Before you hit “add to cart,” check out this list of the best baby gear to borrow
Preparing for the arrival of your little one is an exciting time, but it can also be daunting for new parents. With so many baby products on the market, you may be asking yourself what items are worth the splurge? It’s tempting to want all the baby items—every single one—but remember, your baby isn’t going to be tiny forever. Instead, consider borrowing baby gear you know you won’t need for long. Not only are you saving money, but you get to feel like a hero, too (because you’re saving these items from the landfill). Whether you ask a friend or put feelers out on a local borrowing group, here are dozen items you don’t have to include on your baby registry.
1. Baby clothes
Itsy bitsy baby clothes are the cutest, but your little one will grow quickly. Don’t invest too much in newborn clothing (trust us, most of it will end up stained in the end). Your baby is likely to outgrow those adorable onesies in a couple of weeks, leaving you with boxes of clothes laying around you haven’t had the heart to donate…yet.
2. Portable bassinet
When you’re on the go, portable bassinets are awesome, but again, you won’t be using them forever. Before you know it, your baby will be on the move, and won’t be able to use the portable bassinet. So consider borrowing before you click “add to cart” on this one.
3. Activity gym
Keeping your baby busy and entertained will soon be a staple of your day. Your arms can only carry your newborn for so long before you need a break. Activity gyms are wonderful (not to mention developmentally appropriate) for your curious baby. But the time for baby to interact with this toy is short-lived—just like their attention span.
For many families, this is a total splurge-worthy baby item. But if you can find it second-hand, it’s a total win. Like most baby gear, the window for its usefulness is fleeting. In the blink of an eye your baby will be too big for the soothing, mechanical rocker, and you’ll have to resort to the parent sway-and-shush to get your little one to sleep. Let’s just say it’s never too early to make friends with parents who have the Mamaroo so you’ll be next in line for the hand-off.
Costs add up when you’re buying baby gear. And although the Jumperoo is an item you’re definitely going to want to grab, you don’t necessarily have to pay top dollar for it. It’s a lifesaver for keeping kiddos engaged and as the name suggests, jumping for joy. But like many items on our list, it’s usefulness is short-lived. Once baby starts cruising around, they often want to be free—no matter how bouncy and entertaining that Jumperoo is.
Many strollers come with sticker shock, and it doesn’t help that there are a billion different options. Lightweight strollers, travel strollers, convertible strollers, jogging strollers, double strollers—it’s enough to make your head spin. Before buying, consider when and how you’ll use your stroller. Jogging strollers and double strollers are perfect examples. You’ll likely not use them every day, and they are incredibly expensive. Unless you’re an avid runner, borrowing one from a friend may get you through.
7. Changing table
Be prepared to spend a lot of time at the changing table. However, that doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot on it. There is nothing revolutionary about a changing table. Unless you’re looking to match a specific aesthetic, this is another item you can easily borrow.
8. Hiking backpack
Hitting the trails with your baby is a great way to get outdoors and experience the beauty of nature together. But soon enough, your little one won’t need (or want) to be carried. They’ll be toddling along beside you. Have a parent friend with older kids who also loves to hike? There’s a good chance they have a hiking backpack collecting dust somewhere you can borrow.
9. Pack ‘n Play
This is another item that will get a lot of use. Pack ‘n Plays are great for naptime, playtime, and travel time—really anytime, but you don’t necessarily need to buy them new. They are portable, easy to assemble, and fantastic for corralling a kid in a safe environment so you can go hands-free for a while. But here’s the skinny: once baby starts to crawl, the pack ‘n play isn’t nearly as appealing to them as it once was. Plus, everyone has one of these laying around somewhere. All you need to do is ask.
10. Infant bathtub
You will likely only need an infant bathtub until your little one begins to sit up around six months, so this is another product on our list to consider swapping rather than purchasing. Infant bathtubs are adorable, but also not a necessity.
Another big-ticket item (depending on the brand), another one you can probably find in a friend’s garage. There are different types of highchairs too, which you may need based on development and personal preference: full-size, portable, and booster seats. If all three are on your list, think about what you’ll use on the daily and then see if you can borrow the other two. Be warned though, this is one product that is guaranteed to get messy, so you may want to give yours a good scrub after it’s been gifted to you.
12. Bike trailer
When it comes to the baby gear to borrow, bike trailers should be on every casual rider’s list. Unless you’re training for a triathlon or you bike all the time, you probably won’t get as much use out of a bike trailer as you plan before baby arrives. Trust us, this money can be better spent elsewhere if you can get a loaner from a friend or rent one from a local bike shop.