8 Tips for Thrifting Second-Hand Baby Gear

8 Tips for Thrifting Second-Hand Baby Gear

Why thrift for baby?

It's the smart, sustainable choice for modern parents! 

In today's economy, savvy parents need ways to stretch their budget without compromising on baby's comfort and safety or parents style. Thrifting isn't just good for the budget, it’s good for the environment.

By keeping things in use as long as possible, shopping second-hand supports a circular economy that's cost-effective and also environmentally friendly.  

This guide will walk you through the essentials of sourcing and selecting the best thrifted baby items, helping you get the most bang for your buck while still getting high quality style and product.


The Basics of Baby Thrifting 

Understanding What to Buy Second-hand 

thrifting family, vintage family

Self-proclaimed Rockabilly mom, Thalia, sources pairs her vintage wardrobe with the a new mesh baby carrier. The new carrier has a hidden, printed mesh panel that keeps her and her son cool in Southern California weather.

When thrifting, it’s important to know which items are safe to purchase used and which should be purchased new.


Things to buy second-hand for baby:

  • baby clothes are a fantastic option as they are often barely worn before they're outgrown.
  • baby carriers made from quality fabrics that are meant to last and can be easily washed
  • receiving blankets, swaddles and bibs are used so often, it helps to save money by getting them used.
  • books and toys can often be found at little lending libraries as older kids outgrow them.

Things to buy new for baby:

  • Car seats should be bought new due to safety standards updates and potential recalls. 
  • Cribs (and mattresses) should be bought new due to potential recalls and because they can be hard to sanitize
  • Diapers and any other consumables for obvious reasons add to this list of things to budget for.
  • Breastpumps are best purchased new to make sure its sterilized properly. Because technology often improves and considering medical insurance may cover the purchase, we recommend buying new. 

8 Tips for Thrifting Second-Hand Baby Gear  

vintage family, thrifting family

Scouting Consignment Shops and Thrift Stores 

1. Visit local consignment shops that specialize in baby and children’s items. These shops are thoughtful in their selection, often only accepting items in excellent condition. Thrift stores can be more hit-or-miss but offer the thrill of the hunt.  

2. Look for stores in affluent areas; they are more likely to have high-quality baby gear. 

Finding Second-Hand Baby Clothes 

3. When thrifting clothes, look for items made from durable, washable fabrics and check out each piece for any signs of wear and tear, such as stains or loose threads.  

Getting Your Thrift Store Hauls  

4. Frequent thrifters on Reddit suggest thrifting often to find the goods. Selections change often as new donations are constantly coming in.  

5. Some thrifting lovers also suggest that Mondays and Tuesdays are the best days to go because people who have done a weekend purge or garage sale are dropping off their bags over the weekend.

6. Check with some of your favorite local stores to ask which days they typically restock. Also, some baby consignment stores have accounts on social media where they will post their newest items for you to claim!   

The Secret to Getting Hand-Me-Downs 

7. Create a network of other parents interested in swapping baby gear and clothes. This can be done through local parenting groups or social media platforms. Swaps are a great way to refresh your baby’s wardrobe and gear without spending a dime. 

8. For second-hand baby gear, platforms like Rebelstork provide a curated selection of quality items, including Tulas.  


Thrifting for your baby not only saves money and supports sustainable shopping habits but also brings a sense of community and creativity to parenting. Whether through facebook groups like Tula Love, local thrift stores, or hand-me-down networks, the world of second-hand baby items is rich with good finds. 

Or try your luck on sites like Rebelstork for used baby gear.


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