Hand Me Downs or Buy Used
A new outfit for your baby or child can cost 20-30 dollars if not more. Baby shoes cost as much as a grownups shoes even though there is far less material. We all know how expensive kids things can be but there are ways around that. Buying or trading used baby things is an excellent way to save money. I am fortunate enough to be at the bottom of a clothes and baby things ‘food chain’ and more than half of my baby’s things are used but still quality items from family and friends. One of my favorite outfits is a little fishy layette from a thrift shop. My favorite toy is a frog that dangles down on her car seat a family member passed on. When my baby spits up on her clothes and has blow outs I don’t need to stress that the stain will stay there. She has a dozen other one-sies and I didn’t invest a lot of money in the clothes I have.
One idea is to start a toy/clothes exchange at your school, church, mom group or library. You can meet and socialize, exchange ideas and trade items. Don’t be afraid to let people know what you need and what you have extra of. I mentioned to some friends that I didn’t have many bottles yet before my baby was born and now I have so many bottles I could feed a nursery of children. People are wonderful and generous especially other moms and folks who have ‘been there’ and ‘done that’. Keep that karma cycle going and when your baby has outgrown her outfits or doesn’t like some of her toys anymore pass them on to someone else. Another way to save money is to rent your toys from online rental sites. You can even rent maternity clothes. See some of the below links.
Other Things to Consider
Be sure when you get new used clothes to wash it first. Also look for loose buttons, holes and stains. Because babies grow out of things so fast there are many great consignment shops and mother item resale shops. In my area there is a community sale called ‘too good to be threw’ in both the spring and summer where you can get fabulous clothes for under a dollar.
Two things you should be very careful not to get used are car seats and cribs. Car seats can be bad because there is often no way of verifying if the seat has been in a crash. Once that has happened the seat needs to be replaced. You need to be careful getting used cribs because so many of them have been recalled particularly drop side cribs. You can find recalls on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website http://www.cpsc.gov/