Caribbean Babies

Etiquette with used baby items.

So, I'm a huge thrifter/garage sale shopper, and I buy pretty much everything that way (for financial reasons and it's my hobby). So of course S/O and I are totally down with hand me down items from family and friends. I know we will need some extra items anyway to keep at the grandma's houses anyway.

My aunt just gave me some stuff that my cousins baby grew out of - a swing/bouncer seat combo, a play saucer and some activity tables/beep beep boop sound thingies..

They. Are. Filthy.

And my aunt apparently smokes in her house because they reek of cigs. The swing seat is really badly stained. I don't think it'll come out. There is just a layer of grime on everything. And since the activity tables have tons of objects on them, I'm going to have to Q-tip the grime out of the crevases of everything.

I know beggars can't be choosers, and I can't afford to buy all brand new stuff. I know she did it to help, and I am still thankful, but I don't want to even use these as back up items.

And what if my family throws a shower for me? If I put the same stuff on a registry, she'll wonder why I'm asking for stuff she already gave me. I don't want to hurt her feelings.

I have other friends that keep telling me they have items for me - like a bunch of car seats in their garage that have been there for years (her kids are 12, 7 and 2). Or a 12 year old pack and play.

I don't know how to say no on items that I really don't want, and I feel like some people are just wanting to dump their stuff off on us because they just want to get rid of it.

I'm feeling ungrateful but... I don't want a 12 year old pack and play.

"Your truth is different from my truth, and we're both right."

TTC since March 2013. BFP 4/13/13, blighted ovum discovered 6/6/13, m/c 6/8/13.

BFP 11/10/13, EDD 7/25/13 - stick little owlet!

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Re: Etiquette with used baby items.

  • Don't feel ungrateful, because you are truly grateful!

    Truth is, it's entirely up to you, but I would consider it unsafe to use baby items from a smoker's home. Unless it's something you love love love, throw away or donate.

    Also, car seats expire after 5 years (or something like that), and the safety regulations change often. You should try if you can to get a new car seat.

    Just because you can't afford this stuff new doesn't mean you can't get good quality, clean items from craigslist or elsewhere. And no one should be offended by what you register for - register for anything and everything as most people do, and enjoy returning and making exchanges after your shower.

    I would have no problem declining the offers, or even saying (once one is in the works) that you may be interested in some of the things but would like to see what you're given at your shower first. :)
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  • Emerald27 said:
    Don't feel ungrateful, because you are truly grateful! Truth is, it's entirely up to you, but I would consider it unsafe to use baby items from a smoker's home. Unless it's something you love love love, throw away or donate. Also, car seats expire after 5 years (or something like that), and the safety regulations change often. You should try if you can to get a new car seat. Just because you can't afford this stuff new doesn't mean you can't get good quality, clean items from craigslist or elsewhere. And no one should be offended by what you register for - register for anything and everything as most people do, and enjoy returning and making exchanges after your shower. I would have no problem declining the offers, or even saying (once one is in the works) that you may be interested in some of the things but would like to see what you're given at your shower first. :)

    ::end quotes::


    This. I edit a trade magazine that covers the baby furniture and gear industry (which is even more fun now that I'm KU), and the regulations just changed again, so I highly recommend you get a new car seat. There definitely are some good ones that are still affordable, and that's the kind of thing that's people might go in together on to get you on your registry (they're expensive, but not that expensive). 

    I'm curious to what changed! Do you have an article?

    DD is 12 so I have no clue about baby stuff out now. I'm just now hearing about how drop side cribs aren't used/made anymore also?

    "Your truth is different from my truth, and we're both right."

    TTC since March 2013. BFP 4/13/13, blighted ovum discovered 6/6/13, m/c 6/8/13.

    BFP 11/10/13, EDD 7/25/13 - stick little owlet!

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  • There are new rules with the LATCH system that just came into effect this year: https://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/perfi/basics/story/2012-06-06/child-safety-seat-latch/55452346/1

    That's just the most recent thing. There have been a few rule changes (mostly about children's weight, harnesses, etc.) in the past few years. So an older car seat might not be compliant to the latest regulations.

    And yeah, the drop-side cribs are considered unsafe now, too.

    I just went to a conference earlier this month that was all about safety regulations and legislation for children's products. It was really eye-opening, because I had no idea about a lot of things (like crib bumpers can be a major suffocation hazard, the crib slats have to be a certain amount of space apart to keep the kid from getting caught up in them, etc.). I tried not to freak out, though, because most of it was worst-case scenario stuff, but still, it was kind of scary to hear about all of it.  

    So if the seat and baby are under 65lbs, I should use the LATCH, but over 65 I should just use the seat belt?

    I've never even used the LATCH, my cars didn't have them w/DD was little.

    "Your truth is different from my truth, and we're both right."

    TTC since March 2013. BFP 4/13/13, blighted ovum discovered 6/6/13, m/c 6/8/13.

    BFP 11/10/13, EDD 7/25/13 - stick little owlet!

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  • We got a lot of offers for things with our first.  We said yes to clothes, but no to everything else.  We really wanted to buy our own stuff (plus, we didn't buy a lot of items, we tried to keep it minimal).  I think we just said, "no thanks, we already bought one, or we don't need that."  I think a lot of offers just come from people wanting to get rid of things! 

    What really grossed me out about your post, though, is that the items you got were so dirty.  Before even storing away any of our baby stuff I always go through and clean it all thoroughly.  I just cleaned DS2's high chair now that he's moved to a booster seat.  I broke out the q-tips and toothpicks to get into all the crevices.  I would absolutely clean them before passing them on.  Ew.

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    son#1 born 6/2010

    son#2 born 4/2012

    son#3 born 7/2014

  • I think expiration date, new regulations, and recall notices can all be great excuses! Don't sweat it! Your friend's junk should not be your problem to dispose of!
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    TTC #1 since Oct. 2012 | BFP Feb. 21, 2014!
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