How not to go broke in year one of parenting

Let me be clear – I have not been secretly parenting for a year, nor will I be in the next year (secretly or otherwise).  But, I just read this great post from my friend Lucy (Lulastic & the Hippyshake), which mentioned how the average spend on a baby in the first year of their life is £9000 – which is NUTS.  She shared how she has totally rejected the ‘buy lots of new stuff’ approach, and frankly, I am re-posting it because it gives me hope!  There’s a chunk of it below and you can read the rest by clicking on the link at the bottom. I love finding anyone with the imagination to live differently in this world, and I am inspired by loads of her parenting ideas.  So here’s to thrifty baby-raising!:

OLD SOLDIERS & THINGS IN JARS

It is due to a mixture of cheapskateness and environmental consciousness that I have yet to buy Ramona a single new toy. She does have some new things, bought for her by loving friends and family, but only a handful. All the rest have come from charity shops, around the home and the side of the road. When I see the jawdropping cost of toys in real shops I am not surprised that the average spend on a kid in their first year of life is £9000. When you really needn’t spend a penny.

The BEST kind of toy for me is one that she, er, likes (such a loving mother) but also one that is nice to look at. Give me wood and old over plastic any day. (I know, I know it’s not about me.)

We have found some absolutely beaut things over the last few months and fortunately these are also some of Ramona’s favourite toys. I think she loves the pure simplicity of them. Here are a few:

Abacus- 50p from charity shop in Essex

Rainbow thing- £1 from car boot sale

Big Soldier – £5 from OXfam in Streatham

Soldier train – £5 from Kids Fara in Pimlico

This is my fave of Ramona’s toys- he actually plays his xylophone as he is pulled along!Puh, who needs an Ipad?

He was £5 from a charity shop. (Steep I know, but a musical duck!)

HOMEMADE TOYS

I am surprised at how often Ramona spurns her fanciest toys in order to play with some thing that is, frankly, rubbish. The main reason I think she does this is because that something is fitting perfectly with her stage of development. When we flew home from NZ last month I packed an entire pull along suitcase with the coolest little toys. She spent most of the time just posting pegs and other small items into a drink bottle. She was intent on it – posting them in, tipping them out, posting them in again.

To read the rest of the blog, click here.

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