The Northern Territory news Sat 22 Sep 2018
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin
News Corp Australia
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News Corp Australia
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 22 2018 WEEKEND 31 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA NT Weekend 13PARENTING IN THE NT Raising baby cheaply for their baby, with retailers taking full advantage of expectant parents wanting only the best for their bub. And of course all parents want the best but when we scale it right back to what is best for baby then quality time with parents would probably top the list. Not parents forced back into work early to be able to afford the latest all terrain buggy or sleigh style mahogany cot. If you Google essential items for a newborn youll be hit with thousands of results (unsurprisingly a high proportion of the articles are sponsored by big retailers) of all the things you need to buy before bringing baby home. Its no shock that new parents are finding financial hardship faced with paying $1500 for a pram or $1000 for a cot. When it comes to sleep spaces, Red Nose recommends that for optimal safety and to reduce the risk of SIDS, baby spends the first 6 months sharing a room with parents in its own safe sleeping space. All the rush and investment designing the perfect nursery arent even necessary. The Finnish baby box In Finland all expectant parents are sent a box as a gift from the Finnish government. The sturdy cardboard box contains some essential baby items such as blankets, wraps and baby wipes, as well as a small mattress. Since the 1930s Finnish babies have used the cardboard box as a first bed, with the tradition of giving all children the same start in life, regardless of their background. The practice has also been credited with helping Finland achieve one of the worlds lowest infant mortality rates, and proves the point that the best start in life is not always the most extravagant. You dont know expensive until your kid needs a mobile phone It seems that if parents are drowning in debt during the first year then its to keep big business afloat. With one partner not working and the same outgoings, things will definitely become tight, but its not because of baby. The first year is one of the cheapest in a childs life, way before you have to think of school fees, the latest trainers, their own mobile phone or electronics. When your child is ready to start costing you a fortune they are normally in full-time education, meaning you can return to work to start funding their love of designer jeans or ski lessons. But as a newborn, the best investment you can make for your family is to spend as much time together as possible. Your baby wont remember if they had the latest video baby monitor, handmade play mat or woven rug in the nursery. BRYONY SUMNER Babies arent as expensive as many people believe Picture: SUPPLIED THE high cost of living in Darwin is a real concern for Territory parents, but we arent the only ones. A recent survey of Australian families revealed parents are drowning in baby debt, with one in five parents returning to work earlier than planned after having a baby. What is supposed to be a magical time has instead become one of economic stress, worry and hardship leading to both parents giving up time with their baby to go back to work. The results are worrying, but maybe not for the reasons that you might think. What is concerning is that prospective parents will refer to the survey and decide to wait a few more years before having an expensive child. The moment is never perfect to have a baby, but reading about the apparent astronomical cost of starting a family is bound to put people off and cause unnecessary worry. And the financial worry of a baby is unnecessary. Babies needs are surprisingly few Babies dont cost a lot of money, especially in the first year of their life. Babies need very few luxuries; they are at their happiest with the basic essentials. A warm place to sleep, something to drink, and parents close at hand to give lots of physical and emotional attention. Breastfeeding makes it cheaper still (no expensive formula required), and investing in cloth nappies will save thousands of dollars as well as the planet. New parents get gifted so many clothes, toys and baby items there is little need to buy anything for months in the early days. A car seat and pram are both essential babybuys, but apart from that your new arrival needs very little else. Now, this may appear surprising, especially if youve seen any baby buying guides recently, but it seems that retail companies might be oversupplying the newest members of our society and recruiting them into our consumer culture even before they are born. Parents-to-be are almost guilted into buying the latest, greatest (and most expensive) items GREAT CAMPING SPOTS AROUND THE NT HOTSPOTS PARENTING Leaving the kids home alone WITH school holidays looming once again, its the big question for many Territory families; when should you leave the kids home alone? We ask the experts. Dani Westport If I was just popping out for half an hour or so, Id be happy to leave Cleo, now 2.5, at home alone by age 8, but Id obviously leave her with a mobile, and only do it if she felt comfortable being by herself. The real question is, are you worried about the safety of your kids when they are home alone? For example, the house might get broken into or they might hurt themselves or you do not trust your kids to stay out of trouble. Do you think theyll watch something inappropriate on Netflix? If its that you dont trust your kids, then thats a bigger issue, but if you trust them and the house is secure, why wouldnt you feel comfortable leaving them alone? If I was using a babysitter I dont think the age of the sitter is an issue its their personality and maturity. Nicolas Bonastre My parents were fairly traditional in their parenting approach, and my mother was quite strict. I believe I was 18 when I was first left at home on my own, but never overnight. I think it depends on some factors such as, for how long is it for a weekend, overnight or a few hours and the maturity level and developmental stages of children. I would expect a safe and comfortable age to be 14 years for short periods of time, and 16 to 17 years for longer periods and overnight. And I wouldnt be comfortable with a 14-year-old looking after my two, Eloise, 3, and Thea, 5 months. Elisha Casagrande Twelve is too young to be left home alone, I was 13 before my mum let me stay at home by myself. Kids these days are more mature, and seem to do things at a younger age than I did growing up, however that also means that they are more likely, for instance, to browse the internet and go searching for something they shouldnt be. I think leaving a 14-year-old at home while you duck out for an hour or two is okay 14 is the new 16. If I had to leave Scarlett, 5, and Enzo, 2, with a babysitter, the sitter would need to be 16.
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