I guess the most valuable resource for parents-to-be on a budget would have to be the massive amounts of used baby stuff that’s boxed up in closets all over the world. Whether it’s hand-me-downs from friends or family members, the local classifieds, or Children’s Orchard… used baby stuff is ALL AROUND. I’ve already started sorting through the classifieds on craigslist.org and you wouldn’t believe how many people are “MOVING TODAY – MUST GET RID OF ALL BABY STUFF IN THE NEXT THREE HOURS…. CALL FOR FREE STUFF.”
So, the question is… Which stuff is better to buy new, and which stuff should you just take used?
I’ve been giving it some thought and here are a few of my conclusions…
Furniture is generally ok to buy used. Especially since new furniture is really expensive. Just make sure that it’s safe. Safety standards on baby goods are updated frequently, so make sure you’re up to date. Also, beware of furniture that has been re-painted (you never know what kind of paint was used). One good thing about buying used furniture is that you can sand it down and paint it yourself… make it all match! Also, you wont be as disappointed when it ends up with beautifully crafted crayon murals all over it.
Clothes are also generally ok. Make sure to wash them well. Since used clothes have been worn and washed many times before, they may not last as long as new clothes… but when your child is growing out of clothes so fast, it probably isn’t an issue. And who wants to spend $50 on an outfit that will only be worn for a few months?
Toys are ok, but need to be thoroughly checked for broken or unsafe pieces.
I wouldn’t gamble with buying a used carseat. You never know what it’s been through. If it’s a hand-me-down from someone you trust, make sure it’s up to date.
Basically, every parent will have their own opinions on what is good enough for their baby. For those of us who don’t mind a few hand-me-downs, e-bay and craigslist are great places to start!
I’ll be sure to inform you of any treasures that I find as I poke around the thrift stores and garage sales!