When people are expecting, you often hear about the obsessive behaviors they start to exhibit. For some people, it’s reading every baby book imaginable and researching car seats for hours. For others it’s the desire to clean the house from top to bottom, over and over again. I guess these obsessions are a way for us to feel like we have some control over the situation we’ve found ourselves in.
When it came my turn to patiently wait for my little snugglebums, my obsession was to be found in baby bale shopping. For some time now I have been investing my time in second hand shopping but when it came to baby, I really stepped up my dedication to the pursuit. With much time up my sleeve, I decided to find enough clothes for her until she would be five.
Each day I would head out in the morning to sort through the bale racks and bins around Honiara. I made notes about when new bales arrived at particular shops, and when the half price days were. At one point, I even had a spreadsheet detailing each garments size, colour, brand, and possible occasion it would suit.
While there are indeed a lot of rejects to sort through, there are great bargains to be found if you’re willing to search. And so what kind of items can you expect to find? There are onsies, t-shirts, jackets, singlets, pants, shorts, dresses, skirts and really anything else you can think of. It’s easier to find winter items as they are not that popular with Solomon Islander parents (way too hot here). I’ve also found that smaller sizes (0000 – 0) are more common than items for toddlers.
As well as clothing, I’ve scored numerous baby sleeping bags (grobags), Lamaze toys, baby books, and even a Baby Bjorn carrier. After a thorough wash, these have all been most useful.
My favourite picks for baby bale shopping are Value City at Kukum, Lels in Point Cruz and Island Clothing next to Hyundai Mall. I recommend taking water on a shopping expedition as all these places can get very hot, especially Lels. Ask the staff what their sale days are to make sure you get some good prices (there is no bargaining) and when the new stock arrives.
Below are a few of my favourite finds.