The “things” baby needs…

You hear it time and time again: “Children are just so expensive!” You need new furniture, all the clothing, a complete sterilising system for the bottles (ever heard of breastfeeding?), bucket loads of pampers (ever heard of old fashioned cloth nappies?), decorate the nursery (coupled with a lot of anxiety if it should be pink or blue, while in the current “genderophobic” climate it is best left in a neuter whitish grey). The list goes on….

How will we cope? There is so much we need. But my friend said… And the midwife said.…

While I do agree that we want the best for our little ones, the most important “thing” they need is you and us – their mummy and daddy and an intact community with all members of society, young and old. Infants’ needs are primordial, direct, basic (and I mean that in the most positive sense). We are basically still giving birth to Stone Age children as we would have done 12,000 years ago.

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I, therefore, made myself stop for a minute and considered these bullet points:

  • Don’t think you need to buy everything all at once. Go for the basics and look what you can find in charity shops. You don’t need to impress anyone. It should always be good for baby, but while it has to be clean and safe it doesn’t always have to be new and if you take the necessary precautions, there is no harm in there.

  • You can also ask around if some people still have items they want to give away. If you feel embarrassed (trust me, it feels awkward) you can still find facebook groups that advertise things at a lower price or go on eBay. It would always be good to know the people, but there is no shame in helping each other out in a community.

  • Buy the items one at a time and when you need them. And esp. babies and even toddlers don’t need 500 toys to play with (anyway, who wants all that plastic with all the toxins in there?). Let your family and friends give them things too, but make sure they are safe for baby to chew on.

  • Do you need the most expensive pram model? While a car seat is compulsory for lots of reasons, it also makes sense to invest in a baby carrier or sling. Look here for some models or make your own. It is far better to carry baby during the first few months of their lives and the carrier/sling will keep your hands free to do whatever you need to do.

  • Buy cloth nappies and learn how to use them. Yes, you will have to invest quite a sum initially but there are schemes from different councils that organise a cash back campaign to encourage waste reduction. If you think it is all too much of a hassle, think how generation after generation of babies have been brought up until the second half of the 20th century and think of the pollution wreaking havoc on our eco-systems and the hassle it will be to clean it all up again. Think also of the money you will save after the initial investment. Besides, you can still mix disposable with reusable nappy systems if need be.

  • A cot, a dresser, a crib, a baby bath….Some of it is expensive some of it isn’t. Baby can have a bath with you and will want to sleep with both parents. This is something we will definitely have to get used to in our culture (again!), and I haven’t tried for myself, but this source offers some valuable information.

  • And another thing: saving money on the so-called essentials will free up some of your budgets to buy a treat, like a cute little jumper or hat.

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