Having your first baby is an exciting time. All the books will tell you about the things that you are going to need. And guess what? It all ads up. But, remember they DO grow up so fast. And there are loads of things that you can get nearly new second hand. And things you just don’t need! So, get the essentials sorted and list out the nice to haves.
To start you off
If your friends are thinking about a baby shower, ask them to be practical. There are some things that you need as a new mum – and they all add up. Nursing pads, a breast pump, nipple cream, muslin squares, bottles with teats and caps, brushes to clean the bottles and teats. All these are best bought new. It’s not a good idea to buy a second hand breast pump for example. Most are designated as single use.
Then there are nappies – if you are using disposables then getting a stock of a few sizes is a good plan. If you want to save on land fill, then maybe you try reusables nappies. In the three years your bundle of joy is in nappies they will use about 900 nappies. Each takes years to decompose.
The best reusable nappies these days can be as simple to put on as disposables. Most are shaped, elasticated, and fastened with Velcro or poppers. For the style conscious they now come in a choice of prints.
You can buy sterilising equipment, such as a cold-water steriliser, microwave, or steam sterilisers second hand. Do some research to help make the budget stretch. The best models cost a bit but if you know the brand you want then looking for – then used could be the way to go.
Depending on the season will depend on what baby clothes you need to start you off. Everyone is always shocked about how fast their bundle of joy grow. Then they find that all the lovely things they have bought are too small before they have even been worn. This is where second hand really comes into its own. Especially for the smallest snowsuit or jackets worn for just a few weeks. New or used it is best practise to wash the clothes before putting baby in them. There are bundles of newborn clothes on all the nearly new sites – some never worn. You don’t need many items to start with. Just enough to help with the washing when you are bound to be tired.
Then there are sleeping bags and cellular blankets. We’d say get them new. And we would stress that never buy a second hand mattress! You can buy mosses baskets and cots that are used to save money but you need to check they are up to current safety standards.
Out and about
Prams, strollers, car seats, baby carriers, travel cots and running buggies! So many to choose from. Again, do some research and find the ones that suits your usage. Urnban versus rural living! Or are you a runner? They all differ in that they can cope with to make your life easier. Getting the best one for you does not always mean new. There are so many great ones second hand from retro to modern. But, make sure they’re up to current safety standards. If they have been used before, check all the moving parts and check for any choking hazards. If in doubt – walk away.
Remember NEVER buy a second hand car seat – this is the protection bubble round your baby and needs to be new. Do you research, read the reviews and go for the best one you can afford.
A baby rocker or bouncer provides a safe place to put them down when you need your hands back. There are different ones for different ages and if they have a removable cover – even better! Most of the best know models can set you have hundreds but there will be pre-loved ones on sale on all the marketplaces. Keep it local so you can pop over and inspect it! And make sure they’re up to current safety standards. It’s not safe to buy used car seats.
Not everything needs to be brand new, except the cot mattress and the car seat. But before purchasing any second hand baby item, research if it has been ever been recalled. You can visit the Product Recalls and Alerts page of Gov.uk to find information about recalls. Get online and talk to other mums in the many forums. Mumsnet is an ideal place to start to parent journey.