Buying Second Hand Baby Clothes
Buying used or second hand baby clothes is an easy way to go green. Not only are the clothes being used again rather than going into the landfills or stored in the attic or basement for all eternity, but they are also helping to reduce the amount of packaging being thrown away.
They’re also a great way to save some green – dollars, that is. Babies are expensive enough – why spend more than you need to on clothes they’ll soon outgrow?
My husband and I are big believers in buying second hand baby clothes. Our daughter grows so quickly, it seems like she is never in one size or one outfit for more than a few months and, now that we are expecting a boy, a large amount of her clothes won’t be handed down. What’s more, there have been times when she needed a special outfit, such as a dress for a wedding, and the store prices were exorbitant compared to the prices we found at a consignment shop, for nearly the same piece of clothing.
That said, there are a few safety precautions to take when purchasing used clothing.
- Inspect. – Look over the garment to make sure that zippers, buttons, etc., are securely fastened to the piece of clothing and work properly. In addition, any holes or tears can be a potential hazard and should either be fixed before wearing or not given to the child. The same goes for knit fabrics – make sure the knit is tight so that your child can’t get a finger or toe caught.
- No embellishments. – For infant and baby clothing, extra embellishments such as buttons or bows should be removed. Any small, decorative item can come off and be a choking hazard for your child.
- Wash first. – Just like clothing bought in the store or given by friends or family, any and all fabrics that will touch your baby’s skin should be washed. You never know if the clothing is clean or what the household conditions may have been; perhaps the family had a dog in the house and there are pet hairs on the clothes that may be an irritation or possible allergen to your infant. In addition, used clothing can sometimes carry germs or bugs that can get you or your baby sick. Or, for store-bought clothes, washing removes any excess dyes in the fabric. Most parents prefer to use gentle , dye-free detergents such as Dreft to minimize any irritation, at least for the first few washings.
Also check to see that the garment is clean looking, with no spots or stains.