Hello my lovely friend, come on in and bring that sweet baby of yours, too. This little log home in the woods is home to my 6 wild, amazing children. Of course, babies are always welcome here! My youngest babe is just starting to roll over. With having so many babies, I have often been asked about how "expensive" babies are. And I love being a financial + minimalist coach in real life because I get to help parents soak up more of those precious baby moments by saving money during babyhood. Let's chat about my 3 Top Money Saving Strategies and you might be surprised at how inexpensive babies can be.
#3 Money Saving Strategy: Ask for what you truly need. Less of what you don't need AND more of what you do.
When I first left my corporate job to come home with my baby's medical complications, I was not prepared for the tsunami of first baby "stuff." I was blessed by the love and support I received, but I had this sick feeling in my stomach with each gift. The truth was that my baby didn't need another cute outfit. My household just needed money to keep a roof over her head. Let's be honest, you and I are friends, it's hard to ask for what we truly need, isn't it? Hardly anyone knew how deep the struggle was financially. Looking back on when I was broke(n) and drowning in chaos of stuff, I wish I had been given permission to ask for what I truly needed. Food, money for gas, help to declutter, someone to hold the baby while I showered. A hot meal, please Lord, just one hot meal. Anything, except more baby junk.
Oh my dear friend, you totally have the right to ask for what you truly need. Obviously, do this with grace and kindness and discernment. But it's o.k. to be honest with what would be helpful when family or friends offer. How I wish I had learned to accept help sooner!
#2 Money Saving Strategy: Do things as naturally as possible.
There are so many products out there telling us that the product will make our mom-life easier. I found the exact opposite to be the case most of the time. I thought carefully about how my grandmother had raised my father and his siblings in the heart of Central Africa. She didn't have all the equipment, but she did have help. Human arms of dear friends to hold her babies when she needed help. She nursed her babies and cloth diapered. My grandfather would rinse the diapers on a little ledge of the huge ocean liner as they traveled across the ocean between the States and Africa. I figured that truly, my grandmother knew best. Not that disposable diapers aren't helpful in certain seasons, it's alright, of course. However, if naturally feeding and diapering are possible, do it. I use cloth diapers that fit from newborn to toddler. I bought them used off eBay to start with. And I practice Elimination Communication where I take my babies to the restroom from birth. So easy and no cloth diapers to even wash! Totally worth it. We seriously paid off our student loans by all the money saved by EC'ing and cloth diapering.
#1 Money Saving Strategy Tip: Think of the world from your baby's eyes.
Slow down. Babyhood only happens once. What does she need right now? Starting with the baby's perspective does re-frame an understanding of babyhood. Allocate your resources according to what kind of babyhood you want for her, and she will respond with what her preferences are. As you are evaluating what you need for your unique baby, try to think in terms of what babies naturally need, not what the baby industry tries to sell us. Does your baby love people? Is she always shy? Does she love new places or staying close at home? This will change as baby grows, but you can start to see the uniqueness of your little one. THEN, create the systems and tools that you need. We love hiking so a carrier was a must.
I travel often for business with my husband and we take our baby along so a extra comfy car seat was a requirement. Craft your equipment to your baby and life. And don't be afraid to sell items, even gifts, if it doesn't fit what you need. I sold my high chair when pregnant with baby #6 and haven't bought another one. It didn't work for our season and so out it went!
Here's a few tips in evaluating baby equipment:
- Is it a multiple- purposed item? For example, I use towels as my changing station. It can be a towel, blanket, spit-up rag, or changing station cover. The possibilities are endless.
- Is it wash-able? I always look for cotton/durable fabric.
- Is it gender neutral? You always want it to last long term.
- Is it made with quality materials to last? Many German made items have superior design and last longer in my humble experience.
- Is it made to grow with the baby? I love items like Baby legs and the Lotus bed (not affiliated just a happy customer) that grow with the baby.
- Is it made by a company that I can support in good conscience?
- Can I buy this item used or ask for it for a holiday gift rather than purchasing it right this moment?
- Is this problem that I want to solve able to be solved by something I already own? I sewed baby sleep sacks out of fabric I already owned (I don't sew much but it took 5 minutes) rather than buying expensive ones online.
Be free to design your best babyhood for you and your sweet baby! Saving money AND cherishing these moments with your baby is possible.
Blessings for your journey,