I can’t really help you decide this important matter of allowing a new life to spring up on this beautiful planet. It is true that the earth is already quite crowded but there is still quite a lot of space for new people.
In my previous posts, I shared some of the reasons why I think you should decide to have a baby or some reasons why you should not have a baby, and now I would like you to look at some of the SOLUTIONS!
When you look at facts and figures, and when you are not really motivated it is easy to get quite a negative idea of the health, financial, environmental and other kind of impacts of having a baby.
But in reality there are solutions to overcome these impacts and to get most of the positive sides of becoming a parent or a carer.
So even if the financial cost of having a baby does not look good, you will not be pushing a cart under a bridge looking for shelter with your entire family and all your belonging packed in that cart. It will not ruin and or bankrupt you because you will naturally make concessions! And you will not be that jealous of Joe and Sue (remember Joe and Sue: they are having loads of fun and have decided to go kid free) because you may prefer to stay at home and see your baby grow, you may prefer to help at home rather than going out. Well you will probably need a couple of drinks with your mates sometime after the birth but believe me it is not that hard to slow down your (other) social life and the magic of meeting a new tiny person will help you off costly night outs.
And if you think about it, you will still keep your neighbours up all night, but this time not because of the booming bass of your sound system and the loud voices of your uninhibited dancing friends but because of your baby’s high pitch screams…
So what you will spend in your baby’s nappies, or clothes will easily be made up from a fierce reduction in costly nights out.
So there is definitely a rational financial switch in your spending.
Friends and Family
Beside the financial switch, you surely have got friends and family to help you.
For the clothes only, if you are happy to have them nearly-new or even used for your newborn or toddler. There is nothing to be ashamed of asking your colleagues or friends if they have any garments they can give away. I can bet that your partner will be pleased to see you coming back with a bunch of free bodysuits, pyjamas and all sorts of dresses or t-shirts. Believe me. Once you have grown out – well the baby not you – of these clothes just pass-them on to the next new parents to keep the cycle running.
The truth is that young children, especially babies, grow so fast, and they actually don’t move a lot, they don’t need a lot of clothes, and people probably won’t give you dirty clothes.
You can also look at charities, ebay, recycle web communities like free-cycle. You can google for “nearly new sale”, “baby cloth swap” or all sort of similar events in your area.
Ebay is quite good for baby gear like push-chairs (trolley), cot, etc… But always ask around your family, colleagues, friends again, you may find a bedroom furniture set, still in good condition, that suits your taste, and very cheap!
I did get a car seat from a colleague and friend Alex, for the symbolic price of a pint and it actually did saves some space/room in his attic while costing me just a couple of bucks which were going to be spent anyway!
Saving money when buying this baby stuff does not mean that you are saving money on your baby, you still want to give him or her the best life as possible and to keep some of your lifestyle, it means being clever by re-using things, which is good for your purse. It can also build empathy and good relationships with other people, and it is good for the planet because it can save loads of stuff from going to landfill and give them a longer life span.
Now let’s talk about something more important that these things: FOOD!
My opinion is that the best thing you can do for your baby regarding food is to cook for your baby.
Of course only once that your baby has been weaned from milk.
It is really convenient to cook a big batch of healthy food that you put in the freezer like veggie purees mixed with lentils, quinoa, semolina, you can even gradually leave more chunks of veggies.
It’s really something you can get involved in, your partner will be thrilled with joy I am sure if you suggest this kind of stuff.
Cooking in big batches for 2 weeks of food and put it in the freezer instead pre-cooked cheap pizzas will save you a lot and benefit your baby a lot. Also when you do that you can buy in bulk, looking at sales and promotions in the regular food stores and supermarkets or in online shops.
And before baby can eat food, and is still on the milk, if you are still under tight budget, breastfeeding is the best solution that allies health benefits and low cost maintenance.
Well, Daddy… the problem is that you can try as hard as you want.
You can try growing boobs on your own but as far as I know, a man cannot provide breast milk to a baby.
That is part of mother nature’s rules. Although I am sure there has been some odd cases or claims. But I don’t think you should plan on that!
However your wife/partner will be more able than you in this matter and breastfeeding is much cheaper than formula along with other advantages. I am thinking in particular of the natural expansion of breast tissue resulting in a higher volume of what attracts most men: boobs!
So make sure to have a discussion with your partner about these types of choices , think about it, and have your word to say, it’s your baby’s health that we are talking about.
And remember a Daddy is not just here to be in the background, you can get informed and participate in baby matters!
Talking about food I am actually convinced that the best thing I can do for my close family, my kids and my wife, is to invest in my household overall health. I can do this by having a healthy diet myself, and by providing healthy food to my baby and other family members.
Paying a bit more now for your food or just making better healthy choices will save you considerably loads of money in the future because you and your children and partner will be much less sick and much stronger, and happier!
I will elaborate more on food diets in other posts as I am really interested by following a healthy type of diet, but in short if you stick to simple diets avoiding too much gluten and dairy products, choosing organic food when you can, and if you chew your food well, don’t have food hard to digest in the evening, chew again, and keep chewing until your saliva has done it’s fat breaking job, you will need to eat far less, your brain and body will be satisfied and therefore your bank account as well…
So I suggested so far solutions for clothes and baby gear (Re-use), for food (breastfeed, cook in batch, buy bigger quantities, chew, …).
