by Carrie Lauth
How can I be frugal and have everything baby
Good question! I think the key is to identify what babies truly need. The
advertisers would have you believe that baby needs fancy expensive "stuff" that
will keep you in debt until baby's in college. Not true. Babies need very little
in order to be happy. And those things are, in order of importance:
A Momma to love
To be kept warm
Something to cover their bottoms
Pretty simple eh?
Free Food for Baby
"The newborn baby has only three demands. They are warmth in the arms of its
mother, food from her breasts, and security in the knowledge of her presence.
Breastfeeding satisfies all three." - Dr. Grantly Dick-Read, author of
Childbirth Without Fear.
The interesting thing about the first 3 is that they can all be met at the
same time with breastfeeding! You can't get much more frugal than free can you?
Not only does breastfeeding save you money that you would have spent on
formula, bottles and such, but you will save money on Doctor bills. Formula
feeding carries risks: Increased ear infections, respiratory illness, increased
incidence of certain cancers, long term implications for obesity, diabetes, and
I could go on.
My best tip for obtaining baby clothes frugally is to make it known that you
welcome hand-me-downs. Most Moms hate throwing away perfectly good baby stuff.
When babies are young, they almost never wear things out before they are
outgrown. If someone gives you things, accept it gratefully and thank them. Even
if the stuff isn't as good as you would like and you end up donating it to
charity, you still send a message that you aren't too proud for used things. And
truly, it has nothing to do with charity. Obtaining used things is better for
the environment. And you can put the money you save to better use. Why not start
a savings account for your little one and add to it when you use creative
frugality to save money? Your child will thank you later!
EBay, thrift stores and consignment shops are also good places to find baby
Experts agree that babies don't really need shoes when they're learning to
walk because it's best for their toes to grip the floor. If it's cold and baby's
tootsies are frozen, use soft leather baby shoes. They're flexible and the
healthiest, safest choice.
Saving Money On Diapers
The most frugal way of dealing with this issue is to forgo diapers
altogether the way women around the world do. It's called "elimination
communication" and basically involves watching for baby's elimination cues (and
they do exist, even in newborns) and holding her over the potty so she can take
care of business. However, if you're not so inclined, the next best thing is
Ask people to give you cloth diapers at your baby shower instead of those
cute but impractical outfits. A lot of the cloth diaper companies that sell
online have baby registries. Buy the high quality cloth diapers if you plan on
using them for more than one child. They will likely last you for years. I
recommend Fuzzi Bunz.
More Frugal Baby Ideas
Frugality is mostly about what you don't buy than what you do, so I suggest
thinking about what you can do without. Do you really need a crib or bassinet?
Why not let baby sleep with you? It works for 90% of the population. Do you need
a baby swing? Why not wear baby on your body in a sling? It promotes bonding,
keeps baby happy, you burn extra calories and get things done too! Everybody
Does baby really need those educational toys and gadgets? You know, Einstein
didn't have flash cards. All the stimulation your baby needs is you! Talk to
baby, read to baby, sing to baby, let baby watch your daily activities from his
spot in the baby sling, and breastfeed your baby.
The best baby toys are things you have around the house. (Ever noticed how
babies and toddlers would rather play with your keys than any expensive toy?)
Babies would rather bang on pots and pans with wooden spoons than just about
anything else. Save empty plastic food containers that would have been thrown
away, and toss them into an empty cabinet down low in your kitchen. This will
provide hours of frugal fun for baby!
Baby car seats are best obtained new...don't risk taking a chance on a used
car seat that "looks" fine but that may have been involved in a fender bender.
Baby's needs are truly few, and the best things you can give your baby are