Friday, February 10, 2012

Cool vintage kid stuff.

My friend Emma has a really, really, really cool vintage shop called Dear Pluto however it doesn't seem as if reproduction has yet hit the first wave of Surry Hills hipsters so unfortunately she doesn't have much vintage kid stuff in her shop.

However, a friend of Emma's put me onto this fairly awesome kid's market where you can buy a bunch of second hand toys, clothes and furniture and stuff.  

The next market in the Sydney area on March 25 at Five Dock, but they happen all the time - here is the info 

Emma's friends advice was:

"As I mentioned to you, its not only clothes and toys being sold there....she'll find everything from prams, to car seats, to rockers and more. The only thing is, she'll need to get there very early (i.e. right on opening) in order to get the good stuff!"

Ok good - so I'll be the size of a massive person by then (the kid is due the week after) so I'll either play it up enormously or send in old m8 to do the dirty work. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Some very hot tips.

Rachel is one of the smartest people I know. 

Here are some of her pearls of wisdom in response to the email I sent out.

"Oh yes all the stuff kids come with. Its obvious but a lot of parents are dying to get rid of stuff so more you put the word out the more people will come to you. I would say friends and friends of friends is the best source."
Social media is pretty good for talking to friends-of-friends, so try the Facebook for shout-outs. Rachel also recommended som really good websites to help start checking things off the list, here are some of them:

"Gumtree and eBay were good for things like the cot, pram and bjorn" - the downside is that you have to pay, though not a lot for things. But what can get confusing in E-Bay is whether something is new or old, so just double-check closely to see if it's actually second-hand. I haven't bought anything from either of these yet but will keep you posted as to how it all goes. 

"We rented the car pod thing from the hospital" - there's heaps of information about restraints from the Government, and on the whole it looks as though it's pretty easy to hire them as you need them either from the hospital or the council. If you don't have a car (which we don't) and really need one, you can get them as add-ons from hire car companies or request one from a taxi. So don't bother buying one. 

Rachel also said, "People will buy you things. I told them not to but they still do. The best advice I got was be very specific around what you need otherwise you will end up with a bunch of teddies and clothes they never wear. Some things I have found a total god-send and would ask for as pressies. It's probably hard to get these used as the wear and tear on them is pretty heavy. - brilliant to keep baby swaddled and helps them sleep. (muslin cloths you can use for all kinds of things) (man oh man this is a brilliant chair!)
The pram is also tricky used unless it is hardly used. They really go through a beating and you can end up spending more money on parts.We love our Mountain Buggy. My advice would be to ask for the pram for your grandparents and then get the bassinet fixture second hand (as they are only in that for a few mths).
Some pearlers for sure, though I reckon I will try and investigate the pram thing a bit more. Rachel also offered my a high chair, which though not on my list I reckon will probably be useful. 

First Scores!!!

So last time, I showed you the email I sent around.

It works. Beggars can not only be choosers, but also get more than they bargained for - without having to bargain, or even pay at all. 

Very good. 

This loot is from my friend Justin. He literally had a whole load of toys and clothes that he was ready to give to the Salvos and before he did I took a bagful, and breaking my own rules (the whole, be specific lest you get bags of more stuff rule), I took two of clothes. 

These were the winners. 

As you can see heaps of onesies, cotton singlets and the like. 

And these were the ones that Jimmy's Dad said 'No' to. 

I'm no Victoria Beckham so personally I don't give a rats if my 4 week old kid is wearing Christmas clothes in May and I quite like dinosaurs, but her Dad said that we couldn't keep these ones, especially the 'I'm a Princess' one. 

Fair call. 

So these ones will go onto Swap it Baby. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Buy Nothing New Kid Email.

Ok so just in case you were wondering, this is how I've gone about soliciting hand-me-downs from people that I know.

Not many of my close friends have kids, but colleagues have them and I figure that friends-of-friends might be the way to go.

So here is the email I sent around, feel free to steal bits that you find useful.

Hi guys, 

As you most likely probably know (no - I can't blame it on the burgers) there is a small person in my belly who will be coming our sometime in early April. If it has any spunk at all it will be April 1. Feel free to a place bets. 

