Today I am very excited to bring you an exclusive excerpt from Madeleine Somerville’s new book. It is called All You Need Is Less: The Eco-Friendly Guide to Guilt-Free Green Living and Stress-Free Simplicity and my affiliate link is below. After reading just one of her blog posts at Sweet Madeleine I knew I loved here writing style. She is totally funny and easy to relate. I think she may just be my long lost sister we have so much in common! Except she is way funnier. All You Need Is Less is full of practical advice and fun do-it-yourself activities for the whole family. She will help you green your life and save you money all in an easy to do way. Here is an exclusive excerpt that shares why you should buy second hand for baby.
An Exclusive Excerpt From All You Need Is Less About Why You Should Buy Second Hand Baby Clothing And Gear
Here are some great eco-friendly baby tips!
From All You Need Is Less by Madeleine Somerville
From Chapter 8 – Baby
“Why Craigslist Should Be Your Baby’s Middle Name”
You’re pregnant! Or the adoption has gone through! Or you found a surrogate! Whichever way you have chosen to grow your family, congratulations are in order—you are in for a wild and beautiful ride, my friend.
Feel free to take a few months to let this life-changing news settle in. Enjoy the butterflies of nervousness, and savor every little thrill of anticipation. Then, after the savoring and the butterflies, we need to get down to business, because this here process I’m going to tell you about may take some time.
You remember how I ranted on and on about the benefits of buying secondhand in Chapter 1? Well, this is sort of the same idea. Except that, rather than choosing to buy secondhand as a method of evaluating how a product stands up to normal use, you’re doing the exact opposite. You’re buying items precisely because they haven’t been used much, and aren’t likely to be.
What is OK to buy used for baby?
Barring a few items like bibs or mattresses, baby items typically undergo extremely light use—especially clothing. You can pretty much guarantee that the onesie you’re eyeing has been worn for three months or less, and is probably in absolutely perfect condition. This is why buying secondhand baby stuff is probably the single smartest thing you can do as a parent.
There’s also the fact that, until your munchkin is here in your arms, you will have no idea if that $200 swing will end up being your secret weapon in getting your little angel to sleep, or if she’ll loathe it so much that its only useful feature is the white-noise machine, which does an admirable job of muffling your exhausted sobs.
(If it’s the latter, I’ve been there. I feel for you, and I so wish that I could send a hug and a coffee your way. I promise you, though, that you will feel a teensy bit better about this whole situation if you found that $200 swing used on Craigslist and only paid fifty dollars for it. Even sleep-deprived zombies love a good deal—right?)
Tips For Buying Second Hand Baby Gear
Swings, gliders, baby carriers, strollers, and baby clothing are usually fairly easy to come by secondhand. Hit up Craigslist, your local secondhand stores, consignment stores, and even Facebook for a great deal. (Many cities have a local Facebook Baby Buy & Sell group, and mine was absolutely invaluable in stocking up for the arrival of little Olive.)
Instead of getting sleepers for ten to fifteen dollars each, I often found them for as little as a dollar, and I had an incredible selection to choose from. I also liked knowing that, as I was building Olive’s wardrobe, I was also saving money and helping another mom free up some space in her closet.
It can also be a good idea to call around to local mom-and-baby meet-up groups. Some host free clothing exchanges every six weeks or so, which tends to be just the right amount of time to reevaluate your little one’s wardrobe and donate items that don’t fit, as well as stock up on items you don’t have. If there isn’t a local group that offers this, just pretend that you thought of the idea yourself and offer to host one—you will receive a million Mom Genius accolades! (You’re welcome).
Make A List And Stick To It
A word of warning, however, when you’re finding baby clothes for a dollar—or free!—it can be tough to resist the temptation to go crazy. Just because you’re paying 90 percent less doesn’t mean you should purchase 90 percent more. Remember that your baby is probably going to keep wearing your favorite four or five outfits over and over again, while everything else clutters up his drawers until you realize he has outgrown them. Make a reasonable list and stick to it.
Beyond clothing lies the strange and bewildering world of baby gear, and for every weird unitasking “must-have” item there are a hundred lists supporting its purchase. As a first-time or expectant parent you easily get pressured into purchasing these things for fear of being unprepared. But let me reassure you/terrify you by saying that there is absolutely no way that you will ever be prepared.
Seriously, unless you have been a full-time slave to a tiny screaming dictator before, nothing can ever prepare you for having a child, and no number of white noise machines or fancy baby baths will do anything to change that.
What you should not buy second hand for baby.
While it it OK to go thrift store shopping for most baby items, some items for baby should be purchased brand new so put these on your baby registry.
A baby car seat should be purchased brand new for safety reasons. If they have been in accident and they should never be reused and you can’t tell just from looking. Plus they do have expiration dates.
Breast pump parts should be purchased brand new for sanitary reasons. A machine can be reused as long as the parts milk has touched are new. This goes for baby bottles too- buy those new! Here are more detailed tips on buying a used breast pump.
Buy a brand new crib to be sure they are up to the latest safety specs. I would also go for a new mattress to be sure it is sanitary.
I hope you found these tips on buying second hand items for baby helpful. Do you have some eco-friendly baby tips of your own you’d love to share? Or some thoughts on Madeleine Somerville’s writing style? Leave a comment!