Fact: having kids is expensive.
Also fact: so is everything else; even minding your business.
As a new ‘actual parent’, also with childcare experience professionally and lifestyle-ly (being a guardian to my niece and nephew), I know that there are simple ways to navigate this journey in way that makes a little less overwhelming.
Today I’m sharing my top 3 money saving hacks as a first time parent.
1.Invest in good quality x reusable products- I always say you don’t judge an item by its upfront cost. No you don’t. You have to consider the material- is this durable AND reusable? And if you are investing in your health and wellness like myself, ingredients are priority as well. Depending on the material, you can tell if you’re going to be needing another in the next year or 2, or in parenting case- by your next baby. This is how I know: My 5 year old niece is wearing hand me downs from her older sister who is a good NINE YEARS OLDER THAN HER! My own daughter is using blankets her 5 year old siblings used. And yes, even blankets her 14 year old sister-cousin used. yup!
Still on the topic of reusability, this is why I decided on cloth diapers. I remember when I was newly pregnant, a fellow expecting mom said to me: “I can send you an excel sheet of how much we spent on diapers and wipes in the first year with our first, the sizes of diapers and everything”. That’s exactly what I DO NOT want. Plus my cloth diapers are one sized (readjustable from 6-8lbs t0 35-40lbs), and I don’t have to worry about what sizes to buy and for how long. When I mentioned cloth diapering to my Husband, he looked at prices and went ‘those are expensive!’. SO, I sat him down and did the math, and he realized how much money I am saving us, plus how much good we are doing the environment, PLUS how well we’re saving our kids’ skin from absorbing who knows what diapers are made of. :).
Here are some more ways to consider your investment:
- Think muslin instead of flannel blankets! (trust me, muslin is ALL the difference).
- DEFINITELY silicone, stainless steel, glass instead of plastic. Plastic doesn’t last. First, it stains like crazy; and the phthalates, bisphenol-A (BPA), PVC, and all the chemicals are endocrine disruptors that are just not good for anyone’s health- baby or adult. A good way to start getting rid of plastic in your home, is to start your kids WITHOUT them. My daughter is using her older siblings’ spoons, their stainless steel bowls, their glass feeding bottles (without the nipples, of course). I literally had to text my sister when my baby started solids to thank her for investing in what’s right. Because 14, and 5 years later, here we are. 🙂
2.Start with what you NEED, and then work your way down: I read the Mama Natural Week by Week Guide to Pregnancy, while pregnant. And although i don’t believe there is a one-size-fits-all pregnancy book (you don’t HAVE to buy this one), one of the many things that did help, was her list of baby must haves (well, give or take). Save yourself some money and buy plain onesies- Organic cotton, if you please. Your baby is completely fine WITHOUT crib bedding. They are swaddled up tight and cosy in the first 2-3 months, anyway! You are perfectly fine with a crib, crib mattress and fitted crib mattress cover. That is it. There is no research that proves the necessity of fancy pillows, sleeping blankets, or crib padding.
3.Go Neutral: Pink, Blue or Neutral? If you really want to save money, GO NEUTRAL. Start with point 1, and then go NEUTRAL. If you’re buying junky stuff, neutral isn’t going to help much, because your stuff will be worn out in a year’s time anyway. I have to admit, I was really really REALLY good with this, until cloth diaper prints met me. And then there were these blush pink ezpzfun utensils that got me. ugh! Those are just so cute! But seriously, go neutral- especially if you desire to have more than one kid. Think grey, yellow, green, brown, good old white! Now I am not saying don’t go in for any of the pretty pink or blues. Would you even be a parent if you didn’t get at least 5 items with gender-based colors? 🙂 But here’s the thing- Your baby doesn’t need pink onesies under her clothes? He doesn’t need only blue socks? all her bottles don’t need to be pink? Her car seat, crib, stroller, baby carrier…. those DEFINITELY do not need to be pink! Babies don’t keep. And I’ve said this before, I know the First Time Parent (FTP) bug. You want to get all the things! If you have all the money in the world, hey! go for it! But if you’re trying to save on this already expensive journey, remember: babies outgrow sooo many things quickly. And if your next baby is going to be a different gender, you want to make sure you’re not doing it ALLL over again! So it’s best to stay neutral. Well for the most part! Because blush pink is driving my bank account wildly crazy! haha
So there you go! my top 3 money saving hacks as a First Time parent! I hope this helps a new mama-to-be, or anyone considering having a family. Remember, we do better when we know better.
Now here’s a quick math on Cloth diapering versus Disposables. From one cloth diapering mama to you! 🙂
“Diapering a child in generic disposables costs over $1,400 over 2.5 years. With some premium earth-friendly options, this cost can go to almost $2,500. A full time cloth diapering system can cost as little as $300. The cost of cloth diapers comes upfront, when building up supply, but it relieves the recurrent stress over budgeting for disposable products on a regular basis. Choosing cloth diapers is cheaper overall, as well as easier on the recurring budget.”– Natural Baby Co.
Not that I’m asking you to go cloth or anything! 🙂
Always in Love, Nana.