As a mother of two who has wasted her cash on shiny, new, adorable baby stuff, I agree with the pros — you'd be a fool to pay top dollar for this baby gear:
Cindy Leclerc, registered nurse, international board-certified lactation consultant and co-creator of the NuuNest app for parents of newborns, says that baby bathtubs are your best bet to buy on the cheap or forgo altogether with her creative bathing hack: "[Baby bathtubs] are expensive and will only be used for a short time. Instead, buy one used, or better yet, line your sink with a towel do the bath there." (eBay, $19)
Jesse Gonzales, merchandising manager for leading online baby, maternity, kids' and women's apparel consignment store Swap.com, tells SheKnows, "Don’t load up one type of bottle/brand before your baby is born (you may find out that your baby doesn’t respond well to a certain type of bottle). The same goes for sippy cups and dishware! Instead, purchase a few different brands to see which option your child likes best and is most responsive to." A site like Swap.com has brand-name baby bottles and sippy cups for anywhere from 50 to 95 percent off, either gently used or new with tags on. (Swap.com, $12)
Nicole Ryan, SiriusXM Morning Mashup talk show host and first-time mom, says of her Baby Bjorn baby bouncer, "Looking back, as much as I loved our Baby Bjorn baby bouncer, I would have been happy to have this secondhand. My baby, Parker Ireland, loved her bouncer, and we adored it because as working, traveling parents, this bouncer folded easily and flat; perfect for on-the-go. The bouncer doesn’t get terribly dirty and would be ideal as a hand-me-down as its shelf life lasts longer than our baby's interest. As soon as my little one traded in bouncing for more crawl-based adventures, the bouncer became obsolete to her." (Flower Bouncer, Swap.com, $30)
Sandra Gordon, author of Consumer Reports Best Baby Products (8th, 9th and 10th editions), Save Dollars on Diapers and Save a Bundle: 50+ Ways to Save Big on Baby Gear, tells SheKnows, "Used clothes are great, but check them to make sure there are no loose buttons or appliques (radar: choking hazards), loose threads (that can get wound around your baby's finger) or scratchy anything. I especially love used clothes for special-occasion outfits, such as a christening, holidays and designer labels. I love Thredup.com for buying used baby clothes because they vet their merchandise." (ThredUP.com, $6)
Danielle Larkins, mother of two and Where's the Mama blogger, says that you can buy just about anything used, except for underwear and toothbrushes. Her top used pick? The Bumbo, a popular $40 infant seat that your baby will use for three months tops. (Swap.com, $21)
Gordon says, "There are lots of 'used' diaper bags that have never been used on eBay, etc. You can get designer diaper bags at a fraction of the price of new. Go for it. Think beyond cute. I love diaper backpacks because of the hands-free style." (Swap.com, $20)
According to Gordon, spending your life savings on disposable diapers may be one of the biggest new parent myths: "You can buy new, never-been-opened boxes of disposables on Craigslist, etc. That's one of the most economical ways to build your diaper stash. Most disposables cost 18 to 30 cents per diaper. I've seen 'used' disposables on Craigslist for as little as 8 cents per diaper." (Swap.com, $12)
Julie McCaffrey, Chief Baby Planner for the tri-state area, says, "High chairs can be a great find at a consignment sale. Look for wooden high chairs or seats with cushions that don't have any crevices, as you don't want to buy anything that has any chance of old food or bacteria hiding. Ensure it has a 5-point harness so it is up-to-date with the latest safety standards before buying." (eBay, $44)
Kristy Atkins-Kirshtner, Senior Director of Merchandising at ThredUP.com and mother of one, says that while first-time moms tend to buy new since they want the best for their babies, a high-quality used playard should not be overlooked. Since this travel crib gets much less sleep time, it isn't worth the full price tag. (eBay, $89)
If there's one thing any parent knows, it's that your child will go through toys like diapers. Meaning, that super-fancy toy you spent $100 on will only hold his interest for two hours, if you're lucky. Atkins-Kirshtner of ThredUP agrees, saying that wooden blocks and trains or puzzles are some of the best inexpensive baby toys to buy used. (Swap.com, $10)
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