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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Reflection Day

In the latest (Spring 2006) edition of the Coles Baby magazine*, there’s an article that talks about how families are spending the ever-increasing baby bonus. It quotes a study made by the Infant and Nursery Products Association of Australia (INPAA – my abbreviation), and a part of their findings showed that “many parents use the money for new—rather than second hand—baby products, a move seen as being good for the industry and child safety.”

Now, the cynic in me says that of course the INPAA are going to say that. It’ll help boost sales! But I mostly felt a bit annoyed.

When I was pregnant with Keira, it would estimate that 80% of our baby stuff we got for her was second hand and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Of course, I’m not saying parents should settle for anything that’s faulty, broken or obviously past its best, especially when it comes to cots and prams, but gee when I see over decorated nurseries, with so much stuff I think, “surely that money could’ve gone into some sort of saving fund for your child?”. I mean how many friezes, plush toys or colour co-ordinated mobiles does one need?

(That’s not what this article is talking about, however, I should make that point. This is just my mind’s wandering a bit further.)

Its natural to only want the best for your child, but I feel that perhaps there’s a line between what’s ‘best’ and what’s, well, indulgent. Sometimes it's not just the parent's fault. They get sucked in by all the baby marketing, how this or that product can help with the hardest role of them all - that of being a parent. I think (well, for me) you just reach a point, however, when you stand up and say "look, I dont need (most) of this stuff. I alone, my attention, my love, my committment, will suffice." This often comes once baby is older, you're more confident.

And when/if you have more children.

(*Note: I am not in anyway ‘dissing’ this publication - -especially as I’m being published in the next edition! I particularly like how in this month’s edition there was a lot of information on breastfeeding).

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