Oh my god is it overpriced. I’m sorry- did I offend you? Because it is. I know, my husband and I graduated only a few years ago.
And yet. We have no idea what the college system will look like in 18 years. Or if your kid will want college or would prefer a jr. college, or internship route. And there’s always scholarships, work study and grants. So don’t flip out just yet, cross that bridge later. But maybe start a small savings account now just in case.
5) They need to eat!
Solution: don’t buy formula. 93-99% of women are capable of breastfeeding. And guess what? Producing it doesn’t cost you anything. And the benefits to baby and you, in the short and long run, are so tremendous. I’ll probably post on breastfeeding later so look out for that.
And when they start eating real food? Skip the expensive canned food and prepackaged stuff. Make your own purees or do what I’m doing and go the Baby Led Weaning route. That costs just about, well, nothing.
Remember: babies main calorie source should be breastmilk or formula for the first year.
If you need to buy formula look out for coupons, buy in bulk (if you don’t need specialty stuff) and if you need to see if you can get assistance for it.
No getting around it- this bundle is going to poop. And my god where does it all come from?! And yes, you can talk about poop now. In polite company. You are a mom. One of the many perks.
There are three methods to deal with all of this poop. There’s the “no diaper” method. I know almost nothing about this- something to do with trying to read babies “i’m going to pee now ” face and getting them to the toilet before they do it. Maybe this is for you. Not for me or my life style. If it is, research it. And don’t put too much pressure on yourself to succeed. Peeing in a diaper has been done for thousands of years, even if that diaper was made of moss. It probably won’t hurt your kid.
The second is disposable diapers: 95% of the US use these. They are fairly simple, widely popular, and can be bought almost anywhere.
If you decide to use disposable, I did till my daughter was 5 months, buy in bulk. Price things out- sometimes the bigger box is cheaper per diaper, sometimes it is not.
The third, and my new favorite, is cloth. I dismissed cloth out of hand initially because I had visions of leaking diapers, poop spatulas and safety pins. How could I have been so wrong? Oh so so wrong. Yes, it’s true, those are still on the market. But now there is so much choice on the cloth diaper market it is overwhelming. And cute. Oh so cute. I’m using mostly pockets with a few other systems thrown in.
I will post a whole entry on cloth later, and add my cloth story. But for now here is the cost break down:
Disposables: 8-12 changes a day for 3 years at .25 a diaper = 365 x 3 x 10 x .25 = 2,737.50. That of course is a very rough estimate- it’ll depend on the price per diaper, how long it takes to potty train and how often your little bugger pees. Mine seems to require more changes than the average baby, but we spent a bit less than .25 a diaper. But estimate around 2,000 to diaper each child.
Wow. Just. Wow.
Cloth: well, this gets complicated. You could do it totally free if you’re lucky enough to have friends and family donate their diaper stash. Otherwise you’re looking at $150-600 for your total stash. And you can probably make 50-75% of that back if you sell your stuff when you are done with it.
Even if you hold onto your diapers or give them to a friend, and spent a ton on those home made super nice ones, you’ll save approximately 2737.50-600= 2137.5 in the diapering lifetime of your child.
First off, you don’t need all of that stuff. You just don’t. Gear- minimize, figure out what will work for your family than get hunting. You can get or borrow a ton of stuff from friends. Those social connections sure pay off don’t they? Then get out and start hunting down garage sales, resale shops and resale events. You’d be amazed at how much you can save. That 17$ toy on amazon? I found it for 4$ in brand new condition. All of those parents out there who felt they NEEDED to have it all- and then found out they never used it. Benefit from their mistakes and buy second hand. Don’t be afraid of stains or slightly dirty looking stuff either- in the next few years you’re going to become and expert stain remover. Baby clothes often only get used a few times, if that, before babe outgrows it. You can get beautiful outfits for pennies on the dollar. I will not pay 20$ for a onesie. It just hurts way too much. 1$ sounds so much better to me, doesn’t it to you?
To sum up: if you are broke, now may not be the time to start a family. But you sure as heck don’t need to go broke starting one! What your children need is love, attention, understanding and time. What they don’t need is that 500$ crib, 60$ toy, or that expensive house with the 4 bedrooms. And you aren’t a bad momma because you skipped the overprice Baby Einstein merchandise. So next time you get that e-mail titled: “What every new mom must have” delete it.