Thursday, 11 February 2010

improvising and investing - by Theo

When it's come to sorting out baby gear for our PFB (precious first born) we've been at two polarities - the no-cost improvisations and the expensive investments. What's weird is that areas where we'd thought we'd have to spend money, we haven't, and one key area which we weren't expecting to cost us anything has turned out to be the most expensive of all!

On the one hand bath-time and bed-time have been advertisements for ingenuity; both her bath and her bed are transparent storage boxes of different sizes which we'd purchased for about £3 back in the summer to help transport our stuff to Spain. Obviously we don't keep the lids on! Her bedding has largely been a combination of tea towels, pillow cases and shawls Kate doesn't use, while her changing mat is a towel over a bin liner - works just fine. Plus we've discovered that olive oil is the ultimate moisturizing lotion for fighting nappy rash, one less thing to buy! We're using washable nappies, so I'm doing lots of laundry but at least there's no landfill. And thanks to the generosity of so many family and friends, in England and Spain, we've yet to have to buy a single item of clothing for our darling daughter! Thanks everyone!
Total spend = about €6 on a couple of extra tea towels and some more olive oil.

However, when it comes to feeding it's been a totally different story. On instructions of the medical staff we purchased nipple guards, bottles and formula (in order to supplement Kate's breast milk). Naturally we then had to buy a microwave steriliser. These have all now been sidelined since Kate started seriously expressing breast milk for storage - the original hand pump we bought was in danger of giving Kate RSI, so I was then dispatched to buy an electric one. A breastfeeding cushion also turned out to be a decent investment and the bottles were superseded once Kate found out about lactation aids - a cunning device whereby the supplemental milk is siphoned directly into Rosie's mouth as she breastfeeds by a tiny tube from a bottle which hangs beneath Kate's chin, St Bernard-style. Kate's like a walking advert for Medela! Actually the whole contraption, with tubes taped down to Kate's nipples, is kind of kinky; I have photos, but I fear publishing them here (or anywhere!) would be grounds for divorce!
Total spend = €355! And we thought breastfeeding was the cheap option!!

Of course you can't put a price on love, and Rosie's worth this a thousand times over.

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