Little kids go through clothes and shoes so quickly sometimes that it can be really difficult to keep up with them. They get bored with toys, and we get bored with the same books every night… (I know I did, anyway.) 0-5’s just fly through everything, especially in the baby & toddler stages. Buying second hand or rummaging in charity shops wasn’t really something I ever did or even really thought about before having kids. But it becomes clear pretty quickly after they come along just how much kids can cost!
I remember, when the oldest one was about 12 months old, heading along to a baby & kids market in Partick Burgh Halls and coming away with a whole bunch of perfect condition grobags/toddler sleeping bags in different sizes and for different seasons, waterproofs, toys, dresses and this beautiful blue jacket with strawberries on it. My favourite thing she ever wore. It was the first time I’d bought second hand and if I’d gone to John Lewis (remember when we used to not order everything online…) I’d have spent more just buying 2 grobags new.
After that I started popping into some kids charity shops and checking out markets if I was nearby or if there was anything in particular I was looking for. I got quite into using charity shops for finding a new season of clothes, some toys to freshen up the toy box or books to freshen up the book shelf that wouldn’t cost an absolute bomb. And when we were done with them they just go back to one of the kids charity shops.
Glasgow has some really lovely shops who specialise in baby & child pre-loved stuff, where clothes and baby gear is high quality but a fraction of what you’d buy new. And the markets are great for picking up toys and getting great deals on big items (things I’ve gotten from the Jack & Jill Market are a high chair, play mat, fold up buggy for taking on holiday plus a whole heap of toys.)
So here are some of my favourite places to get baby & toddler stuff second hand. (And if you don’t want to buy preloved, these are my suggestions of places to take your ‘To Donate’ pile along to!)
34 Nithsdale Road, Pollokshields, Glasgow
This is one I lived quite near so was always one of my favourites. Merry-Go-Round was always my favourite for baby/toddler clothes and I also picked up some great value toys, baby gear like reusable nappies, and shoes from here. The thing that stresses me out about lots of charity shops is that there’s no order to anything and they can feel messy, like you have to rummage through everything. Merry-Go-Round does not have that feel, at all.
They also run workshops, meetups and baby classes in their community space. And they have a programme that distributes free baby clothing & supply packages for families in need. A great charity to support by buying from them or donating to them.
No current store for shopping in. Online shop is open though.
ApparelXchange offers a convenient way to buy a wide range of clothing, school clothing and footwear at affordable prices which are positive for the environment. With a mission to reduce the impact of clothing on our planet, they offer a space for families to shop second hand, donate clothing and also to receive free clothing when times are challenging.
They started as a way to donate and buy second hand school wear. What an idea BTW; how much do we spend on school uniforms every year?! Mine come home with holey knees in trousers, holes in jumpers, pen all over shirts that will never come off, or school dinner spaghetti bolognese stains that I can’t get out, at least once a week. And then suddenly they grow out of every pair of trousers/skirt and have nothing that fits.
I’ve shopping in ApparelXchange multiple times and can say from experience that everything is in great condition. Well worth a visit for school or regular clothing! And if you’re donating but there’s a seam ripped or something, don’t worry. They do repairs too, so if it’s repairable don’t chuck it in the bin!
You can also shop online here.
9 Carmunnock Road, Mount Florida, Glasgow
Kinder Handl was always my favourite for picking up some toys or books for the kids. That giraffe in the picture was a favourite toy for a long time. (I can still remember every single word of that Over in the Clover book, we read it so often. 50p well spent.) I also got some great pairs of shoes for them when they were little from here too. There’s lots to look at in Kinder Handl!
Money you spend in Kinder Handl will go towards providing free resources such as furniture, prams, clothing, toys etc to families who are in need through registered Community Health and Social Care services. They also provide free play and refreshments, free nappies, and free school clothing all year round.
Babes in the Wood
18b Wellington Rd, Bishopbriggs
I only ever made it out to Babes in the Wood once when the kids were tiny. But it was an absolute treasure trove of everything baby & child. Launched originally in order to provide a service for the recycling/reuse of children’s toys, clothing and equipment, Babes in the Wood is a not for profit social enterprise. They aim to help reduce the environmental impact of landfill waste & to reduce the effects of poverty on children from birth to 15 years, offering free goods to families who need it most.
Birth, Baby & Beyond
Unit 23E, Anniesland Business Park, Glasgow
Birth, Baby & Beyond is a charitable organisation who aim to help under privileged families, with little or no income within the Glasgow area. Their shop sells pre-loved clothes, shoes, essential stuff for little ones, books and toys. That wee guitar in the photo was a favourite toy for about 4 years, and the wee red converse were so cute. I loved those shoes.
Birth, Baby & Beyond now run workshops, play sessions, therapy sessions and support sessions in their Family Centre in Anniesland. They also distribute baby food packs and newborn essential bundles to families in need. Anything you donate to BB&B or buy from their shop will go towards the charity.
The Jack & Jill Market
Various locations around Glasgow & beyond
The Jack & Jill markets take place in various locations including in Bellahouston Leisure Centre once a month or so. These are spaces where you can get a stand and sell anything baby or child related that you fancy getting rid of. There are even cots, big toys, buggies, high chairs and all sorts of big items; plus all your usual clothes, toys, books, shoes, and every other random thing you might want for your kids. And then anyone else can go along and buy it all. A great way to make a wee bit of cash from your pre-loved bits and pieces.
I’ve only ever been to the one in Bellahouston but from experience, these markets have infinite bargain potential. A few years back I got a second hand lightweight buggy for taking on holiday with us. I’ve bought shoes, many toys and books and loads of other stuff from these markets. They are brilliant for a wee bargain hunt. If there’s something specific you want to get make sure you arrive early because the entry queue can get long.