Are You Handing Down Baby Gear or Receiving Secondhand Baby Goods-or Both?

This month we’ll be exploring how to outfit a green nursery with high quality baby gear on a budget. Of course, our favorite green strategies involve those old school R’s: reduce, recycle and reuse. But it can be tough to score all secondhand baby gear if you are the first one of your friends and family to have a child. You may end up being showered with so much loot that it’s hard to find your way out from under the pile of ribbons. If that’s the case, heading off to the consignment shop is a bit futile until your child grows out of all those gifts.

On the other hand, if you’re the last one to welcome a baby, herds of relatives and friends may be thrusting their gently used Boppy pillow and Ergo Carriers into your life. You may even be slightly bummed out that you won’t be unwrapping a single new toy, as you have grocery bags full of wooden cars stored in the basement. (Note to readers, Rebecca and I wackily loved all things used and never had the urge to purchase new gear. This may seem weird, but it’s true.)

I have to say that I belong to both parts of the hand-me-down system. We supply expecting friends with deliveries of sturdy secondhand cloth diapers and tiny denim overalls, most of which we bought used. But my daughter will probably never own a piece of new clothing as we have endless tubs of beautiful girl’s clothes handed down to us by my four nieces. It’s fun to be on both ends of the cycle!

So are you the one handing down the goods or are you receiving the secondhand baby gear? Are you buying secondhand gear online and hoping to stumble into some gear exchanges later on? Do you prefer to buy new items for your first child and save them for your future children? Do you loan out gear between the births of your children and ask people to return it?


  1. We’re expecting our first st the end of March and have already been getting some hand me downs as well as searching craigslist and freecycle for gently used gear(we bought our crib, glider, cloth diapers, and dresser that way.) We’ve made it known that gently used items are just fine for us
    Still we have gotten new things at showers, so we’ll just make sure those are used for multiple children and passed around as our friends start to have babies too.

  2. Unfortunately with our first, I found that many people seemed to prefer buying new items instead of used for us. We did manage to get our changing table, baby carriers, boppy and breast pump used. Our dresser and crib were handed down to us (yay!). I’ve also just discovered how easy it is to make my own fitted diapers. Now I’m wondering why I ever bought cloth diapers, uses or new, in the first place! I use old T-shirts and flannel sheets/shirts and receiving blankets for the diapers. I even managed to reuse some elastic from some fitted sheets. When baby #2 comes in March, I’ll be able to try out my newborn dipes myself… that is, once I get them back from my friend:)

  3. I loved hand-me-downs EXCEPT for hand me down books. For some reason, I wanted our little book collection to be pristine and all the spines to crack when we first opened them.

    Now, with baby three coming this summer, I love our grubby, chewed on, secondhand book collection.

    I’m not sure why it was just the books I wanted new, and nothing else. Or even why it changed. Just a new mom preference, I guess.

  4. We are still getting great stuff from our sisters from clothes to play mats to pack n gos to swings. Taking as much advantage of the 2 older sisters 🙂

  5. We are handing down a lot of things to our friends. Most of which we got as hand me downs from my brother. Other things we have donated or are in the process of selling. We also sold a lot during a garage sale for The Weekend to End Womens Cancers walk in Toronto last year.

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