Take advantage of the huge second-hand market of baby items in this often-transient expat city.
Having a baby in Hong Kong can get expensive. Most of us don’t have the space to store bulky items and years’ worth of clothes and toys (especially if there’s a gap between babies), so having friends and family who are having bubs just ahead or behind you is a great way to pass on and receive second-hand baby gear. Sometimes you want a little more control over what you’re getting, so we’ve compiled some great free and paid libraries or swap-it venues for you here. Not only is it greener for the planet, but it’s also lighter on your wallet!
Editor’s Note: The situation in Hong Kong regarding closures and restrictions on opening hours due to the coronavirus is constantly evolving. Many businesses are taking extra precautions (including toy-sharing ventures) but please make sure you follow the latest government advice and stay home if you have recently travelled overseas, have interacted with anyone who has been away, or display any symptoms.
Libraries For Baby Items In Hong Kong
There have been a few new libraries pop up around HK in recent years. I often get asked what it is when I suggest people use it to try something out. The main idea is that you pay a membership or rental fee to borrow or rent something for a period of time and when you’re done with it, you just return it or swap it for something else.
The Sling Collection is an online shop and library for carriers, wraps and ring slings, so you can give it a try before you buy.
Open-ended toys like blocks, puzzles, kitchen sets, dolls and so on are long-lasting as your little one changes how they play with them as they grow. They may use them initially to help with the development of gross motor skills, but then when they’re older, they’ll use their imagination to invent a whole new game. Below are some places where you can play with shared toys or borrow them to take home for a while.
Hong Kong’s first public toy library is located inside the Central Library in Causeway Bay and has four play corners to suit different age groups and themes (Baby Play Corner, Pretend and Imaginative Play Corner, Creative Play Corner and Activities and Games Play Corner). You can reserve a play session in person or by telephone in advance.
Happy Baton is a lovely new startup dedicated to keeping quality toys in the cycle and using professional cleaning and thorough disinfection when the toys come back to them. It will help guide you in choosing the best toys for your child’s developmental stage, and if your little one is not a fan, just swap it for something new! It even has scooters and bicycles, so there’s something for everyone.
Second-Hand Baby And Children’s Clothes In Hong Kong
Babies grow out of their clothes SO fast, sometimes before you’ve had the chance to put them in an outfit more than once! That’s why it makes perfect sense to recycle and upcycle.
Retykle, my personal favourite pre-loved kids clothing site, now also carries nursery furniture and even cloth diapers! There’s no better place to find designer baby and kids clothing without the fancy price tag (pay for the quality rather than the label). The shopping experience here is seamless. Though this is not technically a library, because you buy second-hand rather than borrow items here, you do have the option to sell them back to Retykle once your baby has outgrown the clothes.
Coo Club is a new baby clothing library. It sources its collections from specific brands and offers free swaps when you’re ready to move up to the next size. Membership starts at $150 a month for 10 items and goes up to $250 for 18 items.
Websites And Groups For Second-Hand Baby Items In Hong Kong
There are plenty of classifieds or swap-it groups online. These are great options for cribs, changing tables, playmats, high chairs, strollers and other big-ticket second-hand items. Here are some of the more active ones where you’ll likely find something good.
Seond-Hand Facebook Groups
Baby Swap It: This is a great place to pick up some pre-loved baby furniture or bigger toys and necessities like the Jumperoo or a bouncer. You have to act quickly in this group though as the best items get snapped up quickly!
Nearly New Kids: This is similar to Baby Swap It but has a smaller community, so there are fewer things to sort through.
Cloth Diaper Chat and Swap Hong Kong: This is where to look if you want to pick up pre-loved cloth diapers, as some are barely used at all. The group is also full of lovely parents who are willing to answer questions and help troubleshoot cloth diaper issues, including yours truly!
Hong Kong Breastfeeding (women only): Quite often you’ll find a mama offloading pre-loved pumps, pump parts or breastfeeding clothes among other items. It’s also a friendly community in which to ask questions and a lot of the time pre-loved items are passed on for free.
Second-Hand Classified Sites
Like any other expat city, Hong Kong also has plenty of online forums and classifieds where you can look for second-hand baby items. Where possible, always check the items before you buy them whether on a Facebook group or from a classified site.
Asia Xpat, hongkong.asiaxpat.com
Carousell HK, hk.carousell.com