Between bottles, diapers, carriers and cute baby clothes, buying supplies for a new baby can add up quickly to thousands of dollars. While there are some items that must be bought new, such as a crib or car seat, due to health and safety concerns, it’s perfectly safe to save some money and buy or borrow other baby items. Save money on your new baby by purchasing these five items used at a children’s consignment store, yard sale or thrift store.
1. Baby Clothes
Because babies grow so incredibly quickly, many parents find they only are able to use an outfit a handle of times before it is outgrown. This means that consignment stores are full of brand-name, used baby clothes that have minimal wear. Always check buttons, snaps and zippers to ensure they work, gently tug on elastic in pants or skirts to make sure it hasn’t worn out and look for any parts of the fabric that are unraveling. Additionally, it’s best to avoid items that have drawstrings as these tend to wear out easily.
2. Nursery Furniture
As previously mentioned, a crib should never be bought secondhand. Other furniture, however, is perfectly fine to buy used. Changing tables, gliders, rocking chairs and a dresser for all of the baby’s clothes can be bought at yard sales or thrift stores and can save families hundreds of dollars over new options. Furniture should be free from peeling paint, cracks and should meet all safety guidelines.
Playpens can be a lifesaver for a mom or dad who needs a safe place to let the baby play during a shower. Playpens are only used until baby can stand or walk, so they don’t get as much use as a crib. Playpens should be manufactured after the year 2000, because 1999 was the last year that safety guidelines were issued. Ensure that any used playpens haven’t been recalled before purchasing, that the mattress fits snug and that there are no holes in the mesh siding.
4. Baby Toys
Rattles, blocks and rubber toys that babies love to gum are only used for a short period of time. Babies quickly outgrow their toys as they develop the ability and hand-eye coordination to use more difficult toys and activities. When looking at used toys, make sure there are no cracks or dents that could harm your child. Always check out toys on the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website to ensure they haven’t been recalled.
Strollers are built to last for many walks and rides, which allows them to last for many years. Look over the stroller for any missing parts or loose straps. In 2007, safety standards addressed impact, stability and shoulder-strap safety, so always purchase a used stroller that was manufactured in 2007 or later.
Bringing home a baby is one of the most exciting experiences a family goes through. Make sure that a new little one doesn’t break the bank by purchasing good, quality baby items used rather than brand-new.