The new mum, that bought nothing new!
I'm a Fuckgiver
In case you missed it, I give a lot of fucks. This year, my husband Jeronimo and I took our Fuckgiving to the next level by challenging to have a Buy Nothing New year.
But there was a tiiiny road bump…
January 9, 2017, 9 days into our Buy Nothing New self-inflicted challenge, we found out we were expecting little “Timmo”. Shit. Don't babies need like a tonne of stuff? Most ladies are showered in gifts, and end up shopping in last month or two to buy any items they still need for their little bundles of joy. That just wasn't going to work for me for two reasons. Firstly, being showered in gifts that were bought new is just shifting the blame. Secondly, with how WRECT I've felt this entire pregnancy, I knew that crazily attempting to source the remaining essentials second hand at 8 months + pregnant was just not going to work.
So I got organised
At about 4 months pregnant I wrote a list and checked it twice. I figured out ALL the things we would need for our new lives with baby Timmo, and researched the brands I wanted. $6,327.39 was the cost to buy these items new! No wonder there is a government issued baby bonus, new parents need it with that kind of price tag.
I then followed Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace and kept my eyes peeled for the items in the brands I wanted. When I saw them, I jumped. I've met heaps of cool mums and bubs in the process, some I am still in touch with today. We also made some stuff and rented other things. Did you know you can rent an infant capsule for bub’s first car seat? You can also rent the adaptors that click the seat over from the car to the pram. At half the cost of buying the capsule and adaptors new, what’s not to love? The rental agency actually install the seat safely too.
I saved how much?!?
We now have everything we need and bought nothing new. We didn’t compromise on brands or quality. We paid $1,354 all up. We saved… wait for it… $4,050.04.
What we saved on buying items new we put towards hiring a doula for birth support and continuity of care throughout labour. We have also opted to do Cord Blood Banking. Banking cord blood is a way of preserving potentially life-saving cells that usually get thrown away after birth. At $3,000 for 25 years storage, it’s not cheap. But signing up for it early and agreeing to pay upfront offered a significant discount.
Instead of a Baby Shower, I had a Baby Well. I asked guests to not bring gifts, but they could contribute to a wishing well to help us with the costs of Cord Blood Banking. Friends and family contributed with good intentions for our little man’s future health. And that means so much more to me than stuff.
Ps. What about nappies?
With so many Modern Cloth Nappies (MCN) systems out there, I was a bit overwhelmed with information and decided to leave this research until I was actually on maternity leave and could ask some experienced mums. For the first few weeks I got by on biodegradable nappies like Naty's and Thank You nappies available at supermarkets, until an anonymous gift arrived on my doorstep - a trial pack of 8 MCN by Hippybottomus! It turned out to be from my lovely Sustainability colleagues. We loved the system and bought the supplementary pack. We now have 24 cloth nappies on rotation - usually 8 ready to go on the change table, 8 on the line drying out and 8 in the wash. We still have some biodegradable disposables for times when it's too wet to line dry them or I'm too busy or tired for laundry. To be honest though, I now dread having to use the disposables! I never know how tight to 'stick' them and we've had some accidents because of it. The MCN are so soft and absorbent that he can wear one nappy the whole night through (unless he craps it, of course!) and he has never had nappy rash. Plus he looks super stylish in them!
Article written by Resident Fuckgiver Resident Belinda Bean