37 Weeks: Pay It Forward

Newborns don’t really need that much stuff. A car seat, a place to sleep, clothing, diapers, blankets. But there are lots of things that are very handy to have, and it’s easy to get carried away with all the options for baby gear out there. When you get what you need AND what you want, it can get really expensive, especially with all of the beautiful designer brands, handmade items on Etsy and fancy designs.

I haven’t kept a strict tally of how much we’ve spent on baby stuff, but the bulk of it went to the crib, mattress and IKEA furniture for his room. A bit more into smaller items here and there. We have been blessed with generous friends and family who showered us with much of what we need, and I recently filled in the rest with the last of the purchases.

And then we have gotten some great hand-me-downs from friends and Craigslist. There were a few things that I really wanted new, but then most baby stuff I am happy to inherit from other babies. Most of them I was able to wash and/or clean and they are…not good as new…but pretty darn close!

I found our My Brest Friend pillow on Craigslist for $10. I ordered a new black and white cover for it – still in the mail!


A local blog reader had a bunch of baby gear he was looking to pass on that he brought over for us to sort through. Included were some great items that I needed – a bouncy seat and a baby bath. (I cut the ears out of the bunny seat – they creep me out!)

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And a boppy, which I outfitted with a smashing new cover from Etsy : )


I bought our swing from my friend Holly for half price since Finn had outgrown it after just a few months of use.


Of course I can’t thank Stephanie enough for paying forward her cloth diaper collection!


My friend Alex gave us some of her little boys’ old clothes – and a swaddle blanket!


And my friend Katherine gave me a bag of her newborn and 0-3 clothes on loan because she might need them back someday. Cuteness inside : )


I borrowed many of our nursery items from myself – the lamp from the guest room, the curtains from our Charlotte house that were stored in the attic, my grandmother’s painting from the kitchen. Matt is also making us a canvas for the nursery!


And perhaps the most exciting is a recent hand-me-down from a friend of a friend: a stroller! My friend Lara emailed me to ask if we needed a stroller because her friend was looking to get rid of hers. It is 6 years old and well loved, but it’s also in surprisingly good condition for its age.


The stroller frame is Bugaboo (a pretty pricy brand) and it came with both a seat and a bassinet –

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I bought the car seat adaptor so this can be our infant stroller and put the car seat in for these photos.


We are still planning to eventually getting a BOB because I know we’ll want a really smooth jogging stroller with all the walking we do. But the Bugaboo will be perfect as an infant stroller and smaller car option when the BOB is too big to transport.


My BOB console fits on the handlebars – although a bit awkwardly. But it will serve its purpose here until we grow into the BOB.


When we are through with these items, I hope to pay it forward and give them to another family who can share the same excitement and savings during the expensive nesting phase : )




The Hospital Bag

Belly Dancer

Full Term + Full Of Baby

Expecting The Unexpected–Pregnancy


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70 thoughts on “37 Weeks: Pay It Forward”

  1. You are lucky to have so many great friends with babies! We are new to our city so don’t have many friends yet and none of our longtime friends (who live elsewhere) have babies. My only friend with a baby is actually pregnant again so no hand-me-downs from her either! Although if she has a girl I can claim some of her first boy’s stuff 🙂

    I’d say your biggest score was the cloth diaper loot! Money wise it’s probably similar to some of the other big ticket items but the variety of brands will be invaluable as you experiment.

  2. Stroller decisions are going to be the most stressful for me- Id love a real all purpose one. heard great things about BOB though. It’s kind of overwhelming all the purchases and decisions we have to make without knowing our little one. I also never thought about buying a new cover for the pillow- cool idea!

    1. Depending on if you are serious runner or not, you might want to check out the Baby Jogger City Mini. I have that one (as do a few other bloggers) and i LOOOVE it. I am not a runner, but I do walk avidly. The City Mini has been fantastic for walking over all types of terrain, and the best part is that it truly folds up with one hand. I can open my tailgate, and get it out or put it away all while holding my baby.

