I recently read that the average American parent spends $12,000 on baby needs in the first year of life. WHAT???? I’ve had six children and I guarantee you I haven’t spent anywhere near that on all of their first years combined. I admit that I haven’t always been as frugal as I am now, but wow, $12,000? That’s nuts. After reading that staggering statistic, I thought it necessary to show that it can be done for much, much less.
Here are a few tips I’ve learned over the years to save money on baby items
The number one money saver is an obvious one- breastfeed that baby! God gave you the amazing ability to feed your child with your own body. Don’t neglect that. It’s best for you and your baby.
Make your own blankets, bibs, and hats
Seriously, it’s not that hard. There are a plethora of DIY videos on YouTube for making your own blankets, bibs, hats, burp cloths . . . the possibilities are endless. Not only will your little beauty have a one-of-a-kind, made with love blankie, you might find you actually enjoy it! And if you’re good enough at it, you could use that as a source of income.
Make your own wipes, diaper creams and lotions
These may sound daunting, but I promise it’s all super simple. I just started making my own wipes a few weeks ago, but I’ll tell ya, I’m never going back to store bought! Have you ever read the ingredient label on wipes?
When reading the labels, it can be hard to discifer what means what. Thankfully, the Cosmetics Database gives you a complete list and a hazard rating of the different brands of wipes. For example:
Pampers Clean and Go Wipes are given a 5 for hazard (out of 10) and warnings include possible allergies, immunotoxicity and organ system toxicity.
Huggies Cucumber and Green Tea Wipes have a hazard rating of 7 and ingredients have been linked to cancer, immunotoxicity, allergies, developmental problems, reproductive toxicity, organ dysfunction, endocrine disruption and cellular changes.
Desitin, the #1 diaper rash cream in America, has a hazard rating of 5 and warnings include organ system toxicity, endocrine disruption, ecotoxicology, immunotoxicity, and more.
I make my own diaper cream out of coconut oil, shea butter, calendula, beeswax, chamomile, and sweet almond oil. My babes aren’t prone to diaper rash so I mostly just use it as a moisture barrier. If you want something more in the way of treatment cream, check out Wellness Mama’s recipe.
I also use Wellness Mama’s recipe for baby lotion. Actually, I use her website for much of my DIYing here at the house.
Buy secondhand clothing
I’ve said before that I buy all my family’s clothing at thrift shops. Baby clothes are no exception. Garage sales, thrift shops, and lots on eBay are all great ways to buy baby clothes. I have a general rule to not spend more than $1 per item for children’s clothing at a thrift store or in an eBay lot, and .50 or less at a garage sale.
Of course, the best price is free. If you know someone who can give you hand me downs, take them with gratitude. Maybe swap goods as a thank you for the clothes.
Make your own baby food
Once your little one is old enough to venture into the world of table foods, why not just make them yourself? It’s so simple to puree up some baked sweet potatoes, roasted pears, or avocado. Plus, when you make the food yourself, your grocery budget doesn’t get effected too badly.