A thrifty little sleeper

Worrying about where my baby is going to sleep has been top of my mind lately. I thought buying the secondhand cot from a friend was the hard part done, but I was wrong.

It started with the cot mattress – I wanted an organic mattress (free from toxic materials) but couldn’t justify the cost at this point in time. Eventually I went to the local baby store and bought a standard mattress. It’s hard to read what these mattresses are made of and know what your putting your baby on for up to 14 hours a day. I felt guilty. I was on my way home, checking my emails while at a set of lights, when I discovered a wonderful surprise – after purchasing some items from The Natural Newborn, the owner had noticed my email address, checked out my blog, noticed my recent blog post about the nursery and told me how she was selling her Nido Organics mattress secondhand and would I like it? YES!! It was such amazing luck that it was the right size and everything! I returned the ‘toxic’ mattress and bought the secondhand organic mattress. I felt good again.

Until last week.

I mentioned in a previous post that we weren’t going to purchase a bassinet for the baby. This was because we have a very small bedroom and because I was worried about my partner’s sleeping (breadwinners need a good night’s sleep!). But after finally purchasing a baby/child care book and reading (not for the first time) that the baby should sleep in the same room as you for at least the first three months, I was suddenly overwhelmed with guilt (again). This concept was further backed up by a SIDS pamphlet from Kidsafe (who actually recommend that the baby sleep in your room for the first 12 months!). I then researched my pram only to discover it would be a fairly unsafe place for the baby to sleep in on a nightly basis (this was my original backup plan). Uh oh.

So, after rearranging the bedroom we discovered we could JUST fit something small – so I started my research on bassinets. Moses baskets, cradles, bassinets, hammocks – there is a world of different options out there. I wasn’t too happy with the extra cost of a bassinet or the fact that it was something we’d only be using for a few months (at least), so I wanted something of good quality, easy to dismantle/fold away, and affordable. I ended up choosing a wooden bassinet as it was the most easy to dismantle for easy storage and comes on wheels for easy mobility (I don’t like how moses baskets come on a stand that you can’t easily move!). We tried to find something secondhand, but couldn’t find anything suitable so in the end we forked out the $150 for a good quality new one. But now I felt guilty about the money!

So to feel better, I decided I’d make my own mattress covers! I’d already spent money on buying brand new sheet covers and whatnot for the cot so it really bugged me to have to go back and buy more for the bassinet. It was my Gran who suggested I make a flannel fitted sheet so it was nice and cosy for winter.

At first I tried to salvage some old flannel sheets we had but the material was too old, overwashed and overstretched to make anything decent out of it. So I went and bought some flannel fabric, making sure to measure it so there was very little fabric waste. I used this tutorial from luvinthemommyhood blog as a base. I must admit, I did not use her measuring techniques (I just made up my own rough guide) but it all worked out great. I was able to make three covers for $20.

Our baby will probably never understand all the effort I’ve gone to to be so money conscious, eco conscious and safety conscious for his bedding!!

The bassinet has been in our room for a week now. It literally JUST fits. I think we’ve walked into it about 20 times when exiting the door (especially in dark, middle of the night toilet trips). Hopefully we’ll get used to it before baby comes as I can’t imagine bumping the bassinet of a sleeping baby will be good!

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4 thoughts on “A thrifty little sleeper

  1. Pingback: An eco pregnancy – the second and third trimester « ecoempire

  2. When our children were tiny babies they slept in a bassinet. Primarily they slept on a sheepskin and no mattress at all. We also had a sack filled with tea tree bark that formed a mattress.To cover this I used a pillow case. For the pram I sometimes used a folded towel. I did not buy cot sheets, but simply folded a single bed sheet to fit. Everyone grew up healthy, no allergies, no bronchial problems. In the past many small babies have slept in a box or the drawer of a cabinet (placed on the floor or table). Could you chop up a futon to make something suitable?

  3. Thanks for this great idea Kat – I’ve managed to score a second hand bassinet on Gumtree and have just made 3 covers for the mattress. I already had fabric enough, so only needed to purchase some elastic – 10m cost me $3.50, and I’ve probably used 4m if that!

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