Tuesday 6 September 2016

Why You Shouldn't Frown On 'Hand Me Downs'!!

When I discovered I was finally pregnant I quickly set about making a list of the things I needed and wanted for our little bean. When I started to add up the cost I felt a bit sick and it wasn't just morning sickness or too many ginger biscuits! As our pregnancy news spread the offers of secondhand items started to flood in but I didn't know how I felt about it. We'd waited so long I wanted as many shiny new things as possible. I spent ages searching the internet looking for the best deals for everything from cots to clothes. It was simple though. We just couldn't afford it all and we needed to consider accepting the hand me downs and secondhand items being offered to us.

Baby standing in a cotbed

When we did we were given some amazing items. Some were free and some we bought for a fraction of their original cost. But how do you know though whether to accept something and what should you consider buying second hand?

Here's my hand me down guide!

Tip 1!
Where possible when buying secondhand buy from people you know.
Family, friends or friends of friends. Then you've got an idea of how well the items have been looked after and to be honest how clean it will be! I heard of horror stories of people buying things from ebay and when it arrived or they went to collect it, it was flithy.

I was lucky to hear that a friend was selling her Mamas and Papas Cybex bundle for a bargain price. She happily sent me the pictures and thankfully explained what age each part was for and how it went together and collapsed! The frame, pushchair, carrycot, car seat, adaptors, raincovers, bags, you name it she had it! It was in amazing condition and we snapped it up! She even threw in a bouncy chair for us. Something I hadn't even thought about and wasn't on my list!

A small baby laying in a pram       A baby asleep in a car seat      A toddler sitting in a puschair

A baby sitting in a bouncy chair 

Our cot bed was also a secondhand Mamas and Papas gem and was a bargain price of £60 from another friend!

   Baby snoozing in a cotbed

Tip 2!
Be prepared for unannounced hand me downs! 
Pre-motherhood I never understood why parents moaned about this or that being in the way and it needing to be removed from the house immediately. I look around my house and chuckle to myself, now I understand completely!!! One of the best hand me downs we got was from my husband's work colleagues and his partner. Their little one had took an instant dislike to an electric rocker/glider that was bought for them as gift and they had spend months tripping over it! Joseph loved it from the moment he went in it and slept better in that than in his crib some days! We probably wouldn't have bought one due to the cost but it was a godsend on those awful colic days!!

A baby sleeping in a gliding chair   A baby sleeping in a gliding chair

Tip 3!
Be grateful and courteous.
This sounds pretty obvious right? Of course you'd say thank you! Sadly this isn't always the case. Whether its being swept up in the excitement of freebies or not being sure if you want them, people sometimes forget to say thank you. I have friends that have given away hundreds of pounds worth of stuff and not even got a cheers or thanks! Even if you're not sure you want the hand me downs always say thank you. Buy a gift in return or simply a little card. Remember that the things being given to you are full of memories for those passing them on to you. 

Tip 4!
Be prepared to accept a random mix of things! 
Clothes and shoes, swim nappies, books, toys and bedding! We've had it all! We are incredibly lucky and grateful, and have accepted as much as we have the space for. If you're lucky enough to get a few hand me downs you may find, like us, that you'll become thankful for the random donations at the oddest of times. One sickness bug and three bedding changes in the same amount of hours and I sing the praises of my friend and boss who loaded me up with sheets and blankets before Joseph arrived! She has given us so much stuff over the last two years I sing her praises often. Like when we've read about The Gruffalo and his kid twenty plus times by 10.30am and
they are slyly 'lost' down the back of the sofa and replaced with some classic Bob the Builder or Postman Pat! 

A redheaded toddler reading a book

Tip 5!
Think about the savings!
If you're still unsure if hand me downs or buying secondhand is your cup of tea consider the savings you could make. It could be hundreds of pounds. Here's a little list of some of the savings we made.

Mamas and Papas Cybex bundle including pushchair, car seat, carrycot, bags and rain covers.
Retail approx £900
Secondhand £200

Mamas and Papas Cot Bed
Retail approx £260
Secondhand £60

John Lewis Sleep Bag
Retail £20-£30 each
Hand me down so FREE and we were given ten, if not more, of these!

A selection of toys including soft toys, cars, Duplo, Bob the Builder and his mates, plus much more.
Retail a minimum £600
Hand me down so FREE!!

A selection of books
Retail a minimum of £250
Another hand me down so FREE!!

If the tips and the maths don't persuade you I'm not sure what will! Remember, you should never frown on hand me downs!

Mummy Snowy Owl

No comments:

Post a Comment