      1. I have the Bugaboo Cameleon – or – rather – had it. I got it as a gift from my mom and ended up selling it after 6 months b/c it was too hard to get in/out of the car and breakdown (esp. with one hand). It is the SMOOTHEST ride and so wonderful for walking. I live in Philly and even on tricky cobblestone…it is amazing. There is a reason it is so $. I miss it. I ended up buying the UppaBaby Vista which I LOVE (with the $ from selling the Bugaboo). That is also a great stroller but again, not one I’d recommend to breakdown and travel with even to Target. So, my reply is seconding the CityMini suggestion. It is the BEST. I just got home from a trip to Partis with my 1 year old and the CityMini was perfect. It folds with one pull of a handle and you really only need one hand which seems silly – but is SO helpful when trying to move through a day without 15 minutes to deal with a stroller. The customer service is awesome (yay) and they come in cute colors…and are comfy for baby.

  3. I have been given so many hand me downs from my sister- it is such a blessing! SUCH a blessing! And my mom bought me my cloth diapers! It is such an amazing gift! I don’t know what I would do without them—- I did spend mucho money on a BOB jogging stroller because I live in the middle of nowhere and can’t craigslist anything and no one around here has a BOB- so I had to buy it brand spankin’ new- Ouch!
    Isn’t it awesome how so many people pay it forward and let new moms borrow and just have gently used baby gear! 🙂 Congrats on the stroller- holy heavens that is one nice thing to just get- especially that brand! It looks GREAT!!!!

  4. BOBs are amazing, I have one. 🙂 Excellent for jogging and uneven pavement. It’s an investment that you won’t regret!!!

  5. That is awesome! When my son was born three years ago, we got almost all of his baby gear passed down to us from friends and family. My husband’s best friend gave us a swing, bouncy seat, highchair, Boppy pillow, pack-n-play, four baby gates, tons of toys, and clothes galore. Their son is two years older than our son and we get a bag or two of clothes every few months from them. My husband and I bought our son a new crib, mattress, changing table/dress, and a rocking chair where I nursed him and that’s it.

  6. I love paying it forward! Baby gear (not there yet), household things, clothes, etc. Not only does it save money, it is very earth friendly too!

  7. It’s so easy to get caught up in wanting everything new, especially for the first child since the experience itself is so new. Now that my daughter is 15 months, I absolutely LOVE finding things at thrift stores and consignment sales. A gap blouse for $3 and Tiny TOMS for $19 in practically brand new condition? YES PLEASE! 🙂 The thrill of the hunt is so fun!

  8. LOVE the pay it forward idea! Sends good vibes into the universe 🙂

    What’s the difference between a Boppy and a Breast Friend pillow? 🙂 Are they both for breastfeeding?

    1. Yes. The Boppy is a soft U-shaped pillow and the Brest friend actually attaches to your body with a strap and is a little different shape. The Boppy is more versatile but MBF seems to be more recommended for nursing

      1. Oh, cool. It will be nice to have one in each room so you don’t have to lug it around 🙂 Not that they are heavy, haha. But you know what I mean.

        1. Yes, I’m planning to keep MBF in the basement for daytime (more upright and standing nursing) and Boppy upstairs (more nighttime nursing)

          1. You can STAND and nurse?! I learn something new on this blog everyday. Seriously. And now I sound like a moron, LOL

            1. well I don’t think that’s ideal for more than a minute and I haven’t tried it yet, but I think with the pillow it would be easier than just carrying the baby from one spot to another

              1. Wow, maybe other moms are much more talented than me, but I’ve NEVER been able to stand and nurse without using a Moby wrap (and even that takes a lot of finagling) and I’ve been breastfeeding for 8 months! I think it’s tougher too for those of us that are well endowed – you definitely need one hand to hold and maneuver the baby and one to hold and maneuver the breast. There were times that I could have used a third hand, ha!

                I’ve got the Boppy and I love it – it was a lifesaver those first few months when I was stuck breastfeeding for hours on end.

                1. Yes, the well endowed thing certainly makes breastfeeding more of a challenge doesn’t it! My breasts are large enough, that I have YET to figure out how to feed in a carrier, but then again, my baby is only 3 months, I heard it gets easier when they are bigger.

                  1. I couldn’t really feed in a carrier until closer to 5-6 months. I’m super jealous of my flat-chested friend who is able to nurse her 6 week old in a sling while walking around! I was amazed.

                    1. I’m well-endowed (DD pre-pregnancy and added 4 cup sizes by the time my milk came in) and was able to nurse while standing and using a MeiTai carrier since birth. But my baby was on the smaller side (5 lb 15 oz)? So maybe that made it easier? I still carry her in my arms and walk around while nursing (11 mo). It’s funny, my flat-chested friend complains she can’t nurse in the sling because she’s flat-chested! I guess you just never know!

