Becoming a first time parent (God Willing) tends to make you take certain issues more seriously. From previously making decisions like where to eat, who to see and how to basically blow your cash wisely before next month’s pay comes in to making decisions about property and finances. I suppose it does not help that pre-marriage, I was often an impulsive buyer. My shopping consisted of walking through, seeing what I like and if the price is not bad, I’d buy it and go get myself a cup of coffee. No comparisons or shopping about, because life is too short! Plus my legs probably need whatever relaxation they can get. Yeah,right.
The things I would say to justify my behavior… Because seriously, why would you think so much? You’re young and carefree and have no commitments, so why the heck not? If you told my parents I thought about a certain purchase very carefully, it’s quite likely they would think you were talking about someone else.
Now, pair such a habit with the semi-glazed disbelief that a baby is just around the corner. Back in my first trimester, I was like ”9 months? So far away… I cannot imagine it!” with Mr Grumpy nagging me about the number of preggers sticks I was peeing on (even when it was confirmed I was pregnant, he actually asked me what I was trying to prove) to my mum asking when we were going to buy stuff (which honestly is a very valid question to ask since I’m already in the THIRD TRIMESTER)
Mr Grumpy and I targeted this one expo as our START DATE to buy stuff so these past few weeks, we have went to two expos and have gotten a big majority of baby stuff for AK. Honestly, I hate crowded places and was considering wiggling my way out of it but Mr Grumpy (the more practical one of our relationship) figured it would be good to do some light research (he has a lot of new mummies as friends) and to have an idea of what prices were like outside of the expo.
1. Always remember to go on weekdays, if possible. The first one we went to was spacious and had enough room to walk, but the second one… my goodness I have not seen so many pregnant women in one place and you should see how rough they can get when they see a good price. Brings new meaning to ”fighting for your children”… I cannot imagine how it would have been if we had went for the second one on a weekend. Here is a sneak peek of what the crowd looked like:
This was during office hours on a Friday.
2. Eat before you go for expos. No joke, you won’t know for exactly how long you will be at one of these things. At the first one, I got slightly dizzy towards the end and had to get a drink but for the second expo, we ate before going. 2 and a half hours flew by and I was crazed looking at colorful bibs, diaper pins. Violent pregnant ladies? NO PROBLEM! On a side note, I can understand excitement when you see a good bargain but to literally barge your way through…man, that is so not cool.
3. Don’t overdo it. A lot of the advice we got from new mothers was to not overdo the purchases. It can be so tempting seeing some newfangled gadgets or that super cute baby dress but it also depends a lot on your kid. He/she may be comfortable only with certain types of diapers (here is where you consider cloth/disposable) and you may have a lot of vendors saying ”This diaper’s organic!” or the ones selling strollers saying dodgy stuff like ‘‘You use it until you don’t need it anymore” that it is easy to get caught up with it. What works for one family may not necessarily work for yours, so do what is comfortable and easy for everyone. One breast pump for one lady could be poison for another… About organic diapers, I think what is coming out of the baby’s bottom is probably as organic as it’s going to get. Plus, I don’t think anything went too wrong with past generations using non-organic diapers…but that’s just my opinion.
4. If you are considering having more than one baby, maybe buy unisex stuff. A tip my parents gave was to have a close age gap between kids so that you would not have to re-buy stuff. Also, if the clothes etc are unisex, it can be easier for surprises that may occur (Surprise! It’s a girl, not a boy! For example…) and a consoling thought for me is that maybe my children will not be saying I lavished more money on one over the other…I mean, you never know what kids may say these days! I decided to buy these really cute statement bibs to add a pop of color to the outfits though!
There’s also this cute one that says ”Spit Happens”.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask. Many couples would be more than glad to share their experiences. We know of this one guy who got so excited and bought a transformers-like stroller, but had it underused and lots of mothers letting us know how the budget went off the charts for the first baby. The idea is not to look down or compete with them, but rather to consider different perspectives on things and help see what is best for you. We may not know for sure (since baby is not out yet) but we can prepare for it with these thoughts in mind.
After attending these expos, I decided to just window shop at some kiddies shops to compare prices and trust me, you would be very surprised at the price differences. Going by that logic, why would I pay RM60 for a cloth diaper or RM80 for a milk bottle when I can get the EXACT SAME ONES for half the price at the expos? I could have easily fallen prey to that, but instead was nagging to Mr Grumpy on the phone about the audacity of it all.
Of course, this is provided you are not in an emergency and there are coincidentally expos during that time… Also, online shopping is a viable option. It ain’t cheapskate talk, this is FACTUAL talk. I might as well put the balance money aside for baby savings or whatnot…