Expecting parents are very aware of the intense costs of raising a baby. With the baby industry saturated with specialty stores and products, parents can end up spending astronomically high amounts of money on all of the essentials for their baby; however, thrifty and financially savvy parents are aware that almost all of their essentials for their new baby can be purchased at a thrift store. While there are a few baby products that should always be purchased new, the truth is that the majority of the products that parents so desperately want for their baby’s arrival can, and should, be purchased secondhand in order to save money in their budget.
Baby Clothes and Shoes
Baby clothes are some of the most popular essentials for parents to purchase from thrift shops. This is particularly true for two reasons. First, babies are messy. While new and expensive baby clothes can be beautiful and wonderful to receive as gifts, the fact of the matter is that baby clothes will most likely eventually be sullied by spit-up, food, or the contents of a baby’s diaper. Purchasing the majority of your baby clothes from a thrift shop will allow you to afford many more items of clothing, something that will be ideal when your baby is messing up three to five outfits per day.
Second, purchasing baby clothes at thrift stores is extremely useful because babies grow so fast. Instead of spending money on new clothing your baby will outgrow in a matter of weeks, you can get more bang for your buck at a secondhand shop and find more articles of clothing so you can keep up with your growing child. The same is particularly true for baby shoes. Baby shoes should almost always be purchased at a thrift store, primarily because a baby’s feet will grow so quickly, and also because babies rarely wear shoes anyway.
A smart thrift store purchase for expecting parents is a baby bathtub, particularly because, much like with shoes and clothes, babies will quickly outgrow their tubs. However, when you consider buying a bathtub from a thrift store, make sure it doesn’t have any sort of mildew or mold that might be harmful to your baby.
Baby toys are excellent things to buy at thrift stores, especially as most toys can be cleaned in a simple bleach and water solution to make sure they are perfectly safe for your baby. When buying a toy from a thrift store, try to make sure that there are no small pieces that look like they could detach and be a choking hazard. Additionally, check for things like chipped paint and toys that are broken in some way as those are no longer safe for children.
Unlike clothing, shoes, toys, and tubs, high chairs are a bit more tricky to purchase at a thrift store. While some secondhand high chairs can be safe, there are many things to check for to ensure the high chair you purchase is acceptable for your baby. First of all, high chairs must be equipped with a 5-point harness. These harnesses are identified by two waist straps, two shoulder straps, and a crotch strap. A 5-point harness is proven in effectively keeping babies significantly more safe in their high chairs. Also, like with most secondhand purchases, check to make sure that the high chair isn’t rusting or broken in any spots. It’s also a good idea to purchase a secondhand high chair that still has the instruction manual along with it so you can make sure you’re using the high chair in the correct way and ensure the model is not out of date with industry safety standards.
What to Buy Brand New
Cribs and car seats are considered to be the two baby essentials that parents should always buy new rather than from a thrift store. Both of these items are designed to keep your baby safe and protected in various situations, so it is not an area in which parents should try to cut costs by purchasing used. Used cribs that date past the year 2011, when federal regulations prohibited the manufacturing of drop-side cribs, are particularly dangerous.
Similarly, the federal regulations and safety recommendations on car seats seem to almost continually change. Instead of purchasing a car seat at a thrift store that might have a recall on it or may have even been damaged in a previous accident, pay attention to car seat ratings and spend the money on a new car seat that will keep your baby safe. With all the money you save purchasing secondhand clothes, shoes, toys, and other essentials at the thrift stores, you can splurge on a new crib and car seat that will protect your baby in their most vulnerable situations.