….or share, or get as hand me downs, you get it.
Now that I’m on baby #2, I’m still nowhere near a baby expert, but I can say with certainty that there’s plenty of baby stuff that I didn’t need to buy new! Many items (especially the bigger ones!) are only used for a matter of months before your baby outgrows them either developmentally, or in size. That’s a lot of moolah for a swing that your baby will either hate, or love for four months if you’re lucky.
Most first time moms have the benefit of a registry, so in many cases it doesn’t hurt to add these bigger items, and there are some things (like carseats) that you’ll want new for safety reasons, but if you’re trying to pare your registry down, consider crossing these items off and buy used instead! My favorite way to score used baby items is at mom-to-mom sales, as you can shop from many moms at once, but these would also be great items to borrow from a friend or family member, or if you luck out, buy at a consignment shop or garage sale!
Below is a list of items that you can probably buy used, unless they are particularly important to you!
The swing generally falls under one of two categories: A) Total lifesaver or B) Total waste of space. Since it seems to be about a 50/50 split (we had a case of each in my house!) and dependent on your baby’s preference, you may want to buy a nicer used model in good shape for about half (or less) of retail price. These suckers are huge, so if you don’t want to store until another baby comes along, you can probably sell and buy another for about the same price if you have more kids down the road!
This is another HUGE item. I think the rule of thumb is that an item must take up 10X the mass of the infant in order for it to provide significant relief to mom. Basically, after your child graduates from the bouncy seat, this is your only way to shower, so you best believe you want one. And luckily, almost all kids seem to love them. That said, they’re only in use for a few months, so my philosophy is almost exactly the same as I have with the swing. Buy it right before you need it in lightly used condition, sell it (or loan it to a friend!) when you’re done, and buy another if you need it down the road. You’d still pay less than you would for a new one, and then you can avoid having this monstrosity in your house for years in between kids.
This bad boy is the only thing that will allow you to shower for a period of time, but is only in use for about three months, so save your money and buy it used!
These are tough to score used (you may have more luck at consignment shops than at mom to mom sales). But, if you’re so lucky, it’s a great way to save. If you can find them, this is awesome because these can be pricey, and are generally easy to clean.
4. Pack and play
The caveat here is that if you plan to use this as a bassinet in your room, or travel a lot, you may want to invest in something nicer, that matches your decor, or has all the bells and whistles. For some reason, I thought this was A Very Important Purchase when I had my son. Over two years, and two kids later, it still looks brand new because he’s spent a total of maaaybe three full nights in it, and the occasional nap. I see several of these in great shape at almost every mom to mom sale.
5. Extras for Grandmas house
I think this probably goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyways!): it is SO nice to have extras if your mom, in laws, or any other close relatives live nearby. A high chair (we just used a space saver seat that straps in both at home and at our parents) is the most crucial item, in my opinion. That, and some toys that stay at Grandmas are the two things that I think are “must haves” for everyone’s favorite baby-sitter. If you think your child may be doing lots of napping or overnights at Grandmas, it’s another instance where I’d recommend a used pack and play.