                  2. I am on my second baby and I finally figured out how to nurse in a carrier – I can now do it in a Mei Tai and an Ergo. I am large chested and my son is 8 weeks old – it’s all about bringing the boob up to him, rather than bringing him down to the boob. I do still have to support my breast with one hand, but it can be done!

                2. Not sure it’s talent so much as driven to it by necessity! I have a baby and a toddler and am now able to breast feed whilst doing all manner of toddler-related activities. Perhaps this is why women are reputed to be better multi-taskers!

              2. Oh it totally makes sense! For some reason I thought babies just wanted you to sit still while feeding, haha. Maybe because I remember my cousin as a newborn not wanting my aunt to move or even TALK while breastfeeding or she would get cranky. She was probably just a wee weirdo though!

  9. Awesome score on the Bugaboo stroller! And where/when did u get the BOB handle bar thing? You said you haven’t purchased a BOB yet…

    Just FYI, think about future kiddos when investing in a big stroller. We bought a Jeep overland jogger, Maclaren umbrella, and a graco frame (for the newborn stage that fits the carseat). Now we have #2 on the way, and none of them convert to a double! So if you invest in a BOB, just think about if you’d eventually want a double jogger/walker at some point. Thankfully, there’s always Craigslist!

    BTW- we will be looking to get rid of our single Jeep overland jogger at a discounted rate, just FYI!

    1. It was a shower gift : )

      I think I will get a double BOB when the time comes – thankfully/hopefully we have a few years to save for it!

  10. So can you tell me what is the difference in the Brest friend and the Boppy? Are they both for breast feeding? My babies were born 42 and 39 years ago and we had none of this stuff. Well, we had a stroller and some kind of a bouncy seat. And lots of cloth diapers with rubber pants. It’s kind of fun to see all the new things.

  11. I love baby hand-me-downs! We got SO much stuff from other people. Our crib and all our baby furniture were gifted from friends along with a co-sleeper, breast pump (from my sis – and I know they say it’s not safe to share but I’m sharing), car seat, etc. We are still trying to buy all of our cloth diapers (expensive!) and we bought a BOB stroller because it was the one thing I really wanted to splurge on. We bought the car seat adapter that goes with it so it will be our only stroller (since it was soooooo darn expensive we can’t afford anything else!). I was so grateful for all the things people gave me – it has helped out immensely. I’m sure once the baby arrives we’ll need other stuff too, but it was great to have so many people give us stuff.

    We have the Breast Friend and a boppy too. On Wednesday we went to a breast feeding class at our birthing center and the lady said that they are both horrible options for breastfeeding because they put the baby up too high (something about the baby needing to be at a 45* angle). I am still going to try with the Breast Friend but it was something I had never heard before. She also said she hated swaddling (which I’m a huge fan of), so I’m not sure I’m going to listen to all of her advice!

    1. Hmmmm…I’m not sure I would listen to her advice either!! Our BF class nurse recommended both and I think having just read the book Breastfeeding Made Simple, which likes a reclined approach, they would like both pillows too because they could support in a reclined position well

      1. I think the 45% angle is considered the “natural” breast feeding angle, but I find that it’s maybe more applicable to bigger babies? The boppy didn’t work for me, just a plain old pillow was best, especially since i had to use the football hold for the first week while I got it down!

        1. I loved loved loved my boppy. The 45 degree angle thing is interesting – I found myself propping up the head side of the boppy with a throw pillow whenever I wasn’t actively cradling baby with my arms (which, in turn, rested on the boppy).

          For nighttime I found that the boppy was too much to handle and it was too hard to get the pillows all arranged to get comfortable with it in bed. In the end I just prop myself up in bed, knees bent, holding baby for a quick feed. My arms are able to rest on my flexed thighs. Then it was easier to transfer a sleeping baby back to her bassinet from my arms than from the boppy, too.

          1. I loved my boppy. Even my husband used it to feed my son bottles. Talk about a funny site, a man with a boppy wrapped around his waist. It was cute though, too. 🙂

            1. I stopped using the boppy for breastfeeding a few weeks ago after our first pediatrician appointment for his weight check. I had to feed him in the exam room without one and realized I didn’t need to rely on the boppy. I just make sure I’m comfortable on the couch or chair now and cradle him myself. Something to consider…

  12. You’ll love the bassinet option! My guy HATED the car seat so the stroller with the car seat insert was out of the question. He did love the bassinet. He’s outgrown it now but it was a lifesaver in those first 3 months.

