OK, have you read free range kids yet? NO? do it.
Babies cost money. No getting around it. But you don’t need to go broke raising that munchkin. And no, you didn’t buy that expensive toy. You are still a good mom. And no, you didn’t get that expensive stroller, or the extra gadget they sell to go on the car seat. And yes, you are still a good mom.
Babyhood and childhood has been super commercialized. Companies want us to think that we are bad parents if we don’t spend, spend, spend. You must have what your friends have otherwise your child is missing out. Um. Or not. Here’s a quick run-down of the major costs kids create, and how to avoid them:
1)Birth. yes, it starts from birth. I’ve seen some pretty astronomical hospital bills.
This is because every birth in this country, low risk, high risk and everything in between is treated in the same way a very high risk pregnancy and birth is. And that model is pricey.
But if you are a low risk momma look into your options. Research it. I suggest Ina Mae Gaskin’s works. Following the midwifery model is not only very safe, for low risk moms, it can be an amazing experience. Look into midwives in your area, birth centers, both free standing and attached to a hospital and even home birth. Do your research- this effects your health and the health of your baby.
2) You need to buy a new house and car.
Solution: stay put. Don’t move. Unless you live in a horrible area, or live in a studio apartment and are expecting triplets, you probably don’t need to move at all. If you live in a really dangerous area then you should probably move anyway, agreed?
Your baby is small. Yep. very small. And they want to be by your side all the time. Personal space? Room to play? Not for awhile yet. And that huge crib? Save a few bucks and don’t bother. My baby is 5.5 months and has yet to spend more than 10 minutes asleep in her crib. What you really need is: a safe cosleeping bed, a cosleeper that goes on the side of your bed, a sleeper that sits on the bed, or a pack and play by your bed.
Babies need momma close to them, they need to feel them and touch them. For the first few weeks my baby wouldn’t sleep unless she was on my chest anyway.
The other space baby needs: a place to change them and a place to put their clothes. For me this all fits in the guest bedroom closet, but I’ve seen even smaller set ups. That’s it. They don’t need a whole room to themselves, not yet anyway. So for now, you can stay put.
If you plan on having more kids, getting into a better school district etc, then you can cross that bridge later. Move when the time of opportune financially, not because baby is on the way.
And the car? unless you’ve been driving in a two door no backseat sports car, or a pickup with only two front seats, you probably don’t need a new one. Your carseat will fit in the back seat of your sedan or pickup that you already have. Until you have 3 or 4 in carseats (and that may never happen) you probably don’t need to sell the car and get the minivan. And if you really do need a new vehicle think used. It’s going to be covered in baby poop, melted crayons and stray cheerios soon enough anyway.
This is tricky because decent full time care will cost you. Here’s my view: price it out. It may be cheaper to cut back on your lifestyle and have one parent stay home.
Or perhaps you have a relative that you trust to take care of your little one.
But for many parents it is simply cheaper to have someone stay home. It may just not be cost effective to put your baby in full time care so that you can work full time, unless you make a very large salary.
If you need your child in care- many families need dual incomes, and more than half of babies are born to single moms, there are state funded resources. Different states have different rules, so check with yours and see where to apply for financial aid. And many preschools offer scholarships to those in need- so ask! they are happy to help.
Thanks for stopping buy. I will be publishing part two of how to save shortly.