Easy solutions for dressing Baby cheaply - more Not-a-Mommy-Blogger advice

As you know, it's so many years since I was a Young Mother that the 'in' clothing for a new infant was more likely to be a wolf pelt or a blanket knitted out of marsh grasses than anything.  But at least it proves that anyone can manage without Baby Gap or Yves-St-Laurent-for-the-Neonatal.  I'm here to help, because there are many cheaper, quicker and eco-friendly options for keeping Baby warm and comfortable.

So, let me ask you a few questions.

1. Why else do cling film and kitchen foil come in such big, long boxes which are almost exactly baby-length?  What do you think that serrated edge on the box is for if not to provide a nice tidy seam all the way up Baby's back that could almost look like a zip fastening if you use your imagination?

2. Why do you think carrier bags from supermarkets have those two handles at the top if not to put Baby's arms through so that he has freedom of movement?  Babies love that rustling sound as they kick their little legs, and it's also good for your conscience when the bag so clearly says, 'Please re-use me.'  Knowing one is helping the environment like that is so satisfying.

3. What else are those giant-sized rolls of cotton wool for if not to wrap babies in?  NO one normal uses them for anything else except for stemming major arterial blood flow - people use ditsy little cotton wool balls to get their mascara off, not six feet wide wadges of the stuff with bits of lint that get stuck between your eyelashes so you look like an Arctic explorer.  And swaddling Baby in cotton wool like this saves not just on clothes, but on cot mattresses.  No need to spend eighty quid on a mattress covered in vile yellow ducks when Baby is already so comfortable.

4. Why else do you have forty-nine spare pillowcases in your airing cupboard which no longer match any of your duvet covers if not to serve as handy snug containers for a baby?  The flap at the top makes a perfect little hood if you slip it over the back of Baby's head.  Alternatively, if Baby is proving tiresome, it makes a perfect muffler if slipped over the front of it.

5. Haven't you been saying for years, 'Darling, what ARE we going to do with those rolls of spare carpet that have been up in the attic since 1973?'  Well, DUR.  No BRAINer!  Get that ladder out now.

6. You weren't really going to get rid of those big fur-lined boots of yours, were you, just because the heels are worn down?  Babies love variety, and being encased in a left footed boot one day and a right footed boot the next will give Baby all the variety he needs.  Be careful when you zip the boot up not to catch Baby's tender skin.  You wouldn't want to be accused of cruelty.  PurLEASE don't tell me you were going to put him in a sleepsuit before you slid him into the boot!  I mean, heard of the word 'superfluous'?

7. How many times have you and Hubby discussed what to do with that old tabby cat who was so much part of the family for years before her sad demise a few weeks ago?  There she is, laid out in a box, just because you can't face burying her.  Well, why SHOULD you when there's an obvious use for her now, what with Baby needing dressing, and there's all that lovely fur, and Kitty being so still and all, so won't disturb Baby's nap, and no need to worry about her using her claws any more, so bye-bye safety concerns!  And how lovely that Kitty can continue to bring the family joy and comfort even after her unfortunate meeting with that motorbike.

8. You mean, you've been wondering what to do with all those rolls of frozen pastry now that you're on your post-baby diet?  No, of COURSE I don't mean wrap Baby in FROZEN pastry.  Silly!  Defrost, obviously.  Then roll it all out in a big sheet (you knew there was a reason to put in those extra-large working surfaces) and wrap Baby up nice and tight.  Do explain to the rest of the family that the parcel laid out on the kitchen table is Baby and not a large uncooked sausage roll.  Misunderstandings of that kind can have such upsetting consequences and when there's a new baby in the house providing such joy and amusement, one wouldn't want a tragedy to spoil it.

Okay, so Baby won't look as good in foil or a carpet or a cat's corpse as he will in jeans and Reeboks ... but what were you wanting?  An heir, or a fashion accessory?  If the latter, get yourself a chihuahua, and give poor Baby a break.

Expecting triplets and nothing to dress them in?  No problem.  Just a bit of arsenic in Kitty's dish ...


  1. You are evil.
    And I love you.

    Such practical hints! It makes me want to have a fertilized ovum attached to my bowel so I can grow my own infant, the intended housing being absent these many years.

  2. What a great cat picture! Really, I should say great picture of a cat, but this appears to be a special cat...large, furry, and still maintaining its dignity in spite of everything. Funny post.

