Post # 1
Hi lovely bees!
I am not due until early September but my close family and friends that know have already started gathering baby items for us. I am wondering if there are any items in your parenting experience that you would say are hands down not worth buying new. Example: My sisters son was only in 1-3 month clothes for about two weeks, so I will likely buy one adorable ‘home comming’ outfit and then scour the thrift stores for gently used 0-3m onsies for a while. Is there anything else baby related like this?
I see a lot of car seats at garage sales, are those something I could just get a new cover for? whay about crib bedding?
Thanks ladies, I know you will have a lot of ideas.
Post # 3
Clothes are fine to buy used. Certain play items would be ok as well, as long as you check to make sure they are up to current safety standards and not recalled.
I would probably avoid buying used car seats or bedding items. Car seats have expiration dates. Also, while you can clean the covers, you can NOT submerge the straps (it can weaken the fibers or something?), and once the car seat has been involved in an accident it needs to be replaced.
If a close friend or family member is offering to hand down a car seat, and you know FOR SURE that it has been properly cared for, not in a wreck, etc. then I think that would be ok.
And anything with bedding/mattresses/etc … bed bugs. Just, no. …though I wonder if you could bleach and super hot water wash sheets? Hmmm…
Post # 4
Actually most infant clothing at thrift stores is really nice because it has barely been worn, and most babies aren’t out ripping their clothing and trashing it in the mud (like toddler and little kid clothes). I was at Goodwill the other day, and they had an entire aisle filled with pretty much brand new baby clothes for $1-2 a pop, and they weren’t outfits from the 80s and 90s either! LOL After that I decided to buy all of my future baby clothing at thrift stores.
Most items you can find second hand or ask if you can borrow them from a friend. That way you can tell if your baby will actually have any use for these items. Babies really don’t need all of the huge toys that we think they do, but some are nice to have. The lady I work for (I’m a nanny) registered for this thing that rocks the baby to sleep, but the baby HATES it. That thing was like $200, and it sits in their basement. On the other hand, he has gotten more use out of his bouncer than any other baby I’ve ever seen. She also bought his high chair second hand, but did say that even that was kind of useless because he just uses a small booster with a table on it that attaches to their dining room chair. It’ll turn into a booster when he’s older.
I think some of the only things I wouldn’t buy used personally would be anything meant for the mouth (bottles, pacifiers, etc.), and I’ve heard that obviously you shouldn’t buy cribs or carseats used for good reason.
Post # 5
I craigslisted a jogging stroller, snap n go stroller, pack and play bassinet, rock and play sleeper, glider chair, wipe warmer, and baby swing. I was able to thoroughly wash all of them, though the pack and play and jogging stroller were a bit of a pain as I had to take them outside and basically wash them like a car, with a bucket of soapy water and the hose.
I have never for one second regretted buying these things used! I saved a LOT of money, and will be able to resell the items later for about as much as I paid for them.
Post # 6
@globalmargaret: Do NOT get a used carseat. You don’t know the history. Carseats expire (the plastic degrades) and they are no longer safe if they’ve been in an accident.
Totally get used clothes, though. We had used/hand-me-down bouncer, swing, playmat, toys, exersauces, stroller, clothes, burp cloths, pack n’ play bedding, changing pad covers…probably some other stuff I’m forgetting.
So much awesome used stuff out there, truly! And you can get some of it barely used because people buy all the equipment, and sometimes their baby rarely or even NEVER uses it…we have friends whose babies hated the swing, so it never got used.
Post # 7
@iarebridezilla: That’s some great Craigslist swag!! I’ll definitely be scamming the threads there in a few months!
Post # 8
Definitely clothing, strollers, maybe a swing, or pack and play, bouncer. I got 12 sleepers from 0-3 months for like $10 and they look new since baby’s hardly wear clothes very long. I’m also going to get my swing on craigslist because I’ve been seeing them posted routinely for 1/2 off retail. I think crib bedding is fine too, you’re going to wash it (just like clothes). A lot of the stuff for infants you can find is barely used or used for a year max.
I wouldn’t get a used carseat or mattress. Carseat just because you don’t know the history. But if you have a friend or family member where you can be sure then I think you’re fine. I’m just not a fan of used mattresses in general but I would potentially use one from a family member or close friend (assuming it was new in the last year or two).
Post # 9
Clothing to bedding (yes you can purchase bedding used), to toys, to gliders. Pretty much everything but carseats.
