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Tips for Buying Used Baby Furniture

Tips for Buying Used Baby Furniture

My friends laugh at me, but I have jumped in (with both feet) into the upcycle/DIY movement that has been sweeping the nation… thanks Pinterest! It started years ago with ditching store bought cleaners, and has become something now that just comes naturally. It stems partly from the way I was raised, my love of living simply, but mostly because I enjoy hunting for a deal.

My son’s nursery is a perfect example of that. On the car ride home from the ultrasound where we found out our baby was a boy my husband turned to me excitedly and said “he needs a sports themed nursery!” Quickly my light and airy dream nursery in my head was replaced by footballs, soccer jerseys, and baseball bats, which were certainly not my first choice, but I went with it and finally found a happy medium between “sports themed” and “SPORTS THEMED.”

Finding a Deal on Second Hand Nursery Furniture

I knew that a way to save on cost for the nursery, while still getting quality pieces, was to purchase the furniture used. Lucky for me, one of my dad’s (many) amateur hobbies is furniture restoring and I have a loving husband who agreed to help refinish anything purchased. We were able to score a secondhand crib* for the bargain price of $25 and a beautiful 80 year old mahogany dresser, by far the nicest piece of furniture we own, for a steal at just under $200.

Tips for Buying Used Baby Furniture_InsetI love to sit in my son’s nursery and dream about all the children before him that drifted to sleep in his crib, all the bedtime stories it has heard and the late night look-ins that moms and dads have done. His dresser stands tall and sturdy even after its 80 years on this planet. Once a part of a whole set, this piece has seen the rise of television, the invention of the computer, and the start of the digital age… what an amazing history!

As you’re shopping for furniture for your baby’s nursery I encourage you to not only check out those shiny showrooms filled with new pieces, but browse your local consignment boutique, estate sale, or online marketplace for those pre-loved beauties.
Whether you are lover of vintage finds, an experienced upcycler, or just a DIY Pinterest pinner (yet to make a move), here are three questions to ask yourself when you’re out shopping:

Used Baby Furniture: 3 Questions to Ask Before You Buy

1. Does this really save me money? At the end of the day, if the time and money to refinish/restore the furniture piece outweighs the cost of buying new, then by all means, buy new.

2. Is this item safe for my purpose? Does this item pass current safety regulations? There is no point buying a piece of furniture that could be potentially unsafe. I am not above testing out a piece; shake it, try out the drawers, check out where the piece is put together (is it glued or nailed?). Taking the time to check these out before will save you frustration at the end of the day.

3. Do I love it? This seems obvious, but there is more to this simple question. Since most places or people you purchase used items from do not have a return policy, you want to make sure that you’re not only in love with the item, but that it fits where you’re planning on it going in the room. Nothing is worse than having to knock down a wall for your dream vintage dresser!

The ultimate used furniture piece is sitting in my parents basement right now… my childhood bed. I can’t wait until my son is old enough for us to set it up in his bedroom and I can share with him the memories I have of picking out at the store and buying as a child.

*As side note here, when purchasing a used crib please remember to make sure that it passes the Federal Crib Standards for Safe Sleep, which can be found here.

What have you recently purchased pre-loved or upcycled? I love to hear your ideas!

Aili Smith_Headshot

I am Aili, a first-time mom and lover of cloth diapers and cute baby fashion. As an avid bargain shopper who will stand in line to snag the right deal, if I’m not searching out an outfit for my little man, you can find me in the home décor. I am excited to share with you all my mishaps and successes as I navigate this thing called parenting. 

Editor’s Note: Enjoy this post? Read more from Aili including Tales from Baby Swim Lessons and Beginner’s Guide to Cloth Diapers.


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