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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Reuse or buy new?

By Krista

Got another bun in the oven? Now what? Should you reuse some of your previous products, or scrap it and start over? Why not do both? Baby gear is constantly evolving, changing, AND being recalled. What was the latest and greatest gadget one baby ago could now be completely yanked from shelves. With a little research and proper planning, getting ready for your second, third, or fourth (whew) bundle can be a breeze.

First, get savvy and take inventory. Prepare your “reuse or buy new” list by considering safety, emotion, and usability. Some items may represent an emotional connection. Maybe you have beautiful memories of rocking your first born wrapped in a special blanket and envision passing it on to them to celebrate the birth of their first child? Certainly, these items fall into the emotional category and you will want to put these aside as special treasures. Don’t forget to consider connections your child may have towards a precious item. They, just like you, may have special memories toward a stuffed animal or pillow. The thought of handing these items down to a new baby might cause unnecessary sibling conflict. Involve your children in these decisions prior to bringing home baby and avoid tantrums and strife.

However, car seats, high chairs, cribs, and larger more expensive items are ripe for the reusing! An absolute MUST is a visit to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website. Research all items you intend to reuse and make sure they haven’t been recalled since your last trip down baby lane. If your item passes muster, complete your own safety check by ensuring all parts are still working properly and not in need of repair.

Finally, don’t discount usability. We have all purchased products that, simply put, we hated. True lemons that drove us mad when we first used them and are sure to aggravate us again. Make life easier and consider replacing these items. A newborn takes enough energy, fighting to collapse a stroller shouldn’t. If cost is a concern, try selling items that didn’t work for you and put your funds towards the purchase of something more user-friendly.

All this being said, getting ready for a new baby is a personal experience. Many moms opt for all new, while others find reusing the comfortable way to go. Recently I’ve spent many blissful hours going through our old baby items and reminiscing. Some items need replacing while others bring joy to my heart knowing they get one more round.

Preparing for a new baby is a blissful experience to be treasured. So, congratulations to all the expectant Smarty moms and enjoy the process regardless of what side of the “buy or reuse” fence you’re on!

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