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Best Kids and Baby Items to Buy at a Second Hand Store  

July 19, 2022

There are two things consistent about kids – they grow out of their clothes fast and lose interest in something just as fast. That is one reason second hand stores like Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley are packed full of clothes and toys for little people. Every parent wants only the best for their child, and barely used items can fit that bill and save them money simultaneously. So what are the best kids and baby items to buy at the second hand store?

Baby Clothes

Babies grow out of those adorable onesies fast, sometimes before the baby even has a chance to wear them. Baby clothes that are gently used often end up in the donation box, so they are great items to buy from the second hand store. You might even find clothes with the tags still on them.

Kids Shoes

The same goes for kids’ shoes. As their bodies get bigger, so do their feet, and the shoes you bought last week already don’t fit. You’ll find all kinds of kids’ shoes at the second hand store, from baby booties to football cleats.

Pro tip: If you see specialty shoes like those needed for football, buy them even if you don’t need them right now. You may need them in the future or hear about someone who does. You can even donate them to the school to help someone who can’t buy their own.

Coats and Other Seasonal Items

You will likely buy a new coat every year for your young child. Kids wear these coats for a couple of months, and then they go for donations. That means parents can buy them gently used from Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley for less than a brand new one.

Pro tip: Buy gloves and hats at the same time so you can get a perfect match. You’ll likely find these seasonal items near the coats.

Baby Furniture

Baby furniture like high chairs and changing tables tend to be resilient. They also tend to be helpful for a very short time frame. That means they are fantastic to buy used, especially if you love boho decor and don’t care if everything matches.

Valuable baby items to consider buying from the second hand store include:

  • Baby baths
  • Carriers
  • Wraps
  • Slings
  • Strollers
  • Rocking chairs

These have short use spans and tend to be in good shape when donated.

Make sure to look over any furniture carefully before buying it. The store will do their best to get them in shape for you, but it is worth double-checking to ensure there are no sharp edges or broken pieces.

With cribs, ensure the pieces fit together well, and the slats don’t have wide gaps. Ideally, you don’t want to buy a crib that is more than ten years old.

Make sure to check on the Internet for a recall before you buy baby furniture, too. It is easy to find that information while you are in the store. If you can’t, check at home before using them or ask a friend to look for you.

Pro tip: Not all baby items are good choices second hand. For example, car seat regulations and designs tend to change every couple of years, so you might buy something you can’t use anymore. Car seats have expiration dates on them, too. Look for the white label with the date marked. If it is not there, it is better to pass on it.


Toys are probably some of the best items to buy from a second hand store. Lego, superhero toys and costumes, the dolls that were all the rage over the last couple of years, electronics, and video games. Kids lose interest fast, or they outgrow their toys so they go mostly unused.

Things to look for at the second hand store:

  • Puzzles
  • Balls
  • Outdoor game sets like badminton
  • Board games
  • Wood building blocks
  • Figurines such as GI Joe or Barbies
  • Skates
  • Bikes

You might be surprised what you find.

Pro tip: Always buy your children’s books second hand. You can get the same book you would buy in the store for much less, especially those for young kids.

Game Consoles

One benefit to companies that put out a new version of a game console each year is the previous one ends up in a donation box for you to find. These include:

  • Nintendo Switch
  • Xbox
  • PlayStation
  • Oculus

You might also be able to pick up accessories, such as a controller and joysticks.

Pro tip: If your child wants the newest game, check the second hand store first. You never know. You might find one someone got two of for the holidays or a similar game for less.

Sports Equipment

Footballs, padding, baseball bats and balls, gloves and other sports equipment are costly at the store. If your child wants something or needs it for school, look at the second hand store first. You may find stuff in good condition or that needs minor repairs. For instance, you might get a tennis racket without strings. Restringing it might be less expensive than buying new, especially if it is a top-of-the-line brand.

Pro tip: Be sure to check anything with rubber or hard plastic for cracks or breaks. Also, make sure straps are functional.

What to Buy Brand New

Second hand stores like Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley take great pride in what they offer, but there are no guarantees. There are some things you should always buy brand new.

Old dressers can be great buys, but some have lead paint. If necessary, you can get a kit to test the paint to be safe.

Add bike helmets to the list. It is impossible to date them. Older bike helmets might not meet current safety standards. New in-box helmets should have dates on them, though, or you may be able to look them up.

Closed system breast pumps are also not a tremendous second hand store buy. They are difficult to sterilize appropriately and may have mold inside them. Some brands offer recycling that allows you to buy a refurbished pump for less but gets it from the company.

Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley is dedicated to helping the community by offering the best possible items in our second hand store. You can support us by shopping or donating today.