Mil doesn't buy stuff from anywhere i recognize. None of it has any labels. She has no idea about sizing which is surprising as she had young kids once.
Luckily because she's not around much lately i haven't had to deal with it.
The last things she bought ds1, even hubby said there was no way we would be dressing ds1 in that, it was so ugly and smelly. He threw it in the bin.
Our ds1 is in size 2 - she brought around size 5 stuff. I'm pretty sure it's stuff she gets from people they know ... the kind of people we would never associate with if you get my drift.
One time she bought over a playmat she got from her hairdressser. It was stained and stank. We never used it.
They are simple people who live very frugally. They have plenty of money from "extra curricula activities" plus no mortgage etc. But they spend alot of money on alcohol.
They are forever buying stuff we don't need. We live in a townhouse, not alot of room but instead of gifting with giftcards like we say when they ask, they buy useless crap we don't need or have any room for. I don't mean to sound selfish. But i do not want second hand crap from their druggie friends. I actually value my families health and wellbeing.
I have a friend who occasionally gives me a massive garbage bag full of her DS's hand me down clothes. I never use any of it because for starters her DS is 13 but is obese, so it's all at least 5 sizes bigger than our boys' clothes. Some of it is basically small adult size so we would have to store it for several years. Which would be fine, but none of it is our boys' taste in clothes, it's all just cheap crap.
It's actually annoying because I then have to take this huge bag to the op shop. I feel a bit ungrateful, but I don't have the heart to refuse it so I always just say thanks and take it.
However, we have moved to the country now so if she offers when I'm in town I may just say I'll have a look with her standing there and after looking through it all I can hand it back on the spot and tell her thanks but no thanks. Then she can take it to the op shop. My sister did this with someone who kept giving her unwanted hand me downs, and that person got the hint pretty quickly. Never offered them to my sister again.
I generally only pass on really nice stuff to people. Like if one of my kids has grown out of a nice designer clothing item (was usually a gift, I rarely buy it myself), I will offer it to my sister whose DD is 8 months younger than mine. Any other stuff goes straight to the op shop.
my SIL gave me her broken portacot, cot and high chair. Cot had missing bolts... asked about them and the reply was ''oh just get your hubby to bung some screws/nails into it.. ''... um no. gave me a black looking pram.. which when i took the covers off to soak everything, - water turned black... and lo & behold it wasn't even a black pram. it was a shade of navy blue. lol.
threw the whole lot in the bin. another friend gives me her son's clothes that are too small... um he's 7 years older than my own son! as if im going to keep them for that long, plus they are so old it's almost faded. from now on if it's useless, it goes in the bin and i don't feel bad about it.
In th defence of second-hand stuff, you can get some really good quality, good condition durable used baby items on Gumtree and BSS pages. I'll admit that used clothes are a bit hit and miss, and I've turfed a lot of ones I've been given. But I've gotten some great items for my DSs, like swings and toys and furniture in fantastic condition.
So to answer a few PPs- why would you consider buying or using second-hand when you can afford to buy new? Because you can save heaps of money and reduce your environmental footprint, and be a more responsible consumer.
Last edited by Gentoo; 10-12-2015 at 10:21.
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I've been given a huge amount of hand me down clothes. I don't mind hand me downs if they are still in good condition but some of this stuff is 2 or 3 sizes bigger than what ds is wearing and were hand me downs on the previous kid. By the time I get them they have been through 2 or 3 kids already and they are not in good condition, plus are way too big and I'm not going to keep used clothes for 2+ years. I hardly ever use the clothes, just say thanks and chuck it out. I don't have the heart to be rude about it.
We bought some of DS nursery furniture second hand off gumtree. We got an $800 cot for $150 because she just needed it gone. I have friends that spent hundreds or thousands on new nursery furniture and crack the sh!ts when their kid chews on the cot (big surprise, that's what they do). Personally I'd rather spend decent $$ on the next set of furniture that he will be using for a long time in comparison (and not chewing on by then!).
Babies generally use their 'stuff' for such a short time, and use it so lightly, that you can get really good quality second hand stuff for next to nothing. It's great!
Take Grobags for example. $80 or so new, but you can get really good condition second hand ones for $20. Give em a good wash, and they're good to go. I know where my money's going.
Travel cots are a great example. Lots of people buy them and hardly use them - you can get absolutely great second hand ones for next to nothing.
Bags of hand me downs can be hit and miss, sure. We got bags of hand me downs from two friends, and most of the stuff was great. Sure, some stuff we gave to Vinnies, and some stuff just wasn't our taste, but most of it we kept and use happily. Our friends get a real kick out of seeing their kids' stuff getting reused too.
It goes without saying too of course that not everyone has the luxury of being able to choose between second hand and new stuff for their bub. Baby stuff can be sooo expensive, and comments like 'I bought new because my bub deserves the best' might not be making some people feel all that great, if you know what I mean...
As first time parents we bought everything new...but were smart and bought furniture they could grow in to and would last. As a result we have all the furniture but the change table still in use (the cot converted to a lounge so we kept that). But things like swings, playmats etc. second hand is great!
AsI think your perception changes once you've had a few kids. Clothing kids is so expensive, I am always grateful if someone else buys my kids clothes. And I'd take the 'I'm a bit overbearing because I am just so excited about my future grandchild' type of MIL over what I have any day. I'd just put some ground rules in place, but having grandparents as willing babysitters is awesome.
Just to clarify, i have nothing against second hand furniture if it's come from a clean smoke free home.
I chose to buy everything new (and it was ALL on special so i got great deals on everything) because i knew I'd be using it all again for the next baby. So i guess technically for ds2 it is second hand.
I'm a bit of a control freak when it comes to safety so for stuff like cot, pram and car seats i bought new so i knew they were in best possible condition.
Ds2 is using ds1's old convertible car seats, bassinet, cot and pram, most of his clothes and i plan on using the smaller shoes again too (ds1's feet grew fast so they were hardly worn).
The problem with the stuff mil kept giving us is i knew it had come from people who smoke, drink and/or use drugs on a daily basis. I refuse to have that crap around my kids.
I have taken hand me downs from my bestie that had been previously used from her 2 sons. SOME of it was ok, but most had holes and were very well worn out. Again, the snob in me doesn't want my kids running around in ratty clothes. That's just me and i won't apologize for wanting better than that for my kids. Kids clothes at work are so cheap i just grab one or two pieces every week or two. The cheap kmart shirts and shorts are perfect for daycare because if they get paint or anything on them it's not a big deal. I don't buy fancy clothes for him because at his age EVERYTHING he wears gets something on it. Whether it's paint, pen, dirt or food stains. Boys will be boys after all!
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