Brand-New Baby Gear Is a Huge Waste of Money for New Moms

Mom Moment 41

baby gearLet me guess -- the minute you found out you were pregnant, you immediately went online and perused dozens of baby websites in search of the perfect collection of gear for your baby-to-be. Ok, so maybe not immediately, but I'm sure you started "picking out" nursery furniture, car seats, strollers, and pack-and-plays pretty soon after that positive pregnancy test changed your life forever, right?

But as quickly as you started picking out baby gear, I'm sure you also found yourself trying to come to terms with a major case of sticker shock. All those fancy-schmancy baby items aren't cheap, which is why you may want to seriously consider accepting hand-me-downs from friends and family instead of throwing all your money away on gear your baby may or may not use.

I know, I know -- part of the fun of being pregnant is getting to pick out brand new stuff and build a baby registry and be showered with gifts from all of the people closest to you. I totally get it -- because I was hell bent on having brand new everything when I was pregnant with my son.

From a top-of-the-line stroller (which I refuse to part with to this day out of fear that getting rid of it will jinx me into getting pregnant) to a nursery outfitted with a gorgeous cherry crib, glider, changing table, and dresser -- to the exersaucer, bouncy seat, bassinet, pack-and-plays for both upstairs and downstairs -- I literally had it all.

And you know what? Other than my gem-of-a-stroller, the crib, and the bouncy seat -- I probably could've gotten by without all that other stuff. And since my husband and I decided fairly quickly after our baby was born that one child was enough for us and we wouldn't be welcoming any more little ones down the road, saving all that gear for baby number two wasn't exactly an option.

Most of it wound up collecting dust in my basement -- that is, until I gave it away to a pregnant friend who wasn't interested in shelling out tons of cash for stuff that would likely wind up collecting dust in her basement.

And even though part of me felt sort of spoiled for having everything shiny and brand new, giving it all to someone else who could put it to good use made up for any guilt I had. It made me so happy to be able to do something nice for her (even though she didn't wind up using the gorgeous cherry crib because she did the whole co-sleeping thing, gah).

Bottom line -- if your friends and family offer you a bunch of hand-me-downs, do them and also yourself a favor by accepting at least a few of the items they want to pass on. Not only will you make them feel special and appreciated, but you'll also have some much-needed extra cash lying around to spend on things you really need.

Are you buying all new baby gear, or will you accept gently used items from others?


Image via jessicafm/Flickr

baby gear, baby prep


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the4m... the4mutts

With my first, I bought everything brand spankin new! And I'm friggin glad I did too.

I bought unisex things before I found out the sex, and most of those items were sent down the line of my 4 kids.

If you can't afford new, there is no shame at all in used. I still accepted hand me downs at times. But if you choose hand me downs instead, chances are that it it well worn, and won't last long for you.

cassi... cassie_kellison

I recieved a lot of hand me downs from my sister, my nephew is only a year and half older than my son, so it was nice. And I knew I was going to have another baby eventually so I saved all of the gender neutral items. My Dad bought me a stroller car seat combo. I used my firstborns crib, I really reused a lot of things, having saved them for 5 years and 2 moves!! My splurge was a baby K'tan. I don't use it as much as I thought I would, and at $70 I really need to use it more.

early... earlybird11

We have done both. With 87 people at a baby shower. I obviously got a ton and spent zero money on my son. Up until today, we have only paid for health stuff and daycare !but I have now given to some friends to borrow and will take eback for the next.. its nice to share and I did borrow a couple things like q sling etc when he got here

nonmember avatar Bee

We've got a mix. I was happy to get hand-me-downs from my sister for things like a swing and bouncy seat. I wanted a new crib, because hers was 12 years old, and was a drop-side. Other than that, I got a new car seat (obviously), but I just wanted a Graco. I don't understand the moms who need the $400 dollar car seat and $500 dollar stroller. I think that's just ridiculous, and honestly, kind of immature if you're more wrapped up in your image than your child's welfare.

LoriA... LoriAnn87

With my first we got all new stuff and we got some hand me down clothes from friends but now we are expecting baby number 2 most of the stuff we are getting will be brand new.

NatAndCo NatAndCo

I didn't want hand me downs at first. Especially clothes. Then my boys started to poop through all their clothes and i decided that poop destroyed hand me downs didn't upset me as much as poop destroyed new clothes.

PAmom... PAmommy32

My first son got pretty much everything brand new.  Since then, I have learned about the wonderful world of kids consignment sales.  Now pregnant with my second, a girl, she will be lucky if she even gets some new clothes.  Everything will be hand-me-downs from my first child and consignment sale bargins and I couldn't be more excited about it.

Smoke... Smokeygirl

We're the first of our generation on both sides to have a baby, this includes cousins/brothers/sisters, and the first of our group of friends to have a child. We'd gladly accept hand me downs (and have a few things coming from the one couple we know who have kids) but there are none to be had!  So brand new it is :)  Our next baby will use the same baby gear as our soon-to-be son. And, while I'm not against consignment shops, if our friends and family want to gift us with things off our registry for our shower, I'm not going to say no.

nonmember avatar Sarah.S.

We received everything we needed from our baby shower. We still have diapers in storage for up to size six and clothing up to size 3T. We have gift cards for Target still that we haven't used since we really haven't had to buy anything but wipes.

BTW, my stroller cost more than $500 and I am hardly immature or wrapped up in my image. I do worry about my child's welfare and that is why I would NEVER buy a used stroller or carseat.

I have friends who offered used, but since I didn't need them I declined and they got passed on to someone who truly needed them. I think it would be more immature to take that clothing when I didn't need it and leave someone else struggling to buy new.

LKRachel LKRachel

Like Sarah said- secondhand carseats are not safe purchases (unless it's your own from your first baby).  Even if they look ok, if they've been in an accident (no way to tell buying used) the plastic could be stressed and not hold up when you need it to for YOUR baby if you're ever in an accident.  Just FYI for those who may not know!

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