Buy Buy Baby

DAY 147

I was meeting a friend for dinner the other day and she said she needed to run  to Pottery Barn Kids first to pick up a baby shower gift.  Trying to be helpful, I offered a few choice pre-owned items I had tucked away.

She politely declined by saying, “Yeah, when you give people used things, you actually have a reason.  I just look–cheap.”

Really, cheap?   What about, environmentally conscience, frugal…thoughtful?   I’m going to go out on a limb here and say I am pretty certain that babies don’t really care if their things are second hand.

I know the trend is to have more gear than less when it comes to our new offspring.   I certainly felt more prepared for parenthood wrapped in a protective cocoon of Bumbos, Boppys and Baby Bjorns.  Until I actually had our daughter and then I realized that no gadget on the planet could have really prepared me for what lay ahead.

I had my first child when I was 35.  What that means is I had quite a few years of buying completely inappropriate baby shower gifts,  like teeny tiny Harley Davidson leather jackets,  3-inch long Air Jordans and bows larger than baby’s  head on stretchy bands.  What is it about adult clothes in miniature that is so appealing to the childless?

I love buying baby gifts then and still do now.  But, I hope I have learned a little over the years about gifting useful items.  Since The Simple Year started I have been giving gently used collections of board books.  Now board books don’t have quite the baby shower squeal inducing power of a minuscule tuxedo, but I believe they will get quite a bit more use, at least until Kindle comes out with a baby version.

I’ve been gathering them at garage sales and thrift stores.  I find the books for about a dollar each which is not only environmentally friendly but a pretty significant monetary savings since they are usually anywhere between five and eight bucks each when new.   I give them a quick wipe down with vinegar which I’m not sure does anything, but it makes me feel better. I would hate to introduce bubonic plague into any of my friend’s homes. I add a ribbon and they are good to go.

So far, I haven’t had any new moms complain.  One even sent me a thank-you note that said something to the effect of “how generous I was” which means one of the following:

  1. She was using a form letter for her thank-you notes
  2. She still had post-partum pain killers in her system
  3. She meant generous of spirit, not generous with money which is what I prefer to believe.

A collection of eight books for a first time Mama and a found copy of Deceptively Delicious for a friend that just had her third (I LOVE ours).