Being a new parents can be overwhelming, as there are a lot of decisions to make. Like childproofing your home, what the benefits are of different baby prams, what hand me downs you should take offers up on, and what to avoid. To help you make the best decision in this area, we’ve pulled together a quick and easy list of the types of things you should invest in and what you can save money on.

New Baby, New Ideas - What Hand-Me-Downs to Say No to As a First-Time Parent

For new parents investing in a new pram is a good purchase, especially if you’re looking to have a number of children. This is an item which you’ll be using day in day out, therefore it is important to get a pram which suits your families needs.

However, because children grow up fast, there are great ways to save money. Clothes are one of the best hand-me-downs to take people up on, as it can be exceptionally easy to spend a small fortune kitting out your little one with new clothes at every stage of their development. Pre-buying clothes for your babies anticipated arrival is good in moderation, however, all babies are different. Therefore, the predicted sizes may not suit your babies development.

While second hand items are good in some respects, there are others that new parents should avoid.

Bath toys

Bath toys are a category which should be purchased new, as it is really easy for them to get mold and mildew. It could take as little as a couple of days for this to happen in the wrong environment and hard to tell just by the look of them. Therefore, we recommend purchasing these new and if cost is a consideration a good idea is to purchase one at a time to allow you to replace older items as the child gets older.

Car seats

Car seats are another item that new parents weigh up the pros and cons of taking second hand. However, there are a wide array of safety restrictions around car seats. Unless you know that the car seat in question hasn’t been tampered with or been in an accident, it’s better to be safe than sorry and pass on any second hand car seats unless their history can be 100% confirmed.

Cots and cribs

Similarly to car seats, it is also beneficial to be cautious of second hand cots or cribs.

Second hand cot safety standards can change, therefore, if you are looking to accept a hand me down of a cot for your baby, you should make sure that it meets the safety standards, all the parts and pieces work and it comes with construction instructions. As cots and cribs are designed to keep your little one safe, it is prudent to check these items before taking a second hand crib.

Breast pumps

Personal items, such as breast pumps, are also something you should avoid. Although breast pumps can be costly for mothers that wish to express their milk, it is important to understand that there are components within a pump that can not be sterilised which can expose your baby to potential viruses. So, it’s safer to buy new.

Nipple bottles, dummies and pacifiers

These high wear and tear items can face problems with age, such as holes, cracking and discolouration. Experts recommend replacing these items regularly for this reason. The only acception to this rule is if the item hasn’t been opened and it is in its original packaging.


Playpens are okay to accept second hand if you have made sure the item is not damaged. The way modern playpens are constructed allows both the parent and baby to see through with the use of mesh. This also allows the air to circulate in the playpen. In order to be 100% sure that the item is safe for use, you should inspect the items carefully. Making sure that the item isn’t damaged. Check for any tears, holes or loose strings and that all parts fit together perfectly.