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Babies can be super expensive to prepare for. After all, you’ve got to buy a crib, carseat, stroller, clothes, diapers and more. The list gets long, and fast!
However, there is a huge way to save serious money when preparing for your new addition – buying products in gently used condition.
Below, I’ll outline what products I think are a great way to save money by buying used, and a few products that I personally think you should purchase new.
Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below, especially if you have any other money-saving tips!
5 Items To Buy Used For Your Baby
Your baby will go through clothes super fast in their first year. As such, it is really unlikely that they will ever get the chance to wear anything out. So, to save some serious money on baby clothes, buy them used! After all, if your baby wouldn’t have time to wear a piece of clothing out, another baby likely won’t have worn a piece of clothing too much either. You can definitely find like-new baby clothes for a steal, especially in the smaller sizes. After you buy the clothes, just pop them in the washing machine and you should be good to go.
2. Baby Carriers
One of the ways that we saved a lot of money when we were preparing for Graci to be born was by purchasing our baby carrier secondhand. We knew that we wanted a Baby Bjorn for my husband to use (I used a wrap style carrier), but were shocked by how expensive baby carriers could be. When we ran across a Baby Bjorn at a secondhand baby sale, we scooped it up! Just like clothing, you can easily throw a baby carrier into the washing machine and get it clean.
3. Non-Porous Toys That Can Go In The Dishwasher
There are many types of baby toys that are hard plastic that you could easily sanitize in the dishwasher. These would be a great deal to pick up slightly used. The big thing here is to not get any toy that you can not sanitize. My personal feelings on the subject is to only get toys that do not have electronics, that way they can go into the dishwasher, where I feel more confident that they will be clean.
One thing to note is that toys like bath toys (where there is a hole on the bottom) can harbor mold inside from trapped moisture. I’d steer clear of these toys because you never know what may be inside.
Remember that everything goes in a baby’s mouth, so not only be mindful of the cleanliness of the item, but the cleaners that you may be using to make it clean.
If you are able to find a gently used stroller that you love, I say go for it! There are a lot of ways that you can clean up a stroller to clean it, and there are a ton of people who purchase one stroller, just to find out that they really need a different one for whatever reason. When purchasing a used stroller, make sure that all of the attachments are included, the tires are okay, etc. After you get it home, just search Pinterest for ways to clean your stroller. You’ll find a ton!
5. Cribs, Bassinets & Other Furniture
Baby furniture is one of the most expensive items on your baby prep list.
If you can find a crib or bassinet that you like that is in good condition, you might want to consider buying it. The most important thing, however, is to make sure that the crib or bassinet meets today’s crib safety standards. You can check out more about those standards here.
Make sure to only use baby-safe cleaners when cleaning your new furniture finds!
5 Items To Buy New
1. Anything Medical Related
In my opinion, it is worth buying anything medical-related brand new. Keep in mind that a lot of insurance companies will cover the cost of a breast pump.
2. Crib Mattress
You never know what a crib mattress has been through previously, nor do you know that the support is still good inside. Since crib mattresses are important for infant safety, I’d opt to buy one brand new.
When it comes to safety of your baby, no amount of money saved is worth it. I highly recommend that you only purchase carseats brand new. The reason for this is that carseats can get broken down on the inside from things like car accidents (even minor ones), getting jostled around through flying, from many years of use, etc. Even if a carseat looks like it is in good condition, you don’t actually know how safe it is on the inside. Check out this comprehensive article for more information.
4. Toys That Cannot Be Adequately Cleaned
Above, I mentioned that I’m personally okay with buying toys second hand as long as they can be sanitized in the dishwasher. I’m personally not okay with things like stuffed animals, bath toys (due to the hole in the bottom allowing mold to grow inside), or toys with electronics that cannot be washed being given to our daughter secondhand. (And yes, I know this makes me a germaphobe!)
5. Pack ‘n Plays
The thing about Pack ‘n Plays is that there are a lot of fabric pieces that you cannot take off and put in the washer. That means that you have to clean the fabric parts by hand, and that makes it hard to be sure that it is clean. Graci often chews on the sides of her Pack ‘n Plays and has had other types of accidents in hers as well. In my opinion, it is just better to start new (at least that way the germs are all theirs)!
I hope these suggestions were helpful. Please keep in mind that this post was only about how I personally feel, and you may have a different comfort level with your little one! Let me know what you think in the comments below.