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BostonmamaSue12 May 16th, 2013 10:17 AM

Thoughts on hand me downs for new baby...
Hi Guys,
So Id love your thoughts on this. This is my 3rd child and my others are 6 and 9 so I obviously didn't save any baby stuff. Everyone has been so nice to offer me baby items, but which items do you think are worth it? For example, clothing, bjorn, bouncy seats? We are using the crib from my sister and my friend gave me a changing table, but now I also have bags of clothing, tub toys, bjorns, blankets, etc. Im so grateful and will sort through it all, but what is your philosophy on it all? Buy new or try to use hand me downs?


jennyrae03 May 16th, 2013 10:22 AM

Re: Thoughts on hand me downs for new baby...
This is my first baby, and so I'm having a hard time battling that "new mom" mentality where I want everything brand spankin' new for my kid. My sister-in-law has four girls, her youngest are 8 month old twins. So she has quite a few baby items that she was willing to part with. I have taken a TON of bottles from her that I just need to get new nipples for, and also a couple Halo Sleep Sacks. A lot of the stuff is pink, so if we have a boy, obviously I won't be able to use it. The rest of the stuff is either white or yellow, so I am going to keep those items if we have a boy.

At the very least, she gave me a nice variety of bottles so I can see what works for us before I splurge on a ton of new bottles.

As far as the big stuff, she had gotten rid of a lot of her stuff, and what she still has she is still using for her twins. So I haven't really had the opportunity to get any used bigger items. However, I am really looking forward to getting new things. I'm sure my attitude will change come our second or third child, but for our first, I am enjoying the newness of EVERYTHING, and that includes the baby gear!

Anitha May 16th, 2013 10:28 AM

Re: Thoughts on hand me downs for new baby...
I think each one is different in this aspect and will have some items that will be acceptable handmedowns while some wont and vice versa. As a general rule though, it would be good to follow safety standards and make sure none of the important items are expired, recalled etc. (example: cribs, car seats, baby carriers etc.)
Me I am not comfortable with handme downs from other people - especially clothing & personal items. But I have nothing against people who do. I gave a ton of my DD's clothes, toys etc. to my best friend here who had a baby girl last year. They are quite well off, but my friend does not mind hand me downs. So she loved it. I let her pick what she wanted to keep and give away what she didn't. I have kept aside a few party outfits, halloween costumes etc. from DD partly as keepsake and partly to use for the LO if its a girl :) But most everyday clothes I got rid of. I am re-using the crib as we found out that our babies hardly use the crib. DD slept in the swing, bouncer, our bed, car seat etc. Everywhere but the crib. I also have a video monitor that I had loaned out to my friend. Hopefully she is done with it and I can start using it (her kids are 5 and almost 2) I will also probably re-use our car seat stroller combo and will get an additional car seat for our second car and a light wt umbrella stroller when baby is a bit older.

I say pick out what you like and give away the rest. It all depends on how much you are comfortable with :)

Wanta.number2 May 16th, 2013 10:29 AM

Re: Thoughts on hand me downs for new baby...
With my first, I wanted everything new too! But after having some experience and realizing just how quickly they outgrow clothes, plus the expense of diapers, and/or formula, when it comes to clothing, I would LOVE some nice hand me downs. I bought a bunch of newborn outfits for DS, I would say about 100 dollars worth, that he didn't even fit into! I would also accept a nice, NEW crib (no drop down).
However, I would buy things like a swing, bouncer, toys, etc brand new. Only because, and yes, these things won't be used for too long, but if take good care of them, the resale value is high.

(But I'm also really frugal lol!)

soul_donut May 16th, 2013 10:38 AM

Re: Thoughts on hand me downs for new baby...
I'm with Jenny - I am kind of battling the urge to save money with the urge to have new things.. especially because we do intend on having at least another child after this one. I don't want to be ungrateful, greedy, any end of the spectrum - I don't like how hand me downs get political. I have turned down car seats, pack and plays, and things like cribs because they are all items that get a lot of use, have expiration dates, or have periodic recalls etc. (That was a little argument - why don't you want these 7 year old carseats that went through 2 kids who are always messy and are also expired? Ungrateful.) Plus I can't get over how messy some people are. Things like a bumbo, little baby swing, etc all would be great hand me downs (if I can wash the pad/cloth parts of them). Clothing too, but not like bags and bags - I will not be stock piling hoards of clothing so I'd make sure they didn't want the clothing back and donate what I didn't use or encourage them to do it (after all, if they bought it, it should be their tax credit!).

