I’ve always loved a good deal, but lately it’s reached a whole new level. After my first pregnant shopping trip to Babies “R” Us, sticker shock set in when I started to realize just how much a baby needs—and how much just the essentials can add up to.
Fortunately I have savvy friends who have steered me in the direction of online mom swaps and stressed the notion “Not everything has to be brand new.” As a full-time working mom-to-be, I totally understand that it’s much easier to click around online and have something shipped straight to your door, but once you start buying secondhand, the savings can really add up! I’ve gotten so many great deals lately I felt compelled to share some of my tips for how to best find recycled baby gear as you prepare for your little one’s arrival!
- Find local Facebook moms groups. I joined several in my area, and it’s been a great way to score quality used items. For example, I got a vibrating bouncy seat and a Fisher Price jumperoo for a grand total of $25! Both are in great working condition, and with some Lysol wipes and a quick spin cycle, they will be good as new. These items typically run upwards of $100 each, so the savings is significant. I also purchased three Halo sleep sacks for $5!
- Yard sales in family neighborhoods. Look for multi-family yard sales; they’re the best! And there’s really no way to sugarcoat it, but wealthier neighborhoods are where you want to go. I picked up a Eurobath for $3 and a Bumbo seat for $5 and can’t tell you how elated I was! I also found lots of Carter’s pajamas for $1/each. Can’t beat that!
- Don’t be afraid of hand-me-downs. A friend of mine has two girls, and when she has generously offered up a crib mattress, baby clothes and even a stroller, I couldn’t say no! It makes me happy to reuse quality items that have only been used for a couple years, especially since the clothes our little one will be wearing are already well-loved.
- Don’t be afraid to ask to borrow. Items that babies only use for a few months, such as a Rock-n-Play, or items that you don’t know if baby will like, such as a Bjorn or Ergo carrier, shouldn’t be bought brand new, in my opinion. If every parent bought these items brand new for every child, imagine all the “stuff” there would be in the world. Sharing is a great way to go.
- Know what should be new. If someone is giving you a shower, great items to register for are consumable products, such as diapers, baby shampoo and body wash, diaper creams and Sophie the giraffe (unless you want another kid’s slobbery one!). Another item I’d never buy used is car seat, because once a car seat is in an accident, it’s not considered safe anymore. I wouldn’t risk buying one second hand and the seller not divulging a fender bender. If you do get a car seat from a trusted friend, be sure to check the expiration date!
I’ve had a ton of fun beginning the nesting process for my little one by seeking out the good deals. Are you a thrifty mom-to-be? What are your tips?