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Jul 10 / Caro

Buying Cr*p

If there is one thing we’ve discovered during this pregnancy so far, it’s that everyone has an opinion and can’t wait to offer advice. People have opinions on the pregnancy itself – whether the baby will be a boy or girl based on the shape of the bump and the level of morning sickness. People have opinions and advice on how we ought to raise the child once it’s here – everything from being totally baby-led to setting a strict routine from day one. And of course people have plenty of opinions on what you should or shouldn’t buy for your baby. For the most part I’m perfectly willing to listen to advice. After all, the only thing I know for sure about parenting at the moment is that I know nothing. But the trouble is, so much of the advice we’re offered is conflicting, with different people expressing polar opposite views and presenting them as the holy grail of parenting. This applies not least to what equipment babies need. I’ve learned to listen and take people’s views on board, but ultimately know we’ll have to make our own decisions.

But then yesterday, we received a truly useful piece of advice. In fact, possibly the best advice we’ve had on our journey to prepare, practically rather than emotionally, for the arrival of this baby. It came from an ex work colleague and father of two.

“You know what?” he said “Just go out and buy crap. Buy it all. All the little gadgets and gizmos and cute tiny stuff. It’s part of being a parent for the first time! Don’t listen to us, just do it.”

The comment came on the back of a conversation amongst a group of people about what they had and hadn’t found useful when their babies were born, which had inevitably descended in to a debate about what constituted the “essentials” for a newborn. And as always, everyone had a different view. They all told us what they had wasted their money on. But one person’s useless item was another person’s absolute godsend, so much of the discussion did nothing to help us. Until this little gem was offered.

And suddenly, everyone agreed. Buying half the baby store is really a rite of passage for new parents-to-be. We’ll quickly discover what we do and don’t use and form our own opinions on what was a waste of money. But in the mean time, we’ll just enjoy getting excited by tiny clothes and swanky pushchairs, and we’ll buy what we think we need whilst trying not to spend a fortune.

In a year’s time, when I have a stack of unused and unwanted equipment, I’ll try to remember not to try and convince other new parents-to-be not to buy any of it. I’ll try really hard not to spoil their fun and excitement!

We’re off on our first big baby shopping trip today… I cannot wait!

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