We know very well that raising up babies is expensive. Whilst, buying some second hand items can really be money-saving but there are some things that we should also be mindful about especially this Holiday season. Many parents today are buying toys in thrift stores, second-hand stores and yard sales to stretch their dollars or to reduce waste by buying perfectly reusable toys. The only trouble is, most of these toys do not come with their original packaging or tags to explain recommended age and other safety issues.
Here are some of the advantages & disadvantages if you are planning in buying some preloved baby items.
The first and most obvious advantage is cost. You can save a huge amount of money by buying a lot of second hand baby essentials. If you hunt around, you're almost guaranteed to find many a baby bargain on offer. You can do all your shopping from the comfort of your own sofa. There are so many sites out there - baby auction sites and classified sites where people sell their used baby items. Buying on an auction site adds a bit of fun and excitement but the choice ifs yours. Babies outgrow their clothes, toys, even their furniture very quickly. Clothes are usually worn a handful of times, Moses baskets are used for around of 3 to 4 months, you get the idea. So when buying second hand baby products, you are actually buying nearly new things but of course at a bargain price. You'll be able to give your baby more toys, more clothes, more books, more of anything you fancy. And if your baby isn't particularly keen on a toy, or grows before he wears a certain outfit, you won't feel too guilty because you never spent much on it.Last, but not least, with all the money you save, you can splurge on something special like a family holiday. Or whatever else you want.
Buying second hand for baby can save you a small fortune but here are some tips to help you buy safely:
- Pushchairs and Prams - Make sure that they conform to current British safety standards. A bit of wear and tear is fine but check that the fabric is clean and not worn out. Check the brakes. Finally consider how much use it has left in it and how long you need to use it for.
- Car seats - Baby safety experts advise against buying used car seats. The reason being that if they have been involved in an accident they could be damaged. So unless you know and trust the person you're buying from, it's probably best to buy new.
- Cots and mattresses - cots are fine to buy second hand so long as they conform to the current safety standards and you use common sense checks for wear and tear. However experts strongly recommend that mattresses should always be new. In fact some even recommend that mattresses shouldn't even be passed on from one sibling to another.
- Recalled items - Loads of toys and other products are recalled each year and so it's impossible to know which ones. The only way round this is to only buy baby products that are currently available. Alternatively, if you do buy a something that's not currently available, you can do a check on the internet to make sure it wasn't recalled. It's just an additional safety check worth performing.
- Clothes with drawstrings - we don't really need to tell you why, but best to stay away from them.
Car seats are one of the most expensive items a baby needs. Experts recommend that you don't buy second hand car seats unless you really know and trust the person. The reason: car seats can get damaged in an accident so you need to be absolutely sure that the seat has never been in an accident. Second hand baby prams and pushchairs are usually safe to buy as long as you make the necessary checks. However if you're looking at a really old model, you will need to make sure that it complies to current safety regulations.If you're the type of person who likes everything new and shiny then this won't work for you. You'll miss out on many a baby bargain perhaps, but you need to do what makes you comfortable.
In addition,those second hand toys are most likely dirty. Matter of fact, you don`t know what family it is coming from, if it is pet and smoked free home. Also, consumes a lot of time by cleaning those second hand toys, you have to make sure you clean them well before you give it to your child. Lastly, about prams/buggies, old styles you may not be able to buy accessories/broken parts to replace.
It is not always wise to buy items such as cribs, bunk beds and car seats, just to mention a few, second handed. However, if you do buy them, look closely for these things. Look for the product's label and it should carry the date it was made, the model number and the name of the manufacturer. Get the booklet as well. Additionally, make sure that it is not broken or damaged in any way.
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