I've been asked often about sharing baby items among friends, how it works and if it ever goes wrong. Sharing baby gear has only been a positive experience for us. I think this revolving mini crib story is a perfect example (see previous post here). By talking to friends about what baby gear they need versus what we have and aren't currently using, this great reciprocal relationship occurs. In my experience, newborn items are the easiest to share. There are a number of baby items that are extremely helpful for a very short period of time. And since a tiny baby is using them they tend to get very little wear. I think it's crazy not to share baby gear. Not to mention the space you save but not storing everything until (hopefully) your next baby arrives. Often a piece of our baby gear will cycle through 2- 3 babies before it returns to us.
I will caution that when lending out items you can't be too precious about your things. Kids are messy and you can't control them (or at least in my experience you can't). You have to understand that your items may not come back in perfect condition (ex. some babies bite the crib, some toddlers scratch or draw on things when you turn your back). Everyone does their best to respect each other's possessions but if you want everything to stay perfect and brand new then it's probably best to not share. For me, any minor damage that occurs from sharing items is a small price to pay for the happiness I get from sharing. And I'm always so grateful when anyone shares their baby items with us.
The financial savings on sharing baby gear are obvious. And if you need more motivation to share baby items, the environmental impact should be another. Limiting your consumption of goods by borrowing and focusing your spending on quality goods (hopefully ethically made) is a great way to limit your environmental footprint. Passing gear onto one or more families to prevent further unnecessary spending on goods that we all need but we only use for a few months just makes sense.
Best Gear to Share:
Breast Pumps (just sterilize or buy new accessories)
Infant Car Seats (save receipts and registration papers if possible)
Pack N Play/Travel Crib
Not so Great to Share:
Highchairs (you need them for too long)
Strollers (same as above and they can get really worn)
Convertible Car Seats (used for too long, expiry issues)
Clearly we are highly motivated to share our baby items due to our small space. The day our baby outgrows something I'm texting everyone I know... "need a baby bath?", "want a jumperoo"... "I'll deliver it to you!" (haha). For us the pros far outweigh the cons for sharing baby gear. And yes, re-selling is always an option but I would encourage sharing first and then resale.
Here is a link to the Category "Baby Stuff" to read past posts about Baby Gear in our small space. If you have any questions about sharing or specific baby items please let me know!