The things no one tells you no.:
38 Watch out for commercialism
Mumofsix` featured blog about things no one tells you.
`I thought I would, every now and then,
add a little bit of info that
took me by surprise with my first baby.`
My mood while writing this blog: Ok
We are often led to believe we need certain products for our babies. It is hard as a first time mother to know what you do actually need verses what the media, friends etc say you need. Common sense goes a long way in deciding what is a must and what is convenience or a luxury.
It does not have to be an expensive project to set up for the arrival of your baby. As long as your baby has clothes, food and shelter then you are basically ready to go. This is the basics of what many cultures in our world have and they manage just fine.
Things such as change tables (I have one) are very handy and useful but if you cannot afford one then a towel on the floor or bed does just as well.
Toys are great but it does not have to be the $30 rattle. Some dried pasta in a small tin will please them just as much. Be creative if you cannot afford to buy the latest things.
Prams are really handy but many cultures use a sling to carry their babies and do just fine.
Baby wipes are convenient but a flannel and water is just as effective if not better and more economical.
I guess the thrust of this article is that if you are struggling financially you do not need to get the latest and greatest baby stuff that gets thrust in your face. Ask your self the question, " What did people do before this came on the market?"
There is nothing wrong with having special baby items but do remember that this is a big money making business and many things on the market are convenience items. If you can afford them and want them, go for it, but don't feel pressure to put yourself into debt for items you can do without.
24 Comments on 38 Watch out for commercialism
firsttimemommy2011 - Monday, 18 Oct Im also all for saving money when it comes to a tight budget and preparing for a baby. Im on my first and and I bought a stroller with the carseat and attachment for the car for $80.00 and its mint condition, I have recieving blankets that I picked up brand new in a packages at a yard sales, also bought baby clothes at a thrift shop that are very gently used, and I have a baby monitor and and baby swing brand new in the box, as well as a playpen and a basonette. that I got a off of a site called kijjii. Its amazing what u can find on a tight budget. I still have to get a crib for the baby but my family is helping me out to get a new one. Kids grow so fast that when it comes down to certain things we have to watch what we spend cause they wont be able to wear certain clothes for long, and when it comes down to toys they either wont fit on or in certain things, or just lose interest in playing with certain things as they get older.
ElleTheMarsBar - Monday, 9 Aug I know this is bringing a pretty much lifeless subject back to life but this was something that I could easily start to worry about since funds are very low for me and my partner currently (our situations are complex and rather uncommon as well as difficult). I have to keep reassuring myself that if people from the Stone Age could have a baby then I have more than enough means to have one right now. Everyone always tells you that babies are sooo expensive but I agree that the companies and commercials suck you in and make you think you need things you really don't. It reminds me of last Christmas and watching my baby cousin totally ignore her new £150 playhouse and instead have a whale of a time playing with the box it came in. I think it’s more a matter of remembering what your BABY needs and not what YOU want. The flashy bibs and designer prams may make you look like you are dealing with being a new parent well because you look financially secure but does it really make a difference to your child and their development? I think we all know the answer to that :)
klderoos - Monday, 21 Dec I bought a second hand crib/cot from a trusted friend, it has a few teeth marks along the top,lol. I bought it a new matress and it has been perfect. I also hired my babies first car seat from an organisation in NZ called plunket, I'm sure there are simalar setups in other countries, I live in a city that takes the taxes from gabling and alcohol and puts them back into the commuinity and so was gifted a brand new follow on car seat from our beautiful city for free! and this should do us till we don't need them anymore, take the time to check out all of these local schemes there are more things available to new parents than you might think.
Love.Nora - Thursday, 11 Jun I am all about saving money however there is few things I will NEVER buy used. A crib is the first, too many cases where I have herd of people buying used cribs and things going wrong with it. I would like the comfort factor of knowing where and what has been done to it. I am looking into buying the 3 or 4 in one cribs which are around 250.00 but they change into a toddler bed to save on future bed purchases. The 2nd thing is car seats, because of the fashion carseats are used you never know how it has been handled or whether or not the family had been in any kind of car accident making the seat possibly faulty. Bottles I am picky on only because I like using a particular brand but if I got used I would just replace the nipples and get new ones. I am also buying one of those changetable/dressers. I love the fact when u no longer need the change table u can use it as a nice shelf for a lamp and picture frame :D Other than that I am all about savings on clothes, toys and hand me downs we cant all be expected to put our life savings into our babies even tho we really want to.
