Thursday, 8 April 2010

More Bills than New Baby Cards #2

Babygrows, booties, socks and hats can be picked up for pence in charity shops and they will be hardly worn, since babies grow so quickly. As Karen Christensen says in her inspirational 1990 Green life guide, Home Ecology, “Just because a garment is second-hand does not mean it will be shoddy. You may well find you can afford far better quality – and originally more expensive – clothes by careful shopping. There are resale shops in some towns, and while the prices cannot rival those at jumble sales, they are still considerably cheaper” and less wasteful than buying new. Avoid buying too many items in newborn sizes, however sweet and tiny they look.

Buy at the end of the season. If you are having a winter baby, shop for some 18-month-sized summer items at the end of August.
Accept hand-me-downs. Well-worn clothes are much softer and more comfortable for children to wear. I understand that not everyone is happy to dress their little boys in pink during the day, but I did dress my son in his sister’s old pink and purple fairy jamas while I could get away with it.

Money saved by not buying new:
Typical first year wardrobe spend £280.00

If people ask what presents you would like for the baby, it is a good idea to ask for clothes in bigger sizes or toys for when your son or daughter is older. “Encourage friends and relatives to ask before they buy presents,” says Christensen, “so they can supplement your “finds” instead of duplicating them.” Or you can ask for a contribution to a larger item such as a cot. My son, who was six months old in December 2008, got lavender essential oil, and washable nappies amongst his Christmas presents. He didn't care at all! At least he had some wrapping paper to play with!
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