“Travel Systems” costing in excess of a grand… Mattresses for the pram, the Moses basket, followed by the crib, and the cotbed. Applicable bedding for all the aforementioned… The avalanche of baby toys… Baby clothes they grow out of in the space of two weeks… the mountain of nappies… We’ve not even addressed the issue of going private during the pregnancy or the humongous albatross that is “childcare” in this country.
Speaking on The Last Word‘s Friday panel on October 6th (and if I sound a bit “stumbly” as the husband said, it’s because I spend most days conversing with kids under four, so to thrust me into several adult conversations on live radio and yeah, I may be a bit stumbly), we addressed Charlie Weston’s article in The Irish Independent regarding the “staggering costs of raising a baby in its first year.” While I wasn’t surprised it costs in the region of €15k, it was still something of a shock to see it in black and white.
Here are three tips that may save you a couple of sheckles in the run up to your unborn’s first birthday – which could consist of a teacake, 1 candle, some balloons, take some photos/videos, that’s all you need. They will not remember it. SAVE YOUR MONEY.
Anyway – the first tip came courtesy of my sister. She called down the morning after I found out we were having a baby and, hugs dispensed, the first thing she said was…
1) “Do NOT Go Private…” Not sure what the story is with the rest of the country, but in the National Maternity Hospital (Holles Street) if you’re induced or in very early labour you get to sample the joy of Unit 3, the delivery “suites” are usually Dickensian in nature, and you’ve no guarantee of a private room at the end of it all. The only thing guaranteed is that your antenatal appointments will take place in nice surroundings with your consultant (who invariably won’t be at the birth). Speaking as someone who went semi-private and had to have an emergency section on the first and a scheduled one on the second, there is no difference in service, but a big difference to the pocket.
2) Have a Gander at FreeTradeIreland.ie. My sister hoarded everything from her two boys for us. Most of the items listed in the first paragraph up there, she kept for us and it’s done for both kids. I’m not sure what we would’ve done had she not done that. On your first child, you want them to have the best you can afford. You’re a bit nervous, especially about SIDS, and you want to know you’ve done your best. If I had to do it all again (NEVER AGAIN), the likes of FreeTradeIreland.ie would be the only way to go for us. We have often posted items and sourced items via this site and you can’t question the quality. We were lucky enough to inherit a Silver Cross pram and were quick to put it on Free Trade when it had been outgrown – spread the love. The FREE LOVE. Just make sure it’s clean ‘n stuff.
3) Now, Take Any Money You’ve Saved and Try to Afford Childcare in This Country… Yaaaay. The article this article is based on said childcare could cost €5k a year. Would love to know where this joint is; my first born was in creche part-time and it was €700 a month, which clocks in at over €8k a year. Like it or not, society here is still tailored to a parent staying at home to mind the kids. That pithy government subsidy, while welcomed, is not going to change anything. It’s been said before, and I’ll say it again, fulltime childcare in Germany costs €150 a month.
Lastly, apologies for the featured image, it is indeed creepy AF, but this is what happens when you’re at the mercy of free stock photos. Still, it’s not nearly heebie jeebie inducing as this little fellah…