Having a baby is expensive. I never expected anything less. So why not try and save as much as possible while providing for your little one? The way to do this? Having second-hand baby items. Of course, there is a limit to what anyone should accept that is second hand. But there seems to be many people out there who think that buying second hand is dirty, taboo, not right. This is your NEW baby. It should have NEW things. Untainted, unstained, un-whatever it is they can think of.
My thought? Damn my kid is going to grow so fast, I don’t want to spend the money on certain things that I know will only last maximum 3 months before I need a new one. I am the youngest of many.. and I mean MANY, in my family. So although I was the baby, I first became an Aunti at the age of 4. Of course, I’m not saying I was the baby whisperer, I was four. But I do remember certain aspects of my sisters pregnancy from back then, heck if I remember a screaming baby and how to deal. I do, however, fully remember everything about my latest venture into Aunt-hood. My other sister had my niece when I was 14. I remember watching baby kick her tummy, the scary labour screams, the new fragile baby, feedings, diapers, baby cries, sleeping problems… you name it.
So I have some ideas on how to do this whole parenting thing, and part of that parenting thing is knowing how and what to provide for your Babe. Kids grow pretty fast, and to be able to keep your wallet in check, you have to be smart about your transactions. Safety always comes first, of course.
Starting with the basics. Cribs/bassinets. Go ahead and get used. I did. Hand-me-downs from a great friend
who just had her little tyke less than a year ago. Of course I’m going to give everything a good wash, and we made sure the crib was up to safety standards. That bassinet will be used, what, 3 months? If I don’t cave and share our bed. Given the fact that Adrien has no problem sleeping on me, instead of beside me, maybe a bassinet is the way to go.
Next, swings, baby seats, play mats. These things can actually be worth quite a bit of money. And if you aren’t careful, you might miss the window of opportunity when your baby is actually interested in using it. Play mats especially. It doesn’t take a genius to know buying second hand or accepting hand me downs is going to save you hundred of dollars in this section alone!
Clothes. Why on earth would I buy new clothes? That is what baby showers are for, and grandparents. I hope to get all the hand-me-downs from friends I can get my hands on! I’ll search on Craigslist and sites alike if I need more. Kids grow way too fast to spend $25 on a shirt and $30 on a pair of pants. I’ll save that for when they are older and actually have a preference on new clothes for fashion. A kid will spit up, roll around, get dirty, poop, pee and whatever else all while growing out of the clothes faster than I imagine I will be able to keep up. When you have used clothes, wash them, it’ll automatically take away that ‘this is used’ smell. It isn’t an actual smell. It just smells like a foreign home.Every home smells different, make it smell like yours. If stains bother you that much, pass on that piece. Some people take great care of items, if stains don’t bother you, kudos. I’d rather spend $25 on Craigslist for approx. 10-15 outfits than $25 on a shirt at the GAP. Yes, I said outfits.
Diapers… this depends. Disposable, as long as they aren’t used. Some babies can’t use certain types of brands, and when parents find this out after they made the initial purchase, they are left with a box of diapers and sell them for cheap. Cloth, go for it! They are meant to be re-used.
Bottles, breast pumps, soothers. This is where I will steer clear of used. Personally, I wouldn’t want another persons breast milk anywhere near mine. Those contraptions are hard to actually clean 100%. And soothers are only to be used for a short time anyways. Spend the $7-10 on a pack of two. The soother part is only good for what, around 3 months at a time? Don’t hold me to that, I haven’t done my research completely on this yet.
Car seats and strollers. If buying used, ask a lot of questions. When was it made? When does it expire? Has it been in any accidents? etc. etc. As long as everything checks out, go for it. Buying new is sometimes easier, finding a stroller that suits your needs. But it can also cost a fair amount of money. Car seats are acceptable to buy or accept hand me downs, but for an ease of mind, many buy new. If anyone tries to give or sell a car seat that has been in a car accident, tell them to toss it in the dump. It is no longer up to safety standards! These items also have an expiry date. If you want to buy used, but have the extra cash to amp up something like a car seat for under $100, check out this site here, or etsy. I’m trying to convince Adrien to let me buy a car seat cover. It’s a way to make what is used, feel brand new.
Toys. Anything plastic, throw it in the dishwasher on sanitize. If it has some fabric, as long as you can find a way to clean both plastic and fabric, why not? Something electronic, might give you a bit of trouble cleaning, but those toys can sure rack up a bill. So just be careful about all the nooks and crannies that dirt and germs may be festering. Cloth/fabric toys and teddy bears. Throw them in the washing machine! Although be aware that you may receive an abundance of teddies in a baby shower, or as a holiday gift.
I am sure there are many items I am forgetting to list, but this gives you an idea of what goes on in my head. Buying used is not a crime. Buying everything new, if you can afford it, is not a crime either. If I could, I’d go on a shopping spree at every baby store I could set my eyes on.
Let your nesting instincts kick in -give everything a good wash/cleaning before letting your child anywhere near it. And never accept anything that you don’t really think is safe or appropriate as a second hand item just because it is cheap or free. Safety is first.