Having a baby is an extremely expensive endeavor. Most budget-conscious parents will make every effort to cut costs whenever possible, including getting as many essentials as they can secondhand. Whether it’s hand-me-downs from friends and family, garage sales, websites, or thrift stores, there are plenty of used baby items out there that are a much smarter use of a financially savvy parent’s money.
While there are certain items experts recommend purchasing new for your baby, clothing is perfectly safe to buy secondhand. In fact, there are many reasons why buying used baby clothing is a smart choice for new parents.
First, babies grow incredibly fast. On average, babies grow one inch longer and one pound heavier per month. Purchasing brand new baby clothes that your baby may only wear once or twice before growing out of is a waste of resources. Instead, you can buy used clothes for much cheaper and relieve the expensive burden of new clothes that will not be able to keep up with the speed of your baby’s development.
Second, your baby will also be incredibly messy. Babies can go through three to four outfit changes per day because of how messy they are, so it’s a much smarter move to get used clothing they can mess up rather than new, more expensive clothing.
In addition to clothing, most people recommend getting coats and shoes secondhand as well. Shoes are particularly smart to get used because babies are not really supposed to wear shoes until they are walking, so buying adorable new shoes are a complete waste of money. Instead, look for very gently used shoes for special occasions and used soft booties for every day. If you choose to buy used clothing for your baby, there are a few things to keep in mind.
It may seem very obvious, but you should wash every article of secondhand clothing you purchase before putting it on your baby, even if you buy it from a trusted source like a friend or coworker. While this is primarily just sanitary for your baby, it’s also important because in many cases, it will be impossible for you to tell if the clothing was previously washed with a detergent your baby might be very sensitive to. In order to avoid a rash, wash all used clothes in a detergent you know is safe for your baby.
Quality of Items
When considering secondhand clothing items for purchase, pay close to attention to wear and tear. While stains on clothing are not really a big deal, particularly as your baby will make many messes in their clothes on a regular basis, clothing items with loose buttons or threads or broken snaps or zippers should be avoided. These can be choking hazards for your baby or could scratch them or injure them in some way.
It’s important that used clothing for your baby is gently used rather than falling apart. Avoid all items that have drawstrings as that is also a significant choking hazard for your baby. You should also make sure to check that sleep wear is labeled flame-resistant, making it acceptable with current safety standards.
Another recommendation is to check that the used clothing comes from reputable, quality brands as that means the clothing item will likely stand the test of time. The great part about used clothing is that it has already stood the test of time with a different baby successfully, making it a great place for your money to go. This is especially true when it comes to smart, practical clothing items that are easily removed for diaper changes and not complicated to get on and off a squirming baby. For used baby clothes that have clearly already been loved and utilized, you can have the peace of mind that if it was a great piece of clothing for one baby, it will be great for your baby as well.
Remember that clothing, just like many other baby supplies, can be recalled by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. It is a very wise move for parents to keep up with safety recalls on as many baby items they want to purchase as possible, including clothing. This will help you keep your baby safe as well as potentially prevent you from wasting money on things that are no longer safe for your baby.
There are very few excuses for parents not to purchase used baby clothes. Instead of wasting money on expensive new babies clothes, parents can purchase secondhand clothing and spend the money they save on other baby essentials that should not be purchased secondhand (unlike clothing). Since babies can do a lot of damage on clothing with daily messy wear and tear as well as quickly growing out of clothing, used clothing is an excellent and perfectly safe solution to help parents save money as they raise their baby.