As his readers most likely know, Pinyo and his wife are expecting a baby. In fact, why you’re seeing this post I wrote for Pinyo is most likely because they’ve had the baby and are off in the hospital or at home enjoying their new little bundle of joy. Having had two babies of my own, I’ve picked up a few tips on saving money in feeding, clothing, and raising your new bundle of joy — at least in the beginning. Babies are expensive — it is just a fact of life. But they don’t have to be as expensive as you think.
Photo of Pinyo and nephew taken by his wife
1. Tell everyone you know you are having a baby
Seriously — people love babies. People love buying things for babies. No, not everyone, but a LOT of people. I got gifts from people I hardly knew (and never expected a gift from) after I gave birth to my first child. So spread the word!
2. If you can, nurse
Yes, I do know, first hand no less, that not everyone can nurse their child. My first child had more nursing problems than I can really enumerate here, and we struggled for a long time. He did eventually go on to have a successful nursing relationship with me, but it wasn’t easy. Not everyone can nurse, and that is okay. But if you can, and it works out — it is a lot cheaper than formula. Trust me. A lot cheaper.
3. Hand me down clothing is trendy for babies
It may be taboo to hand down adult or even children’s clothing, but there is no such taboo on baby clothing. Babies hardly wear their clothes before they grow out of them, and parents end up with boxes of adorable things they have no use for. Hit up a few friends for hand me downs. Or visit a yardsale or a consignment shop or two. No need to buy new — they’ll look adorable and a baby doesn’t care what they wear.
4. Cloth diaper
It is a bigger initial investment but then you can keep reusing them over and over and it ends up a lot cheaper. But not everyone has spouses agreeable to cloth diapering (mine flat out refused) so in that case…
5. Try different brands of diapers and find what works for you
With one of my children, only the most expensive brand worked without constant leaks. However, my second child wore very inexpensive generics with no problems at all for the entire first year of her life. So buy small packages of four or five different kinds and try them out. If you find a generic that works for you, you’ll save a lot of money in the long run.
6. Hand Me Down or Used Baby Gear (Just Not the Car Seat!)
Most baby gear is still in great condition because babies use it for such a short time. Ask friends with toddlers if they have bouncy seats, swings, play yards, or other random baby items. But buy a new car seat. Car seats only last 6 years and you never know if it has been in an accident unless you own it.
7. Don’t Buy Everything Baby Books Suggest
The baby books have lists a mile long of “must-haves”. Don’t. Buy the essentials and then as you perceive a need for something, then buy it. We never bought a changing table. We don’t miss it. Wipes warmer? That’s what I have hands for.
8. Make Simple Toys Out of Household Items
My son’s favorite toys were an old cell phone (batteries removed of course) and a plastic Tupperware container. Really. He had lots of toys because my relatives doted on him, but he didn’t need them. My daughter loves an old remote control and an old calculator (again, batteries removed from both). Simple pleasures. 🙂
9. Make Your Own Baby Food
It really is not very hard at all, and there are tons of websites to help. But really, all I did was microwave-steamed or steamed on the stove veggies or fruit until soft, and then mashed it up (in a food processor when baby first started eating solids). Simple. Seriously simple. And then I froze in ice cube trays and stored in plastic baggies. Couldn’t be easier and it was cheap and fun.
10. Ask Your Friends For Useful Gifts
Good friends, when they ask what you want, tell them the truth. Get diapers. Get bigger clothes. No one needs 500 newborn sized onesies and outfits. Seriously. Your friends will understand. We asked my in laws for diapers for Christmas. And we even got some.
So there are my 10 frugal baby tips. Hopefully it helps Pinyo and anyone else out there expecting a little one in the near or distant future. And if you’re having a girl, hit me up for some baby clothes.