Single-handedly bringing down the economy

            We were only having two children, so we gave it all away.  The clothing.  The baby carriers.  The playmats.  Everything.  We were still using the crib, the changing table, and the glider, but we were set to hand those off to some friends before we left London.

            One day in January, I gave them a call.  “So, we won’t be able to give you our baby furniture, after all, because it looks like we are going to need it ourselves.”

            Pause.  Beat.  Light dawning.  “Oh, well, Mazel Tov!”

            Everything else was gone.  We had decluttered, only to find that we would need some of that clutter back again.  And, like a flock of really astute homing pigeons, it has found us, even though we have moved 1/3 of the way around the world.

            Mostly, it is not the same stuff we gave away.  People in our new neighborhood have given us a swing and a bouncy chair.  Other neighbors have provided a doorway bouncer and some toys.  My best friend has given us some of the clothes we gave her, but many others, too, not to mention a sling.

            A few things I have bought used.  There is a great parenting listserve here in LA, and through that I have found almost everything we want to have in used but excellent condition.  Housing prices are high in LA.  No one has extra space to store crap she isn’t using.

            We need so little that we are going ahead and registering the baby at Save the Children, so that people who feel the need to give us things can make a donation in her name instead.

            We do have to buy a few things new: a carseat, a manual breastpump, a few nursing bras, and a board book of Clifford, the Big Red Dog, since the boys consumed most of the one we already have.

            Everything else?  We have gotten it used.   Good for the planet.  Not so good for stimulating the economy.  

13 responses to “Single-handedly bringing down the economy

  1. Yay for recycling! And helpful friends!

  2. Bought second hand from the thrift store and then recycled through three children – it’s the only way to go.
    Best wishes

  3. we recently made the pact to not buy anything new unless it’s seriously necessary. So far I’ve been scouring the thrift and consignment shops for a pair of sandals ALL SUMMER for Monkey and never found a pair. Wtf?!

    I actually have a few super cute clothing items from when Monkey was little that I was going to pass your way.

  4. Oh, I’m looking forward to the day that I can send someone else home with all of my baby gear. We’ve saved most of it, aside from the stuff that was ruined by a rouge Alex.

  5. Thank you.

    I got as much as I could for my babies as handmedowns or second hand, and I still buy most things for them used.

    The waste that comes out of the baby industry gets me so worked up, it’s almost enough to get my Vapid-for-Life membership revoked.

  6. I have found that giving away baby things is the easiest was to become pregnant 🙂 We helped the economy a lot before baby #3. Then again, it seemed to not be so bad at the time.

  7. So you are saying that I should maybe wait a little while before giving our baby stuff away? 😉

    Our boys always ate the cardboard books too. I would always say, “books are for reading, not eating!”

  8. Wait! Great for recycling, BUT, heck, I’ve been away so long I didn’t even know about the pregnancy.

    When is your baby due? Yay!!!

  9. I suppose you’ve checked Freecycle already, too?

    What a great idea, about Save the Children. It’s a great organization.

  10. Thumbs up to reusing baby gear. It’s good to get this message out– I think many folks, often with their first, feel the need to get to get all that brand, spankin’ new, shiny stuff for their little one(s). I do understand that urge, I do, but it did feel soooo good to buy two used cribs from another twin mama found on Craig’s List….

    Now someone explain to me why I see so many of those $800-$900+ strollers, Bugaboos, when I visit my in-laws (not too many around my neighborhood here).

  11. Brilliant plan with Save the Children – wish I’d thought of it for other gifty moments but I definitely will from now on!

  12. I’m sure the simple existence of the child will add to the economy’s stimulation in time! I think you are very wise to borrow and use second-hand where you can – that must help towards saving the planet. It’s a win-win situation as far as I can see!

  13. Great idea to get stuff second hand. Which is definitely what I’ll do. If, you know, I ever get up the courage to actually acquire some baby stuff.