@DaneLady: You can use used bedding almost all my son’s sheets were used. There WAS NOTHING wrong with them. You wash them the same as used clothing. Not a huge deal
Post # 10
I’d buy anything except a carseat second-hand. In the case of a carseat, it may be okay if you are getting it from a family member or friend who knows the carseat’s history (ie, no accidents whatsoever, even if there appears to be no damage) and you can verify the date of manufacture and date of expiration (most models now list the expiry date, which is typically 5-6 years after manufacture). I wouldn’t buy one second-hand from a stranger/used store unless I could verify the expiration date and it was an urgent need. You can get infant seats for as little as about $50 (Evenflo brand, I think) and convertible infant to toddler seats for about $40 (Cosco Scenera) so I would save my money to buy the seat new and everything else from thrift stores or friends.
ETA – I just saw your location is Alaska so I’d expect new carseats are probably more expensive for you to buy, but I would still buy new.
Post # 11
You can get tons of stuff used, including furniture, clothes, toys, stroller, bouncers, swings, etc. Just wash them first! The only things I wouldn’t consider buying used are a mattress, anything like bottle nipples, and certain kinds of breast pumps (open systems).
You can get a car seat used–we did, as it gets very expensive buying kit for two–but only provided it’s from a very trustworthy friend/family member who can verify it hasn’t been in a wreck.
Post # 12
I feel like the only things I would absolutely say “no” to buying used would be a car seat (or car seat base), mattress, sippy cups/bottles/nipples/pacifiers, and possibly a breast pump.
I’ve seen a couple breast pumps used, and maybe I’m just being really naive or prissy, but I just don’t want something that was attached to someone elses nipples attached to mine. Also, if it’s an open system, there runs the risk of milk contamination from what I’ve read. If I did buy it used, there would have to be all new hoses and shields. Also, it would have to be a hospital grade closed system.
Post # 13
thanks ladies, you are all super helpful, I have decided to go ahead and register for a carseat, matress, changing pad etc and leave pretty much anything that can be thrown in a washing machine or soaked in bleach to the thriftstore. I had a friend offer me a really nice crib that has been sitting in their basement for a year the other day, I feel like getting a nice new matress for it and a jar of bleach wipes should make it good as new.
Thanks for the heads up on the car seats though I had no idea they could expire! I have so much to learn>
Post # 14
@globalmargaret: We have bought her crib, dresser, bookshelf, and the recliner for the nursery from Craigslist. Everything else has been second hand or from consignment sales. However, car seats? DO NOT BUY THEM USED.
Don’t trust the life of your child in the hands of a stranger. Just because a car seat isn’t expired doesn’t mean it hasn’t been in car accidents, which puts baby at risk. The mattress and changing pad, I would also buy new. You don’t want to deal with bed bugs!
EDIT: Just saw you decided on what to buy/not buy new, yay! Yeah, consignment sales are the BEST and right now is when the big sale season is starting again. Check out Craigslist (search Kid consignment sale) for locations and dates. We’ve saved thousands by going to them!
Post # 15
Do not buy a car seat second hand. it might have been damaged or in an accident.
Do not buy a cot mattress second hand – it needs to fit the cot so there aren’t any gaps for a child to become trapped.
Avoid sets of drawers (I think that in the US you call it a dresser) with a nappy changing mat on the top. Even small babies are more mobile than most people think and can plummet downwards. One of my friends ended up with her child (luckily unharmed) head first and upsidedown in a wastepaper basket.
Post # 16
The only thing that I would say is a must for buying new is a carseat. You just don’t know if they have been damaged and hopefully no one would try to make money off something that could lead to infant injury but I’ve seen people do worse for money.
Most baby stuff is used for such a short period of time it’s worth buying used. I received our bouncer, swing & jumper at my baby shower and they are all still in great shape ( will be selling them). a babies grow out of clothes so fast so buy those used and then cheat and buy the super cute stuff you wantnew 🙂
infant bathtubs I would buy new, they are only 25ish and my kids have pooped many times in theirs so I bleach and obv reuse them but I wouldn’t want to put my baby in someone else’s bath.
all the little costs of soaps, diapers, medical ect add up quick so save on the other stuff.
i bought our stroller new and love it but now we need a s double stroller so looking for a used one. I’ve had a really hard time finding one that’s not over worn so I think it’s great your starting to buy stuff early, that way your not stressed searching every used store trying to find something and then having to buy it new.
my older child is 2 end I just found a red vintage style play kicten for $50, retails at $225 and the lady gave me all the wooden play food with it as well! There’s great stuff out there, just stay open minded 🙂 and congrats!!!