Need frugal tips for baby...

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by kbaldridge06, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. kbaldridge06

    kbaldridge06 Member

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    I am expecting our first child in March and would like some frugal tips to keep it cheap. We are having a girl and I am already making her clothes, we will dress all of our girls in dresses and to find dresses that are acceptable to us is a difficult task. It has been much easier to make them. I do plan on using cloth diapers and breast feeding. I know that will save lots of money there. I am a housewife and so I will not be working. I do plan on making all of her baby food, much healthier than the Gerber stuff I was amazed at how much sugar they add. I know there is stuff that I have not thought of because I've never done this before. I do have a 3 yo brother so I have an idea of what to expect...although I will find out things I didn't know by being the primary care giver. Thanks for all your help.
     
  2. TedH71

    TedH71 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Be sure not to have too much infant clothes because they do grow fast! I have already had all the baby clothes I need at present time. It's baby furniture, and other things that I need and am working on that. My son is due April 7th. I would say 80% of the baby clothes were given to me free of charge because my future mother-in-law had saved all the baby clothes and I got some new clothes by my relatives so I'm set. Diapers...well my fiancee and her family said no to clothes diapers saying they were too hard to clean and that I would have more diaper rash with the cloth diapers so that battle, I've given up due to keeping the family peace but I have convinced my fiancee that I do not want our son to be circumcised because it is actually medically unnecessary.
     

  3. unregistered6474

    unregistered6474 Guest

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    Babies aren't as expensive as you might think. Kudos to you on breastfeeding - that is so much better for your baby! It will save you a great deal of money, too.

    I find that it is really easy to find baby/toddler clothes secondhand. The thrift store near me usually prices them between 1.99 and 3.99 and I try to wait until the last Wednesday of the month when they mark all clothes half off.

    The dollar store has sippy cups, baby wash, washcloths, etc. You can also find a lot at garage sales.

    I also found that my daughter loved being read to, even at 4 months old. She is almost two now and we still go to the library quite a bit.

    All in all, I have been surprised at how little babies actually NEED. Sure, you can go out and spend a ton on a pretty padded swing that coordinates with the wallpaper in your living room, but you don't HAVE to.
     
  4. Grandmotherbear

    Grandmotherbear Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You don't really need a crib. Just don't tell your inlaws you are sleeping with the baby. As long as you aren't drunk or drugged it does make life a lot easier for you when you have to nurse them.- you won't smother it
     
  5. Cheryl in SD

    Cheryl in SD Living in the Hills Supporter

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    You will find that you can find things at second hand stores for your girls. If you choose to have only dresses, please put her in tights and keep the length a little shorter while she is learning to walk. We have friends whose dds would trip constantly. By using slightly shorter dresses, with tights it was easier to learn to walk yet still modest. Pantaloons work too.

    I skipped the baby food entirely. I nursed until they were old enough to eat soft foods from the table. By the time they were six months they would be nibbling on food. Just watch their tongue. When you can put food in her mouth and it stays in she is ready to eat.

    I used cloth diapers for my first two children, except for when we were out or traveling. Having a few disposibles in the diaper bag was good. The others I didn't have a washer and I used disposibles for them.

    Breast feeding is the best way to go. I did have to supplement one of the twins after she was about 6 months old. I just didn't have enough. I also had to supplement my ds for 6 weeks when we came down with thrush. If you have to supplement short term, don't beat yourself up. You can still do bf, it just takes work.

    The most expensive part of having a baby is the birth/health care. If you have good insurance, that will help there. Even with insurance we had $1000-$2000 per child in medical bills for each child. Get as much of that as you can paid off before the baby comes. If you are going homebirth, talk to your midwife and have a back up plan for emergencies. Our oldest were twins, one of them turned in the night & tore the placenta, we had to have an emergency c-section to save our lives. The best plans can and do change. By preparing now you can have peace of mind that however you have this baby it will be ok.

    Splurge on new carseats OR call your local fire department. They sometimes have new carseats from the manufacture to give away. These are not dependant on your income, anyone can get one, but you do have to watch a 20 minute video on safe carseat use.

    Babies are fun! I miss that age a lot.
     
