how to budget for baby because you don’t have to break the bank

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baby

When I was pregnant, I literally didn’t even know where to start with baby stuff. But I was lucky, my sister was pregnant with her third and about to pop when I told everyone I was expecting. She is a smart girl and she told me a lot about the learning curve. She was there to help me sort though the “needs” for baby as opposed to the “might use once, but not oftens.”

Her help was great, but every mom is still different. I have a small nursery in a small house in the city. She has 3 kids worth of stuff, and that scares me. For this minimalist mom, it came down to a few questions. Here’s what I think is most important to ask yourself when you are getting ready to buy buy buy.

Are you planning to breastfeed? If you are, there’s not much to buy. No formula. No bottles. What you might need is some nipple cream and maybe some breast pads.

Are you going to pump? This, too, can be inexpensive. Check out my post on breast pumps. Nowadays, they are usually free. There can be small costs for trying to increase your supply or store milk.

Where is baby going to sleep? In your bed? How about a bassinet? A crib? This is definitely not the easiest choice. Many mothers plan to go one way but then end up going another. I practically did all three before my little one was 6 months. We had a bassinet that she didn’t love. So we moved her into bed. Then we decided to try to get her into a pack n play. She is there now. We were happy to go with the flow. We decided not to get a crib and the pack n play was second-hand. They can be compacted for storage to pop up when you need them. We love it as our crib substitute, and it only costed us thirty bucks!

Cloth or Disposable diapers? If you go with cloth, it’s really about the quality of your washing machine. It is also about getting out the stains. Learning the tricks to keeping the diapers lasting is where it is at. Pinterest is awesome for this. If you are going disposable, this is a real cost of your young baby. We buy bulk. We buy on Amazon when the deals are good. It is all about keeping your eyes peeled for deals. Women are really cool. They usually talk about the deals they find. If you need some diapers, put up a post on Facebook. You will be shocked at how many moms will tell you where, when, and how they got their diapers for next to nothing!

Is baby going to have her own room?Are you going to be setting up a nursery? If you are, you might feel inclined to dress it up in a cute and sweet way. How great! But if you are all about saving money, this is an area where you can accidentally find yourself blowing money you didn’t plan to. Make sure that you are thinking for the long-term. A nursery is a place where the baby can be safe and rest well. Make that the goal. Don’t overdo it, the baby will be too stimulated and you will regret it!

How often are you going to be able to do laundry?This is especially important when you consider cloth diapers and clothing your baby. If you don’t have quick access to a washer/dryer, you might want to get at least a week’s worth of swaddles, bibs, and blankets. For me, I used about 2 swaddles a week, no bibs in the first six months but 1 a week after that, and about 4 blankets for my newborn. One a week as she ages. We went through clothes like crazy, but we didn’t spend a ton on them.We would buy multi packs of onezies. It was easy to get through the week with about 15 onezies when she was at her poopiest. (sorry)

What is the weather like for baby’s arrival? Anouk was born in October on a day when the weather shifted from a high of 80 to a high of 60 overnight. Literally. I think that’s why I went into labor, in fact. She and I had to brace ourselves for a frigid Wisconsin winter. Don’t over-do it with this either! Check out this post from 365 Moms.

Do you have a head on your shoulders? Homemade baby food is so stupid simple to make. You can do it all at once, apples, pears, squash, whatever. Then put it into ice cube trays to freeze and store in ziplocs. This lady has a blog that makes baby food look like food I want to eat. Mine is not nearly that fancy. I sometimes grab some frozen vegetables or fruits and throw them in the blender. No big. Much cheaper.

Multiple cars? You will need a car seat. And you might need more than one base. That’s just something to keep in mind!

 

So let’s keep this simple :

Pack n Play

A baby carrier

A car seat and base

Swaddles

Blankets

Onezies

A pump

A highchair

Milk storage bags

Bottles

Pacifiers

Ice cube trays

Bottle brush

Little bath tub

thermometer

 

Done! Minimalist moms don’t usually want to gloat about how little they spend. It can come off as not being nurturing enough. I love not carrying around a loaded baby bag. I prefer to carry around my purse with a few diapers, a few wipes, and a onezie. It’s just me. Is there anything that you would say is a “must” that I forgot? Let me know!

 

 

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