      1. The bugaboo is brilliant! I have walked miles and miles with ours and it is a great buggy to push. Don’t discount it too quickly for lomg walks, especially if the terrain will not be particularly rough. the bassinet really is good, too. My baby has just outgrown the baby bit of our double (phil and ted’s) but will still sleep happily in the bug. Also, it is nice too have a proper lie- flat bit so you don’t have to worry about how long they have been in the car seat. The recommended two hour limit is reached faster than you expect, especially when you have to factor in the time spent in the seat actually in the car.
        The parent-facing seat option is great as well as then you can chat away while you are walking.
        I love my Bugaboo! (can you tell 😉 )

          1. I am in the uk- maybe it is one of the many differences in guidelines between the UK and the USA! My American friend said she came to quite like the variations as she always had a come back on those occasions she was given unsolicited ‘advice’- Depending who was dispensing the advice, she would just say she was following the other nation’s guidelines. No one was offended and they stopped trying to persuade her to do something different!

  13. I love how couples continue to share the love and pay it forward when it comes to baby gear. We were given the same FP swing from my old coworker. What a blessing!! And my older sister passed down my nieces crib + changing table!! So nice.

  14. I would love to have a little peanut’s butt to cloth diaper again…just seeing all those diapers makes me want to go on diaperswappers and troll. And I haven’t had a peanut’s butt in cloth diapers in like 4+ years. Lol Have fun with them!

    And mybrestfriend and me were BFFs – you will love it when baby is smaller before the boppy comes into play.

  15. I love the idea of paying it forward with baby things! We literally bought maybe 3 or 4 things new for our baby; the rest were gifts and (the vast majority of them) were hand-me-downs. It really helps to have extended family with kids! And of course it’s great for the environment, especially with baby clothes, since they only seem to fit each size for a week or two before moving up to the next, ha!

    And we never really use our stroller; we live in a very walkable city and pulling out the stroller and maneuvering it through shops/stores/restaurants always just seems like it’s way too much trouble to deal with. We always use wraps and carriers instead, and our little girl greatly prefers it that way as well! Someone gave us a Chicco Liteway but we’ve only used it a handful of times. Of course each mom/baby is different, but you may want to hold off on the BOB if you find that your little boy (and you) prefer babywearing. Much less of a hassle!

  16. For longer walks, please make sure you use the bassinet of the stroller and NOT the car seat as it’s best for babies to lie flat. (I also wouldn’t use the rock’n’sleep you have for night time sleeping for the same reason)

    It really does make sense to reuse baby stuff as they get used so little with each baby.

  17. My friend has a bugaboo for walking and it is AWESOME. The BOB is great for jogging. Having used both, I think the bugaboo might be better for walking 🙂 and they are much easier to put in your car and to meander through restaurants/stores. I’m totally jealous that your friend just gave it to you! I did hear the Double BOB is the way to go when you have another one.

  18. Isn’t it wonderful when moms support each other and share/pass on baby things like this? I gave everything away after I had my 2nd child and then 7 years later had a 3rd baby…so many people loaned us clothes, pack ‘n play, swings etc and we felt so lucky.

  19. The bassinet feature to your stroller just might become your best friend! Our 8 week old daughter loves it for walks on our Uppababy Vista…we have the same car seat and she gets all sweaty in there whereas in the bassinet she can totally stretch out! And I love the Pay it Forward motto…we also bought some used, some new, and received hand me downs. Perfect! Excited for your little one to arrive:)

  20. Wonderful that your friends and acquaintances have been so generous. It’s great for the environment, too, that you are “recycling.” We have benefitted from generous friends for our daughter too and are now paying it forward by giving away her friends. Just a tip for you: when inheriting used baby gear (including furniture, strollers, etc.), you can visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission at http://www.cpsc.gov to make sure that what you are taking in has not been recalled since your friend(s) bought it. Companies are not very good about contacting consumers about recalled products. You can also register with the CPSC to receive emailed updates about newly recalled baby and kids products. This category of products experiences frequent recalls, and this is the best way to stay up to date.

