Monday, February 11, 2008

Secondhand Baby

One day when e5 was particularly frustrated with his sister, he wondered if we couldn't just be done with her and trade her in at the local thrift store. And you know, there are days...

But that's not where I'm going.

Our baby... The new one... The one that's due in a little over a month...

(Jess, since you asked - so far everybody's doing very well, even if the little guy is spending most of his days and nights either having hiccups or playing kickety kick ball. No stories to tell because everything is going just swimmingly on the baby front. But don't worry, the stories will come...)

Anyway, nothing but the best for this kid. We've gathered together the finest hand-crafted mahogany crib suite, with embroidered silk bedding and matching curtains, a personal HD DVD player with satellite link to The Baby Channel... you know, all the usual stuff. And since we sold or gave away all of e5 and Amelia's stuff the last time we moved, we had to buy it all again new.

Of course, you know I'm lying. This poor kid is going to live a deprived, unfulfilling life, and we'll have huge counseling bills when he reaches his teenage years, because as far as I can remember, we have not bought a single thing new for this kid.

My friend Morgan is Central Hub for Baby Things. If you have baby stuff you don't need, let Morgan know and she will either take it or find it a home. On the other hand, if you need baby stuff, ask Morgan and she will deliver a small truckload. If she doesn't have it, she finds someone who does. She remembers who's having a baby and who's kids are old enough to be outgrowing their baby gear. And she knows a lot of people. I kind of think she should start a business doing this and charging money for it. Everybody needs a Morgan.

I mean seriously, how much wear does a pair of baby pants actually get in the two months it spends occasionally adorning a baby? What is the life expectancy of a crib? Do baby-themed lamps routinely stop working when the baby outgrows the nursery decor?

After we combined Morgan's services with the local thrift store, Craigslist, Freecycle, and the occasional yard sale, we've got a crib, a mattress, bedding, gender-appropriate and gender neutral clothing, a huge pile of onesies, a breast pump with all accessories, blankets, a front carrier, a sling, a swing, baby monitor, bouncy seat, booster seat, car seat, pack-n-play... heck, even a pile of cloth diapers.

Once again, you can call it green, or you can call it frugal. Wise, pragmatic, or just plain cheap. I don't think this kid's really gonna care. He'll have his hands full just trying to navigate his way among his crazy siblings and his wacky parents.

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12 Comments:

At 2/11/2008 7:53 AM, Blogger Madcap said...

I choose "sensible". Very. But I'm guessing that the youngest young lad will have some rawther snifty new hand-made togs courtesy of his mum. Yay! Huzzah! I can hardly wait on your behalf!

 
At 2/11/2008 9:32 AM, Blogger Lisa said...

I think you've done very well! Yes, save the money for therapy (his or yours), braces, broken bones... whatever! The kid won't care whose outfit he poops in!

 
At 2/11/2008 9:46 AM, Blogger Wendy said...

I call it being very practical and frugal, and both are compliments in my book.

A friend of ours has been very generous with giving her girls' outgrown clothing to my daughters recently, and with every bag full my girls act as if they've been given the world's greatest treasure. I think it's awesome that they have such an amazing reaction to being given other kids' hand-me-downs.

I think your new baby will be fine, and if you impart your frugal values, he will appreciate how resourceful you were in ensuring he had everything he needed (and a little of what he wanted) ... and managed to squirrel-away a few dollars for his therapy sessions, too :) - which, if he's truly frugal when he gets older, will be used, instead, as a downpayment on his new house, or a nice piece of land on which to hand-build his dream home :).

 
At 2/11/2008 10:15 PM, Blogger Morgan said...

Yippie I love when stuff gets used.
Remember to come on down to Morgans house of stuff. You need it we got it or we can get it now located in North Carolina.

Love and miss you all

 
At 2/12/2008 12:14 AM, Blogger Suzer said...

I grew up on garage sale finds and hand me downs. I chose to continue buying from thrift stores in college when it helped to save money. Now I do it for enviornmental reasons more than necessity. My children are happily following along in that tradition and it makes me proud when my daughter wants to donate all her toys to children that are less fortunate than herself. Like Wendy's girls, she understands that it doesn't have to be new to be fun, and the fact that it's not "new" but new to her will hopefully stay with her her whole life.

 
At 2/12/2008 8:56 AM, Anonymous Wasteweardaily said...

It is amazing how much clothing is out there that is not being shared. I heard that my Aunt has kept every bit of her daughters clothing since she was born seven years ago. She is not having a second child. Maybe she dreams of adopting. Who knows. I find tons of kids clothes when I dumpster dive. Right now I have a huge pile of size four girl clothes all thrown out together and no one to give them to. I'll eventually find someone or someplace for all the extras. Good luck with the baby. I think used clothes are sensible and they seem to have a little personality, not so sterile.Let us know when the big day comes.
Cindy in FL

 
At 2/12/2008 9:10 AM, Blogger barefoot gardener said...

Award alert for E4 at Barefoot's blog!

 
At 2/12/2008 9:32 AM, Blogger network_weasel said...

Never underestimate the power of hand-me-downs, or Morgans *grin*. Most of our sons clothes/shoes/toys/etc have come from generosity of friends, yard sales and thrift stores. One friend has four boys all older than ours and once a year he drops off a few bags of stuff. And she is also passing along girls clothes to our nieces in Poland. The latest was a neighbor whose youngest daughter just turned one and since she knows our sister-in-law is expecting a daughter soon, dropped off several boxes of infant clothes.

 
At 2/12/2008 6:07 PM, Blogger Ornery's Wife said...

I thought everyone had children that way--using second-hand things and such. I couldn't have afforded parenting without someone else's generosity or cast offs!
TM

 
At 2/13/2008 9:15 AM, Blogger Chile said...

As long as the kid knows it's loved, it will be fine. As the youngest in my family, I was always saddened to see fewer photos of me with my dad (who died when I was 1) than with the other kids. When my mom died more than 25 years later, I found a photo album I'd never seen...full of pictures mostly of me with my father. I don't know why she never showed it to me; maybe she forgot about it. Those pictures meant more to me than any new thing they'd ever bought just for me. They meant I was loved just as much as the other kids.

 
At 2/13/2008 4:30 PM, Blogger gtr said...

jYay! Used baby stuff! I, too, am trying to pull together a good collection of used things, but haven't had enough time to cobble together stuff from all those sources (alas, no Morgan, here) or garage sales (a bit hard at -20 F).

A normally-frugal co-worker was just encouraging me to buy some things new, already, to be done with it and free up some brain space currently reserved for all this scrounging. I'm tempted...

 
At 2/18/2008 11:33 AM, Blogger JBTW said...

Glad all is well. Good luck on the continuous secondhand hunting. I don't understand why people pay a fortune for things that get worn so few times (if at all). Just don't dress him in girl handmedowns! :) Unless of course you want some real therapy bills!

 

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