Having several friends and family members who had babies in the past few years, I have picked up a few pointers that will assist us when we start trying for a family later this year. Although one would think otherwise, the financial costs of taking care of a newborn are not that significant, at least not in my friends’ opinions. Here are some things that I have learned:
Ask family and friends for second hand baby clothes. Seriously, does your newborn need the newest designer duds when all they do is throw up all over them? If you want or need to make your baby a fashion statement, wait at least until they can walk around and strut their stuff. Every single person I know who has had a baby has made due with either the clothes that were given as gifts or hand-me-downs from other people.
Breastfeed your baby. It is cheap (as in free) and way healthier than any formula could ever be. (Unless the Mom is a meth addict or alcoholic, then not so much) Those things were put there for a reason, so you should probably use them. Not having to buy formula will save you hundreds of dollars a year.
Switch to cloth diapers instead of disposable ones. I am a true believer in the cloth diaper for everyday use, and disposable or biodegradable for outside and/or travel. We plan on getting a cheap separate washing machine to clean the cloth diapers so as not to “clog up” our good washer, which will save us a ton on diaper services. Plus, this way the environment won’t suffer any more than it already is. Check out GDiapers.com for info on biodegradable diapers.
To help with diaper rash, you might be able to use olive oil instead. I have heard of this working, but you might want to talk to your pediatrician about it first. A big jug of olive oil is a lot cheaper than continuously buying diaper rash creme.
Buy sturdy wooden toys rather than breakable (and possibly toxic) toys. Wood toys last a lot longer than the cheap plastic ones, and you can pass them along to future children once your child is done with them.
As mentioned in a previous post about single income families, see if you can have one parent stay home. That way you don’t have to pay for day care and you get some quality time with your baby instead of putting them in someone else’s care.
Although it takes a lot of work, you can make your own baby food when the times comes for them to eat it. I know someone that spent the time to make little jars of mushed food for their child, figuring that at least they know what was in the food and where it came from. Plus, it saved her a lot of money
Having a baby is a life-changing experience…just ask anyone who has had one or 2. While we don’t have our own yet, we will be trying later this year and I am gathering all sorts of tips from my friends who already have them. I am hoping it saves me some money and makes my life a little easier when the time comes for us, and so I figured I would pass along this info for other people to use. If you have kids already, you probably don’t need any help with this!