When Chatterboy was born, we insisted on buying everything new, despite offers of useful stuff from quite a few people. Nothing but the best for our boy! we thought. Luckily, our friends were more sensible, and many of Chatterboy’s pieces of equipment have been used by many of them. The bassinet, in particular, has become a tradition.

First of all, the bassinet was passed to Mountain Boy, who was allowed home to it after three weeks in hospital fattening up after being born at 34 weeks. Then we got it back again for Hungry Boy, and it sat on our dining room table during the day so he could be part of the family. Then we had to quickly turf Hungry Boy out when Urban Girl was born three weeks earlier than expected, and pass it to her.

Then there was a hiatus, and Christmas Girl got it over a year later and gave me four coffee cups in thanks when she returned it. Then Urban Girl’s sister Smiling Girl took it, although I think she spent more time in her parents arms and bed than actually in the bassinet. And yesterday we got it back from Momentum Girl, who looks like she’s desperate to crawl towards it now, ready for Christmas Girl’s baby brother or sister who is due in three weeks.

We didn’t have a handover ceremony, but five of them were there yesterday, bringing back memories for their parents of their first few months of babyhood.

  6 comments for “Sharing

  1. October 22, 2006 at 1:47 pm

    Due to my mothers compulsive hoarding, our son used the bassinet that I and both my older sidlings used when we were babies. Same for the high chair.
    Between this, stuff borrowed from a cousin, and second had gear I have bought from work mates who have stopped having kids (or so they think), we’ve managed to aquire very little stuff that is new.

  2. October 22, 2006 at 5:53 pm

    This brought a smile to my face after a yucky day.

    I can’t bring myself to part from Kiko’s bassinet even though we don’t plan to have another child. I’m a big thrower-out and passer-on but I can’t get rid of his tiny baby things. Why not?! I hope I’m not psychic or something…

  3. October 22, 2006 at 9:04 pm

    We were the last of our little circle to actually give way to parenthood so we inherited a mountain of babystuff from our generous set of friends. We’ve only just taken down the red wooden cot dudelet spent two years (and I shed a few tears, admittedly) that dudelet’s godparents” first daughter spent her first four years in (she’s a little more petite than dudelet) . Some items, of course, never really worked. There was a Japanese baby sling which deserved some sort of prize as the most impenetrably complicated carrying device ever created – it seemed more suited to mountain rescue operations via helicopter than everyday carting-a-baby-to-the-shops moments. On the other hand, a Winnie the Pooh musical mobile got us through many stressful changing moments. Two other friends had their second baby recently and we’ve taken great delight in sending a quantity of gear back in their direction – with interest!

    It’s interesting how it used to be families who’d pass around the core baby items but now is frequently little clusters of peers. Where we live (in London) most people’s families are either some distance away or (given how many people are having their first children in their mid-late thirties) lacking one or more grandparents. So we’ve had to re-create a different kind of (post-nuclear?) family network to get by.

  4. October 23, 2006 at 3:28 am

    That is really nice. We have passed some stuff down, but usually not to friends and family–it’s been through freecycle, or other sites like that. It’s a good feeling to know that well-loved baby equipment is appreciated elsewhere.

  5. October 23, 2006 at 2:51 pm

    That’s lovely.

    I have most of my kids’ stuff stashed under the house, awaiting the birth of my sister’s baby. She says it’s still 2 years away, if everything goes according to plan, so I’m hoping it doesn’t end up all dusty and awful by that time!

  6. JenniferV
    October 24, 2006 at 7:59 pm

    I might just correct the historical record to say that the legendary bassinet actually CAUSED the early arrival of Urban Girl. As I recall, Penguinunearthed said to me “Hungry Boy has moved into a cot so the bassinet is ready for you to take and you can have the baby any time you like now.” And the next day my waters broke three and a half weeks before my due date. Luckily it still took another 48 hours to go into labour so we had time for a quick dash to pick up the bassinet.

    And as the last in our small circle of friends to reproduce, we thoroughly appreciated all the road-tested and pre-loved hand-me-downs, although having the first girl in the group made gender colour coding a bit interesting.

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