On the one hand I hope we have a girl so we can get some hand me down clothing from my SIL who buys a ton online but on the other hand, if it's a boy I won't have to tread on any political landmines, since my friends here all have boys and are more chill (I could go through them to pick items and not offend, know what I mean?) and they already have an exchange going.

Fortroseberry May 16th, 2013 10:40 AM

Re: Thoughts on hand me downs for new baby...
This is my 5th, and I bought a used swing the other day in GREAT condition, for about 1/3 of the new price! I will be buying used for most things!

jamieshalon2 May 16th, 2013 10:51 AM

Re: Thoughts on hand me downs for new baby...
I don't do used car seats, play pens or high chairs. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE hand me down clothes. See I am a HUGE goodwill shopper for my own clothes and I am just passing that down to my kids, lol. I have the money for new things, but in my head it just seems like a waste when I can spend that money on something fun for the family and buy good quality used clothes.
With my first baby we were just starting out and we didn't have much money. We visited yard sales every weekend and we had so much fun doing it. I had 2 whole dressers of clothes for him when he was born. I just took everything home and ran it through 2 wash cycles with baby detergent, which I would have done with new clothes too since who knows what chemicals they have been exposed to while being manufactured and getting to the stores.
As soon as I find out the gender of this baby I will be doing the same thing again. Just probably not as many clothes, lol. I went a little overboard with my first. He REALLY didn't need 2 whole dressers full of outfits, lol. ;)

WorkerBeeMama May 16th, 2013 10:57 AM

Re: Thoughts on hand me downs for new baby...
I just take what I like and donate the rest. I am not a big fan of hand-me-downs for newborns because I love shopping for them and putting them in new items, but for some things if they are great I will keep it.

I actually have a lot of hand me downs for Jane, but we donated at least half of what we got.

Druslady96 May 16th, 2013 11:30 AM

Re: Thoughts on hand me downs for new baby...
I'm like Jamie... I have money to buy new stuff... but why waste it if there is perfectly nice things someone else is willing to give you. Don't get me wrong... I will definitely be buying some new stuff for my son. I just bought off a friend her travel system (car seat/stroller), pack & Play, bouncer and swing for $220! We got a high chair from a neighbor free... They are all in excellent and SUPER clean condition. I only bought them from my friend because I know how she lives. Super clean and the stuff was brand new for her. Her son is only 8 months old. So I guess I'm selective on what hand me downs I would take. I don't want to offend anyone but if I'm not going to use it, I will let them know. I wouldn't take things like for grooming (brushes, clippers, wash cloths) I got a free bath tub also but they only used it twice because they had a different one. Now I can use the money I saved at Disneyland... LoL

gRod May 16th, 2013 11:47 AM

Re: Thoughts on hand me downs for new baby...
I love hand me downs. I will get new car seats and baby carriers...but everything else...I will take. This baby will use Orions old crib (new when we got it) and almost all his clothes. We luckily have a boy in our circle of friends that is a year older than Orion so he uses all his shorts and jeans. We have differnt taste is tops, so I buy those....but those are cheap at Target and Childrens Place. Oh, I dont do used shoes...that is gross. Uh,l lets see. I think I do rather like hand me downs from family and close friends over garage sales and thrift stores. I think I have only one thing from a garage sale find. Exersaucer (great condition) for $10! Great find!

Laurenj915 May 16th, 2013 01:51 PM

Re: Thoughts on hand me downs for new baby...
I did not really want many hand me downs for my first but with this one I will take them. We don't need much but i guess I just know how quickly they grow out of clothes, toys, gear... I also don't work anymore so I feel like each hand me down keeps be home with my kids that much longer. Now I love getting hand me downs for my almost two year old. He grows out of stuff in a second!

Jackie1122 May 16th, 2013 02:00 PM

Re: Thoughts on hand me downs for new baby...
I am all for hand me downs, but there are a few things I would only want to purchase new. I think it also depends on who the hand me downs are from. When my first son was born, me and my husband purchased lots of clothes for him. I recently went through them and many of them look brand new. Some even had tags on them still. As he started to get older, we got hand me downs from some of his nephews and we really appreciated it. One of my husbands coworkers gave us hand me downs but many of the clothes were stained and not my style so I donated most of it. In the beginning it is fun to buy new things, but once they start growing quickly I found that the hand me downs really did save us lots of money!

