your baby mom.
Even if they haven’t reached their expiry date, if the production date is too long ago, consider swallowing that bitter pill and purchasing new diapers.
Your new bundle deserves better!
Besides possible stains, discoloration, and the cloth material hardening over time, cloth diapers are contaminated with urine and poop.
That makes them unsuitable to come into contact with a new baby’s delicate and sensitive skin.
Don’t we all have baby toiletries leftover since baby no 1? It seems like such a waste to not reuse those.
Toiletries don’t last that long. Even if you never opened them, they might have reached their expiry date.
Furthermore, what you used for your first baby may not be suitable for your second bundle. There are allergies and eczema to think of.
I would get rid of opened and half-used toiletries. Those aren’t safe to reuse.
For the unopened batch, check the expiry date. And if baby no.1 was using products with soap or fragrance, it might be wise to switch to more neutral products like emollient creams.
Those perfumed products might not be suitable for baby no. 2. It’s better to be prepared.
So your first baby could’ve used one toothbrush once or twice and still looks fairly new. Should you use it for baby no. 2?
No. You shouldn’t.
Once it has been in contact with your first baby’s saliva it could contain harmful bacteria for your second baby.
Just like you wouldn’t have them sharing one toothbrush when they are older, it’s even more dangerous if your second child is still small.
Bath Towels And Washcloths
Besides having stains and that uninspiring worn-out look, towels, and washcloths harden with use. This makes them unsuitable for reuse.
You risk scrubbing your baby’s delicate skin with that hard material, possibly resulting in skin rash or worsening eczema, should your baby have it.
If there are bath towels and washcloths that you’ve never used, be sure to check if they are still usable.
Sometimes sitting for too long causes some materials to break out.
Check unused towels that have been sitting for long by stretching them, washing them, and inspecting them to see if they are still in good condition.
Follow these tips to make your bathroom safe for your baby.
Baby Items You Can Reuse For Second Baby
Babies don’t come cheap. If you can save money on baby items by buying second hand, go for it.
Here is a recap on baby supplies you can reuse as long as they are in a good condition.
It is advisable to check the expiration date on the following items. Yes, they can expire.
Make sure the crib is still usable and safe for use by your second baby.
As mentioned before, the crib should It has to still be in good condition, have no missing or broken parts, have never been recalled, and it should meet current crib safety standards.
You can reuse baby bottles as long as they are still in a good condition.
That means no scratches and cracks, and no discoloration.
Read this post on reusing baby bottles for a second baby. It will answer all your questions on how to reuse baby bottles for your second baby.
Slings And Carriers
Check these items for wear and tear and make sure they are still strong enough enough to safely carry your little one.
Strollers can also be reused if they are still in a good condition.
Safety features such as the safety harness and breaks should still work perfectly.
The stroller should be comfortable for your new baby, have minimal wear and tear, and be free of food spills and crumbs from first use.
The high chair should still have the safety features (such as a safety harness and locking wheels, if it has a wheel) in place.
Your baby’s chair should be stable and comfortable for your new bundle of joy.
There should be no loose screws, broken parts, or cracks anywhere on the chair, and it should correctly fit your second baby.
Can you reuse clothes for your second baby?
As long as the clothes are still in a good condition, go ahead and reuse them.
I had a lot of clothes my first baby never wore, other clothes were only worn two or three times and were still as good as new.
Your first baby’s bathtub can definitely be reused as long as it is usable.
I would avoid a stained bathtub with scratches that trap dirt. Otherwise, a second-hand bathtub is safe to use.
All babyproofing products you have used before can still be used as long as they still fulfill their purpose.
These include baby gates, sharp edge protectors, door pinch guards, window guards, stove guards, etc.
Recap on Using Second-Hand Baby Items
Having a second baby will have you thinking about reusing items you used with your firstborn. But you should always check what is safe to reuse and what you have to buy new.
Feeding items that have been in contact with a baby’s mouth and saliva shouldn’t be reused.
A car seat and other items that have been in an accident aren’t safe to use again.
Similarly, second-hand equipment with missing instructions should not be reused, for your baby’s safety.
Worn-out stuff and items that have reached the expiry date are definitely unsafe.
For items that are safe to use, wash them thoroughly, and sanitize them to get rid of germs before using them.
Always check and make sure it’s safe to reuse baby items before doing so. For your baby’s safety.