Today I have a guest post for you by Katy who blogs at Katykicker about making and saving money online, as well as adventures with her daughter. You can also find Katy on Twitter and Facebook. Over to Katy…
Baby clothes & shoes
Your baby won’t be small for long. Some items of clothing may only get worn once or twice. Buying second hand baby clothes & shoes is a fantastic money saver. My daughter had lots of pairs of shoes that never even touched a surface! There are dedicated selling pages on Facebook where you can buy branded clothing for a fraction of the original price. You can look out for items in end of season sales if you do want to buy brand new.
Considering a lot of items are mass produced, and made of plastic, the price of baby toys is astonishing. One hanging pram toy can be as much as £15 – for one tiny toy on a hook! eBay is a fantastic place for finding second hand toys. When my daughter started to enjoy ‘In The Night Garden’ I was able to get her an entire collection of toys (RRP £105) for £4.50 delivered! One of the items needed a wash but my daughter didn’t care that they were second hand!
A playpen is a godsend for me. As I work from home full-time I need somewhere safe for my daughter to play if I have a deadline to meet. A playpen is also a great area to store baby toys. The majority of playpens are made from mesh and metal. This means that you can easily wash them down, or wipe over with antibacterial wipes. I have seen multiple playpens on eBay that sell for £5-10 as long as you are prepared to collect them. My own playpen was £55 but I have seen it for £10 on local Facebook selling groups on two separate occasions now!
Often you can find cots for just a few pounds on eBay. People don’t want to have to arrange to dispose of a bulky item. If you are prepared to dismantle the cot yourself at the person’s house then you can save even more money. A second hand cot is absolutely fine – providing it has all of the original pieces. Do ensure that you buy a brand new mattress for each child who uses the cot as mattress can contain mould and dirt.
I think the majority of nursery furniture is a waste of time personally. However, if you have that dream Pinterest baby nursery in mind why not consider second hand? Nursery furniture sets can cost upwards of £1,000 from high street baby stores. If you don’t mind using a little polish, varnish or giving something TLC you could save a small fortune. If you find a nursery furniture set that requires collection then look for a local white van man who can collect it and delivery it to you. They will have the necessary equipment to collect your item and ensure that it is delivered safely. Click here to see some nursery furniture.
Your baby is going to spend a lot of time in their travel system, particularly in the first year. This does not mean that you need to buy one new. Buying a second hand travel system could allow your budget to stretch much further to that much coveted branded travel system that you just have to have. With travel systems often costing more than £500 you can make a significant saving. Often travel systems just require a wipe over, or a wash, and many of the fabric parts are detachable.
I have seen high chairs that retail at more than £300. This is just insanity! Anyway, whatever high chair you find yourself wanting you can make a big saving if you buy second hand. The covers on a high chair can be washed usually, or at least sponged clean. Your baby is going to be spreading food everywhere so they are typically designed to be easy to clean (apart from those dreaded straps!).
This is one of those ‘do I need it?’ items. You probably don’t to be honest. My daughter had a baby bath support and it was used just a handle of times. We quickly realised that she was more happy having a bath in the kitchen sink. Once she outgrew that then she had a bath sitting up in the bath tub itself. If you do want a baby bath you’ll find LOTS of people offloading their unused ones on eBay and local Facebook selling pages.
Things that you shouldn’t buy second hand for a baby
As mentioned above you don’t know the condition of a mattress. It may have mould, dirt or other nasties lurking beneath the surface. A mattress is going to get at least 12 hours use a day (honestly – one day your little one WILL sleep properly) so don’t be tempted to scrimp here.
A car seat has an expiry date on it. Usually around 6-8 years after it was manufactured. This in itself means that it may not be safe. Also, if you don’t know the condition of a car seat, or if it has been involved in a car accident, then it is not safe. Car seats are so important when it comes to keeping your child safe. If you are buying a second hand travel system, with a car seat, then look to buy a new car seat and the fixings that allow your travel system to be converted.
I hope that you’ve found these tips on items that you can buy second hand for a baby useful. I love to save money but there are just a few areas that I wouldn’t want to scrimp when it comes to keeping my baby safe!