I'm a baby expert, what to buy second hand as a new mum and the things you should ALWAYS get new | The Sun

WITH sites like Vinted and Facebook Marketplace making it even easier to shop secondhand, most of us are trying to be a little more thrifty with our shopping. 

But what about when it comes to stuff for your newborn? 

Luckily parenting coach Emma Roberts has revealed what expectant parents can buy secondhand, and the things they should absolutely purchase brand new. 

Emma, 40, from south-east London, has been guiding parents for more than 15 years and founded her website Dear Mama to help those who need support with their child's sleep.

Now, speaking exclusively to Fabulous, she reveals why it’s totally fine to be looking on sites like eBay and Gumtree when stocking up on newborn baby bits. 

“When we have our first babies, we feel everything should be brand new, because if it’s not, then we’re not going a great job. 


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“Some mums I’ve worked with feel judged if they buy things secondhand. They feel that because it might not look brand new that people are going to look down on them. 

“And in his day and age, a lot of families can’t buy brand new because they don’t have the money. We’re in a recession, mortgage rates have gone up, everything’s gone up.

“There are some things I think you should buy new because of things like hygiene and safety, but there are things you can buy secondhand and it’s completely fine.”

So what pre-owned bits should parents be looking out for? And what should they be purchasing brand new?

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One of the main things Emma encourages her parents to buy secondhand is baby clothes. 

These are often still in great condition, due to babies and children growing out of them so quickly. 

Just make sure you’ve washed them in the same products your baby is used to in order to avoid any irritation. 

She said: “Baby clothes, as long as they’re washed in the fabric conditioner that your baby’s used to, then that’s absolutely fine. Coats as well.

“They grow out of them so quickly, and they can be quite expensive.”

Although she doesn’t recommend swapping and sharing shoes, particularly for your child’s first pair. 

“Parents do buy shoes secondhand and it’s fine, but I prefer those first shoes to be a new pair, and to be a proper pair of shoes, like from Clarks. 

“They have to be a good fit otherwise the child is not going to have the best possibility of walking. 

“And when a child wears a shoe, that shoe molds to their foot.

“So if you’ve got a baby with different size or width feet, it’s going to be a different fit, so I always recommend shoes to be brand new.” 


“You can get little baby bouncers secondhand too. As long as you wash them. 

“Things like baby bouncers, they’re so expensive and some of them don’t even like them, and won’t stay in them. 

“So fine if you give them a good clean.

“They’re basically in them for a couple of months and then you get rid of them!” 


Again, Emma stresses that these are often used just for a couple of months until the baby becomes too heavy or wants some independence. 

She said: “You can have them secondhand, but obviously you need to make sure that they meet safety standards, and they fit right.” 


This was a big one for the parenting expert, as so often her clients feel the need to buy everything brand new, despite the fact that some secondhand ones will have barely been touched. 

“Toys, as long as you wash them, make sure that they’re working properly and they’re safe…and somebody’s dog hasn’t been gnawing at them. 

“Check there aren't sharp edges. If they’re in good condition, you can just give them a wipe-over with some antibacterial spray. 

“When kids start going to playgroups and baby classes, all the toys there will have been dribbled on. They’ve all been sicked on and pooed on. 

“But as long as they’re in good condition, toys are fine. 

“Cuddly toys, you could wash them because again you don’t know if someone’s child has been sleeping with that, or they’ve been on it.”


“Baby baths are fine, just give it a thorough clean. 

“And highchairs are fine. You just have to give that a good wash…and make sure that is working well and you’re not going to put the baby in and it’s going to collapse.”


But there are a few things the parenting coach does recommend buying brand new, including car seats, bottle teats, and prams. 

“Number one, car seats. 

“If you’ve been in a crash with them, and the mechanics aren’t working great, then you’re putting your child at risk. 

“And sometimes car seats have expiry dates or the laws change, so I would definitely recommend buying brand new.

“Also, bottle teats. I always recommend to my parents that they do buy the whole bottle because it doesn’t work out that much more expensive. 

“But definitely the teats because babies, if they’ve got teeth, they can pierce the teat, which can affect the milk flow, and things like choking. 

“Prams I do recommend that parents buy new, only because sometimes the mechanics of them. 

“One parent I worked with bought one second hand and what happened was the clips failed because it had been used quite a lot. 

“Luckily everything was fine, but the bassinet came unstuck. 

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“Things like that, if you are going to buy secondhand, you really need to make sure that it’s okay before you put your baby in it.

“And cot mattresses. They need to be brand new because of things like bed bugs, sick, vomit, and poo and you can’t actually see inside the mattress unless you cut it open.”


Emma also shared the four key things she takes before purchasing anything brand new…

  1. Appearance – Does it look like it's supposed to? Does it look like the models online?
  2. Take it apart – If it's a highchair, I would look at the padding, look underneath the padding, and check the straps are okay.
  3. Price – Check how much other similar secondhand items are going for, and how much it would be to buy brand new, as sometimes it's not that much more.

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