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.
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reCrib: Buy and Sell Top Quality Secondhand Baby Gear

ReCrib is a dreamy place to purchase high quality baby gear or make money selling used baby items. Thank goodness a site like this now exists!

If only we would have had reCrib when our babies were little. In our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide, we share that we each spent about a thousand dollars on our babies’ first year, and we did it by reducing, recycling and repurposing what we already had. (Typical american families spent upwards of seven thousand on baby’s first year alone!)

With reCrib you can buy heirloom quality baby gear at 40-60% off retail prices, and then sell it back (using reCrib) for a respectable sum when your baby has outgrown it. It’s essentially a top quality, online consignment store.
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What Do Moving and Childbirth Have in Common?

Any woman who has been through labor knows that this is a weak comparison at best.  Childbirth is humbling, agonizing, magical and miraculous.  Moving is… just horrible.

Maybe.  But beyond the actual contractions and the loading of the moving trucks, both of these events are entries into huge life transitions.  In both cases, there is usually time to prepare for the event and life beyond it.

We wrote The Eco-nomical Baby Guide because our pregnancies were riddled with pressures to stock up on supplies that claimed to make parenthood easier.  We faced huge baby registries and “must have” lists and decided that we’d rather buy less and buy used in order to keep the planet and our pocketbooks in mind. Each of our families ended up saving about six thousand dollars in our tots’ first year alone by going secondhand, cloth diapering, and making homemade baby food. Far from being a hardship, we found budget-friendly, eco-friendly living to be a grand adventure and actually started this blog to share our successes (and frequent failures) on our green journey.
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Furnishing Baby’s Nursery with Garage Sale Finds

I often fantasize about Rebecca and me flying to New York as featured guests of a daytime talk show. We’d be given a $300 budget to outfit a baby’s nursery with secondhand goods. With Rebecca’s sense of style and my garage sale savvy, we’d do an incredible job!

Just the other day I went to a school garage sale where I saw the following items:

An oak changing table: $25
A beautiful maple rocking chair: $25
A sturdy wooden high chair: $15
Baby clothes: A giant paper bag’s worth for just $5

It’s just mind-boggling what you can find for a new baby at a fraction of the price of retail.  (Which is why we wrote The Eco-nomical Baby Guide.  It’s such a thrill to reduce, reuse and recycle–while saving thousands and ending up with beautiful stuff!)  While you’re pocketing all that saved money, you’re saving the environmental load of manufacturing, packaging, and shipping new products. And your baby will be just as content in her secondhand nursery. Attention daytime T.V.producers, we’re standing by for your phone call!

Green Baby Guide’s Most Popular Posts of All Time

Happy birthday to us! We’re celebrating three years of blogging (as of last Friday) by reviewing our top ten posts of all time here on the Green Baby Guide. Now, according to our stats, A Fan of Fans has the most views of any post, but we chalk that up to a Googling fluke. So how to do we measure the success of a post? By the reception it gets from you, our dedicated readers! Here are the top ten most-commented-upon posts of all time!*

Four of our most popular posts were about . . . you guessed it: diapers

#10, tied with 23 comments each:
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Do You Have “Issues” Buying Used Clothing and Gear for Baby?

When I wrote about buying secondhand baby clothes for my daughter, I was bracing myself for some outraged reactions.  I can’t believe you don’t buy your daughter new clothes!  Doesn’t she deserve new things?  Won’t she feel ashamed and deprived as she grows older, knowing she was forced to wear cast-offs?  To my surprise, all of our commenters said they love buying secondhand duds, too.

Not everyone feels this way.  When I was pregnant, I remember reading an article somewhere about saving money on baby gear.  The couple featured went to great lengths to buy almost everything used or scrounge around for hand-me-downs.  Then the mother-to-be said, “The one thing we did not buy used was clothing.  We made it a priority for the baby to have all new clothes.”  I found this sentiment interesting.  Used clothing costs so much less than new, and no one would ever suspect it was secondhand unless you were dressing the kid in polyester jumpsuits.  (I do run across those vintage baby clothes from the 1970s from time to time . . . and I think they’re cute!)
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