In two previous posts, I let you know what baby items I found useful and which ones I wish I wouldn’t have bought. Today, I’m going to list the items that you should easily be able to find second-hand.
I recently discovered buy/sell/swap/auction pages on Facebook. They’re super popular, so you should see if they have one in your area. These pages are a fantastic place to find deals on baby things. Craigslist and thrift stores are also a great place to find used kids items. I’ve spent some time hunting down deals, and I’m starting to notice some trends for things that parents always seem to be selling for a fraction of the cost of what you would pay if you bought it new. Here are the top five things that you should be able to save money on by buying second-hand:
- Clothes – Parents tend to be given a lot of clothes for their newborn, and babies grow quickly. Especially for sizes newborn to 6 months, you can find brand new or almost new clothes quite inexpensively. Since young babies aren’t mobile, most of these clothes are in pretty good condition. It’s important that babies aren’t exposed to second-hand smoke, so try to find clothes that come from a non-smoking home. Look for parents selling “lots” of clothes; people will often get rid of all of their baby’s clothes in a certain size all at once (I just bought a box of 30 pieces of clothing for $50). Thrift stores are another great place to find good condition, used clothes. When buying second-hand clothing, make sure you wash it well before your baby wears it.
- Books – I was shocked to learn how much a new children’s book costs. $20 for a picture book! It’s easy to find good condition, used kid’s books. Thrift stores are usually overflowing with them and so they sell them super inexpensively. Many also give you a deal if you buy a certain amount (like buy four, get one free). You’ll want to flip through the book before you buy it as many of them have rips, scribbles, stickers, or stains in them…but there are many that are in perfect condition.
- Bassinet – some people may not be comfortable with the idea of buying their baby’s first bed second-hand, but we did and I’m glad that we didn’t spend over $100 to buy one new. My baby initially hated it, then got used to it but quickly outgrew it, so we only got a couple of month’s use out of it. There are lots of parents trying to sell bassinets as many thrift stores won’t accept them. As a result, you can get a great deal (I bought mine used for $40 and ending up reselling it for $20). Look for a modern style to ensure it complies with recent safety regulations. You want something sturdy, and if it comes with a stand make sure that the bed clips or fastens securely to the stand. And, of course, you’ll want to wash all the bedding and mattresses that it comes with before your baby sleeps in it.
- Toys – the second-hand market is saturated with used toys. I have a theory that if we stopped producing new toys now, we’d still have enough to pass down to future generations until the end of time. Because of this, parents have to practically give toys away. I like buying hard plastic toys (like stacking rings, nesting cups, shape sorters) second-hand because they can be washed and sterilized in the dishwasher. Wooden toys can also be easily cleaned. I’m a little iffy on plush toys; they often look grubby and I never know if I can clean them well enough because of all the stuffing. Thrift store toys can be a bit overpriced; I like buying at garage sales or directly from parents because they’re usually so desperate to get rid of it that they’ll give you a deal.
- Activity mats, bouncy chairs, swings etc. – Babies outgrow these items quickly so, again, you can usually find a good deal
on items that are relatively new. I would look for chairs that have removable cloth liners that can be machine washed. Most play mats can be tossed in with the laundry. If you’re buying a bouncer or jumper, make sure that it’s been assembled correctly and it still has all of its pieces.
- Baby Bassinet – Bedding, Mattress, Sheets Shopping (everydayfamily.com)
- Swap It Out: Have Fun, Save Money, Get New Stuff! (everydayfamily.com)
- 5 Ways to Save Money as a New Mom (faithfulprovisions.com)
- Pregnant?!?!?! Now how are you going to afford this? (mommyathomeonabudget.wordpress.com)