Personally, I am not opposed to taking hand me downs and sorting through what I like. Things that can be washed are especially great. Items like a Baby Bjorn that probably weren't used too much can clean up great and will save you alot of money. Stuff that is important for safety such as a car seat or crib would probably be best to get brand new or from someone you know well and trust.

Daisee37 May 16th, 2013 02:01 PM

Re: Thoughts on hand me downs for new baby...
Ohh, I LOVE hand me downs! We bought most of our stuff new with DS, and I was shocked how the $$$ kept adding up... that kid was EXPENSIVE! With DD, I reused all the stuff we had from DS, and bought clothes second-hand at consignment stores. Baby clothes get used for such a short period of time that you can find almost-new items at consignment stores for like $1-2 a piece!

The things I would not buy used or take as hand me downs are: carseats and breast pumps. Both for safety reasons.

Swings, bouncers, etc. I'd totally take hand-me-down... this time, it's our own hand me downs since we have 2 kids already and this will be our last.

I would also say maybe gauge it based on the item's condition and dirt level... I didn't take clothes with stains or holes, and toys that had crud all over them. If things looked decent and were easily washable, then I'd take it. I just know that after my kids have been done with some of our toys, there are spit-up stains and all sorts of stuff in there that is nearly impossible to clean off. I wouldn't want to give that stuff away to someone else, and I wouldn't want someone else giving me stuff that looked like that either!

Spyctre May 16th, 2013 02:13 PM

Re: Thoughts on hand me downs for new baby...
With any hand-me-down, I always take what's in good condition, CLEAN, or clothes that still look good. I never put a secondhand spit up stained onsie on my child. It just looked nasty! lol Take what looks good and donate the rest.

Oh, I hardly ever recycle shoes. When they have another child's footprint molded in there, I heard it can hamper your child's natural foot development. I remember wearing friends' shoes. Felt weird! So unless they were barely worn or not worn at all, all shoes get donated.

mamarazzi40 May 16th, 2013 02:26 PM

Re: Thoughts on hand me downs for new baby...
I bought most of Lily's clothes at consignment sales! All brand names, great quality and at about 70% less than retail. I'm definitely a picky consignment shopper.

I got her travel system, exersaucer, swing, high chair and pack and play new. Except for the exersaucer, everything else were gifts. The exersaucer was her Santa gift that year.

So, all of the above will get passed along to this baby.

I did buy a used sit and stand stroller at consignment a few weeks ago. Why pay $150 for something I could get for $30? I will wash the the covers, of course and clean it up to my taste even though it was in great shape to start with.

MrsPea May 16th, 2013 02:33 PM

Re: Thoughts on hand me downs for new baby...
This isn't about hand-me-downs, BUT since you are a Boston mom too I wanted to share.
There is a Boston baby expo on May 21st, Drool 2013: An extraordinary expo for expectant & new... - Eventbrite for the things you want new. ;)

BostonmamaSue12 May 16th, 2013 02:36 PM

Re: Thoughts on hand me downs for new baby...
Thanks for sharing!

Wren May 16th, 2013 02:40 PM

Re: Thoughts on hand me downs for new baby...
I didn't have close friends or relatives who had any big baby equipment to hand down when my daughter was born. As a new mom, I wanted to get a lot of new stuff anyway, but as a repeat mom now I am all about hand-me-downs. If it is a boy and we need all new clothes, I will definitely be looking for them. It is fun to buy some new clothes, because baby hand-me-downs can be stained and stuff. All that equipment adds up to a lot of money, so I think it is good to do a mix.

SierraWinter May 16th, 2013 03:33 PM

Re: Thoughts on hand me downs for new baby...
Being a first timer we're starting from scratch, there are so many things we need I'll gladly take hand-me-downs! I already starting to look on craigslist for items as well. On items like cribs and cars seats I'll check recalls prior to using. My SIL was in town last week visiting so I took advantage of her being here and had her help me register at BRU (she has 4 little so knows way more than I do what we'll need). Even wanting to be a minimalist I had no idea all the items we would need! I immediately came up and got on craigslist :o

mama2ladybugs May 16th, 2013 04:34 PM

Re: Thoughts on hand me downs for new baby...
I would use all the hand me downs I could get. As long as they arent damaged, it shouldnt make a difference. Im using everything from Athena for Vivian. Its just too expensive to re buy everything.

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