Babies are expensive creatures, or so legend has it. Certainly, a flick through the magazines and catalogues you’re bombarded with once you find yourself with child can leave you hankering after designer highchairs (that look like trendy bar stools) and up-to-the-minute cribs (which look like modern art sculptures), not to mention the posh baby clothes and the matching nursery sets and the sterling silver keepsakes. You could easily spend thousands without even thinking about it.
I like to peruse the pretty pictures and drool a little over the twinkly things. But low and behold, expecting a baby is bringing out my frugal side. We’re finding that actually, preparing for the Bean’s grand entrance isn’t as pricey an endeavour as we’d thought.
This is largely down to the generosity of family and friends. Grannies and Great-Grannies are knitting feverishly, and aunties and best-friend-aunties are beavering away on mysterious and exciting craft projects. My uncle and his wife dropped round a haul of useful baby clobber that they no longer need- a bath and a sling and all sorts. We’re having the moses basket that my Granny slept in as a bean almost 80 years ago (!) and every baby in our family has done since.
I can say honestly that I would take all this over a £10k spree at John Lewis any day, and I find I don’t give a fig about things being new, or styling, or matching. I know for sure that the Bean doesn’t.
So far, all we’ve actually bought is a pram and some fantastically bargainous/chompable tiny outfits from a nearly new sale, and a handy grant from the government which all mothers-to-be are entitled to (congratulations on contributing to the overpopulation of the United Kingdom! Here, have £190!) should take care of the rest.
(Oh and I also bought some Eric Carle prints to frame and put on the wall in the nursery, but they were only £11, and totally adorbs).
Life has chucked us a couple of lemons of late, which makes us all the more pleased that we have such lovely people in our lives to help us make lemonade. And I’m finding that the overwhelming joy and expectation we’re feeling about the eagerly awaited arrival of our baby puts everything in perspective and is making all kinds of things that should always have been obvious perfectly clear.
Pretty things are great. But the most important message I have for the Bean is this: all you need is love, baby. And we’ve got so much of it, just for you.