This simple guide to buying second hand for your bundle of joy could save you thousands

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The costs of kitting out a nursery for your bundle of joy can easily balloon beyond even the most generously planned budgets. 

And according to a recent Gumtree poll, nearly 60% of expecting parents prefer to buy all their baby goods brand new – despite the hefty initial outlay.

Just under a third of respondents said that they would buy a combination of new and used items, while 8.6% said that they would buy all their nursery requirements second hand.

While there are some items which you're better off buying new, there are others that you should definitely consider buying second hand. It’s worth thinking of baby equipment in the same way you would other items you’d be prepared to buy second-hand. For example, is there really such a difference between buying a previously-played X-Box and a previously-watched baby monitor?

This handy baby shopping guide will help guide you on which baby goods to get second-hand, and points to look out for when you’re shopping around.

Pram selection

Should you be getting a pram, or will a stroller do the job? The difference is usually that a pram has an adjustable seat so baby can sleep while a stroller’s seat is just upright. Choosing a pram or stroller can be confusing – whether you’re buying new or previously loved – so weigh up the pros and cons of both. 

Bottom line: look for something with good cushioning and decent suspension that is easy to open and close. You can get a second-hand pram with big wheels, comfy seating and good amounts of packing space for around R2000 online. Also lookout for a travel system – so you can buy your pram and car seat together.

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Breast pumps 

There is nothing more valuable than an electric, double breast pump. Unlike handheld single manual pumps, they save hours and make the extremely laborious task of pumping so much easier. Due to hygiene concerns, new mums rarely consider buying second-hand pumps, but the truth is that what differentiates good electric pumps from average ones is how strong and advanced the motor is. Buy a good pump, and then buy new replacement bottles, tubing and breast shields from an online retailer.

Top models go for around R3,700 when brand new. Second-hand though, you can pick it up for around R2,000. And yes, you can get a brand new single pump for around R300, but once you start pumping, you’ll wish you’d spent that extra money on something with a proper motor.

A car seat – with ISOfix!

It is illegal to transport a child under three years of age without a car seat, so buying one is non-negotiable. Car seats can be expensive, so it’s a good idea to buy one that you can use as baby grows – look for one that you can use up to when your child is 15kg, or three years old.

The top kinds of car seats, though, are those that have an ISOfix base. Once you’ve wrangled a baby into a seat that works with a seatbelt, you’ll understand how much easier this base will make your life as the seat simply clicks safely into place. You can pick up a good ISOfix car seat for around R1,300 second-hand - just remember to check if your car has the necessary ISOfix fittings.

Baby monitors

There is no reason to splash out on a brand new baby monitor when a good condition second-hand model works perfectly well. One of the most popular brands features a breathing pad that alerts you if your baby stops breathing. Some monitors also come with video, but that really isn’t necessary – a good movement monitor with audio is all you need.

A brand new monitor goes for R2,999, but you can pick it up second-hand for around R1,000.

Apart from anything else, buying these items second-hand online means that you don’t have to mission around the shops, masked up and sanitised while heavily pregnant!

Remember to research each product first, checking out reviews from other parents that have already experienced the best (and worst) baby products before choosing which items to complete your nursery. 

And then sit back and relax until your precious baby arrives – because there won’t be much of that once they’re here!

Submitted to Parent24 by Gumtree. 

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