The Basics of Economical Parenting
As costs of living spiral and essential items, including baby stuff show bigger price tags than ever before, more and more parents are trying to look for ways to cut down on costs and spending. Here, we bring to you the basics of economical parenting, which is essentially all the info you need for the first year of your baby’s life!
The claim that breastfeeding is best for babies is not just a blind claim, but it really is a fact. A baby that is breastfed is less likely to get sick compared to one who is fed milk formula or weans off too early from breast milk.
Colostrums, also termed liquid gold in breastfeeding terms, is the thick, yellowish liquid that comes out when you first breastfeed your baby. Colostrums boost and strengthen a newborn’s immune system like no formula can.
If you come to think of it, breastfeeding actually saves you money on potentially pricey medical bills that come with seeking medical treatment for a sick baby. Apart from this, you don’t have to purchase bottles and bottle feeding apparatus. Furthermore, if you’re breastfeeding, you can delay introducing solids for as late as eight to nine months, as breastfeeding alone is sufficient. That will definitely save you a substantial amount too.
Make your own baby food
When your child starts on solid food, you’ll have to make a choice between store bought or home-made baby food. In this area, you’ll be taking good care of both your child’s health and your budget by making your own baby food. Though it may be a bit more time consuming and labor intensive, but the effects on your child’s well-being and your wallet will be well worth the effort!
Consider cloth diapers
Instead of buying disposable diapers, go for the modern cloth ones which are made from materials that wick away moisture from baby. They make them quite stylish nowadays, with Velcro snaps and many other features which not only makes diaper changing easy but also add to visual appeal. Most importantly, they are reusable. Cloth diapers can be bought online, or at local baby stores and other diaper service shops that can be found in your local neighborhood. This is definitely a money saver on the long run.
Tip: If you plan to have a baby shower, let your guests know that you intend to cloth-diaper your baby. With a little luck, you might just be unwrapping some lovely cloth diapers as gifts!
Re-examine your baby’s needs
What does your baby really need? Put it down as a list. There are so many expensive baby items that are sold in department stores but if you take the time to look closer, most are somehow unnecessary and serve only to clutter your home. There are people in many parts of the world who were able to raise their baby well without the use things like walkers – which are not advised by pediatricians, swings, changing tables, and many others. In other words, think before you buy.
A lot of mothers found out that a safe place for baby to sleep, a few sets of comfortable clothes, a basic set of baby toiletries, a bath-tub, a baby towel or two, and a soft-cloth baby carrier or a baby sling are among what they really need!
As baby grows older, and toys come into the picture, make sure to get the simple ones that stimulate your little one’s imagination. More often than not, these kinds of toys are the ones that are the least expensive. If you have old toys back when you were still a kid, you may bring them out, clean it and give it to your baby. Toys don’t have to be flashy or high end, sometimes all you need is a few good toys and some space for your baby or toddler to play in.
Hand-me-downs and pre-loved items
The thing about a lot of baby stuff is, they don’t really wear out because they don’t have the opportunity to. Babies tend to grow out of their stuff really quickly!
Inform your friends and relatives that you appreciate hand-me-down items and you’ll surely get a lot of it. Some mothers would prefer hand-me-downs rather than buying new baby clothes since they know that baby clothing can be very expensive and babies outgrow them really fast. Also, the clothes would have been washed quite a few times before their baby uses them, making them more comfortably wearable.
However, not all baby items should be from hand-me-downs. There are baby items that could be outdated in terms of safety, for instance and there are also those that have been recalled from the market because these products have been found out to be a potential hazard for the baby. So make sure to check if these items have been categorized as one of those. You can browse the internet and get a list of recalled baby items.
Another exception in accepting hand-me-downs is a child’s car seat. Always make sure to buy new ones because faults from wear and tear might not be visible. Otherwise, for other items, consider shopping at thrift stores, online auctions and consignment shops.