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Smart Consumer: Don't go broke buying for baby, second-hand is best

Second-hand nipple cream or a kid's nasal aspirator anyone? No, I didn't think so! But for pretty much everything else maternity-related, you can get it second-hand for less.

And you should, as research from SuperValu (with Eumom) found that 92% of mums surveyed had overspent by up to €1,000.

Some 97% of mums had spent up to a whopping €5,000 purchasing items for their newborn in the first year alone and 70% said they had cut down on socialising and holidays to fund the expense.

After having her third child, and second daughter, two-and-a-half years ago, Mandy O'Rorke wondered what to do with her son's clothes. She decided on selling them but rather than bundle them together in one paid-for ad on an online site she wanted to individually show each item, whether she was selling it for €2 or a €10.

So last summer she launched babybay.ie, the only Irish classified site dedicated to all things baby-related.

Rather than pay per posted ad, she charges €5 for unlimited ads over a four-week period. As a result there are countless ads showing baby clothes for sale at very small prices, and this category is the biggest seller.

Maternity clothes are also popular, a good idea given they are unlikely to be worn much, and spending lots on clothes you only wear a little will kill most women.

You could find a Nike T-shirt for 2-3 year olds for €3, a Next red cardi for 0-3 month olds for €5.50 or a Mothercare maternity dress for €10. Toys are the second-biggest seller and you could nab a Thomas the Tank Engine 'magical bubble' for €11.

Mandy believes it's a nice lesson for kids when they see toys being sold on, but advises new parents to "set your budget and work within it".

And she suggests saving on larger items in order to afford "the nice extras".

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Those larger items will include buggies, and you'll find plenty of those selling at up to a half of the original price on her site.

And you have other options too. With 1,170 ads listed under 'baby items' on donedeal.ie, you'll find a Mamas and Papas aria twin pushchair for €140 (approximate retail price €265).

On buyandsell.ie a Quinny speedi buggy will cost you €299 (approximate retail price €679), while on gumtree.ie a Mamas and Papas Pliko travel system is selling for €350 (approximate retail price €465).

Supermarket baby deals

Given the survey also showed that 76% said that a new baby added up to €150 to their weekly shop, SuperValu are running a 'baby and toddler' event in stores until June 18.

This includes 'baby advisers' offering cost-saving tips in store and special offers on baby related products. For example, five packs of Johnson's baby wipes are €5 and Pamper's Baby Dry Mega Packs range are €15.