While it is true there is no price on love, the cost of looking after a baby in their first year is estimated to be between £1,600 and £7,200.
Many parents will grin and bear the cost, but for some, buying even the basics for their babies can be out of reach.
Seeing how quickly their children were growing out of clothes and equipment inspired a group of parents to set up Baby Bank Network – the first of its kind in Bristol.
It was a spark of inspiration to set up the network says Eva Fernandes, who runs BORN on Gloucester Road. She saw how quickly children grew out of clothes and equipment and thought she could help parents who can’t afford to buy the basics for their baby.
With the power of social media the idea became reality as Becky Gilbert and Melissa Burger joined forces with Eva after seeing her call out on Twitter.
Becky Gilbert, Eva Fernandes and Melissa Burger helped set up Baby Bank Network after seeing how quickly their children grew out of clothes
“We were given so much,” says Melissa. “I’m a mum of two and I’ve been given lots of clothes from people which have been handed down from person to person to person and I’ll be giving my stuff away when my children have grown out of them.”
“I’ve looked in charity shops at clothes and thought I wouldn’t really buy that. But Becky gave me clothes and it was lovely stuff which her baby had just grown out of – they weren’t worn out they just didn’t fit any more.”
The network will take donations of baby items like clothes, slings, cots, high chairs, slings and cloth nappies that are no longer needed – clean, check and pack them into care packages which are designed to see a baby through their first year of life. The group will then work with health visitors and the packs will then be passed on to parents who cannot afford to buy these items new or second hand.
“We do know from talking to the children’s centres that there will be a need,” says Eva. “It’s not just families who don’t have the finances but refugee families for instance, who come with absolutely nothing and need support and help.”
People who have pre-loved baby items can donate them to us when they are finished with them,” says Becky. “We will coordinate it and work with health professionals to make sure these goods end up with families who need them.”
The baby packs will contain everything a child needs for 0-6 months and 6-12 months.
The Baby Bank’s first donation and sorting event is on Saturday July 11, 10am-12pm at Big Yellow Self Storage, Barrow Road.
There is also a planning and involvement meeting on Sunday July 5, 2pm-4pm at Kudacan, Dongola Road, for anyone wanting to know more about it and who wants to get involved.
More information on the Baby Bank Network on its Facebook page.