  3. Ummm...yuck! But I love the cat picture. I have no need for baby clothing, but some furry slippers might be nice....

  4. Well Fran, while I might have had a secret giggle at hint No.7 my 2 cats are totally offended. So much so that I think I am about to be banned from blogland for at least a month and all your fault.

  5. Wrapping them in bubble wrap is also great fun. It's a great insulator, protects them from bumps and scrapes and you can pop them when you're feeling stresssed.

  6. You are a sick puppy, but man alive, the image of a baby wrapped in a dead moggy didn't half make me laugh!

  7. Brilliant! I have realised that I have been buying my friends grandchild clothing that is so last year!

    Next birthday - a roll of kitchen foil and a few carrier bags!

    Anna :o]

  8. And might I suggest while you're up in the attic sorting out the old carpets, check if there's any spare insulation up there - such cosy stuff to swaddle baby in? And if baby gets used to the smell of the insulation, he'll feel right at home when you move him to his own room in the attic, even though you haven't got round to actually converting the attic.....

  9. So deliciously off-kilter, and then the picture... I'm dying!

  10. June - I swear that your idea of grow-your-own-infant-on-your-bowel is far more evil than any of mine.

    Count Sneaky - You think the cat looks dignified? Look closer at its face.

    Nana - Hm, furry slippers. That'd be two cats you'd be needing. And they'd have to be matching. I'll get on the case.

    Linens - I will put a warning on any future ones saying, 'Please don't let your cats read this blog post'. Would that help?

    Hypercryptical - Glad to be of help, especially as I'll be saving you so much money.

    Vintage - You're right - insulation would be lovely and cosy, and maybe even no need for nappies with all that thick layering.

    I'm Crayon - I'm glad you're dying. As long as you mean what I think you mean. If not, I have just said something very unacceptable. (Which, as you know, is not like me at all.)

  11. I think you just missed my late extra edition- I found a Royal Warwickshire Regiment Cap badge on offer for £7.50, thanks to Google! LOL

    Yet another wicked post from you here, Blogpal! :)

  12. I hope you're not thinking of opening an infant daycare center.

  13. Steve - the thing is, I would be so tempted to pop all that bubble wrap myself that I'd have to keep replacing it. It's so addictive.

  14. Wonderful as this all is for the more "hippie " families who lend colour to our little community , little Gandolf's lovely Mummy , for instance , I must confess I will always have a soft spot for the old ways .
    You can't beat a brown paper parcel tied up with string .

  15. personally I was an avid user of old pillow cases- they make a good star outfit for pre school children.. slice one hole in top & one in each side to make head & arm holes- legs obviously protuding through open end & paint on stars or glue or pin for added sound effects.

    Jess was born in Spain - the nurses asked me where her clothes were so I meekly held up a stretch suit ( grobag) or flannel nighty... No- where are her clothes?
    Then it dawned on me.. she was suposed to come out of hospital a few ours old looking like she was going to her Christening with her ears pierced. I just handed them the stretch suit & they shrugged their shoulders and muttered.... eeenglish

  16. Ah, I'm all for using pillow cases... cut hole in top & two in sides for head & arms - legs through open end - paint, glue or pin ( better for sound effects to pin ) golds stars all over and voila ! instant Nativity costume for pre schooler .

    I've told Billy the kit the very fat git that if he doesn't stop eating ( dog food ) he will look like that cat that picture. He just looked at me.

  17. I can't believe I laughed at the first one.
    Clearly I'm sick too.

    You are the funniest blogger in the universe F.

    And that is the biggest cat I've ever seen!


  18. Linda - I have withdrawn my application to run the daycare centre on your advice. I'm glad you said. I thought I was ideal. Oh well.

    SmitandSon - far too rustly. You don't want your baby in brown paper to wake you up in the night, surely.

    bad penny - my mum used a pillowcase to make me into a domino for a fancy dress party. Hole in the top. Horizontal black stripe across the middle. Two dots either side of it. Bingo.

    Bluestocking Mum - Let us be sick together. If that's not a weird thing to say.

  19. Hello Dahlink! How are things going with you? I haven't head from you in days?

    God yeh, I am a demanding bitch!

  20. I'm here, I'm here, Annie. Just buried under a paper mountain ....


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