  6. heather

    heather Well-Known Member

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    Okay, well, I'll suggest the opposite - that you get the baby it's own little sleeping place, whether it be a bassinet or a dresser drawer - you will love your own sleep, too - Baby can be right beside you & DH's job can be to hand baby to you!
    BUT that's my opinion & you didn't ask about that! :)

    Is anyone giving you a baby shower?
    If so, take the opportunity to ask for (if they request your input) more expensive items you feel you need or want. For instance, maybe a stoller or baby backpack, if you like to hike.

    Do you knit? or crochet?
    I found those types of baby blankets superior to ones from the store - babies can breath through the knitted ones if they happen to get over their face.

    GREAT JOB on looking to breastfeed - if you need support, you will find it here!

    Visit consignment stores, yard sales, church clothing exchanges, etc. for clothing & equipment

    Baby wipe recipe (I used this & loved it - very cheap & convenient)

    You will need:

    10 cup container (ex: rubbermaid, w/lid)
    1/2 roll of Bounty paper towels
    2 tbls of baby oil
    2 tbls of baby bath
    2 cups of water

    Cut roll of paper towells in half, remove center cardboard, mix liquid ingredients, pour on top of paper towels, pull first towel up. Each roll of towels makes 2 containers of wipes, which lasts aprx. 3 weeks.

    I have found that if I let them sit for about 1 hour all the liquid has enough time to absorb the entire 1/2 roll. I also have tried several brands of heavy duty paper towels, and have found that Bounty expands when wet and the others seem to shrivel up. Remember do not shake the liquid, it will foam up.


    PS - it's really wonderful that you will be at home with baby - what a blessing!! ENJOY
     
  7. sancraft

    sancraft Well-Known Member

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    One thing not to skimp on is a carseat. Get a brand new one. If a carseat has ever been involved in a wreck, it should not be used again. And since you don't know the history behind a second hand one, don' t risk it. Other than that, babies are really cheap and easy. Mine had a few outfits for going to the doctor, to church of to visit Grandma and Grandpa. Other than that, they wore gowns, onesies, diaper shirts, etc. I used plain, old fashioned cloth diapers and plastic pants. I nursed them for a lonnnnggggg time. They weaned sometime around school age. I made baby fod fresh, but I did keep a few jars or organic baby food in the diaper bag in case we got caught out longer than expected. Neither really showed much interest in food until around a year old anyway. The oldest didn't until nearly 2! Enjoy your little one. Babies are so wonderful. They change your life is the best kind of way.
     
  8. kbaldridge06

    kbaldridge06 Member

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    Thank you for all the great advice.. keep it coming. :)
     
  9. SweetSarah

    SweetSarah Well-Known Member

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    We did the half-roll of papertowels in a bucket, too. Our recipe wasn't as fancy though. We just filled it about a thrid way up with water, enough to be absorbed all the way through the roll, and added a few squirts of baby wash. Done! A little hint for using them is once the tube in the middle is soaked, it should pull out really easily and then you can start grabbing your papertowel wipes from the middle, works like an automatic dispenser.
    You could live without all the swings, bouncy chairs, and mobiles but it is nice to have one or two. For the first week or so home, my oldest would only sleep in his bouncy chair. It was a gift from a baby shower which was nice, but you can find nice ones that may just need a little scrubbing up at 2nd hand stores and garage sales for pretty cheap. Even new, you can find a decent one for around $15-20 which isn't much considering it gives you a nice place to put down baby while you take a shower or make lunch.
     
  10. omnicat

    omnicat Well-Known Member

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    I do plan on using cloth diapers and breast feeding

    Those are the two things that will make the biggest difference. I didn't use baby wipes at all - had a stack of little soft cloth wipes - dipped 'em in warm water to use so they weren't cold.

    And commercial baby food is totally unnecessary. They don't need solid food until 6 months. You can start with rice cereal, but from then on out, you just feed them bits of your own meal (food-item-appropriate of course). Someone did give me a little hand-cranked baby food grinder - but I didn't use it much. Just made sure veggies I cooked weren't crunchy.
     
  11. annethcz

    annethcz Well-Known Member

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    So many good ideas already. Breastfeeding and cloth diapering are very frugal. For baby wipes, you don't even need a fancy wipe solution. I used plain old washcloths (you can get cheap washcloths in bundles from any mass merchandiser, or make them out of flannel) and warm water from the tap. I didn't need any more than that. For a diaper pail, we used a tall kitchen wastebasket with lid. 7 years and four children later, we're still using the same rubbermaid garbage pail. Some people like to use a wet pail, but I've never found that to be neccesary. I tried it when my oldest was a baby, and it was a PITB to empty, and it seemed to create more of a smell.