MinnesotaMoms - Monday, 11 May omg...I had this same thought last night while tossing and turning in bed worried about whether or not i would be able to afford this or that! If I don't get some help, my baby's first crib might be a cardboard box. LOL
jas1987 - Friday, 8 May I learn't the hard way... As this was my first baby... I bought everything new and the most expensive... I spent $10 000 on his nursery... Also alot of money on his clothes, top designers and all brand new... Toys and swings bouncers jumperoos... six months later i'm buying clothes from ebay and looking for specials on nappies and wipes and formula... I'm trying to concieve my second baby and there is no way i will ever spend that much again and i will be handing down everything to this baby. Babies don't need all the stuff i bought, but i guess it was all due to excitement after trying for a year to fall pregnant.
babykake *~team pink~* - Sunday, 12 Apr i love this im a complete ebay addict so far ive managed to buy most of my daughters clothes a £98 graco swing for £12 (plays music) a £3.50p graco travel system (pram and car seat) that should be over £100 and it was brand new i think the woman didnt like the color so i definatly think we should budget for our babys they grow so fast they dont care for half the things we buy just as long as they have the basics and plenty of love
annas-momma - Thursday, 8 Jan I'll never forget doing my baby registry and my husband was looking at a wipe warmer and I said to him, "Oh we don't need that." and a woman in the isle with us was in SHOCK that I was not going to get a wipe warmer for my baby! LOL I ended up getting one for my baby shower and I never used it. I gave it away to someone who got pregnant right after I had Anna. I'm also an Ebay addict... especially with clothes. Kids grow out of clothing so fast, that its not worth it to me to spend a small fortune on clothes. And if you take good care of them, you can turn around and resell them. Also, we got a changing table thats also a dresser, so now that we don't change her on the table anymore, its still getting its use!
marinewife7305 - Tuesday, 2 Dec I see that a lot of people use craigs list but freecycle is a really cool website. It's close to craigs list except everything is free you just have to pick it up. They have different groups for different areas you just have to join and get emails everday of offers and you can offer stuff too. I have gotten a free crib, carseat, stroller, bouncy chair, baby gym, clothes, and a lot more. I live by getting the emails everyday. Just thought i would share!
number2isontheway - Saturday, 29 Nov LOl my 10 month old daughters favorite thing to play with is an electric tooth brush. LOL. I bought it for my little brother.. but she got ahold of it and opened it.. so obviously since it was all over the ground.. it was hers. It was really cheap.. i paid 50 cents for it.. it was marked down LOL!! Babies dont care.. and long as they have their mom or dad... have a clean but, are warm and are fed. They could care less!! LOL
jenndmamma - Thursday, 6 Nov i was not using a changing table until i found a cheap one at a yard sale. cleaned up and there we have it. i love the idea about flannels and water for wipes. Cut up two of her old swaddle cloths and keep spray bottle for the water and there we have it.
jeanette - Monday, 27 Oct My son has a crib and a changing table and a pram, and a stroller, and we never use Any of them! We co-sleep and I use a mei-tai baby carrier. People have been raising babies this way fro thousands of years, and it's really easy. Thanks for the blog.
mrswood - Saturday, 27 Sep I'm not getting a changing table. A blanket on the floor will be just fine for changing. And, yes, thrift stores, garage sales, and Craigslist are my best friends!!! :) Good article.
sweetpea09 - Friday, 26 Sep at the moment my 9 month old sons favorite thing to play with is a spatula.
TJ - Thursday, 25 Sep wow, this is true about not having to buy everything brand new or exspensive stuff....my son is 20 months old and yes when my son was born most of my family bought him brand new clothes but i also had a friend who son is ten months older than mine and she gave me a huge trash bag full of clothes and i was very thankful for that, right now my son's closet is almost nothing but clothes i've gotten from other people, garage sales, and the goodwill stores, it's rare that i actually go out and get him something brand new, and all his clothes are really nice looking too and for fraction of the price i would've paid at a store. As for things like a changing table, i would've loved to have that but i had no room for it, but it would've been useless when my son hit three months old because he was rolling around all the time when i was changing him then so i think my bed was a better bet than the chaning table. my son does have a box full of toys, i don't buy him all that, my family happened to do that one, i do buy him stuff but it's not too often, in the beginning my son was more interested in a set of keys or just tearing up paper stuff like that, he's more interested now into phones and remotes lol, but he does play with his toys more but they really don't need to have a huge box stuffed with it, i've been searching for people that are having newborns so i can give my son's toys away because he just has way too much and he's almost two years old and out grown a lot of those toys and needs room for more "big boy" toys for christmas and birthday.......so i would have to agree that i'm the kind that shops around at the goodwill stores instead of heading to baby gap and other expensive stores to buy clothes that will only last maybe six months at the most anymore and the kind of mom that doesn't need every kind of toy in the world for my son, after all he'd rather play with me and i'll teach him more stuff then any other toy in the world would teach him right?
shaypeery09 - Tuesday, 23 Sep I read somewhere that your baby does not care what or where his/ her clothing comes from. A lot of my items were gotten from a local flea market and the nearest thrift store. There i found a Graco stroller with a convertible car seat for cheap at a flea market and my mother in law found me a beautiful expensive crib for 90$. Plus you spend all your money as a newborn in two months they will outgrow it... enjoy your time somewhere cheap and easy
allih8 - Saturday, 20 Sep I just bought a crib off of craigslist for $95. It's practically brand new at a fraction of the cost. They have tons of stuff on there for babies and it will save you tons of money.
