Why It's a Good Idea to Buy Baby Stuff Second Hand and How to Pay it Forward
When it comes to buying baby gear, there are a lot of options out there. You can buy new, or you can buy used.
There are pros and cons to both choices, but in the end, there are plenty of parents-to-be who think buying used is the better option.
Why baby gear is a good idea to buy second hand
If you buy second hand, you're avoiding the need to produce an entirely new item... and all of its waste.
The manufacture and shipping of the products used in our day-to-day lives is one way we contribute to landfill overload.
By buying pre-owned items, we reduce the amount of waste that goes into this overburdened system.
When it comes right down to it, if everyone bought baby gear second hand, there would be less demand for manufacturers to make new equipment. This would mean less waste produced on a global scale... which is something could all do with getting behind!
New baby gear isn't cheap - even if you do manage to find promotions or discounts.
By buying second hand, you can reduce the cost of your baby gear to a fraction of the price.
You can find everything from car seats and carriers to high chairs and playpens at an affordable rate - often for half of what you would have paid if you had bought it new.
This is one way to give yourself some extra money towards other things, like diapers or formula!
A particular item might not even be available new anymore
If a certain type of equipment has been discontinued by a manufacturer , you might be able to find it used... but probably not brand-spanking new from a retailer. And since 'new' baby products are higher in price than those used, this could end up costing you more long term if that's an option.
A sense of community
We live in a world where people want to do the right thing for their health and the planet, but they also want to make money.
By buying secondhand, you help bridge this gap by keeping things out of the landfill (and saving yourself some cash too!)
How to pay it forward and get your hands on free baby gear
Donate to your local community
Many people think that buying secondhand means you're spending less... but the truth is, it's better than this!
We have already mentioned how buying used reduces waste and keeps items out of landfill. Well, if someone else purchases an item from a product bank or thrift store because you donated yours… then it's doing the exact same thing.
This way, only are you keeping things out of the landfill, but you're also keeping costs low for other parents in need while still getting what you need for your baby and that's pretty awesome...
Sell to friends and family before donating or selling
If you know there's no way in heck that anyone in your life will want to take on a secondhand car seat or carrier, then don't sell it.
Instead, ask friends and family if they want to buy the equipment you're looking to get rid of. If a few people say yes, you'll have a great start on another baby gear item. And if not, at least your stuff is going towards something!
Give to a friend or family member who can use it with their own baby
Most gear is given as 'hand-me-downs' from older siblings (or parents) to younger ones… but sometimes that's just not an option for those receiving them. This could be because there isn't anyone in their family having a new baby, or they already have all the car seats and carriers they need... or they simply don't want to take a chance on something being faulty.
In these cases, have a garage sale or sell your things online to fund the purchase of equipment they can use - and help another family in the process!
List of baby things to donate, sell or recycle:
- Strollers and car seats: Make sure that you no longer need these items before donating or selling them. If there's a safety recall on them, don't pass them on to someone else; instead, contact the manufacturer directly for help. Donate your stroller and car seat (if they're still in good working order - and if you can get hold of all the necessary components!) to a local charity like 'Baby Gear Bank' who will give it to parents who need it most. If you're feeling environmentally-conscious about this decision, donate it to an organisation such as 'The Red Cross' or 'Salvation Army'. Of course, recycling end-of-life products like this is also okay!
- Diaper bags: If you have a diaper bag that is no longer in use, consider donating it to an organisation such as 'Baby Gear Bank' or giving it to someone who could use it. You can also sell your diaper bag here with the help of a consignment service.
- Carriers and slings: As with strollers and car seats, if there's a safety recall on your carrier or sling then contact the manufacturer for help with this. If you're not able to get hold of any parts for this, then just donate or recycle the whole thing.
- Clothes: While clothing should be passed on until they've absolutely outgrown them (and are stained beyond all recognition), hand-me-downs play an important role in keeping costs low
Overall, buying used is a great way to go if you're strapped for cash... but you need to do so responsibly.
When you buy baby gear second hand, not only are you keeping items out of the landfill and saving yourself some cash, but you're also paying it forward to another family in need.
There are a number of ways to go about this - from donating your gently-used items to a local charity or product bank, to selling them online or to friends and family members.
So, before you toss that car seat or stroller into the trash, think about giving it a new life by passing it on to someone who can use it!