Thursday 4 May 2017

Memoirs of a Nigerian Mum: Discretion when buying baby's items in Nigeria

I read your post on expectant mums' checklist and thought  sharing  my experience could help an expectant mum out there.  Being a first-time mum can be quite tasking and if you have no prior experience handling babies you could be in for a lot of mistakes and surprises.

I had my first child last year. When it was time to start buying baby stuff I asked colleagues and friends with experience what I needed to buy and their approximate costs. I was shocked when a colleague told me she spent 120k on baby items, another said she went to market with 100k, spent it all and yet couldn't get all she had in mind. I braced up for the expense when I went to the market. Surprisingly, I bought everything I needed with just a little over 40k. Where did my colleagues' excesses come from?

In the market there are local and foreign versions of almost everything. I saw a local baby bath set of about 3k and a foreign one of about 10k, a local baby cabinet of 5k and foreign one of 16k, imported diapers of 17k a carton and Nigerian Pampers of about 2k for a jumbo pack and so many other items. When I inquired about the differences between the local and foreign versions, they bordered mostly on our love for foreign items. Why buy a foreign bath set when the local one will serve the same purpose  at almost a quarter of the price? Same with baby cabinet (which I didn't even buy as I figured out it wasn't a need) , why will I buy foreign diapers if the local one will be just as good? No be shit and wee-wee my baby wan use am for? I made up my mind to buy just one pack of Nigerian Pampers and watch my baby's reaction to it which would ultimately decide which diaper I would stick to in the long run.

Well, she is almost a year old now and I have found no reason to not use Nigerian Pampers.  I bought one local thermometer with 100 Naira which still serves till date as against one type of digital thermometer that costs above 1k. I bought a set of Cussons Baby toiletries which I have had no reason to regret yet, as against the advice to buy some foreign products which would have cost me like 10 times the amount I spent on the Cussons set. I bought good baby cloths, I looked more at durability and not whether it was foreign or local. I also considered the fact that babies outgrow their cloths so fast and wondered  why I should  spend so much on high-end cloths which my baby wouldn't even notice. The most important thing is to get the baby clothed.

At then end of the day, I spent much less and achieved same. My baby's skin is as beautiful as any baby's can be. At the end of the day, what is noticed is how healthy your baby looks and not which designer or foreign products  she/he is wearing or using. With the current economic situation in the country, I hope mums learn to use their discretion when spending, you do not have to follow the trend, get exactly what you need and that which you can afford.

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