I found myself the other night sat talking to a friend who is expecting her first baby later this year. It seems strange to think that it’s over five years since I was in that position. Five years? Where has the time gone.
I was very lucky when I was pregnant with Little Miss C because lots of friends told me about the joys of buying things secondhand for our little baby. I was already pretty thrifty and with only one salary coming into our household I remember planning with meticulous detail what we needed to buy, how much it was all going to cost and where to buy it from to get the best value. I did pick up some secondhand bargains at the time and a year or so in to parenthood even wrote about how to save money when having a baby – my first tip was even to buy secondhand. When Master C came along two and a bit years later I had most of the stuff I needed already, but there will still a few bits I bought, but this time much more of it was secondhand.
So looking back, and with five years of parenting experience under my belt, here’s what I wish I had just bought secondhand in the first place.
1. Pram / Pushchair / Buggy / Travel System
Five years of parenting and in that time we’ve owned five different wheeled devices to push Little Miss C and Master C around in. Five? What on earth?
I remember which pram to choose being a huge issue and I spent days if not weeks researching all the options. What seems bonkers looking back is that only one of those five was brought secondhand, and the very first one we bought we spent hundreds of pounds on.
As children grow they have different needs when it comes to a pushchair. Initially you need them to lay flat in a pram, or as a new parent you might want something that you can put your car seat on to make things a bit easier – after all you’re not used to getting children in and out of car seats to take them places. As they get a bit older you might need more of a stroller style pushchair and if you have two with a small age gap then you may want a double buggy.
I had no idea that the world of pushchairs was so huge before having LMC, or that so many people bought so many of them. There are literally hundreds of pushchairs sat in people’s homes, garages and sheds that are no longer needed and still have loads of life left in them. Until you have a baby you just don’t know what sort of thing is going to be right for you, so why spend so much on a new one when you could end up with several secondhand over the years for the same price. I loved our first buggy – until it broke – but I do look back and wince slightly about how much it cost!
2. Baby bedding
Setting up the cot and putting in all the bedding so that a little one can put put straight to sleep in it may be the traditional thing to do before a baby is born but actually it’s a bit pointless. When we first brought both our two home they just slept in the moses basket (which I had found secondhand – yippee!) next to our bed for the first 10 weeks or so. The cot really went unused until they were too big for the basket. But, I had bought, washed and laid out all the bedding for the full sized cot weeks in advance. Yet today I can tell you that there are bits of all that bedding that I’ve never actually used.
Each child is different and how they get to sleep, and stay asleep, is different. Some babies need swaddling, others hate it. Some need a sleeping bag later that they can’t kick off, others hate being restricted by one. Yes you will need sheets of some sort for your moses basket or cot, but I can guarantee you now that they will end up covered at bodily fluids at some point in the night frequently. Yes it will all wash out, but it does make me wonder what I bothered being so hung up about having new bedding for them both.
3. Newborn clothes
Do you realise how fast babies grow? I really didn’t until I had two of my own, but in a blink of an eye another week would have passed and suddenly they no longer fitted into clothes that just the day before had seemed roomy on them and I was digging around trying to find them something new to wear that would actually fit.
Again, before LMC was born I bought packet after packet of newborn baby clothes. I was even a bit restrained about it all and had my mum suggesting I might need a few more. But the truth is that these newborn clothes really don’t last very long at all. Before you know it you’ve filled a bag with them and are getting your other half to pop them up in the loft in case you have a second baby one day. There’s plenty of life left in them because they simply haven’t been worn all that often.
Add to that the fact that loads of people will buy you baby clothes as a gift when you have a new baby – and half of them you’ll never get time to even cut the tags off as they’ll be too small. You do need a fair number of newborn baby grows and vests as your child will frequently cover them in bodily fluids (along with your own clothes) and your washing machine can’t work fast enough, but there’s absolutely no point in buying them all new.
It’s quite funny looking back as at the time I thought I was such a savvy and thrifty new parent but how wrong I was!
There are so many existing parents out there with baby and toddler equipment to sell, but finding them isn’t always that easy. That’s why I was intrigued and delighted to hear about Wanna who have created a platform which connects buyers and sellers of goods and services within their local communities. By actively and automatically matching users with our unique algorithm, wanna functions as an everyday utility. An app made by parents for parents and families – to make their lives easier. Surely that has to be a winner. It promises to be so much easier than Facebook selling groups and sites like Gumtree and eBay. And not only for people who want to buy – if you have stuff to sell too just imagine how much time you could save and faff you could avoid. You can find out more here and be the first to get access to the app and all the opportunities to buy and sell.
Mr C will be pleased that I can soon start to get rid of the pile of baby and toddler stuff that I’ve been summoning the energy and enthusiasm to sell on!
Disclaimer: This post was brought to you in association with Wanna. All opinions remain my own.