Raising Babies without Breaking the Bank

 

Are you expecting and worried about how much money it will cost to take care of your baby? Are you on a budget and really need to know how to raise babies without breaking the bank? It's possible, it's environmentally friendly, and here's how to do it.


Bottles, diapers, cribs, carseats, strollers… raising babies is expensive. Or is it? We are convinced by our consumerist culture that we need everything and the kitchen sink to raise our children. But the truth is, the majority of what we're convinced we need as parents is unnecessary junk that'll waste money, and worse, end up in a landfill. You actually need very little to raise healthy babies. It does take a shift in thinking, and requires a thick skin, because, speaking from experience, you'll be judged for your choices. But people will judge you anyway, so start now with choosing what's best for your family. Here are several ways you can take the best care of your baby while saving money.


1. Breastfeeding gives babies what's best while helping to raise babies without breaking the bank.

Breastfeeding gives your baby the best nutrition possible and it's (mostly) free. There are arguments to be made about the income loss that breastfeeding can generate, and it is also true that not every woman can breastfeed. But even for working moms, breastfeeding can be possible and give you a chance to reconnect with your baby at the end of a long work day. Investing in a good breast pump is still less expensive than buying formula for 2 years, and yes, pumping at work can be a drag, but can help you give your baby what's best while helping you stay on a budget.


2. Diapers are a luxury; not a necessity.

I can hear the gasps from here, but it's true. Diapers are a fairly recent invention, and one that many nations in the world do not have access to. So how do their babies stay clean? The truth is, they stay cleaner than a lot of diapered babies, because they don't sit in their own waste for hours at a time. Elimination Communication is not a new trend, nor is it "coercing young babies" to use the potty when they're not ready for it. Elimination Communication is a relationship between parent and child, where the parent listens to the baby's cues for elimination and responds accordingly, much like we do with breastfeeding on demand. Responding to your baby's cues and taking them to the toilet or potty means you don't have to buy any diapers at all.


Not ready to go diaper-free? Consider cloth diapers. Although you'll be doing more laundry and it's a larger initial investment, you'll save money over the long run, send less garbage to landfills, and save money to boot.


3. Ditch the "Baby Food" and raise your baby without breaking the bank.

Baby food is also a fairly new invention. Until very recently in human history, babies just ate what their parents ate. Baby food, whether jarred or in "cereal" form, is not only unnecessary and expensive, it's also not what's healthiest for baby. Up until 6 months of age, breastmilk (or formula if you're unable to breastfeed) is all that's needed to keep your baby well fed. At 6 months, you can start introducing "solids," which is an odd name for a culture that's obsessed with feeding babies mush. 


Why not ditch the mush and feed your baby more naturally? Baby-led weaning is a concept in feeding babies that focuses on introducing nutritious foods without the expense or commercial food or the inconvenience of pureeing everything. 


4. Do you really need a stroller?


In short, no. Invest in a good quality baby carrier, which is often cheaper than a stroller and which gives you two free hands while still allowing you to have close contact with your baby. While a baby carrier can be a wonderful addition to your parenting tools when you just have one baby, it becomes an even greater tool when there's more than one child in the picture.


5. Buy Used Clothing


Your baby isn't going to wear their clothes for very long, so it doesn't make much sense to spend a lot of  money on their wardrobe. Buy clothes for your baby in second hand shops, in parent-to-parent sales, or on used items websites. And accept any offers of hand-me-downs from friends or family members.


These are just some tips for raising babies without breaking the bank. If you're willing to think outside the box and do things a little differently, you'll see that you don't need much to give your child all your love while still saving money and planning for the future.



Author Bio: Mariana Abeid-McDougall is a writer, editor, wife, and mom of three in an adventurous, out-of-the-box family. Find out more at www.marianamcdougall.com.



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