we are supporting the economy by having a small child

As I have written previous, we have bought a lot of the things for our baby secondhand. This includes:

– a Graco Pack’n’Play portable bassinette/playpen
– an Arms Reach co-sleeper
– the Fisher Price Rainforest swing & vibrating chair
a Chicco Cortina travel system

But then there were the things we didn’t want to buy secondhand. Like the pretty black crib & changing table. Or a crib mattress. Or a breast milk pump. Or the smaller things like a Diaper Genie and a baby bathtub. Or the organic cotton bedding set, the waterproof crib liner sheets, the allergy protection mattress cover, the changing table covers, and all the clothing in his little layette. And of course, there were things we just couldn’t find secondhand – like the Consumer Reports recommended air purifier, or the adorable cow-shaped humidifier I broke down and bought yesterday. Or the black plastic baskets that fit inside the squares of our giant black, wall-sized, IKEA bookshelf (the kind that is just 5 x 5 rows of square cubbies) which we are filling with those baskets to store smaller loose baby items in.

And of course, decorating a nursery is a matter of even more personal tastes. I decided against buying a regular bedding set, and just bought a simple one that didn’t include nonsense like a diaper stacker and window valance. But we are giving the nursery a sort of barnyard theme (hence the cow humidifier), so I bought a 3-poster set of farm animals (and frames for them), and a Warren Kimble farm wallpaper runner. And then we went to Home Depot yesterday to get paint & painting supplies. I’ll post pictures if the nursery comes out looking like the vision I have for it.

I think the point is that baby expenses add up, no matter what. Even if you are like me, and buy some things secondhand, and scour the Internet for bargains, and take the Baby Bargains book with you to Babies’R’Us so you know what the best deals are, and have checklists and are sticking to the bare minimum of baby-related foolishness, you are still dropping a lot of money into the retail sector before you are done buying all the things you think your baby needs. The cost of a new baby can top $6,000 for the first year alone – more if you buy really nice things. I’m starting to understand how that happens.

And even after all this, we’re not even close to finished shopping. I still have to find bottles and a sterilizer, choose a sling or carrier, and start the Amazon.com subscriptions for wipes and baby detergent before the baby gets here. We need a second carseat base for Paul’s car. I need a glider chair to nurse in. I’d better get back to shopping online instead of writing posts.

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