Baby Go Round

Baby consignment stores are scary, scary places. The faded plastic toys. The car seats with no manuals or instructions. The cheap nappy stuffed animals. And of course, the racks and racks of old, slightly smelly, scratchy polyester baby clothes.

And yet, I cannot resist a good deal on baby crap, so I always always stop. It’s part of my furniture-on-the-curb-free-books-OMG-A-YARD-SALE-STOP-THE-CAR disease. My case comes from my mother’s side of the family and is very severe and totally incurable. E handles my condition very well for the most part, indulging me sometimes but preventing the house from filling up with wobbly end tables, dressers to refinish, and broken chairs I’m going to recane just as soon as I learn to how exactly one recanes a chair.

During my pregnancy, my disease totally reversed itself and I suddenly hated anything that had been touched by hands other than my own. I wanted things totally new, straight from a box, wrapped in bubble wrap and smelling like plastic chemicals. If I could have gone directly to the car seat/stroller/crib/exersaucer factory and done the actual production myself I would have, just to make sure no one else’s germs every got on my stuff. Who cares what it costs? Nothing is too good for my precious snowflake! (My only exception was a Craigslist crib and changing table, barely two years old, for only $100. I figured the hundreds of dollars I saved on furniture would come in hand for buying other stuff. Like baby hats. HUNDREDS OF BABY HATS.)

But now that I already own every baby gadget known to man, I’ve realized “new” only lasts an hour and pretty much anything your baby can get on their stuff washes out. A baby swing used by someone else’s kid for three months works just as well as a new one and costs a quarter of the price. Until a kid is mobile their clothes are mostly decoration – adorable decoration, yes, but at the rate these little monsters grow you better take a picture the first time they wear something. We’re quickly reaching the Playskool age, where giant plastic monstrosities in primary colors begin to breed and multiply across our house until we’re left cowering in a corner with the dog frantically trying to take the batteries out of anything that makes music or talks.

Unfortunately, those Playskool toys don’t actually breed – you have to buy them (or get them as Christmas gift from your mom. Hi Mom!) – so I’m on the hunt for a quality baby consignment store. The one I’ve been to already is…not quality. That doesn’t mean I haven’t bought stuff, I just haven’t hauled away a car full of amazing bargains. So far I’ve stuck mainly to lightly worn clothes and stayed away from the gear, but this past week I picked up an umbrella stroller for $7, and that d0ggie-eared hat in the hat fashion show for $2. I’m really excited about the stroller, which came with the owner’s manual and is BRIGHT ORANGE, which will make it easy to find in the black hole pit of blankets, empty cups and baby toys that is the back seat of my car. Plus it matches my little ginger’s hair and I am all about making him look as red-headed as possible.

I’m going to check out our local Goodwill and I’ve heard good things about a consignment shop down in Mystic and of course I check my local Craigslist regularly (E: What are you doing on Craigslist? We don’t need any more STUFF! Me: But what if it’s a really really good deal? I mean, look! A real wooden rocking horse for only $100!!! E: NO NO NO NO NO) but I’m afraid that stroller might be my greatest find.

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11 Responses to “Baby Go Round”

  1. Don’t worry too much about the Playskool invasion. Once you have need for that stuff you are at the same time sending the swing, exersaucer, jumperoo, bouncy seat, tummy time gym etc. down to the basement so really you are just swapping out one eyesore for another. I have also found that it helps to designate one area as baby playland so I can keep the rest of the place looking relatively adult.

    That said, one of Calder’s favorite things is a plastic Big Bird chair that I pulled out of the alley. I fLOVE our alley, I just wish we lived in a richer neighboorhood.

  2. h_a_l says:

    I felt the same way about used baby gear until the baby actually came and I saw just how quickly she outgrew stuff, and how some stuff never even got used before she outgrew it (I’m looking at you Ergo infant insert) So I’ve calmed down a bit about getting 2nd hand stuff. It helps that there’s a great baby consignment shop by my moms house.

  3. halfg1rl says:

    Twice is Nice in Mystic is one of my favorite places to go for good quality clothing; however, if you can make it out to the outlets (Westbrook) you’ll find good deals there as well. childrens place, carters, osh kosh are all out there with good deals just about anytime. Back to Twice is Nice, they have really high standards on what they accept. I haven’t tried the little store on 12 in groton. Hope that helps.

  4. h_a_l says:

    Also, can I just say how excited I am for Ivy to be ready for the Playschool Busy Ball Popper because I really want to play with that one?

  5. bebehblog says:

    h_a_l – THATS THE ONE I WANT TO PLAY WITH TOO!

    Halfg1rl – Baby go Round is that little one down on 12 that’s kind of sketchy and very very small. The prices are good though and they have WAY more girl stuff than boy stuff. I’ve been down to the outlets a couple times but they don’t have much in the way of toys.

  6. Amanda says:

    Twice Is Nice is the one down in Mystic we brought clothes too. Out of all the ones in the area I thought it was the best.
    http://www.twiceisnicemysticct.com/

  7. Donavon says:

    There is a second hand baby shop right near me in “Snewton” (as I stick my nose up in the air and act like I am better than everyone else). Sorry, bad Mass joke. Actually, it might technically be in Chestnut Hill. Either way, it is located in a very nice part of the state. If there is something specific you are ever looking for I could pop in and take a peek for you. I have been in there a few times in the past. It seems nice and clean. I shop at good will and salvation army in this area all the time. They have nicer things than the mall sometimes! And if and when you visit Mass again I can give you the address of the place. They have A LOT of stuff!

  8. Merin says:

    I hate to give away my secrets but the best consignment store I have been to is the Stork Exchange in Westbrook. Very nice baby clothes, toys, apparatus..es (apparati?) plus maternity and women’s clothes and shoes. Not as tightly packed as Twice is Nice and by far the best consigned baby clothes I’ve seen (at least for girls, but the boy things look pretty good too). I picked up a beautiful cashmere dress for Cora last time I was there. Does my 5-month old need a cashmere dress? No. Does her mommy wish she had a cashmere dress for herself and is living vicariously through her daughter? Yes.

    I have also hit the 99-cent infant clothing bin at the Goodwill in Groton and come up with some goodies; in the same trip I found a complete set of big letter and number fridge magnets for (love the Goodwill!) 99-cents.

  9. bebehblog says:

    Donavon – Thanks for the info, if we ever head your way I will totally get that address from you!

    And Merin, expect to see me haunting the Stork Exchange ASAP, but since I’m looking for boy stuff I promise not to buy all the cashmere dresses…although I can’t promise I won’t buy ANY of the cashmere dresses for my future imaginary baby girl.

  10. Erin says:

    My best finds have been at the big consignment sales. I got a never used jog stroller for $25, a diaper genie for $8, a swing for $5 (outdoor – shaped like an airplane) and a crap-load of really nice clothes for like $30. You should check and see if they have any within driving distance of you….because it is definitely worth driving too (and it is worth being there right when they open. We also have a once upon a child, which is a chain store (franchise, whatever). It’s great because they have standards that the clothes have to pass or they won’t take it. (the next sale here is Halloween weekend, the next one after that is in April…just to let you know in case you wanted to come down for it).

  11. Brigid Keely says:

    I’ve had really good luck with oxyclean (the liquid spray, I haven’t tried the powder/liquid you add to the wash) to get stains out of baby clothes. And big people clothes. Including stains that have been really set and washed in multiple times.

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