    Some people like using strollers, I prefered to carry my babies in a carrier. It is very easy to make slings, pouches or wraps if you know how to sew. There are many different pattern available for free online. www.thebabywearer.com is a good resource for baby wearing.

    I LOVE little girls in dresses, but tights are a GOOD thing (as my girls tell me). Babies don't need shoes until they start walking. These days, soft-soled leather or fleece shoes are very popular, as they allow the child to feel the ground better as they are learning to walk. I've been told they also are relatively easy to make yourself, although I've never tried.

    There are so many baby gadgets out there, most of which aren't at all neccesary, but are sometimes helpful. I would suggest not skimping on the carseat, but just about anything else could be purchased second-hand if you think you need it. Although I'm not big on baby gadgets, we did get quite a bit of use out of our baby swing. My first child would only nap in the swing as an infant. We did have a crib, and even used it occasionally for our first child. But the rest of our children have slept with us until they were about a year old, at which time they transitioned to a twin size matress placed directly on the floor. I never used a baby bathtub, either- my babies bathed with me until they were old enough to sit up and take a bath on their own.

    I found I didn't really need a high chair, either (although they can be handy for keeping restless toddlers in one place ;)). I held my babies while I ate. When the baby was showing signs of being ready for solid food, and began grabbing food off my plate, I knew it was time to start solids :) I never bought a single jar of baby food, but simply allowed my child to eat appropriate foods off of my plate. This was also a good incentive for me to cook healthy food for myself! During the first year of life, solid foods aren't really neccesary, nutritionally speaking. Once my babies were big enough to sit on their own and eat off their own plate, we used a booster chair, rather than a bulky high-chair. You can find a brand new booster chair with tray (that straps onto the chair and buckles the child in for safety) for about $20.

    I agree that the birth itself may be the biggest cost, although costs vary. My most expensive births were my midwife-attended homebirths (which weren't covered by health insurance- $2500 each, including pre- and postnatal care). My birth center/hospital birth was completely covered by insurace, I only paid a $15 co-pay for my first prenatal appointment. Some also choose to birth unassisted, which will cost you almost nothing at all. I was planning an unassisted birth for the babe I miscarried this summer- I'd be happy to give you some online resources if you're interested. Of course, as Cheryl said, it's always wise to make contingency plans. Life doesn't always go the way we plan.
     
  12. asher

    asher Well-Known Member

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    Another idea in addition to looking for second hand things to buy is to join freecycle. :) I gave away a ton of my babys stuff there from a boppy to bags and bags of clothes.

    (I highly recommend a boppy like pillow (you can make your own, though!) since you are breastfeeding. :) I've nursed for many years (LOL) and that was by far my best "tool" that I have ever bought for a baby.)
     
  13. omnicat

    omnicat Well-Known Member

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    Oh - I'll also mention that with the cloth diapers, and plain cloth wipes with water - my baby never, ever had a diaper rash...
     
  14. Fujiko

    Fujiko Well-Known Member

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    I am also expecting my first child next year at the end of March/early April. I have been researching A TON for this, and I am VERY frugal so I've found a few things.

    Craigslist is a wonderful resource if your community's craigslist has enough people that use it. (craigslist.org) Just click on your community to the right, and you can look for any baby/kids stuff that people are trying to sell near you. It's like a garage sale online!

    I plan on babywearing when the baby is born so that I can still do my housework, and instead of buying a fancy, expensive carrier or sling I'm going to make my own wrap, which is just a LONG piece of fabric that you tie the baby to you with. If the wrap doesn't work for you, you can always reuse the fabric to make something else. With some methods of tieing the baby on, you can also breastfeed hands-free. www.wearyourbaby.org

    Um, other than that, I think everything has already been mentioned. I'm also cloth diapering and I am ordering prefolds (the rectangular-type diaper with a thicker middle) because they are pretty cheap but I am making my own fitted diapers, which are kinda like disposables but made of cloth. There's a lot of sites out there that have free patterns.

