If you are a new mum on a budget reading a post saying ‘don’t borrow’ on a baby budgeting website must feel like a wacky heading. I don’tmean don’t borrow at all I mean here is a list of items not to borrow. Borrowing is of course one of the cheapest of options as no one charges you but because you borrow with good will you do feel if you wreck break or lose something you need to replace it with new. With your own stuff you may well not bother, particularly if that stage and phase is drawing to a close.
I once borrowed a booster seat and when done with it stored it in the shed to give back to our firneds. Somehow the straps got all mouldy and manky I’m not sure why. Perhaps we didn’t clean them properly before we stored them? or perhaps the shed was the wrong place. Whatever we should have been more careful. To buy the exact same seat cost me £30. When I gave it back they were embarrassed I’d felt I should replace it. Oh dear we both lost with that borrow.
My list of don’t borrows would include
- A car seat (everywhere will advise you on this as it may not be safe enough or it may have been involved in a crash)
- A christening gown (can you imagine if it got ruined! However if its a family heirloom I would say thats different- any stains can be put down to family history and a mark of its years.)
- Any newborn white clothing (not always easy to clean)
- Any clothes at all when going through the weaning puree stage (Mango and blackberry does NOT come out)
Photo Credit: Neeta Lind
- A pram/pushchair (unless it is a bit battered to start with) Some neighbours borrowed one of mine for a weekend away and it came back looking VERY well used and the hood was bent. I was so upset they had devalued it greatly and I was about to sell it too.
- If you borrow a cot it is advised you buy a new matress and these can be expensive. You will also want to have a cot for a number of years (so what about if the lenders have another baby?)
- Highchairs also easily get in a bad way and taking them apart to clean can be complicated, Only borrow entirely plastic ones without straps. Ikea do a neat little one for less than £20 which has been perfect for my two and which I have lent out many times.
Being given items that you can keep is entirely differnt. That is just brilliant and you should say a big yes please and a thank you. Borrowing can incur costs, guilt, worry whilst the item is being used and having to be over cautious and protective. it is much better to be able to relax around your baby and let them make a mess.
Rather than borrow the above items if you are o anew mum on a budget and need stuff for free I would advise you check out your local netmums board for free stuff or take alook at freecycle.