Shopping for the Baby

So, I bought THE jeans. The Boob Jeggings. I grabbed a bargain on eBay, new with tags, and they are excellent, a little long for my average height but they fit great otherwise and do the exact job I bought them for, they may even be comfy enough and flexible enough to wear to my yoga class!

I was talking to a friend today about shopping and how my shopping behaviour has been different during this pregnancy compared to last time. In part it’s down to money, hubby and I are better off this time around than a few years ago so there is less holding me back from clicking on “Add to basket”, though we are not really as affluent as my recent shopping habits would imply and I really must try to restrain myself more.

When I was pregnant with the Munchkin I didn’t buy anything at all until a few weeks after our first scan. I was very much in that mainstream mindset of remaining cautious until the first trimester and higher risk of miscarriage had passed. Even after seeing that fluttering heartbeat on the scan and feeling the first butterflies of movement I was still cautious, just picking up the odd little pair of booties or packet of vests along the way.

We begged and borrowed an awful lot the first time around. My sister-in-law loaned us her crib as she was between babies and our families bought us an awful lot of the essentials, not that we particularly fell for the notion that babies need lots of stuff, we were very much of the view that all newborns really need are a few nappies and basic clothes. I have boobs to feed with and arms to rock the baby to sleep. There’s no need to fall into the trap of expensive cots, mobiles, toys, bottles, sterilisers and so on.

As for maternity clothes, I covered this in my previous post on the topic, but basically I made do by and large.

The big blue one in the middle is a "one-size", the others are newborn sized!

This time it has been very different. It’s not just maternity clothes that I’ve splashed out on at the earliest opportunity. I bought some teeny tiny cloth nappies very early, pre-loved of course. We put the Munchkin in disposables for the first few weeks until he grew into some size 1 prefolds and then went for one size nappies once he was a few months old. So he never had tiny sized nappies and this time around I am determined to avoid all disposables, so when I saw that a couple of friends were selling on the tiny fluff from their recent second babies I jumped at the chance to grab a few bargains. They are sat in the changing unit now, ready and waiting for a tiny bum to wrap around.

All of the Munchkin’s newborn clothes, vests and sleepsuits were neutral, as we had no desire to find out what sex he was before birth, nor would we have swamped our baby in clothing of only one colour anyway. I need to dig it all out and wash it, but in that respect we don’t need anything for this baby to wear right away and if it’s another boy (it’s a surprise again) then all of the Munchkin’s outfits from when we started dressing him in boys clothes can be reused. To be honest, because we practice a mild form of open-gendered parenting, most of his baby clothes wouldn’t be totally out of place on a girl anyway, nor would I care too much if anyone thought they were. Boys do not lose their penises if they wear something with flowers on and girls do not grow one if they have trains or dinosaurs on their clothes.

But some aspects of our parenting have evolved since the Munchkin was born so there are, like the nappies, a few other things that I had to buy. Slings, lots of slings. I picked up a ring sling early in this pregnancy and am keeping my eyes peeled for a wrap that makes me go “Oooh” too. The top of the line pram-to-push-chair that we got (albeit second hand) last time I was pregnant hasn’t been used since the Munchkin was nine months old and we converted to wearing him full time. We really ought to get rid of it as it takes up space in our hall and on top of the Munchkin’s wardrobe. (It’s a Silver Cross Linear Freeway, if anyone’s interested…)

We’re also anxiously searching for a BedNest as we want to commit to bed-sharing from birth this time and really want a good sidecar crib. We don’t have space for a sidecar cot or cotbed, so it’s this or a new king sized bed and bedrail… hmm. We have ummed and ahhed over this question a lot and because bed-sharing did not work for us with the Munchkin, I’m hesitant to splash out on a new family bed (hubby is actually very keen to bed-share and would happily go for this option!). I think the sidecar arrangement is the best of both worlds as it gives baby and me our own space but closeness to make night feeds easier. We’ve taken measurements, talked about whether one of us can stand to live without our bedside table and come to the conclusion that we can’t fit in anything bigger than a crib, but we could go for a king sized bed and lose a bedside table. So if bed-sharing works then we can look at getting a new family bed once the Bean outgrows the BedNest. We just need to actually lay our hands on one. They quickly escalate in price on eBay and the manufacturer is out of stock… for now. We’re keeping our eyes peeled!

I’ve been seriously intrigued by the idea of a good sheepskin to line the crib with too, so one of these is a must. Apparently it is perfect for regulating a baby’s temperature, among other virtues. I’ve bought a new changing bag already too, a bigger one that will accommodate the needs of two children when out and about.

But why the increased acquisitive nature? What is different, besides our finances, this time around? I think that parenting is very much a learning experience and despite our best intentions and absolutely genuine belief that a first child is not a trial run, people do change once they become parents and they do learn what works and what doesn’t. We’re willing to try new things this time, or stick to things we discovered much further down the road than we would have liked first time around. We’re less cautious too, less afraid of the “what ifs” and less concerned with getting our purchases right first time. We’re more open to trial and error.

My first pregnancy was interrupted with relocating across the country and a very rocky emotional ride for various reasons, I think I worried a lot more about some very big and many very small issues, whereas this time we are settled in our home, we are more secure as a family and much more ready to embrace a new addition to our family. The comparative lack of trepidation is very liberating, though for the sake of hubby’s bank balance and continuing family stability I had better ease up on the maternity clothing purchases.

2 thoughts on “Shopping for the Baby

  1. Jo says:

    We had the same bigger bed/sidecar cot dilemma and ended up borrowing a sidecar cot from a friend to try it. We gave it back 2 weeks later and have just bought an 8ft (yes 8ft) bed! It was worth ditching both bedside tables for. Bliss!

  2. freespiritfamily says:

    The best thing we bought when I was pregnant was a super king bed, Jasper has his own space but is right next to me all night. I love it. It means we have pretty much no other bedroom furniture, and no bedroom space, but we all love it and will never go back to a double now!

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