Jo-Mama - Friday, 19 Sep I have found that other moms are happy to pass stuff on (because it takes up too much room in their houses!). We were given an exersaucer, a bouncer, and tons of clothes. We probably wouldn't have bought these things, but our friends were happy to hand them on to us. The mommy community is quite giving.
We don't buy wipes or diapers. We use cloths and hand-me-down cloth diapers. There are a lot of communities that have toy lending libraries, so you don't have to spend money there either. And if you can breastfeed, that's free! Babies don't have to cost a lot of money.
kayleejane - Sunday, 14 Sep I must admit, im guna be a single mum soon.. im not having much help off my babys daddy but im getting there slowly! His mum bought me the cot, changing table and baby wardrobe. My pram and moses basket were my cousins so i got them cheap. My nan and grandad have helped me by buying me a wardrobe for my birthday.. so now i can get rid of a lot of drawers i have cluttered around my room! Most the clothes are hand-me-downs! Although everytime i get paid i cant help myself buying lots of baby clothes i dont really NEED but look so cute!! - I always go for bargains tho whatever i buy!! Ive found out im entitled to a maternity grant but cant get it until ive had my baby and am claiming tax credits so i have to wait until november to get that! Ive got most things for my baby but seems as i live in a horrible studio-like appartment, im guna use the money to get new floors put down and get some baby toys and things ill need for 3 months+ I have so much for newborn and nothing for after 3 months so i better start saving sum money each month aswell!!! I never thought of making toys.. im not very creative but its a brilliant idea!!!
bannahsmommy - Tuesday, 9 Sep I'm a first time mom and after having a hand in raising my nephews, and babysitting all those years I have learned a few tricks from my mom and grandmother along the way. One thing that I have learned kids love is playing with pots and pans and big plastic and or metal bowls. Both of my nephews had a habbit of going into the kids and pulling all of the cookware out and just beating on them with a spoon. So instead of throwing out those old pots and pans while you remodel your kitchen, try giving them to your toddler im sure they will love them, their first make shit drum set, or you can always go to a second hand store like good will and thrift stores and purchase them really cheap. Also while they are still really little you can lay them on the floor under a ceiling fan and it will keep them entertained for hours while helping them with develope their rolling over and crawling skills. And yeah you can always go to your dr for advice but remember your parents have already been through this and it doesnt hurt to go to them down always dismiss the advice they have to give you. Yeah your dr went to college for 8 years but your parents have years upon years of experience and usually can help you. if all else fails by all means go to your pediatrician.
-newnaam - Monday, 8 Sep Also, in addition to what you're.in.my.system.now.baby was saying about the baby monitors: Some of these things are actually HARMFUL to your babies. Baby monitors signal with RFs, the same as cell phones and other cordless devices. Most countries have taken measures to LIMIT the amounts of these kinds of radiation especially around children. I would never dream of putting a RF transmitter anywhere near my baby, yet we are led to believe that all good parents do it. I live in a larger home and can hear my baby just fine when he cries. Also, being attentive to his schedule creates little need for this device as I know about when he will wake up anyway and can be on the alert for his cries. Also, brand new baby mattresses and bedding (along with most other cloth baby items) are soaked in flame retardants before sale by law. These are carcinogens. I would rather take the one in a million billion (we don't smoke or have other risk factors for fire) percent chance that the flame retardant my baby is sleeping in would remain useless and just buy something used that had an opportunity to 'air out' a bit. I have also taken to hosing things off outside and letting them air dry in the sun a couple times before use. Over purchasing also has a devastating effect on the planet - one we all share mind you (meaning if someone is fowling it up, someone else has a right to say something). We all make a difference if we chose to. Buying second hand or doing without the frills (which just distract us and waste our time anyway) can save literally TONS of energy and related pollution. And a cleaner world is the BEST GIFT we can give to our children!
lulubelle - Monday, 8 Sep a friend of mine has a 1 year old and his favourite toy is an empty calpol bottle with pasta in it, and a swivel chair that he can sit or stand in from a second hand shop that cost 5 euro!!
meecob - Monday, 8 Sep what a creative idea for a rattle! thanks for all the great info - I love reading your blogs!