Should You Use Second-Hand Baby Clothes For Your Baby?

5 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

Should You Use Second-Hand Baby Clothes For Your Baby_
As parents, you can go any miles for the betterment of your child. The new parents seem the most obedient beings. They absorb all the information, shielding their baby from any harm. At all stages of parenthood, ranging from newborn to teenage and young adults, you will get advice about how to handle the kids.  However, we particularly receive suggestions on taking care of the newborn kids. Many of these are based on multiple superstitions and beliefs.  Making the baby wear black beads or a kala tikka(black dot) from kajal to protect from the evil eyes of others and the general well-being of the baby, using second-hand baby clothes for your baby,  are some of these beliefs.

One such belief surrounds using second-hand clothes for the newborn baby instead of shiny, new fresh clothes. Our mothers and/or the beloved mothers-in-law are always on the toe when it comes to taking care of the newborn. They have a bagful of suggestions and beliefs to protect the baby. Read below to know more about such beliefs as well as the scientific reasoning behind the use of second-hand clothes for your baby.

In This Article

Beliefs Supporting Using Used Clothes For Baby

Providing the newborn baby with used clothes for the initial period has deep roots in our culture. It is a custom practiced in a few sects, and some say it will bring good luck to the newborn. These are ancient beliefs from the period when infant mortality was high. The birth period and post-natal period were crucial times when due to lack of medical services, the health of the child and mother was at risk.

Therefore, people waited for some time, till the survival of the baby is assured, and then purchased new clothes and even named them. They believed that new articles attracted evil and bad luck from other people. This fuelled the tradition of using ‘hand-me-downs’ for the newborn!

Scientific Arguments on Using Second Hand Baby Clothes

Scientific Arguments on Using Second Hand Baby Clothes

Trotting to the rational viewpoint in this regard: The fabric of the new clothes may be treated with chemicals and other agents. Baby skin is special. This can be harsh for the extremely delicate skin of the newborn baby. In addition to this, the new clothes may also have innumerable bacteria on them, in the due course of production to landing in your closet.

Therefore, to protect the skin of the baby, it is advised to use second-hand clothes for the baby. So the idea is to prevent damage to the baby’s skin, for which you may even wash the brand new clothes a couple of times and it should suffice. Let’s have a look at the other advantages and disadvantages of used clothes for a newborn baby.

[Read: 5 Useful Tips To Effectively Clean Your Baby’s Clothes]

Advantages of Second Hand Baby Clothes For a Newborn

Babies outgrow their clothes very, very soon. In general baby clothes are not subjected to a lot of wear and tear and are used only for a few weeks before they are either packed away or put on sale. Hand-me-downs from someone from the family or a friend are even better as you know from where the clothes are coming from. Not only this, the below pointers will make you at least think again about using used baby clothes:

  • They have been tried and tested. So you get the clothes for your baby, which are deemed best in terms of softness and comfort design.
  • Your baby will grow up pretty quickly and you may not be using them in the next three weeks! The hand-me-downs of various sizes are perfect here since baby clothes are expensive.
  • You never know the size of your baby, so buying new clothes which may not fit your little one at all, creates a lot of disappointment and wasted money.
  • Saves your baby from an unnecessary allergy from brand new clothes.

Disadvantages of Second Hand Baby Clothes For a Newborn

Apart from the fact that you may not like the idea that your baby is wearing a second hand or a hands-down dress, there are some other arguments that may prevent you from using used baby clothes for your newborn:

  • Possible infestation by worms or bugs.
  • Sometimes the stain and smell of old clothes do not wash off easily.
  • Some mental block regarding who has worn it before, was the baby fine? So if your baby falls ill, then the used baby clothes should not be blamed for this.
  • Some not-so-friendly social beings of society may mock this practice and degrade one as a miser.

Most mothers want to buy fresh, new, and colorful clothes for the baby and dress them like dolls. This again can be an issue with using old baby clothes as mothers want to dress their babies in clothes of their own choice. A mix and match therapy could prove useful for this.

[Read: Should I Use A Disinfectant To Wash My Baby’s Clothes?]

How to Buy Used Clothes For Baby?

How to Buy Used Clothes For Baby_

Our elders will probably save you or your husband’s baby clothes for your children. They may come forward with this little surprise for you on time. Usually, the hand-me-downs pass within the family. In case you do not want to take the effort of buying new clothes and subject them to multiple washes you can buy second-hand baby clothes in good condition.

They are available on various online platforms, charity shops, and specialized baby stores. However, you should wash the clothes thoroughly with gentle soap and hot water to avoid any discomfort for the baby.

If you are buying baby clothes that have been used earlier, you need to be a little careful and check for buttons, zippers, clasps, pockets, belts, etc., to ensure that what you are buying is proper and you are not spending your money on something that needs lots of work later on. If something would require a lot of repairs, it is better left as it is.

Read Also: Tips To Shop For Your Newborn Baby’s Clothes

So, should you use second-hand clothes for your baby? Yes and no. It is entirely a matter of personal choice and sentiments. As we mentioned earlier, both choices have their own advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, it is your baby and you can take the best call depending on how you feel. Mix and match is the best approach in this situation. You can use some old clothes to satisfy sentiments and new ones so you get a to dress up your bundle of joy.


1. Can Second-Hand Clothes Transmit Disease?

Unwashed clothing is a known vector for the spread of microbial and fungal illnesses as well as viruses, say scientists. Wearing unwashed, previously owned clothing may spread a variety of skin problems, including dermatitis, scabies, and fungal infections. But, there is no need to worry about wearing clothing that has been properly disinfected.

2. How Many Times Can Baby Wear the Same Clothes?

The answer is dependent on the quality of the fabric and the construction of the clothing. Not all fabrics fade evenly during repeated washings. If you aren’t going to be buying a lot of new clothes, invest in pieces of decent quality.

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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