    As a side note, I was sorry to hear that you won’t be keeping up a baby blog. I have very much enjoyed vicariously experiencing pregnancy “again” through you! 🙂 I wish you all the best and can’t wait to see pics of your sweet little boy.

  21. We’re going to end up buying most of the big stuff ourselves (got the Britax infant seat free when we bought the B-Ready stroller in July, and just bought the Ikea dresser & side table and ordered a glider for the nursery), but I’m starting to get some great pass-ons from friends. I even received a huge tupperware of maternity clothes and passed on any that didn’t fit to someone in my prenatal yoga class. She was SO excited! I have to say that I’ve turned down a few things because they don’t fit my “style”; hate to be so picky, but I don’t want to stare at non-matching, things that I find ugly. We’ll see how I feel after all my showers are over, and there are things left… I might start to like those pass-ons a bit more! 🙂 Definitely looking for a Bob on Craigslist!

  22. You guys getting hand me downs and gifts are very lucky. The people I know aren’t through having kids yet so aren’t giving away any of their items, and nobody is throwing us a baby shower, so we are buying everything ourselves. It is rather expensive indeed, and I’m not really sure how we would do it if not for my summer bonus.

  23. I’ve been reading your baby blog for a bit, and I find this post a little ironic. You fully embrace all of the modern tools you can purchase (including breastfeeding pillows and jogging strollers and pumps), but you are so adamant against modern medicine (which has saved thousands of mothers and babies lives). You accept the strep medication, but balk at it at the same time. It’s something you “have” to do. I firmly believe that women should accept every medical opportunity (not intervention) offered to them because it has been proven to assure that mother and child come out of the experience safe and alive. There is this odd trend of first time mommies only blogging about their desire for everything natural and unassisted. Yes, that has worked for thousands of years, but there have been many casualties. Anymore the truly natural, perfect birth is a rarity and I wish you would spend more time embracing all the good that modern medicine offers to mother and child in addition to posting your “ideal situation.” There’s a reason babies who wouldn’t have had a chance to survive in the natural environment do today and you should be thankful of that. I’m certain my comment won’t get posted because it’s critical of your “plan” but please be more respectful of what advancement has given us and likely you.

    1. I am not against modern medicine in a general sense AT ALL. I’ve been very clear about that all along – it has its time and place. Thank goodness we have doctors who can perform c-sections in emergencies.

      But I do disagree with this statement you made: ” I firmly believe that women should accept every medical opportunity (not intervention) offered to them because it has been proven to assure that mother and child come out of the experience safe and alive.”

      There is evidence that suggests that mother and child aren’t always top priority in today’s healthcare systems. Take the rising rate of inductions, for example. I’m not going to get into a debate about this with statistics and figures. I respect doctors very much, especially the ones who I have been seeing for 9 months, but that doesn’t mean we women shouldn’t do research and go into a medical situation educated about our options and the information that scientific studies have found around them. [Here is a fabulous site about evidence-based birth information, for example: http://evidencebasedbirth.com/ ]

  24. Long time reader, first time commenter!

    First of all, I love your blogs! And I am tickled pink that you are expecting a hansome little boy 🙂 When I read your pregnancy announcement I sqeeled lol!

    Thank you so much for sharing your life and your journey with us, as I can see by some of these comments not all posts are celebrated by all, I for one have loved every single one. I am a young married lady hoping to have a little one within the next couple of years lol, so I love reading this blog! You are apprecaited by me more than you know.

    I can imagine how emotionally draining this blog is but I sincerely hope you keep it up, atleast a once a week post 🙂 I praying huge blessings over you, Matt and the cutie that is currently in your sweet belly 🙂 I pray that you get as close to your birth plan as possible and that it will be quick, not a whole lot of pain, and you fully awake and present during it all 🙂

    Don’t forget to take some naps lol!

  25. Paying it forward is such good idea with baby gear. My LO is only 10 months, and I have been happily gifting his too-small clothes and other gently-used baby gear to friends. It feels good to see my baby’s ‘old’ stuff being used and appreciated! I’m sure your friends feel the same way!

  26. Paying forward (and receiving!) baby items is so wonderful! At the birth of my 4th I received many items from friends that helped so much since my other baby items had worn out. Even yesterday I was able to borrow a double stroller from a friend instead of having to be one (which I almost did the day before).

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