how to save money with a new baby
When I had my first child, my husband was a student. With his student loan and some help from family members, I was able to quit my job and stay at home with my baby. So, I had to be very careful with our budget. I know how easily you can overspend on things that you really do not absolutely need. Here are some few tips that can help you save money with a new baby in your life.
use cloth diapers
You can save thousands of dollars over the course of few years of diapering. When you can cloth diaper more than one child, the bigger the savings. Cloth diapering is easy, convenient, good for our environment, and good for your budget.
Breastfeeding is the best thing you can do for your baby and for yourself. Your baby will drink up the complete nutritious human milk and you will lose your pregnancy weight quickly. And of course, there is no need to buy bottles, nipples, pacifiers, bottle cleaners, bottle warmers, and formula, saving you lots of money. Studies show that breastfed babies have less childhood illnesses, saving you trips to the doctor's office or hospital. No need to pay for co-pays, hospital bills, or medicine.
If you are having difficulty with breastfeeding, ask for free advice. Call your friends who have successfully nursed their child. Call your local La Leche League leaders. They are volunteers who freely offer support and helpful advice over the phone. Go to your local La Leche League meetings and talk to other nursing mothers.
Though nursing tops are nice to have, I did not use any of them with my third child. I was so good at nursing discreetly in public with my normal top clothes. I didn't even need to use a nursing cover! Most of the times, I used my baby carrier as a nursing cover.
use cloth menstrual pads
Instead of buying disposable menstrual pads month after month, use cloth menstrual pads. They can be reused over and over again (after washing and drying of course) and are just as absorbent as disposable pads. I wear it throughout the night, even during my heavy flow days. More than the money that I save, I love the feel of cotton fabric as oppose to plastic and paper.
If you have a little plot of land, plant something good to eat. Fresh tomatoes and bell peppers can be expensive to buy. However, they are so easy to grow in your garden. If you already have a prepared vegetable bed, that's great. However, if you just have a grassy area, dig your ground two shovels deep and mix with compost. A well prepared vegetable bed does not need to be watered often nor weeded often. In fact, there are many days that I go without watering my garden and my plants grow just fine.
buy used baby items
You can buy used baby products from consignment shops, thrift stores, or on craigslist.org. Be sure to check that they have not been recalled baby items.
carry your baby
With my first child, I never owned or used a stroller. I used baby carriers instead. Strollers are more expensive than baby carriers in general. If you have a back problem and need to use a stroller, look for a used one.
When we had our first child, we bought a crib, thinking that's what we need and where our baby will sleep. The crib ended up being storage furniture. We co-slept with our baby on our queen size bed (I would say king size is much preferable). Unless you are getting a free crib (be sure to get one that has not been recalled), it is the most expensive item for your baby and not a necessity.
We laid our baby on the floor with a blanket and changed the diapers. You do not need a changing table. It's nice to have, but not necessary. You can store your diapers in a bin or wicker baskets that you can find at thrift stores.
ask for donations
I live in the best neighborhood in the world. We have a group of mothers who get together to organize community events for our children. I emailed our neighborhood mom's co-op mailing list and asked if anyone can donate a potty. I received four donations for a used potty.
Borrow books from the library at no cost. Just make sure to return them on time to avoid the late fee charges.