Minimizing the Cost of Baby Essentials
Quite a few friends of mine are pregnant right now. I guess those winter blues really got a hold of some of you Here are a few ways to minimize the cost of baby essentials before your little one arrives.
Take a walk down any store’s baby aisle and you’ll find an abundant amount of baby item choices, all claiming to be necessary in caring for your newborn. Some items are made to make your life easier, some items are excessively adorable, and some are just plain silly.
Truth be told, there are not many essentials a healthy baby immediately needs in order to be cared for properly. Only a select few baby products transition from convenient to crucial. Instead of taking the more expensive route in obtaining baby must-haves, try using alternatives instead.
Clothes: One baby accessory parents often throw their money toward is baby clothes. Realistically, your baby needs about 6 outfits, especially the first few months. To reduce cost of baby clothes, decide which type of clothing you’d prefer and only purchase a few outfits. Gowns are great for late night diaper changes. Sleep’n’plays alternate easily from nighttime to daytime. Likewise, onesies paired with socks are the staple of baby clothes. ThredUp is a great online consignment shop that allows you to ship off used baby clothes and purchase like-new replacements.
Most of Aiden’s first year clothes were either received as gifts or as hand-me downs. To date, this is the most expensive piece of clothing we’ve personally purchased for him because it was absolutely necessary for our baby to wear a Zergling onesie.
Spit rags and bibs: Realistically, a few bibs and spit rags per day is just fine. Depending on how often you do laundry, you may need more or less.
Changing table: The best element about a changing table is you absolutely do not need one. The only task a changing table is used for is changing your baby’s diaper on it. Where else are you able to change your poop machine? The floor, of course! Find a soft, comfy blanket instead. If you travel throughout the house with your little one and find yourself changing his or her diaper in every room, a Diaper Caddy to store his or her diapering demands would be a helpful assistant.
We used the attachable pack’n’play diaper changer until Aiden was a few months old and had gotten too tall to fit in it successfully. Then, we switched to the floor.
Wipes: Whether you choose cloth diapers or use disposables on your newborn, it’s extremely easy to make your own wipes. Cut up some old (clean) sheets or towels into small squares. You might save even more money by washing and reusing the wipes, or you may dispose of them once they’ve accomplished their task.
We use(d) disposable diapers and I am not at all ashamed. We also used brand-name wipes. I am particular about what I wipe my own bum with, so it was natural for me to be choosy about my baby’s bottom.
Baby Monitor: While a baby monitor is not necessary, it does ease some parents’ worries. Be that as it may, there is still room to save! Refrain from buying a video monitor. Monitors providing a live feed will likely keep both you and the baby up at night with constant watch. Instead, opt for a motion sensor or old-fashioned sound monitor to keep close eye on your little one.
We received the Angelcare Monitor as part of our registry gifts. I give this monitor 10/10. We only experienced two “false” alarms and it was because Aiden had moved to the very edge of the mattress where the sensor couldn’t sense him. The sound on the monitor, the reach of the monitor, and the feedback on the monitor performed wonderfully.
Sleeping arrangements: Many parents purchase a co-sleeper, bassinet, and crib. However, Parenting.com claims, “The crib is fine, even for the first night home from the hospital.” If you’d prefer to have your snoozer sleeping in the same bedroom as you, by all means, move the crib into your room. There is no urgency to purchase multiple sleeping environments when it is inevitable your baby will eventually be moved to his or her crib. In addition to this, many cribs offer a metamorphosis from infancy to toddler-hood by converting the crib into a daybed.
We had a bassinet we purchased used from a friend of friend; The pack’n’play and crib were both purchased new. The bassinet was great for the first 6 weeks because it was small enough to be in the room with us. However, every move we made woke Aiden up and it was a difficult to crawl into bed undetected. After 6 weeks and many nights of sleeping in the living room anyway, we tried the crib. Aiden wouldn’t have it, so we took shifts in the living room with the pack’n’play. If I had to do it again, I would either move the top part of the bassinet next to the bed, skip the bassinet completely, get one of these pack’n’plays, or my preference: Get this.
Crib bedding: Avoid purchasing matching sets of crib sheets, bedding, and nursery items. More often than not, unimportant components are included. You truly only need one or two crib sheets until your child is old enough to use blankets without the risk of SIDS.
Diaper bag: Make your own or use a retired tote bag hiding in your closet.
I wanted a super expensive diaper bag at first. We received a good-enough one as a gift; It gave out after the first year. Now we just use a reusable grocery bag! 99c, yo.
Of course it’s not logical to go with low cost everything, especially if you are a doting first-time parent. These are some great examples on where you might be able to save a little extra in the long run.
À toute à l'heure!
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