Any parent will tell you: babies grow way too fast. Newborns grow 5 to 7 centimetres in length and gain close to a kilo and a half in their first two months alone! It may seem like your baby is outgrowing clothes every other day and you can’t keep up.
There’s no end to the amount of money you can spend on your kids. There are some items on the shopping list that can’t be avoided. But buying gently used baby and toddler items can save you money along the way.
What Kids Stuff Can You Buy Used?
Clothes and toys are favourite items to buy second hand. Often a child may have only worn the item once or twice before growing out of it. I like to buy brands that I know are of great quality, like Earthchild, Cotton On Kids, Gap Baby/Kids and other big brands from the US and UK.
Bottles, food containers, baby monitors, breast pumps, and other equipment are great to buy online. Just make sure you check it over to see how used it is. Then when you get it home sterilise it in Milton’s so that you know it’s ready for your baby. If you’re buying a used breast pump, be prepared to buy new membranes for it. That’s because these wear out and really impact the suction and overall effectiveness of a pump.
There’s nothing wrong with buying a previously used pram/pushchair! Usually, with a good cleaning, they’re ready to go, though be prepared to see wear and tear to any foam handles if it had them.
When buying a second-hand car seat, please make sure that it’s never been in an accident. It also pays to buy a recognised brand with a decent safety rating.
Where Can You Buy (and Sell)?
SensoBaby, The Honeycomb Hub and Botswana Family Gems holds an event called Sell It Mama Market! This is a car boot/garage sale type event where people can sell their used kids’ goods. Selected local businesses can also hold a table. The key thing is that everyone is there to specifically buy or sell kids’ stuff, so you know you know you’re not going to get distracted with anything else. There are usually between 15 and 20 sellers, plus food and drink and a tiny town is available.
Sell Privately On Facebook
Sadly there aren’t any baby consignment stores in Gaborone (though someone should start one!) but there are lots of Facebook groups where you can buy and sell your preloved stuff.
Gaborone Kids Stuff – Buy/Sell It Mama!: This is the online selling group for the Sell It Mama event. It’s a group that was created to replace the much-loved Gaborone Kids Stuff – Buy/Sell/Swap group that was archived. It’s currently got over 12,000 people in it.
Baby Stuff Gaborone: This group has exploded recently! It’s only a few years old but it’s now got over 29,000 members.
Gabz Expat Leaving / Arriving: With over 83,000 members it’s safe to say that not everyone in this group is an expat! But this is a favourite group for people to sell good quality home furnishings as well as kids stuff. Anticipate this being a good one for buying or selling bigger items.
When buying and selling on Facebook be prepared… the good stuff goes FAST! If it’s in good condition and well-priced, I’ve seen things sell within minutes of being posted. Its best practice for the seller to list each item with a price, mark them off when they’re sold, and clearly communicate if they’ll “take holds” and sell to the first person who responds, or if it’ll go to the first person to give them cash in hand.
There are plenty of shopping opportunities in Botswana. You’ll be able to find all of the basic items you need for your child as well as some lovely special items. But to keep the costs down – or perhaps make a buck or two that you can reinvest into new items – don’t hesitate to hunt around for good deals on gently used goods.