Thrift shopping is a great way to get baby things on a budget. However, it can be tricky to know what to look for. How do you know what’s best to save money on baby clothes, toys, and other items?
Shopping for baby items is an activity that my family and I enjoy. We actually love every minute of it and who wouldn’t?
Smiles and laughter ring all over the house whenever we unpack the things on our baby essentials list. Oh, and that picture-perfect smile and the priceless sound of baby giggle that we get from our little bundle of joy. Just writing about it already brings a smile to my face.
However, we can get too excited at times that we tend to overspend. We sometimes forget that babies grow up so fast that they can outgrow their baby things in a blink.
Well, I have tried thrift shopping for my baby’s stuff as well. And we found some great deals!! I call it, shopping with less guilt.
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Thrift Shopping Tips For Baby Gear
There are many baby things to be found at thrift stores, garage sales and consignment shops. We find a lot of items that are not only cheap but are of great quality.
A new baby is a very exciting time for families and friends. A new baby in the house means lots of new items that are required. It also means lots of gifts for baby!
After a few months, baby has often moved on from many of these items – especially clothes. However, there are major savings to be had from thrift shopping for baby and kids toys, kids books, bedding and much more.
Thrift Shopping Tips For Baby Clothes And Shoes
Baby clothes don’t really get worn that much. Often they are outgrown in a month or two! We found thrift shopping and consignment shops as fantastic alternatives for us to buying new clothes.
Savvy shoppers can even find some amazing designer brands without spending a fortune on them.
When buying used clothing for baby, we try to stay away from clothes with decorations and embellishments. These include buttons, embroidered or applique flowers and hooks. Not only may these fall off and be a choking danger, they may harbor bacteria or other germs.
If you can’t resist the charm of these baby wardrobes, make sure that they are securely sewn and stay in place when you pull them. The same thing goes for clothing with strangulation hazards. Such as drawstrings and waistbands.
Consider the fabric when you are thrift shopping for baby clothes. Some fabrics “wear” much better than others. Consider comfort. Cotton is great for babies but can stain easily.
Check for anything that may cause irritation, such as where tags were cut off. What’s left of it can scratch and irritate a baby’s sensitive skin.
Most importantly, soak and wash thoroughly any items of baby clothing before using. We also suggest letting them dry out in the sun.
Baby shoes are a terrific item to buy secondhand. Babies don’t walk until somewhere between 10 – 18 months, depending on the child. This means that their shoes, up to this age, are brand new!!!
Once shoes have been worn, check the soles for excessive wear or uneven wear patterns. Make sure you clean them thoroughly and let them sit in the sun for a day or two!
Thrift Shopping Tips for Baby Gear
When shopping for baby gear at a thrift store, it is important to keep a few things in mind;
First, you will want to make sure that the item is in good condition and that all of the pieces are accounted for. It is also important to check for any recalls on the item.
You will also want to pay attention to the age range that the item is appropriate for. Items that are meant for older children may have small parts or sharp edges that could pose a danger to younger children.
It is also a good idea to think about whether or not you actually need the item. There is no point in buying a piece of gear that you are never going to use.
Finally, remember that you can usually negotiate prices at thrift stores. If you see an item that you like but it is a little out of your price range, try to negotiate with the store clerk. You may be surprised at how much they are willing to come down on the price.
Used Toys, Playpens, Furniture
Buying brand new is still the easiest option, however, it can be very expensive. In fact, you may opt for used toys, playpens, rocking chairs, bouncy seats, and changing tables.
We bought a pre-loved rocking chair from a thrift shop, gave it a little makeover and it looked great inside our little girl’s room.
When you buy this kind of item, make sure they meet safety standards and have not been recalled. Never forget to check for lead paint.
Are there missing parts, cracked, pointed, or chipped edges? Check for those as well.
Toys should be age-appropriate. Those with small parts that could be swallowed or be choking hazards are not suitable for young children.
More than great-looking baby stuff and affordability, safety, and comfort should be on top of your checklist when thrift shopping for baby things.
Baby furniture such as cots, playpens, change stations, and even a rocking chair can be bought at a fraction of the new price. A quick sand to smooth any rough edges and a lick of paint will bring these up like new!! You even get to choose the color!
Baby clothes and shoes are also great to look out for when thrift shopping. Make sure you check these items under good lighting. See that nothing slips by and goes unnoticed. In fact, ask if you can take things outside to have a look at the sunlight.
Most items that are sold second-hand don’t come with a return option so check carefully. The last thing you need is to buy something you can’t use.
Buying certain items brand new and some used stuff can be a good mix. Use common sense and keep your baby’s welfare foremost in mind when thrift shopping for baby things.
If you find this article helpful, check out more buying tips in our article – Buying School Supplies Doesn’t Have To Break The Budget.
Our super author here at Famous Parenting and an absolute wealth of knowledge. She has studied many topics including creative writing, psychology and journalism but her real passion lies in raising her 3 children. Between working from home, homeschooling her youngest 2 children and navigating the world of teenagers she is a guru for parents.