    Another tip I guess is to visit the forum MotheringDotCommune at www.mothering.com/discussions/index.php . They are an attachment/alternative parenting forum, but even if your parenting views don't line up with all of theirs, they are a great resource for cloth diaper making/babywearing/product reviews/breastfeeding etc.

    Hope this helps.
     
  15. Peacock

    Peacock writing some wrongs Supporter

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    Babies are so cheap to care for, if you use cloth diapers and breastfeed, they're practically free. Besides, everybody loves to shop for baby gifts so you'll probably be buried in clothes and toys. :)

    Now, be sure to stash all the money you thought you'd spend on the baby and save it. Because when that kid hits school-age, you will NEED IT. THAT is when kids start to be expensive, when they're not sweet little babies anymore.

    Of course they're always sweet little babies to a mom...but you know what I mean!
     
  16. LvDemWings

    LvDemWings Well-Known Member

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    I have the most wonderful toys here that the little one from upstairs loves to play with. A muffin tin for mini muffins, the plastic scoops from the iced tea canister, a 3 pack of kitty balls with jingle bells inside and a large kitchen plastic spoon. That child has more fun playing with my odds and ends than the expensive toys the parents bring down. So start saving your chewable odds and ends now.

    A cooked ear of corn is very soothing for teething babies.

    Jingle bells sewn on the ends of baby booties are fun for little ones learning how to kick their feet but should never be used when baby can grab their feet.

    If your going to have a special blanket that baby always sleeps with have a spare and rotate it weekly incase they develop an attachment to it.

    Even though you are breast feeding purchase 1 bottle and use it occasionally just in case. There can sometimes be those stray days when baby is ravenous and you just don't have enough milk. Keeping a little frozen breast milk is really helpful and if baby, while not liking it, will accept that bottle from Dad/Grandma it will give your nipples a rest and allow your body to catch up.

    Spend the money on a comfortable nursing bra.
     
  17. rangercat

    rangercat Well-Known Member

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    Make contact with a formula company (Simalac or Enfamil) and they will send you a free diaper bag with some formula. Yes, breastfeed but it can't hurt to have backup just in case. If you are blessed with a good milk supply, you can donate the formula. I got the Simalac diaper bag and I love it! DD is 13 months and it is still in good shape.

    Another tip with cloth wipes, I put a bit of mineral oil and a drop of lavender and german chamomile in the water that I wash her diaper area with.

    Do you have a fireplace/woodstove? Not only does it keep baby warm, it works better than a mobile to keep her entertained! My daugher loved watching the flames.
     
  18. Elffriend

    Elffriend Well-Known Member

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    Start filling your refreezer with homemade meals that just need reheating. You will probably be too tired to cook and ordering out or buying prepared stuff from the store will add up quickly. If you have an extra freezer, try for 4-6 weeks of dinners and side dishes. You can fill the freezer pretty quickly just by cooking double batches each night and freezing half.

    If you want to breastfeed, you should avoid introducing bottles for at least the first 6 weeks. Same for pacifiers. It doesn't take more than 1 or 2 bottles to mess up a baby's latch.
     
  19. NJ Rich

    NJ Rich NJ Rich

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    I know this is a womens area but it made me remember our first child and having little money to spare. Yes. my wife nursed all three sons. I think nursed babies are far healthier than bottle/formula feed babies.

    When our boys were ready to wean off of "newborn baby food" expensive junk food she bought what she called a "ricer". Lehman's sells a Baby Food Maker, #700 cost $12.95 that is a duplicate of what she used. All of the children grew up eating "What we ate". They never became fussy about food and later were all good eaters of everything that was served. That included veggies; poultry and red meat. Today they remain good eaters and are healthy men.

    Believe me that saved a big amount of money every week and the boys ate well. Don't get me wrong, we would have spent the money for the Gerbcrap food if we needed too. But all the boys went to the pediatrician regularly and they were always on the top of the scale as far as health/height and weight.

    I see your child is expected in March. We have or had family members born on: March 1st; 4th; 6th; 8th and the 13th.

    A Blessed Event is something to always cherish and I thank you for sharing this with us. NJ Rich
     
  20. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    If you are going into the hosp for the birth, take your own sanitary napkins and take some diapers for the baby. Most hospitals charge extra for these items.