As you may also, I am particularly adverse to buying new stuff, these are the main reasons:

a) It makes me feel like a dill that someone has emotionally manipulated me into needing to buy something new and coerced me into paying lots of money for it 
b) New things use silly amounts of coal, water and other finite resources to make and use 
c) You never know if new stuff will work
d) I don't have heaps of money and if I did would probably spend it on beer and good times, not things I'd have to look after, clean etc. 
e) I abhor shopping

So you being the fine, sustainability-minded, collaborative consumers and parents that you are,  I thought that you might have or know someone who has some second-hand stuff that you may want to offload, lend or sell to me. 

I don't have heaps of room (the kid's room quite literally is the laundry) so I thought I would make a list of things I think that I actually need:

1. Baby monitor
2. Sheets and stuff
3. Change mat
4. Pram/stroller 
5. Sling/pouch thingy
6. Growsuits & clothes 
7. a capsule for a car 
8. ???

There are probably other things that you in your collective knowledge might suggest, I profess to have absolutely no idea what I am doing so please advise me. 

As recompense I will write about the stuff I get on the blog and hopefully give other people in the same boat an alternative to buying lot's of crap for their kids. I also do solemnly swear to (wash and then) regift anything I get. 

Thanks everyone! 

XO Jess 

Some advice I got was to be specific about what you actually need because a lot of people have a lot of stuff and if they're clever they'll try and give you the whole bag, which then becomes your problem. Point noted. I have been quite specific. 

There have been some very good outcomes already, I'll show you what's happened in the next instalment. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Swap it Baby

I should have known something like this existed! Thanks

It's kinda like LETS where you swap goods and services for 'Operas' but for kid stuff.

A great site, but a little low on stock. 

The Buy Nothing New Kid.

The problem:

The Baby Products industry is going strong and proving to be a ray of sunshine in tough economic times. Over the five years through 2011-12, industry revenue is expected to grow 1.1% per annum  to be worth $4.38 billion. Cashed-up parents have been buying up big for their newborns, with only the best in mind. This attitude, combined with rising birth rates to older parents, has given rise to a new area of growth: high-end baby products (Ibis World Research 2010) 

That's basically $4.38 billion dollars worth of strollers, nappy change tables, toys, clothes, bassinets and other junk that is used at most for 3-6 months.

This junk uses energy, water and finite resources as it is made.  If it 'works' you'll probably need a bunch more coal-fired energy and water to power it and then when the kid is sick of it it will inevitably have to go somewhere.

The waste and energy associated with buying stuff for the kid when it is a baby doesn't take into account the environmental impact of adding another (Westerner) to the earth. This is also a little worrying.

In a study done by Paul Murtaugh & Michael Schlax called "Reproduction and the carbon legacies of individualsit was found that even if you live a really sustainable life (drive a Prius, use Green Energy, are vegetarian, use energy-saving bulbs etc.) these efforts are effectively useless if you have a kid.

In fact Murtaugh & Schlax also found that the in developed countries, each child adds about 9441 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide to the carbon legacy of an average female currently alive - this is 5.7 times her lifetime emissions.  

The solution?

Well the first option is to sterilise yourself and/or use contraceptions. But if (for whatever reason and seriously probably not a great idea to take sex ed advice from a preggo) this is not an option then raise a kid who will be a decent human being and attempt to fix things.

Apparently this is harder to do than it sounds.

So use the only power that you really have as a parent (until they're old enough to work) - try not to buy the kid anything new. 

For as long as you can get away with it.

I don't know if this is possible, but I'm willing to give it a decent crack.

Will keep you posted.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Save the world, don't have children.


No longer can I justify my (fairly infrequent, yet still highly GHG intensive) travel, with claims that "Yeah, well I don't have nor do I intend to have kids so I can fly now and again".

There is a person being cooked in my belly. She'll be out soon.

Technically, I guess that now makes me a 'Mummy Blogger' which make my face involuntarily grimace and gives me a vague panicky feeling. So you would be doing me a favour by promising to make loud terrible comments if it gets too 'Mumsy'.


Just for shits and giggles, and with the optimism of a person who's still technically childless,  I have decided not to buy my kid anything new.

Partly because of the environment, partly because I don't have much money and mostly as a massive 'Fuck You' to every since company and piece of media that has been bombarding and manipulating me into thinking that I need to buy all this junk new.

I'll use this blog to let you know if it's possible, beg occasionally or whinge.

I'm writing the rules over the next couple of days, if you have suggestions then please leave them below.

Promise not to get emo.

Bloody hippies.