Regarding nappies I can recommend a few things that you can think about.
The main 2 alternatives to regular non-biodegradable nappies are the washable ones and the few brands that make biodegradable diapers.
Washable nappies are great now, often in very soft materials and really effective, like in bamboo fibres or cotton, you have a front cost which is really affordable and then you don’t need to buy nappies every week. It’s not hard to clean, rinse out a little bit the sticking poo before throwing it in the washing machine, maybe have a dedicated washing-up gloves for that if you are a sensitive person, but be ensured that you’ll get used to doing this quickly and will not be bother at all after a few days.
It is better to have a pack of 15 or plus nappies because you need a good turnover while they are getting washed and dried. I have to say that in the not so sunny north east of England, in the winter it is sometimes a bit challenging to get them dried on time and I had to put them on the heater to avoid some difficult situation… So it means using a bit more energy than normal.
If you are serious about taking care of the earth and act responsibly by not washing at too warm a temperature and using wind and natural sun to dry your reusable nappies it is good for the environment as there will be drastically less non biodegradable nappies going to landfill.
On the other hand there are a few brands that are selling biodegradable nappies, they are quite more expensive but I do buy for instance Naty brand when they are in sales/promotion at boots shop, then I buy a good stock and price is usually then comparable with the mainstream brands that are not good for the environment.
What is the best approach probably is to use reusable nappies and to have a backup of good quality biodegradable nappies to fill the wash/dry gap when needed.
An even better solution to me is to go for a great practice, commonly called EC. EC stands for Elimination Communication, and this is quite fascinating and really really cheap. You can find a book reference at the bottom of this article and also you can google it. The principle is based on the fact that in our modern western society, the widespread use of nappies is quite new, and that a baby from its very first days can be “potty-trained” and actually it is a natural instinct for a baby to communicate when he or she wants to have a poo or a weewee. When you are changing your baby, you will surely notice that intense stare at you with a very expressive face just before he or she suddenly does it all over you before you had a chance to actually put the new nappy on. Your baby actually warned you, told you what was going to happen, so don’t get upset! Well at this very moment you can acknowledge what your baby consciously did by saying “poopoo” or “ weewee” and even put your baby on a small potty and and your baby will soon understand the meaning of this.
Your baby will actually communicate to you by making a sign you will have to recognise.
I won’t expand too much on it now but I have tried it and loads of parents have as well and it worked for many of them. It is not easy but it’s worth doing it not only for saving money on nappies, but also because it is cleanest for your baby’s bum and it is an early form of communication with your baby. Also I can’t describe the feeling when you get a good catch! It is like winning a trophy that you lift high in the sky, and then empty in the toilet!
I think I kept a photo of the first tiny still very liquid baby poop in a potty, I am sure parents that are already practising EC will understand…
And that trophy is also to reward your gesture for the planet!
A new person
So it’s true that raising a baby can cost a lot to the planet but it’s also true that you can raise a new person on this planet with values you think are right. You will be one of the most influential person for a time to that baby. So I often think to myself that my kids will be some sort of eco-warriors, eating organic food, being good with other animals and other persons and cherishing this planet.
That is my view anyway, you may have different values than me, but as a super busy daddy, my job here is to do all my best for my kids to live happily and healthily on a safe planet that is earth.
And that is why I suggested you some solutions to the sometimes high financial and environmental cost of a baby.
Now what are the solutions if you think you want a baby but that you are not ready because you want to continue to be able to travel and you think that having kids may go against that?
Well there are many holiday resorts that are children friendly now, I am not an expert in this but my colleague Matt enjoys picking up destinations where there are also exciting activities for kids all day long while you are sipping some sangria at the lounge by the pool.
So ready or not, one thing you need to think about:
If you decide to have a baby you are going to meet a new person.
A new person that will love you, that will see you as model to follow. It will be an independent mind that will depend on you for many aspect of his or her life.
This person will admire you, love you, sometimes hate you and you will feel as alive as ever!
This person will have its own character. And you will see that character developing along the years. This is like an adventure – you don’t know who it’s gonna be but you will see it getting to be!
Also think about this:
As a daddy you will be a responsible person, well at least seen as a responsible person, and a daddy is a powerful figure, it is like a lion.
And a Lion comes with its pride!
So be proud of being a daddy, be happy and you will get a chance to become
a DIY master, a professional footballer, a princess’s horse, a video game technical support (but not before long you will not be the expert anymore), and many more!
And by the way, think about all the presents you never had when you were young… (I never had a racing car track…) that your kids can have now because you decide!
You will become some kind of superhero like a super busy daddy whenever you save the day by effortlessly catching the kite stuck in a tree!
At work some people that would never have talk to you will then suddenly have a nice chat with you, you will still look cool! But maybe not for the same people.
Well it’s a big change anyway isn’t it?
Now to conclude, now that I hope I have convinced you to be a daddy!
Don’t wait too long! Over my own experience if you wait too long, then some pressure and stress can build up once you start trying for a baby . I am not going to give you a lecture here as most of us know how to do it, but be aware that it can take time to succeed in having a baby. And it is not working straight away all the time. Taking the decision is one big step, making it is another one!
I will actually expand on improving your chance to succeed in having a baby and increase fertility of your couple in a next article.
I am Super Busy Daddy, thank you for reading!