There’s no denying it – raising a child is expensive. One estimate in The Guardian says that it’ll cost parents around £222,500 to rear a child until university age, so you’re going to want to save as much money as you can until they are able to leave the nest.
It’s very easy to overspend on babies, who quickly grow out of clothes and toys, so this article is here to help new parents buy secondhand for their children. This is an ideal age to be saving money as babies aren’t going to worry about the latest fashions and trends, so take a look at our advice and test it out by having a look at the range of baby clothes and toys on sites such as eBay.co.uk.
Clothes tend to be the easiest thing to buy secondhand for newborns. Luckily, parents with older children are as eager to sell them on as you are to buy them. In the same vein, charity shops and car boot sales are excellent places to find a wide variety of bits and pieces for kids. Don’t forget to buy a good range of clothes either, from baby grows, hats, socks, coats and a pair of mittens (to protect them from scratching themselves with their inevitably-sharp nails).
Of course, it goes without saying that you should always check the size of clothes before you buy them (something that can be a little confusing for new parents) and give them a wash once you get them home, not forgetting to check any labels for care instructions. Checking whether the clothes or equipment came from a non-smoking household is something else you may consider, and for those parents concerned about allergies, ask whether the previous owners had pets.
As for toys, shopping for them should be relatively simple, although there are a few things you should check when you’re out shopping. First of all is the “CE” mark that you might’ve seen on other products. Along with this, look for a lion mark – this indicates that the toy has the approval of the British Toy and Hobby Association. If you can find all these and the toy is made for the age range of you child then playtime is all set, but not before washing the toy in hot water first; newborns are still exploring their own bodies, including putting everything into their mouths, so don’t let any rogue germs make their first playtime unenjoyable.
While there’s a wealth of products that can be bought secondhand without too much thought, certain things require a little more thought before purchasing them. Pushchairs are important in the care of children, but consider secondhand items very carefully, especially if they don’t have the British Standard sticker BS7409. Hand-knitted toys should be avoided as well, with small fibres and additions like buttons easily finding their way into children’s mouths. Think carefully before putting your trust in a secondhand car seat, as you don’t know how well it’ll perform next to a brand new model – technology and materials change all the time.
This might all seem intimidating, but it’s simply a case of asking sellers plenty of questions, taking a good look at the product and using your common sense. It might seem like a bargain at the time, but the saved money isn’t worth it if your baby’s health or safety is put at risk.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you in association with eBay