One thing I got caught up in when planning for W's arrival was the excitement of researching baby gear and registering for it all. I've come to realize that there are many things that we could have saved a lot of money on by going the used route. Today U is for Used.
I really enjoyed doing all of the research for our major purchases. I enjoyed reading about different swings, pack n plays, bouncers, and car seats. I loved going online to compare prices and check which stores offered which items. I had a registry at Babies 'R Us and Target. There were some duplicate items on each registry in case someone went to one store over another. Let me say in advance that we were very blessed to get most of our big items at our showers. The grandparents went in together to buy W's nursery furniture as well. We will also get additional use out of them as we plan to have another child. Still, I've learned a little something about all of these things I just thought I had to have brand new.
I'll start with our bedding. I will admit that I still adore the bedding I chose for W even though he has yet to sleep in his own room. When he does, I will be removing the bumpers from the crib but he will still have the cute sheet!
Most baby gear can be purchased used and it great shape if you shop around. Garage sales are a big thing around here, including subdivisions that hold neighborhood sales. We also have a number of consignment shops that not only offer baby clothes but all sorts of gear too. Friends and family are also great resources!
We have gotten a car seat from family and I know that many people recommend against this but we are close to them and the car seat has never been in an accident and is not very old. It all depends on the source. No, I probably wouldn't be getting a used car seat on Craigslist, thank you very much!
We also got a booster seat for at the dining room table from a friend. My aunt found W's play gym at a garage sale for a quarter. It's not as deluxe as some I've seen in the store but he loves it and it did not cost $50! The play gym was one thing I didn't register for because I could never quite commit to the fact that they ranged in price from $40 - $80! W has used it a lot though so if we hadn't found a cheap one this might have been a piece of gear worth purchasing.
Another item I did not register for because I wasn't sure how I felt about it was the Bumbo. Well, my aunt found a used BebePod in impeccable shape at a garage sale and we have actually used it some. I don't see it getting a lot of use by us because his legs are so chunky now, but it has been good for having him sit outside with us. It was definitely worth picking up at garage sale prices!
One area I wish we had gone for something used is our swing. Originally, I registered for and received the MamaRoo. It was great when W was a tiny little guy. But as he got bigger it wasn't cutting it and in desperation I ordered a swing from Amazon one day. I did get a good price for what I was looking for but if I had waited a few more days I could have gotten to the consignment shop and may have saved more money. I paid about $90 for the Fisher Price Starlight Papasan Cradle Swing including shipping. I ordered it because I though it looked liked the fabric was more blue and it plugged in. Well, it turned out to be more of a light purple but the AC adapter feature has resulted in us never needing batteries for the swing!
The swing has proven to be a good purchase for us as W still uses it now. The MamaRoo is the item that didn't work out as well for us. It's one of those things I planned for that didn't work out quite like I anticipated! Live and learn! The baby will like what the baby likes!
Clothing is definitely an area where I could save more money but I will admit that it is also one of my weaknesses! I have some favorite stores and I love going out shopping for W! I will give myself some credit because I really love shopping for bargains and I rarely buy anything full price. Still, I could probably get a lot more if I went to garage sales or the consignment shop and looked for clothes!
Diapering is an area in which I went the used direction. For my newborn stash I purchased a number of diapers gently used, including all of our KL0s and our Thirsties Duo Diaper. They worked wonderfully for us and I had no complaints. They were as wonderful as all of the diapers I purchased new.
I think the thing to consider when deciding whether or not to go new or used is safety first. This is pretty obvious. After safety, I think it's important to try and thing about how long an item will get used. For example, we got an Infant to Toddler Rocker instead of a regular bouncy chair because it will last longer. W has spent a lot of time in it so it was definitely a good call. On the other hand, I am glad we did not buy a Bumbo brand new as we have gotten very little use out of it!
I'm sure it all balances out in the end but I sure do enjoy saving money when I can. Looking back over my pregnancy I can see many ways I could have saved money if I had been able to get over the excitement of the new baby!