No, I'm not resorting to buying bags of "irregular" onesies out of some guy's trunk or "gently used recalled toys" in the alley behind the dollar store, but I think there are ways to avoid getting sucked into the buy or die mentality that seems to permeate this particular life chapter.
It helps to keep in mind that women in developing countries, heck, some even in this country, get by without all the accoutrements some people and the retail industry would have you believe are "essential." Wipes warmer?It's nice, but the night I forgot to plug it back in, neither the baby nor her butt seemed to notice. Plus, I can't help but think of my grandparents who raised nine kids on a farm in rural Louisiana and didn't even have running water until the grandkids came along.
Last I checked, babies really only need love, attention, milk/food, water, air, diapers, a healthy environment, and a safe, comfortable place to sleep. Everything beyond that is pretty much gravy. And minus the diapers, I think that list could cover the basic needs of most people on the planet.
So I have been more than willing to troll the pages of Craigslist and Ebay looking for local parents off-loading their lightly used baby gear for a good price to a new home. Most of the stuff is only usable for 3-4 months or 20 pound ranges anyway, so unless the gear comes from a smoke- or other nastiness-infested home, I'm open to considering it.
Which is how I happened upon the sweet deal below: a barely-used bassinet from a smoke-free home for $35 right here in my city. And once we'd agreed we wanted it, the mom, cuddling their 4 month old who'd already outgrown the bassinet, said, "Um, do you need a stroller and car seat? We got new ones from our in-laws overseas that he seems to like better." "It's also better for me," said the husband. "Because I'm tall and it has adjustable handles."
So they bring out the equally pristine car seat and stroller, which had the expected wheel wear, but was otherwise in great shape.
And here we are leaving the hospital with the new addition in the car seat. Just to be sure, I checked online and it's not the subject of a recall or defect, so we're excited to have found a genuine deal online that will help us manage our baby while also being part of the reuse/recycle effort.