Why second-hand isn’t second-best

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COMMENT: A business community that is simply the best

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Aheadline in a national newspaper last week, in large bold capital letters, shouted: ‘Why your second baby will get second-best of everything: Fifth of mothers spend less on child number two.’

There are two reasons why I object to this article, the first being the use of the word ‘mothers’. I don’t want to be picky but surely this should read ‘parents’.

For the sake of making hands-on dads feel less annoyed, I will change the word when referring to the article.

Apparently a first-born child demands the best of everything and parents will spend a fortune on designer outfits, tiny top-of-the-range shoes and the best toys you can buy.

For baby number one the cheapest item will never be purchased. For example, when in a store looking for a cot, if you’re a new parent you will never go for the cheapest option, even if it meets your needs.

With your first child on the way, you will also spend your hard-earned cash on unnecessary baby items such as shoes, which are rarely worn by newborns and just gather dust, and toys which a week-old baby can only look at.

Also essential items will nearly always be the best money can buy, like brand nappies which can be twice as expensive as others available.

And most wouldn’t even consider purchasing the supermarket’s own- brand wet wipes.

When it comes to money, parents will spend £200 less on their second child.

The main reasons for this is the sibling to the first-born will be wearing and using second-hand goods and parents realise they don’t have to spend a fortune.

So the other reason I object to this article and its attention-grabbing headline is because it tells me nothing new.

Of course you spend less on your second child.

We jokingly call Alyssa, our second child, the hand-me-down kid, because a lot of her clothes and shoes were previously worn by her big sister Caitlin.

Imagine what a waste it would have been to throw all of these clothes away and think of the money we have saved by not having to buy brand new clothes.

Also with our youngest daughter, we realised we didn’t need to buy the most expensive nappies or the most expensive wipes as the cheaper supermarket brands do exactly the same job (and sometimes better) but at half the cost.

Of course this doesn’t mean we love our second child any less than her older sister.

In fact I think I may love her a little more as the money I’ve saved can buy me that new smartphone I’ve wanted for ages.