You My Dear Are A Hand Me Down W#@&%
One thing I’m so happy to not have fallen victim to and baby G you don’t have to when you have a baby either is the “buying everything for baby syndrome”. A good friend of mine when I was pregnant stressed that babies really don’t “need” that much for their first year. That combined with a family goal of being minimalistic in our possessions (and simple like wooden toys only) we didn’t buy very much for G’s impending birth. There were a few special things we bought like her Sofie Le Giraffe the day we found out she was a girl, a couple outfits, and some baby needs like a bath towel and thermometer. Fact is when they are born they DON’T really need much at all besides momma, daddy, and lots of love (and milk!). A piece of advice for soon to be parents save your dollars now for later when you really need em.
We were however SUPER blessed at our baby shower, we got so many cool gifts, clothes, and DIAPERS!
Even more so we were blessed by all the Hand Me Downs G inherited from friends. Various friends had babies before us and passed down SO many clothes, they still bring them by as their kids grow! I think I have bought G a total of 6 pieces of clothing her whole life, things like sweaters when it got cold. My old Marching Band Instructor found out I was pregnant through facebook ends up she had THREE little girls and a ton of things to pass on. When I was pregnant she shipped us BOXES of items from clothes, shoes, hats, toys (another thing I have only bought 2 of for G EVER), and best of all a complete cloth diapering set up with already broken in pre-folds (they are more absorbent once broken in). While we don’t cloth diaper religiously since we don’t have a washer/dryer and hence do laundry say once a month at most (welcome to NYC) the prefolds have been the most amazing things. They have saved me on days where I didn’t realize till it was too late and we ran out of disposable diapers (we use the organic chlorine free ones to limit the chemicals as much as possible). But most of all these prefolds have been AWESOME for using as burp rags. Let me tell you, you never know how much fluid a teething, lactose intolerant infant can produce till you have one of your very own. We use these things religiously.
A fun part now that G is getting older is being able to continue passing on the clothes, bottles, breast feeding supplies, bouncy seats, infant car seat and stroller, etc….that we were lucky enough to have fall in our lap. Not to forget sending a huge thank you to the side walk gods (thanks for naming the Deities for us Melissa) who have given us piles of great books and other items right here in our awesome neighborhood for free. On a nice day this neighborhood is like a giant garage sale where you don’t have to pay for anything.
So yes, my child is a “hand me down whore” and her mom is 1,000 x worse. And you know what? We’re not afraid to admit it. Besides being greener it’s kind of exciting to know those outfits and items you used while getting to know and fall in love with your baby are going through the same thing with another family. And that the items you inherited hold so much love from each family they passed through. Honestly since we went into this minimal lifestyle I’ve never felt like we have “missed out” or are lacking something since we never bought the newest and greatest baby item.
Sometimes giving will even give back like today! We have been handing all of G’s old goodies down to my old childhood friend who is due in a month. This was what we left for him today PLUS G’s old stroller and car seat not pictured. (this is the second load to go to them FYI)
And this is what he left behind in it’s place
That’s 4 cases of yummy tea, a BOX of full chocolate bars, and pirate booty all from the company he works for. I’m in snack heaven. It was so cool of him! The one term for taking our old goods is just that if you don’t use it you’ll give it to someone who does, less trash going into the world!
Someday G will grow up and resent my love of the gently used I’m sure. Till then though I’ll be saving my pennies while doing something good for the planet.