Babies are not naturally expensive! They are simple creatures who need food, warmth, and sleep! They could care less if they have designer labels on their diapers! My son is now twelve years old and was natually reared the frugal way. He has none of the allergies that affect my husband or myself.
To feed a baby inexpensively BREAST FEED. Its easy, fun, and builds a great bond with your kid! Long ago when my son was small I belonged to the < a href=" http://www.lalecheleague.org/ ">La Leche League. I can not recommend breast feeding more for all the satifaction it brings you and your baby far above the saving involved...which are truly substantial. It is the best way to get the best quality nutrients to your kid. The fact that is saves money is a nice plus.
If you need formula make this a gift item for your relatives and friends, and use coupons. Formula is extremely expensive and bottles are a ton of work!
There are many coupon sites for bay products online. Here is one good place to start.
Very Best Baby
The same thinking applies to "baby food." Babies should start solid food as late as possible to avoid allergies. Start with cereals like rice mush. You can make your own in the blender with cooked rice and pumped milk or formula wizzed together. Mahed bananas are easy, as simply mashing or blenderizing fresh cooked "big people" foods.
Here is a great site for natual baby feeding recipes:
Homemade Baby Food Recipes:
And Our Bella Recipe for Natural Teething Biscuts:
As for baby clothes babies grow at an incredible rate! The cute designer outfit may never be worn before it is way too small. Get your child some nice natural fiber tee shirts and some breathable diaper covers. At home they will be very comfy in a tee and a diaper. Keep a few special outfits for outings. Remember babies are very hard on clothes! They pee, poop, and vomit on them all day (the joys of motherhood!!) A quick change of a diaper and tee makes life much easier than feeling bad the designer shirt just got stained beyond repair. Since babies out grow clothes very quickly they are super garage sale finds. Often you'll get the NEVER WORN DESIGNER OUTFIT for next to nothing. So particularly with these type of clothes, you can buy them very cheaply at garage sales! I'm a bit germ phobic, so before you put used clothing on your baby give the whites a good wash in hot water and bleach with some washing soda added. For colors Amy D. of Tightwad Gazzette fame recommends a good soak over night in strong soap and washing soda, and then a wash the next day. Line dry in the sun for extra germ relief power!
Cloth or Plastic? Most studies show cloth diapers are cheaper than buying the one use plastic diapers at the store. For women who must work during the childhood years, this may present a problem as many Day Care refuse cloth diapers. So buy coupon diapers and store brands for Day Care and use cloth at home. Cloth is not that difficult with a tiny bit of organization. Rinse the used coth diaper in the potty, and then toss into a recycled five gallon buckey with a ten percent bleach solution in it. If your baby is sensitive to bleach or you are very eco- use vinegar in a fifty-fifty solution or an oxygen product. The diaper won't smell if it gets disinfected right off the kid. To wash toss the pail contents diapers and all in the wahser and wring them out. Then wash with hot water and bleach to disinfect. Use a Vinegar rinse to soften them and get irritating soap scum off them. Line dry in the sun if possible for further freshness. To save money on cloth diapers make your own from old cotton tee shirts and line them with old towel scraps for extra absorption. To do this cut the tee in tow layers to fit. Put the towel liner inside and pin as usual for a diaper. If you have time you can make these ahead using your Baby Shower "pre-folded" cloth diapers as a midle. Cut, layer and then stitch up the sides! This doesn't have to be fancy. Consider where they are going --ahem!!!
Avoid plastic pants if you can. Ask friends and family who want to make baby gifts get you the snap diaper covers that are non-plastic but water resistant. They are washable and don't cause diaper rashes like plastic.
Baby Poweder, Oils, Etc.:
The cheapest baby power is corn starch. It works fine and unlike talc has no possible carcinogenic elements. Rice flour, or wheat flour browned a bit in a skillet first will work fine too.
The best oil for baby skin is not the chemical mineral oil soil for their use. It is Olive Oil! Just get the discount store variety and you can oil your baby up all you want. And you know both of these products are food grade so if your baby eats it-- the stuff will not hurt them in any way!
Use natural soap for washing if possible as baby's skin strip off oil very easily leading to all those rashes we read about!
If your baby does get diaper rash, try just diapering with no diaper cover and let his bottom out to the air part of the day undiapered --preferably after they just did the baby thing.
So to sum up, get the expensive stuff like fancy baby outfits, and your cloth diapers as your baby gifts! Breast feed if possible for health and savings, and use good sense on the other matters. Babies are fun, not a financial hardship! I hope you get to love your baby as much as we love our son!
For more ideas Check out these Frugal Living Books!
Complete Tightwad Gazzette
The Complete Tightwad Gazzette
Declare Your Finanacial Independence
Declare Your Financial Independence
Mary Hunt's Complete Cheapskate
You Can Afford to Stay Home With your Kids
You can Afford to stay Home WIth your Kids