Monday, December 10, 2007

Upper Crusty

This baby thing is weird. It's obviously not something I've done before and at times I feel completely overwhelmed by the options and gadgets and decisions and things that have to be bought or planned. I decided a long time ago that I was going to take a very minimalist approach to baby and so far have done just that. I've always gotten a kick out of saving money and finding a deal and this has extended, maybe even become exaggerated, with baby items. What has surprised me is the reaction I have encountered from other people and other mothers-to-be.

So far I have bought almost every item of clothing from EBay or a similar local site called I've found fantastic deals on mostly new clothes and some gently used ones and they are all so cute! Why on earth would I pay 3 or 4 times the price for something that the baby will only wear a handful of times and most likely vomit on? I bought a stroller this past weekend for a huge discount as well as a bassinet/play pen combo. Everything is in great condition and clean and did I mention WAY CHEAPER!? The other thing I've tried to do is really stop and think about what the baby will need. Does it need to vibrate and swing to the sounds of dolphins and waves crashing against the sand? Probably not. You wouldn't believe how much stuff is out there for babies...prenatal education systems, brain gyms, activity mats, swingers, rockers, bouncers and jumpers, chairs that stay erect, chairs that recline, pillows to keep them on their backs, pillows to keep them on their tummys, strollers with piped in music, double cup holders and thermometers, even computers to help you record what time your baby last ate, slept, was changed, or made a sound. In my opinion it's Brian and I have made every effort to keep it to a minimum and only buy what we think we'll need. If we find that we're missing something we can always buy it later. (Besides, once all the Chinese recalls are made on this stuff they'll be even more affordable!)

You wouldn't believe some of the reactions I've encountered about our approach. " mean, they're used? Like, another baby already wore that dress?" Yup, a dirty baby...who may even have been from another country." Many of the women I've spoken too, both in person and online in the "baby cults", are obsessed with getting the newest, most expensive items. A lot of them already have things from their last kid but still want to buy everything new for this kid. I've asked a few mothers-to-be about strollers and what they recommend and without fail I have been told to buy a Bugaboo. "The stroller that looks like it was made by NASA and costs over $700?" "Yeah, but they are really good and can go over anything and they come in cute colours." For $700 they would have to breastfeed the baby, not just hold it.

I guess I owe my ever-expanding collection of really cute, really cheap baby necessities to the very women I don't understand. If they weren't over-purchasing really expensive items and selling them to me for half the cost than I wouldn't have the nice things that I do. So thank you to the consumer-driven women of this city. Thanks for always having to have the best and newest and trendiest...I salute you. (And am especially grateful that you've recently decided to flood the market with used Bumbo chairs just in the nick of time).


Eileen said...

I applaud you, Caroline, for not succumbing to the disgraceful materialism displayed by some expectant mothers.

Korey said...

We had a lot of luck by using our local Freecycle system. It's a yahoo group, if you aren't familiar with it. I completely agree with you on not needing to buy everything new and trendy. I did just fine without those things and so will my daughter.

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