Preparing Baby Gear: What to Reuse & What to Buy New

Our third baby arrives in just a few short weeks. That will be three little boys under four in the house. And we have so much left to do to prepare…

The nursery needs to be furnished with the crib our toddler is currently sleeping in. Onesies and blankets have to be washed. Diapers and wipes have to restocked. Bassinet has to be reassembled.

I haven’t even thought about packing a hospital bag!

I must admit, preparing for that second (or third) baby isn’t as easy as the first. With the first, you usually have a baby shower to help cover the cost of those must-have items…you also have a little more time during the day to do everything. With the next few, not so much. Poor second baby usually gets shafted when it comes to new gear.

RELATED: What You REALLY Need to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

Having another baby? Find out what baby products you can reuse vs. what baby items you need to buy new!

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Baby Products to Buy New

But before you start saving everything under the sun for the next baby to reuse, be sure to think about what items you need to buy brand new. Not only due to wear and tear, but also for safety reasons.

Below is a list of baby items that should be brand new. Obviously some of these will depend on how long it’s been since the first baby used them, so make sure you take that into account.

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  • Diapers/Wipes (for obvious reasons)
  • Grooming Kits (Emery boards, nail clippers, brushes)
    • This kit here and here contain just about everything you need for grooming
  • Bath Wash, Shampoos, Lotions
  • Burp Cloths & Wash Cloths
  • Baby Hats, Mittens & Socks
  • Pacifiers
  • Bottle Nipple & Brush
  • Sheets
  • Bassinet Pad/Mattress
    • Buying a new mattress for your bassinet ensures baby is sleeping in comfort and that there are no issues when it comes to proper head shaping — i.e. flat head that can happen to a baby sleeping on the same side of a mattress (especially one that’s caving in or worn out)!
  • Crib Mattress
    • Again this will depend on wear and tear, but for the most part experts recommend buying a new mattress if the old one was not organic as the off-gasses and synthetic material can be harmful to baby and possibly linked to SIDS.
  • Car Seat
    • If the car seat has been in an accident then there’s no question about it — you’ll definitely need to purchase a new one – even if you can’t see any physical damages. No accident? An expired date on the label means a new car seat is in order. So make sure to check that out.

Baby Products to Reuse

With a growing family, saving money becomes more of a priority. That’s why recycling baby gear is crucial. This is when hand-me-downs are a God-send!

The items below are typically great for reusing — as long as they are in decent condition. If you have any doubts, always check the manufacturer’s expiration date.

  • Play Yard
  • Stroller
  • Carrier
  • Baby Clothes
  • Bouncer/Swing
  • Bassinet
  • Baby Monitor
  • High Chair
  • Car seat
    • This one is on both lists as you can see…because it really depends on what that date says on the label!
  • Baby furniture
    • Dressers
    • Changing Table
    • Crib
      • As long as the crib you’re reusing is in good condition (without any loose or missing parts) and is within a few years old, you should be fine. However, always check to see if the crib has been recalled as a safety measure!

Baby Products to Reuse with Replacement Parts

  • Breast Pump
    • I would not recommend sharing a breast pump with others or taking one as a hand-me-down. However, if you have one from a previous baby that is in good condition, reusing shouldn’t be a problem so long as you replace the exterior parts including valves, tubes and breast pump attachment pieces. You may also want to contact the manufacturer to ensure mechanics are in order. Note: If your pump is making strange noises or is more than a couple years old, buying new may the more practical alternative.
  • Bottles & Bottle Nipples
    • Again this is more of a date and hygiene question. If bottles are fairly new and BPA-free they will be okay for reuse. However, if theres a big gap in baby spacing you’ll need to replace. And always replace bottle nipples since an old nipple can contain harmful bacteria.
  • Snap-n-go or Double Stroller
    • If you need a new car seat to connect with your snap-n-go you’ll obviously want to replace that for a working stroller. If it’s baby #2 you may find a double stroller to be a good investment — especially one where you can attach the infant car seat or carrier.

Yes, it’s a daunting task figuring out what you can reuse and what you should buy brand new for your next baby, but evaluating condition, age and simply checking for recalls will help make the process a little less stressful so you can focus on the new bundle of joy joining your family.

You may also enjoy:

Pregnant? See my checklist of what you really need to pack in your hospital bag as you prepare for labor and delivery of your new baby (from a mom of three!)


Preparing Your Toddler for the New Baby

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  1. I definitely agree with your list! We are welcoming baby #5 in just a few weeks. I do reuse crib sheets, though. To be honest, we are co-sleepers, so they don’t get used that much!
    Joanie @Simple Living Mama recently posted…When Was the Last Time I Carried Them?My Profile

  2. This is a great list! I’d make one little change though. I say YES to reusing diapers and wipes! No, I haven’t lost my mind! We use cloth diapers and cloth wipes! One of the great benefits is that you can use them for subsequent children!
    Stefanie / The Monarch Mommy recently posted…Funky Fluff’s NEW LUX Wicking Jersey Shell Review (+GIVEAWAY)My Profile

  3. This is such a great list! I reused a lot with my 2nd and 3rd….but by the 4th…most of our gear was too worn out! It was time for some new stuff, lol! We finally admitted by our 4th baby that we would never use the crib since we always end up cosleeping…so we didn’t even put it up!
    Jamie recently posted…Job 5:17 Family Verse of the WeekMy Profile

  4. I completely agree about the mattress– especially if it has been awhile!
    ashley recently posted…Why Challenge is Important for Children’s Emotional IntelligenceMy Profile

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