Guest Author - Julie Renee Holland
Pretty much everyone is feeling the crunch with gas prices and the resulting increase in pretty much everything else. No matter what the economy looks like, baby is gonna need some things. Here are some ideas for saving money while caring for your baby. It is easier than you'd think, and many of these ideas are attachment parenting basics.
* Save money on baby clothing. Baby's really don't need a lot of clothing. Doing laundry a bit more often is one way to save money on baby clothing because it allows you to buy fewer items to start with. Look for stretchy clothes that will last a long time. Sometimes cheaper brands are more expensive in the long run since they do not last as long. Check with friends to see if you can borrow their baby's outgrown clothes. Consider hosting a clothing swap with your local parenting group.
* Cosleep. Cribs are pricey to start with, then many parents feel compelled to buy matching bedding sets in addition to the extra sheets and other items. Keep it simple, cosleep. The Humanity Family Bed is one great option. For less than the price of a sturdy crib with mattress, you can get a combination pregnancy body pillow, bed pad and cosleeping bolster all in one. The Humanity Family Bed can also help your baby transition to a toddler bed when the time comes by serving as a safer bed rail to prevent rolling out of bed in the night.
* Wear your baby. Strollers are not cheap. A combination stroller and infant car seat can cost $150 or more and will only last until your baby is 20 pounds. Then you'll need a convertible car seat. Save money by starting out with a convertible car seat and wear your baby in a sling. You'll only need to buy one car seat and most slings cost less than a sturdy stroller. A Moby Wrap baby carrier is only $39.95, for instance and will keep your hands free and your baby happy. A wrap baby carrier or sling may prevent your baby from getting sick from stranger's germs since many people feel they can touch a baby in a stroller.
* Cloth diaper. You'll save at least $1,500 diapering one baby, and even more if you reuse the same diapers for a second baby. Cloth diaper washing is much easier these days due to better diapers and better washing machines. In fact, most cloth diapering parents spend only about 15 minutes washing diapers three times a week. You'll spend less money on diaper rash creams, make fewer trips to the store, and your toddler will very likely potty train 6-12 months earlier than a toddler in disposables. Click here to learn more about cloth diapers and cloth diaper savings.
* Breastfeed. You'll save money on formula and make fewer trips to the doctor since breastfeeding is protective against ear infections and other minor illnesses, and save money on bottles. Cosleeping and breastfeeding may even save you money on other incidentals since you'll get more sleep and have more energy for cooking in and other money-saving activities.
Learn about more natural ways to save money at Little for Now Natural Parenting Store